Cherokee County Board of Commissioners members approved conducting a pair of road corridor traffic studies at its most recent meeting.

County Manager Jerry Cooper presented two contracts to begin the corridor traffic studies. The first study would be conducted on the corridor around East Cherokee Drive, while the second involved the corridor of Arnold Mill Road. Lowe Engineers, LLC in Atlanta was the engineering firm selected by the county to conduct both studies, as Lowe Engineers was the highest scoring proposal, as well as the lowest priced submission on each corridor study request. The cost submitted by Lowe Engineers for the East Cherokee Drive Corridor Traffic Study was $42,000, while the proposed cost on the Arnold Mill Road Corridor Traffic Study was $27,000. For comparison, the highest priced proposals were $292,000 for the study of East Cherokee Drive and $234,000 for the study of Arnold Mill Road. Following Cooper’s presentation on each of these two items, the board of commissioners approved motions to award two professional service agreements to Lowe Engineers for the studies to move forward. Commission Chairman Harry Johnston said during the meeting that studies such as these are how road improvement projects begin.

A construction services agreement was approved during the meeting as well. This agreement was with Crown Retail Services in the amount of $617,390 and involved construction additions to the county fleet services building. The additions covered in this agreement include the construction and/or renovation of two maintenance bays that can accommodate fire engines and other equipment, an office, restrooms, a parts room and other necessary space. Similar to the pair of road corridor traffic studies, Crown Retail Services was both the highest scoring and lowest priced proposal received by the county, with bids ranging all the way up to $929,000.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners also took action on the following:

  • The consent agenda, which included accepting a federal sub-grant award for $50,000 and a budget amendment to reflect this grant money to be given to the Cherokee County Emergency Management Agency for the purchase of supplies and materials, the upgrading of various pieces of equipment and for the conducting of training, and accepting a federal grant for $20,198.75 to be used to purchase and distribute weather radios for those in the county in need, was approved.
  • A motion to approve a resolution adopting tax levy related to the Cherokee County School District’s issuance of General Obligation Bonds passed. County Attorney Angie Davis explained that this was approved for the school system by voters in 2016, with the total amount that could be issued being $115 million, of which approximately $39.7 million was issued in the form of General Obligation Bonds, Series 2018. Davis said the school system is interested in issuing General Obligation Bonds, Series 2020 in the amount of $30.55 million.
  • The board approved the purchase of 18 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units and 36 air cylinders from Fisher Scientific for Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services in the amount of $135,711.60.
  • The purchase of four ambulances for Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services from Ten-8 in the amount of $821,656 was approved. Included in this approval was a budget amendment of $410,828 to use impact fees to purchase two of the ambulances, while the other two will be purchased using special-purpose local-option sales tax money. The most significant change between the new ambulances being purchased and those already in service is that the new ambulances will have gasoline burning engines, unlike the current ones with diesel engines. Swapping over to gasoline engines will eliminate some of the issues diesel engines can have, according to Fire Chief Tim Prather.
  • The board approved the purchase of all necessary equipment for six Ford Explorer vehicles for the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office in the amount of $98,763 from ProLogics ITS. The board also approved the purchase of a new Chevrolet Tahoe from Brannen Motors for $34,400 and a used Tahoe from Jasper Jeep for $28,100, along with the equipment needed for both vehicles in the amount of $16,383.
  • An amendment to the professional services agreement the county has with the North Georgia Amateur Umpires Association was approved. The amendment extends the most recent agreement for an additional year, with the option for an auto-renewal for two more years after that, along with a cost increase of $1 per official per game in the second year.

The next meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners will be Tuesday, Feb. 4. The meeting will begin with a work session at 3 p.m., followed by the regular meeting at 6 p.m.

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