The county’s wrecker services ordinance received a small update following a public hearing at Tuesday night’s Cherokee County Board of Commissioners meeting.

According to county officials, this change is not an amendment to the law already in place, but instead is an addition to the ordinance. The proposed update would allow the county wrecker board and the Cherokee Marshal’s Office some discretion when determining whether or not to suspend or revoke an individual or company’s zone privilege in being on call when a vehicle has to be impounded due to a traffic incident or arrest. During the public hearing no one spoke in favor of or against the change. Once the public hearing was closed, the commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the change, officially adding it to the wrecker services law.

The change follows an incident earlier this summer when a tow company owner was arrested on drug and theft charges.

The board of commissioners also took action on three zoning cases. The first, involving a special use permit for land on Cumming Highway to be used for commercial truck sales was postponed until October at the applicants request. The commissioners also approved a postponement for a zoning case for land on Lakeside Drive for an apartment and townhome development. The third case dealt with a request to rezone land along Hickory Flat Highway from rural residential to neighborhood commercial for a gymnastics facility, as well as a concurrent variance to eliminate the required 30 foot zoning buffer on the west side of the property due to natural buffers already there. The board approved both the rezoning and the concurrent variance.

During the work session earlier in the day, the board of commissioners heard a presentation from Heather Thompson with the U.S. Census Bureau as the federal government gears up for next year’s census count. After reminding everyone how important answering the census is, Thompson explained she was there to ask the county to form a complete count committee, which would, in part, help the general public understand the importance of the census, as well as encouraging everyone in the county to complete the census form.

The board of commissioners also handled the following matters:

♦ The fiscal year 2020 contract with the Department of Human Services for $270,166.07, was approved.

♦ The board approved a payment of $2.5 million to GEBCorp for defined benefits for county employees.

♦ A license agreement with the City of Ball Ground was approved, allowing the county to use one of the city’s water tanks for a radio frequency site for Cherokee County E 9-1-1 as it upgrades to a new 800 megahertz radio system.

♦ A pair of agreements with Woodstock city government were approved. The first agreement was the city’s license agreement for the 800 MHz radio system, while the second will allow the county to use a Woodstock city water tank as a radio frequency location site for the system.

♦ A project change order for the upcoming radio system was approved, with the county increasing the height of a pair of radio towers at a total cost of $29,769.78.

♦ Licensing agreements with the Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority were approved, giving the county the authority to use CCWSA land at 5508 Tyson Drive and 12442 East Cherokee Drive as radio frequency locations.

♦ The board approved purchasing a Ford F-350 truck for the Public Works department from the lowest bidder, Ronnie Thompson Ford, in the amount of $46,851.

♦ The purchase of two Ford F-150 trucks for Animal Control were approved, as was the purchase of box inserts for both trucks. The cost for the two trucks totaled $55,958, while the box inserts would cost $13,413.95.

♦ A professional services agreement with Wi-Skies, LLC in the amount of $15,000 was approved for lighting design services at the roundabout connecting Hames Road and South Jett Road.

♦ The board approved a change to the WEX gas card program regarding fuel purchases for county vehicles. The only major change to the program was an additional five cents per gallon rebate when the county fuels its vehicles up at QuikTrip stations.

♦ A motion to approve proceeding with authorizing the condemnation of property along Ga Highway 140 as part of the East Cherokee Drive Intersection Improvement project was passed. A cooperative project with the Georgia Department of Transportation, the county had sent out letters to the property owner, offering compensation for the land, but no response or counter-offer was ever received. By doing so, the county can move forward with the project and send the offered compensation to the property owner.

The next meeting of the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners will be Sept. 17. 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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