Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
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March 28, 2017 – 6:30 p.m.
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia
Courthouse Doors on East/South Sides open at 6:00 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting at 6:15 p.m.

Please note the change in the article header where Jo Ann has written out when the doors open and when the Town Hall Meeting starts. [Note from the Editor: I like the additional information!] This meeting was attended by all of the commissioners (though Commissioner James Jenkins stepped out toward the end of the meeting), County Clerk Jo Ann Wrye to take the minutes, County Manager (CM) John Hanson, and County Attorneys Rob and Tom Morton. The meeting room was fairly full with people to speak at both hearings.

An important item to note for past and future meetings: the packet that is given to commissioners on Friday is uploaded onto the county website so citizens can access this information as well. Click on www.pikecoga.com and then hover your cursor over the word Resources. NovisAgenda should pop up and then click on that. There were 84 pages of documentation for this meeting!

[Note from the Editor: This section is from the County Manager's Report.] Service Delivery Strategy meetings are ongoing. All offices have been moved but Planning and Development. Complaints have already started coming in about Flat Shoals. Hanson will start working on a proposal to restrict parking on the right of way in the vicinity of the bridge with specific distances so that existing signage can be enforced. He is working on a new credit card policy.End of Report.

1. CALL TO ORDER .................................................................................... Chairman J. Briar Johnson

2. INVOCATION…………………………………………………………………………..Frank Winfrey

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ................................................................... Chairman J. Briar Johnson

4. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. § 50-14-1 (e) (1))

5. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2))

a. Minutes of the March 8, 2017 Regular Monthly Meeting.


a. Presentation by Grady regarding status of services.

Bill Compton, Vice President of Grady/South Georgia Ambulance, spoke before commissioners. Grady has been in Pike County since July 2015. Click here to read the 2015 article on awarding the contract. Grady has two 24 hour trucks (another word for ambulance) and the 12 hour truck on call in Molena. We have about 1,800 calls per year in Pike with about 1,400 transports. The average about 5 per day. That’s about normal for a county our size. Response times and calls are reported monthly. Complaints, etc are registered through the Commission Office too. What we use as a general rule of thumb is a 12 minute rural county wide response time, but we’ve kept it under 10 minutes here despite the square miles.

He discussed the 911 enhancement plan that will going into effect on April 1, 2017 when all calls will start going through Atlanta. This way, they can determine over the telephone with highly trained personnel whether something is an emergency. If there is not an emergency, we don’t have to run lights and siren. By May 1, 2017, we want to do complete dispatching. The Sheriff's Office and Grady will then be able see where the trucks are. Hancock and Baldwin and Milledgeville have this in place already.

This will cost $126,000 plus $6,000 in hardware, and the goal is to move forward to a mobile integrated health program. Low level calls will have the ability to send a nurse practitioner to the home to treat patients and release them. This is not to deny care, but to get the best treatment to the care to patients where we might even save people a trip to the hospital because they may even be able to get antibiotics, etc. without leaving their home.

He then addressed the 2 regular ambulances plus a 3rd truck (12 hours only) for non-emergency calls. That third unit basically doesn’t run any calls. Sometimes it runs 5% or 8% and sometimes no calls at all. If the truck is not here, we don’t believe that your metrics are going to suffer. Grady will be asking the county to consider reducing this truck and give the county a subsidy redemption for this reduction.

We are here to stay, he said. No increased requests. Everything is working fine. Local people, local jobs, and we are expanding. Pike was our 2nd rural acquisition. We have added 10 more rural counties since then. Looking at Meriwether as well. We appreciate the opportunity to be here.

Chairman Johnson asked about the extra ambulance and its purpose for running calls from Molena Nursing Home. He was advised that they are not running many calls from there and the volume is not enough to justify keeping the truck there. There is a specific Medicaid contracted ambulance company running those calls from the nursing home and it is not Grady.


a. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities, including a Revenue/Expenditure Statement for all departments and a summary check register. There are no Department reports as they will be provided during the first Board meeting of April. Revenue/Expenditure Statement and Detail Check Register is included.

b. County Manager Report

Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund ............................................................................................ $2,801,479.56
Fire Dept. Donations ........................................................................................ $4,475.82
BOC – Jury Account………………………………………………………………$0.00
Cash Reserve Account ........................................................................ ….....$506,154.11
Pike County CD Special Revenue funds………………………………………….$0.00
Jail Fund ........................................................................................................ $16,136.27
E-911 Fund .................................................................................................... $30,757.90
DATE Fund ................................................................................................... $42,713.21
Juvenile Court Fund ....................................................................................... $13,961.84
Residential Impact Fee ................................................................................ $429,427.94
Commercial Impact Fees ............................................................................... $20,639.14
C.A.I.P FUND ............................................................................................... $23,011.50
General Obligation SPLOST Tax Bond Sinking Fund, 2011 ...................... $579,051.92
L.M.I. Grant (DOT) ..................................................................................... $577,372.62

c. County Manager Comment

The Commissioners Office is in the building that used to house the DA's office and Magistrate Court now. It is located across from where the new Big Chic will be built and beside Walt McAbee's office. Planning and Zoning will move into the other side of the old Commission Office on Friday. They’ve gotten a lot of good comments from the public on this. Signage should be finished up shortly. Thanks to the public for support on this.

Jonathan’s Roost Road will be rolling next week.

d. Commissioner Reports

Commissioner Tim Daniel: When will SPLOST paving start back up? There are only 2 remaining roads left on this, and they will be in the 2020-2021. Ditching countywide and patching countywide will be ongoing through then.

Commissioner Tommy Powers: When will calcium chloride come up again? Soon. Coordinating with the ditching. Tommy also praised all in Building and Grounds who helped move the offices in the county.

Commissioner Jenkins: Said that as he has listened to problems of other counties at conferences, Pike County is in good shape. He praised CM Hanson and leadership for the Board.

He also said that law Enforcement got a raise for the Board under the direction of CM Hanson that was well deserved. He praised our Sheriff’s Office. He made a motion to give a $1,400 supplement to the Sheriff for his leadership for our county for making our county a safe place to live. He praised our deputies as well. Motion above. Powers second.

Discussion: CM Hanson said that the motion for Jenkins is allowable under terms as something that commissioners can do. This is permanent once you put this into place. Is this for this budget year or for next year? Jenkins said immediately. CM Hanson said that the county can give a supplement to the Constitutional Officer but it will be on there from now on. Constitutional Officers get supplements (Superior Court Clerk Carolyn Williams gets a supplement for Juvenile and Probate Judge Lynn Brandenburg for Elections) but the Sheriff does not get this now even though he is running the 911 Department. The county has this money, and it won’t be a problem. Commissioner Powers pointed out that he is on call 24-7. Approve 5-0. [Note from the Editor: Just from reading the discussion of the meeting, it can be deduced that it was discussed prior to the meeting. That is not against county ordinance or the law and the agenda can be amended during the meeting if something comes up that needs to be addressed immediately. However, the civil activist in me says that if something of importance is going to come before commissioners and it has time to be placed on the agenda, it needs to be placed on the agenda. This also ensures that all of the commissioners are aware that it is coming up and the public is aware as well. I've been to a lot of meetings over the years, and things like this just don't sit well with me. I've mulled this over for several days and it's not the amount of money, and it's nothing to do with the Sheriff. I just like to see the public as informed as possible when it comes to upcoming discussions and putting items on the agenda is the best way to do this. I try to act in a way that is above reproach and encourage my representatives to do the same.]

Jenkins also praised our Road Department and the leadership of Todd Goolsby. He wants to look at doing the same for the Road Department and for Todd Goolsby in the next year.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners.

He said that the County Attorneys have been working on a Service Delivery Strategy with CM Hanson. They have been to several cities on this and will be continuing.

Rob said that some wonder if the county is prosecuting people for ordinance violations. There was a hearing in front of Judge Sams a couple of weeks ago on a violation that brought in a guilty plea. He told Commissioners that David Allen and his crew are issuing citations, prosecuting those cases, and this was a successful case heard before Judge Sams.



a. Consider one appointment for the Pike County Environmental Review Board to fill a three-year term set to expire December 31, 2019. Applicants have met criteria

Jason Governo and John Morrison. CM Hanson said that the county continues to get a lot of requests to get on our boards. After review and discussion is Jason Governo. His resume is extensive and it will be beneficial to the board to appoint Jason Governo. [Note from the Editor: Follow the instructions to Novis Agenda and you can review these applications and Jason's resume for yourself.]

Motion to appoint Jason Governo. Approved 5-0.

b. Consider request from Ben Maxedon of Prayer Power of Georgia to use the Courthouse grounds for National Day of Prayer on May 4, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

c. Consider request from Bryan Richardson of Pike County American Legion, Post 197 to use the Courthouse grounds for Pike County Memorial Day Program on May 29, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

d. Approve/deny Tax Refund Application from Karhleen Barge in the amount of $597.77.

CM Hanson said that this meets the criteria and made a recommendation to approve. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

e. Approve/deny naming of the road connecting Old Meansville and the schools.

This road needs to be added to our roads list. It’s been deeded to the county already and needs to be identified. He said that he would entertain another name if they wanted. This will give us LMIG credit with the state. Pirate’s Cove. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

f. Approve/deny surplus items for GovDeals.

Departments have found a lot of stuff that was sitting around that they didn’t need when they moved. Govdeals.com Motion to approve the sale and reimburse the county with the proceeds. Approved 5-0.

g. Approve/deny per Code Section 155.03 the final plat modification of Saddle Lakes Estates, relative to the combining of Lots 15, 16, and 17 into one lot.

Saddle Lake Estates. 3 of these lots are owned by the same person and this is request to combine into a 34 or 35 acre lot. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

h. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input in regards to REZ-17-01 – Marjorie B. Harrison, property owner, and Jesse Armistead, applicant, are requesting a re-zoning of the subject property from A-R (Agricultural-Residential) to C-3 (Heavy Commercial) in order to develop an electrical company office and associated warehouse. The subject property, located off of Bottoms Road and Williams Drive, has approximately 1071 feet of frontage along the northern side of Bottoms Road and approximately 540 feet of frontage along the western side of Williams Drive. The property is located in Land Lots 83 and 110 of the 9th District of Pike County, Georgia. The subject property currently consists of 26.813 total acres and is further identified as a portion of Tax Map Parcel #042 027.
Action: Discuss/Approve/Deny

20 minutes to speak in favor. 20 minutes to speak against. Close the public hearing. Commissioner discussion and vote will be then be held. h. Planning Commission on March 9th. The original application had the entire amount being rezoned. It is now reduced to about 5 acres. Electrical company with an office and electrical trucks. Planning Commission and staff recommended denial because it does not line up with the future land use map. C3 requires an arterial road and Bottoms Road is not an arterial road. The previous properties were industrial already on the land use map and Dollar General met the criteria. Medium density residential is what this piece of property is now.

Butch Armistead said that they are asking for 5+ acres to be rezoned. This used to be part of Bottoms Nursery. The three tanks are commercial. The suburban tank was later zoned commercial. The immediate right of the property is Dollar General. Everything else is commercial around it. He said that Pike County is growing again. Chris Robinson is the type of people we want in the county and a commercial zoning is what we need. He asked what kind of building and housing will go around the tanks that are there now.

Eddie Busby works as the Field Assessor for the Tax Assessor’s Office. He said that a common question that he gets is why are the taxes like they are in Pike County? We have no commercial and no industrial. We are getting a ton of impact fees for residential and nothing from commercial. We have less than 90 commercial businesses in the county. He said that the best use of the property will be commercial because of the proximity of the propane tanks. If we are going to have any reduction of taxes, it will have to come through commercial and industrial business. Question for CM Hanson: Whether this is annual or monthly on Impact Fees on the agenda. Hanson wrote down his question and said that he would address it after the public hearing was closed.

John Westbrook said that he wanted to address some concerns from a previous meeting as far as impact to the area. He said that the plat shows that anything that they would use is below the rest of those who are already coming through there. The Dollar General has its access off of Bottoms Road. If you stand on the property, the noise from traffic on Hwy 18 is already there so this shouldn’t be an issue. He said that they have spoken with neighbors and they seem to be amicable to them being there and this company wants to be here and use their money to support Pike County. They looked all over Pike County for something to meet their needs, and this meets their needs.


Tracy Vincent said that she lives on Bottoms Road and that no one has come to her house to ask what her and her husband think about this. She said that the people across the road are not in favor of this and that many down toward West Road are not in favor. She said that there is a lady on Facebook who has said that she wants to buy this property and start a farm on this piece of property. She said that we have two industrial parks here. I don’t want to deny anyone the right to make a living, but heavy commercial here doesn’t make sense. If y’all approve this, you will not be able to deny anyone in between where this business would be located and the Dollar General. The county provides a place for this.

John Holmes said that he agrees. This is zoned residential and I hope that you vote against it for people who want to live out there with the peace and quiet like me.

John Morrison said that Mr. Armistead makes this sound like there is commercial all over there, but he doesn’t see that and he lives there. The tanks were there when he moved there 30 years ago and there have been no problem. This is AR and he sees no reason for changing this.

Gena Harwell said that she owns property 2nd away from the business and asked them to vote no. She is worried about the rest of the property there eventually being zoned commercial. She feels that the county needs business, but that this is not the place to put it.

Larry Gall said that he lives in the area and has invested a lot of money in 40 acres there and that the reason he came to Pike was because of what Pike County is. He is worried about Pike County will become—especially with this—and that this could become an industrial park there if this is allowed in. He asked commissioners to consider those who want to raise their families and fish and hunt in this area.

Public hearing is closed.

Discussion: CM Hanson answered the question from Mr. Busby about the Impact Fee balance on the agenda. The balance shown on the agenda is from over a period of years.

Commissioner Daniel said that this is now for 5 acres. He said that in talking the Mr. Armistead, they intend to purchase the whole 26 acres. He asked out of curiosity what the rest of the property could be used for. They said that they didn't know. [Note from the Editor: Even if they said something in a meeting, there is no way to hold them to it.]

Commissioner Tommy Powers asked why they chose the 5 acres on the farthest end of the property. Steve Reeves answered this for the company. He said no reason particularly other than that the land next to the propane tanks would be the most unusable. If you put a business there and a Dollar General on the other end, how many people will want to build a house in between? This wasn’t something that just happened. The previous board allowed the tanks to go further down Bottoms Road. Tommy said that he doesn’t think that this will ever be residential if this business is allowed to go in. Steve said that you can control the zoning with commercial but not with the residential and it could support 8 lots.

CM Hanson said that it was said that Bottoms Road is used by Dollar General. They were required to improve that piece of roadway for their use and up it to meet county commercial standards.

Commissioner Guy asked what size building? The answer was 50-100 or 60-100 feet. Something to look nice. They said that they can’t afford a large square footage like Frito Lay, etc. in the Industrial Park. The traffic flow will be what everyone else does for the regular work day.

Commissioner Jenkins asked the minimum square footage in the Industrial Park. CM Hanson said that the most recent one was about 6,000 feet on a 2 ½ acre lot.

Commissioner Daniel said that he and Commissioner Guy have never had a situation like this that has been totally denied. He said that in his take on this, most of the time, if we were to approve, we have our conditions to follow and a ton of reasons to deny this. He said that he doesn’t have any reasons to approve this. He said that he cannot vote to approve or deny this tonight. Second by Commissioner Guy.

CM Hanson asked what information do you need? The criteria has already been denied. David Allen asked for further clarification. If you approved this, what would be the conditions for safeguards and limitations? We have no control over it once we say yes. This will be provided at the next meeting. Approved 4-1 with Chairman Johnson voting no.

[Note from the Editor: The county has a land use plan for a reason, and if we are not going to follow it, we might as well not have it. Speaking from a citizen activist point of view, I will tell you that one exception is going to create an opening for another later on because county politics are based on precedent. Just like the current land owners are trying to say that an exception was made before and it needs to be made now. I don't know about when the zoning for the tanks was approved, who did it, and why, but I know that one board doesn't bind another--especially for something that happened long ago--and that the commissioners could have made a decision on this tonight by basing their decision on the advice that was given from the Planning Commission and those who are in charge of reviewing and offering advice to the Commission. When everyone says no based on the county land use plan, etc. and there are no reasons to vote yes nor are there any parameters to vote yes within, there is a reason. And I sincerely hope that the Commission does not get into the habit of postponing decisions on a night meeting to the next day meeting on a regular basis. I didn't see this being done to purposefully keep people from being able to attend, but the day meeting is held at 9 a.m. and if this happens on a regular basis, people will make the accusation even if there are no bad motives. We need to avoid the appearance of impropriety.]

i. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input in regard to MOD-17-01 –Supreme Corporation, property owner and applicant, is requesting a modification of a rezoning condition from REZ-16-06, relative to reducing the established width of buffers along the edges of the pond, wetlands and streams on the property from 100 feet wide to 25 feet wide, as well as the perimeter buffers along the southern and western property lines from 100 feet wide to 50 feet wide. The subject property, located off of Liberty Road, has approximately 690 feet of frontage along the western side of Liberty Road and approximately 122 feet of potential access off of the eastern side of Shackelford Road. The property is located in Land Lot 234 of the 2nd District of Pike County, Georgia. The subject property consists of 38.87 total acres and is further identified as Tax Map Parcel #087 030A.
Action: Discuss/Approve/Deny

David Allen advised that the property was rezoned in 2016 to M2B Industrial. The zoning remains the same. This is a request to reduce some of the buffers. 100 foot wide buffer around the church and down Liberty Road and along Mr. Storey’s property as well and a 100 foot buffer on the western side. There is always a 25 foot buffer for wetlands. The 100 foot buffer was extended around the wetlands as well. Supreme has asked for a reduction to increase the buildable area. They ask that the buffer around the pond to be reduced to 25 foot wide, on the southern and western side to 50 feet wide. He went out with the EPD onto the property in a discussion on the pond as well as a drainage area before the pond as well. Staff recommended reduction of buffers around the pond and wetlands consistent with the EPD recommendations. David's recommendations are reduction on the interior around the pond to 25, western just on the northwest corner to 50 feet wide so they can address drainage, deny on the rest and remain 100.

Click here and here to read about this from the October 12, 2016 meeting and October 18, 2016 meeting.

Jeffrey Buffington said that Supreme came to them to work with them on the property. He showed a map to commissioners that showed 7.28 acres including an area that is unbuildable including the natural buffers. There is 7.73 acres that is also in buffers. That would be 16 acres total. That still leaves 47% of the site in buffers, wetlands, etc. They are trying to get all of this part of the work totally across the street. He gave them pictures to document the 50 foot buffer. A coworker held up the boards a month ago and he took pictures. He said that there is a substantial buffer there even in 50 foot buffer.

He also showed a 6 foot embankment that is also there with a 50 foot buffer. There will be a 6 foot chain link fence around the place too. He also asked about a slatted chain link fence for an opaque buffer. He said that they agree with the Planning Commission’s conditions on this.


Mr. Story passed out pictures to the commissioners. He said that this started on September 8, 2016. This was approved on October 18, 2016 by commissioners. They wanted this just for parking, and he is concerned. One change was made to the buffer from 25 to 75 feet. The buffers were established and the stipulations were established before they even began on this property. Well water, sewer, lights, dust, and drainage toward the creek and the pond were concerns. There is a freshwater spring out of that pond. The graveyards that will likely be found there and then there will be more land that they can’t use. Residents were concerned about heavy zoning. They said that no trucks would be washed there and there are trucks there washed there every day.

He said that there isn’t much difference in his investment in property and what they have invested. He said that his place will not be worth anything after they get done. Supreme knew what they were purchasing and the buffers that were there already. The buffers and the property equal about 16 acres. He said that this property is downhill all of the way down, and even said that he offered to buy one of the properties and they said no. He said that he doesn’t want to have to look at it or hear it. And he said that they are within a foot of the graves that are on the property and they ought to be ashamed of themselves. The neighbors ask commissioners not to reduce buffers.

Authur Moss agreed with Mr. Storey and said that neighbors opposed the zoning, but the commissioners approved it anyway with certain protections for the neighborhood. He said that it seems a bit ridiculous that we are going back through the same cycle. They got what they needed back in October, and it wasn’t all that they wanted. They knew what they got in October of 2016. He said that the deed was in late December of 2016, and they didn’t have buy the property if it didn’t meet their requirements. He said that he looked last week and that they were going to protect the church in October of 2016 and that they were going to donate some land. There is nothing there that he could find. He urged commissioners to deny this.

Ashley Thomas said the neighbors came to commissioners a few months ago and they bought the land anyway and now they have property that they can’t use and that isn’t the problem of the neighbors. He said that he already hears jackhammers at 2 a.m. when he is trying to sleep and that they have been there for generations and would like to pass this down to his kids. He said that Supreme goes to little towns where they can get their way. This is another example of corporate greed trying to take over the little man. He asked the commissioners to speak up for the little man and not approve any changes.

John Adams said that we are back again. A few months ago we were dealing with the same problem. He asked commissioners put yourselves in our shoes. He said that he was promised a buffer in October but now Supreme wants to change some of that. He said that the neighbors are planning on being there for a long time to come. What will happen later on when they want something else done? We are tax payers and y’all are supposed to take care of us.

Closed the public hearing.

Rob Morton said that the Mortons don’t have an opinion on this. However, the applicant approached Mr. Allen about this some time back. It was the legal opinion that they were required to go through the rezoning process again. He suggests that they ask what they will agree to was made through the Planning Commission and ask David to show on the boards what his recommendation is. The Planning Commission went along with David’s recommendation.

Only things that will change: Interior 100 foot to 25 around the pond. Northwest corner 100 feet to 50 feet.

Commissioner Powers said that Supreme knew what they were buying when they bought the property. He said that commissioners tried to please them and that they will come back and want more. They agreed with the buffer after we changed it.

Commissioner Powers made the motion to deny their application and leave this as it is. Tim Guy second. (Commissioner Jenkins had stepped out.) Motion denied 4-0.

[Note from the Editor: At one point, one person did say that they would be ok with a reduction in the land around the pond only according to the EPD's recommendation, but it was only one person out of all who spoke. I thought that I had it written, but apparently I didn't. I don't guess that it mattered in the end because commissioners voted no across the board.]

10. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)


12. ADJOURNMENT: 8:25 p.m.

Agenda subject to revision.

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