Pike County Times

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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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This online news website is owned and operated by Becky Watts. The Editor can be reached at 770-468-7583 or at editor(at)PikeCountyTimes(dot)com. Pike County Times is a website for citizens to keep up with local events and stay informed about Pike County government. It began on November 13, 2006 as a watchdog on county government and has turned into an online newspaper.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2022 – 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.

Click here to see the attached items on the agenda and, on the first meeting of the month only, read the reports from all the departments in the county.

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

All 5 commissioners are present along with County Clerk Angela Blount and County Manager Brandon Rogers. County Attorney Rob Morton could not be present at the meeting.

2. INVOCATION ........ Ben Maxedon

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

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

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

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

a. Minutes of the May 11, 2022, Regular Monthly Meeting.
b. Minutes of the May 16, 2022, Special Called Meeting.
c. Minutes of the May 16, 2022, Executive Session.
d. Minutes of the May 26, 2022, Special Called Meeting.
e. Minutes of the May 26, 2022, Executive Session.

Motion to approve all. Approved 5-0.


a. Matt Bidwell, MSI Benefits Group Inc, to discuss Insurance Premiums.

Lots of discussion on numbers and different options. Under an HRA, going to a specialist, the ER, and obtaining brand drugs demand that the deductible be met first which means that the county would cover the first $750 and then the $1,750 would be met first. This would only have been a $76,000 increase.

Discussion of adding a traditional plan that would not require employees to meet the entire deductible up front. 3 different scenarios. Discussion of the cost: 100% for the employee paid by the employee, 50% of the difference, and then 35% of the difference. $48.20 payroll deduction for this plan. 50% employee buyout… $96.20 every two weeks. 12% increase. That assumes that 68 employees go with HRA, and 26 go with the buyout. 35% employee buyout… $80 is what it would have been if it stayed with the old plan. $1.25 million increase versus $1,086,000.

Chairman Johnson asked if what it would be if we did 100% on the employee and 50% on the families… Bidwell doesn’t like to pay 100% of the cost. 23 people don’t take the coverage here. If you pay 100% of the cost, you are pretty much forcing the employees to take part in the plan. 95%, they can make the choice to join or not. About 35 people cover their families.

Commissioner Jenkins asked if the employees have a choice between the HRA and the traditional? How much do you want the employees to pay to help with this cost? Bidwell encouraged either 35 or 50% buyout for the extra cost. Maybe 95% for employee and 75% for dependents. That is close to what we are paying now. If we don’t act quickly, we will have to pay one month’s premium to Anthem.

Jenkins asked what our departments said, and Bidwell said that our departments are all very polite. He also said that this was a lot of information that they need time to move into. This keeps payroll deductions low. He will have to build out a benefit booklet and meet with the employees. Really need a discussion like right now. Electronic literature by Friday or Monday and then meet next week. Aetna could get everyone in the system and have them send the cards, but the cards won’t be here until after the first week of July.

11 employees out of 100 go to specialists. HRA means that they have to meet the deductible of $2,500 which includes the first $750 which is paid by the county. If taking a brand drug, that is going to come out of the $750 too and will go fast. But normal co-pays don’t kick in until the $2,500 is paid.

This will be HRA AND a traditional plan with the employee paying part of the extra cost out of their paycheck. 70% of employees usually go with the HRA, but those using brand medications, etc. may choose the traditional plan. This is an attempt to balance the needs of the employee against the increase in the cost that the county is going to have to pay on this.

Motion to go with the dual option and the county pay 65% of the buyout cost with Aetna (with the rest being paid by the employee). Approved 5-0.


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 in June. Revenue/Expenditure Statement and Detail Check Register is included.

Motion to accept the reports. Approved 5-0.

b. County Manager Report
Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund ........ $5,400,658.80
Fire Dept. Donations ........ $7,520.60
Cash Reserve Account ........ $378,734.96
Jail Fund ........ $32,184.74
E-911 Fund ........ $367,076.71
DATE Fund ........ $39,425.05
Juvenile Court Fund ........$12,634.16
Residential Impact Fee ........$1,187,832.38
Commercial Impact Fees ........ $169,877.92
C.A.I.P FUND ........ $37,869.82
General Obligation SPLOST Tax Bond Sinking Fund, 2016 ........ $1,529,485.37
L.M.IG. Grant (DOT) ........ $724,049.45

c. County Manager Comment

Gave commissioners a packet.

d. Commissioner Reports

Commissioner Daniel said that Brazier Road looks nice and thank you.

Chairman Johnson. Asked the Board about the referendum comment that was brought up during the Town Hall. The county may want to look at package sales and see if that is something that the voters want to decide. CM Rogers asked if he needed to get with County Attorney Rob Morton on this. Consensus to do this.

Please keep the family of Commissioner Tammy Jarrett in prayer.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners



a. Second Reading of Text Amendment of the Pike County Code of Ordinances Title III: Administration, Chapter 33 Boards, Commissions, Authorities, and Other Organizations.

This is the combining of the Board of Appeals and the Planning Commission. No changes since the First Reading. Motion to approve the 2nd Reading. Approved 5-0.

Chairman Johnson thanked CM Rogers for fixing the sound system so people can hear. [Note from the Editor: I second that thank you! This has been a LONG time coming for people to finally be able to hear in meetings!]


a. Consider one appointment to the Pike County Joint Board of Elections and Registration to fill an unexpired four-year term, set to expire December 31, 2022. Applicant has met criteria.

Charles Kelly Barrow and Lynn Vickers. CM Rogers and the Elections Board recommended Lynn Vickers for this position. Commissioner Proctor told the other applicant thank you for applying and advised that Lynn came from Elections so she is being recommended but to please not stop applying for a board in the county. Approved 5-0.

b. Approve/deny Impact Fee request in the amount of $327,712.08 for Parks and Recreation Phase 1A project.

. Chairman Chris Childress addressed the Board on this. This will go toward Phase 1A. There was $850,000 received from the bank on this loan to help pay for this project. Bids came back, but it was too much so they removed the site work ($375,000) and went ahead with the building. Current Impact Fee money has been paying for this building project. It was a $902,000 project with a balance that will be above what they can afford with the about $77,000 left in the account.

Only requested part of the amount. If we had known that there was more than the requested amount in the account on May 11, we would have asked for that. That would make $477,918 could be available for this project.

$850,000 is still sitting in the bank right now. This is for site work, etc. So the situation is that we have a building with a remaining contract of $734,734.55. Between 65% and 70% complete. The bank money was specific to the building of this building but the Impact Fee money could go toward anything. We would like to do some site work for about 100 paved parking spots and driving up to the building. $375,000 was the quote from this past January. Asking for $327,712.08. $405,899 to go to Phase 1A. $734,000 total amount for the project.

Phase 1A cover soccer parking? 32,000 square feet should get us back to the building along with the parking that is there in the gravel lot already. It adds 100-115 spots for soccer. The next phase of the project is softball, and they can tie in parking from both directions. This is what is needed to move to the rest of the park. We anticipate having to turn people away from our registration next year. We are planning to help reduce the parking on the other side of the road when both phases are completed, but that is not the discussion today. Chairman Johnson has seen the vehicles filling up the lot across the road and up and down the road and noted that the Comprehensive Plan shows growth there.

Our Rec Department is the watering hole of our community, Childress said. We have folks driving from out of town to play in Pike County Rec. We have a thriving Rec facility, and we are doing the best we can with what we have. The Rec Department is part of the discussion of the Comprehensive Plan and specifically talks about expansion in the future because it’s needed. We have a thriving Rec Department.

Has in kind service from the county been considered? Yes. During the bidding process, we felt like the number that McLeRoy was a really good number, but the county was considered and included in the planning. Daniel said, This is basically the Parks and Rec Authority’s money. Childress said that they are fundraising and showing where the money is going. Covered cages are on the list.

If you decide to approve this for site plans and have to use funding from United Bank, the amount owed to the bank will go up. If the $400,000 plus goes to the site plan, that will affect this. This is a 15 year plan. It would have been $6,400 a month if it had started last year, but this hasn’t been done yet. Childress said that the Road Department has worked very quickly with them.

Motion to approve the $327,712.08 from Impact Fees. Consensus to use the money from the bank too. Approved 5-0.

c. Discussion of Ambulance Contract.

Draft from Ameripro. The county attorney has reviewed this and given an ok on this. Rogers said that there are a couple of items that likely need to be in the contract. It’s a 5 year contract renewable each year with a 3% increase rather than an annual agreement with a 5% increase for 3 years. Consensus that this needs to be added. Morton wanted to remove part of the contract where it talks about if we lose our license… There is no point in this so consensus to remove the part about the license because the county is going to retain this license. Changes will be made and brought to the next meeting.

When they are not fully staffed, can we fine them? Some of that is covered, but there was a question of whether to add more. 2 ambulances with up to $1,000 per instance or per day? If they go down to one ambulance and there is no call, there is no fine. If they get a call with just one ambulance, do they get a fine per call? Should it be a flat $1,000 per day? Consensus to go with the $1,000 per day. Also asked Rogers to talk to Morton on that. Will talk about this more at the next meeting.

d. Approve/deny SUB-22-04 - Richard T. Hatchett, owner and Dustin Shaw, applicant are requesting a major 18-lot subdivision (Oak Grove Phase VI & V). The applicant is requesting preliminary plat approval. Property Location: Southside of Oak Grove Trail, West of Ethridge Mill Road. Land Lots: 136 of the 2nd Land District. Parcel ID: Portion of 086 084. Acreage: 46.6 acres. Commission District 3rd, Commissioner Jason Proctor. FEMA Data: Does not lie within a flood zone.

Oak Grove. Supposed to be 4 and 5 not 5 and 6. Prelim plat approval for phases 4 and 5. 18 lots. Addition of one new road. Required to connect to county water. Cannot do a concurrent prelim and final plat. Working on permit for the water line, and then the road is next. May 12 Planning Commission recommended with condition and that the concerns of the HOA are heard and addressed by the applicant. There are a couple of flag lots. There is a stream with a 50 foot buffer (25 on each side). The current HOA offers certain amenities. Motion to approve the preliminary plat with the condition that the owner meet with the homeowners’ association. If this doesn’t happen, it will be discussed at the final plat. Approved 5-0.

e. Approve/deny SUB-22-05 - W. Gregory Daniel and Michele P. Daniel owners and applicant are requesting a major 5-lot subdivision (Daniel Estates). The applicant is requesting concurrent preliminary and final plat approval. Property Location: Westside of Fossett Road, South of Highway 18, Zebulon, GA. 30295. Land Lots: 50 & 51 of the 9th Land District. Parcel ID: 054 023D. Acreage: 24.90 acres. Commission District: 1st, Commissioner Tim Daniel. FEMA Data: Does not lie within a flood zone.

Postponed until next week. Applicant needs to make a modification before it can be considered.

f. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input regarding SE-22-01. Matthew and Patricia Armstrong owner and applicant request a special exception to operate a general home occupation for property located at 2482 Highway 362, Williamson, GA 30292 in Land Lot 157 of the 1st District, further identified as Parcel ID 050 012F. The property consists of 34.62 +/- acres and the request to allow operate a hair salon as a general home occupation. Commission District 4th, Commissioner James Jenkins. FEMA Data: Does not lie within a flood zone.

The applicant wants to have a hair salon in their basement. It is less than 25% of the square footage of the home which is required by the county. Staff and the Board of Appeals recommend approval with conditions of an annual business license and sign abide by Pike County Code. IN FAVOR Claire Cannon said that she is a neighbor and is in favor of this. OPPOSITION None. Closed the public hearing. Motion to approve with the conditions set forth. Approved 5-0.

County Manager went back to ambulance service. 90 days instead of 120 days. Ameripro asked that we include an exemption for fines for 90 days since they are coming in on such short notice. They will notify county staff if there are issues. What do you want to do? Daniel said that a 90 day grace period is reasonable. Consensus from the group on this. [Note from the Editor: This is the most attentive that I have seen the county manager with commissioners in some time. The reason he missed this earlier is that he stopped where he was on his list and answered a question from a commissioner. The CM stopping midstream to address the concern of a commission is a very good thing in my opinion, and he caught where he had missed speaking on this before the end of the meeting. That is a win-win. If only this new found respect would be given to everyone who works for the county from here on out...]




Motion to adjourn. 8:01 p.m.

Agenda subject to revision.

[Note from the Editor: If you appreciate being able to read information from county meetings for free on Pike County Times, please make a donation to Pike County Times through the PayPal link at the bottom of the page or by check to Pike County Times at PO Box 843, Zebulon so I can justify the amount of time that I am spending away from family. It may not seem like much but sitting in a meeting and then typing it up takes a lot more time than you might imagine! Thanks for reading Pike County's only FREE newspaper.]