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Editor 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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A copy of the Bill of Rights and Constitution of the United States, a copy of the old ordinances, and a copy of the new ordinances.
Tuesday, August 29, 2023 – 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.

ZEBULON - The Pike County Board of Commissioners met on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 for a regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting. Present were: Commissioners James Jenkins, Jason Proctor, Tim Guy, and Tim Daniel, Chairman Briar Johnson, County Clerk Angela Blount, County Manager (CM) Brandon Rogers, and County Attorney Rob Morton.

There was a great number of members of the public in the audience with many coming in at some point during the Ordinance Workshop that was held from 4-6 p.m. immediately before this meeting. The commissioners were present and listened to members of the public as they spoke during the Town Hall from 6:15 to 6:30 p.m. where anyone can speak to commissioners, but their comments are not on the record.

This is a link to the Ordinance Workshop that was held immediately preceding this meeting: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/ordinanceworkshop8.29.23.html.

Here is an overview of the changes that Gilbert gave to the commissioners and Planning and Zoning Board members at the first meeting: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/proposedordinancesoverview8.10.23.2nd.pdf.

Here is a copy of the proposed ordinances: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/2023proposedordinances8.10.23.html.

Click here to go to the county website, click on resources, and read the current county ordinances: https://www.pikecoga.com/.

Here is a link to the first workshop: www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC8.10.23.html.


Cherry Thomas. Asked to restrict anonymous complaints. Always have been a rural agricultural county. Asked them to remember this as they go through this process. She has farms in Alabama without a ton of ordinances. Want to emphasize limitations on subdivisions rather than everything. Respectfully request not to use a blueprint from Spalding or Henry County and deal with rural counties and not a city perspective. Appreciate what you do. This is a big task. Will email concerns. Less government and a live and let live mentality in our community.

Wayne Leslie. Gave illustration from the Workshop. Compared a printed copy of the Constitution and Bill of Rights to the current planning and zoning ordinance and proposed planning and zoning ordinance and told commissioners that less is more.

John Beckman. Missed the earlier presentations so he is going to address the hearsay. Concern about agriculture regulations. There are many things that are important to citizens in a rural county. People complain about those moving from the city to here. We don’t have an animal pound/shelter. You can’t relate what is happening in other counties to what is happening here. Before you pass ordinances that are affect agriculture in this rural county, you may want to consult with some agricultural expects to ensure that you don’t harm the people’s ability to raise stock. Individual families want to raise small crops and provide for their families. Take care that you aren’t affecting people with their rules. 5 or 10 or 20 acres, they are basically on an island separated from their neighbors and what they do has very little impact on their neighbors. Said that the commissioners' job is to work with the people.

Chairman Johnson. We did address this in the meeting. We all live here too. It’s going to be awhile before this is approved. We hear what you are saying, and thank you. There will be two planning hearings in the future. We want your input in these meetings.


The County Commission Meeting began at 6:33 p.m.

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

The meeting was called to order about 6:33 p.m.

2. INVOCATION ..... Karen Brentlinger

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

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

Morton. Remove item 8a. (he said that the county has received a request for a meeting on this) and add Executive Session for acquisition of real estate. Motion to approve as amended. Approved 5-0.

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

a. Minutes of the August 9, 2023, Regular Monthly Meeting.

b. Minutes of the August 9, 2023, Executive Session.

c. Minutes of the August 10, 2023, Workshop.

Motion to approve all 3 sets of minutes. 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 September. Revenue/Expenditure Statement and Detail Check Register is included.

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

a. County Manager Report

Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund ..... $1,785,056.17
Fire Dept. Donations ..... $9,223.20
Cash Reserve Account ..... $473,069.47
Jail Fund ..... $35,269.51
E-911 Fund ..... $571,332.56
DATE Fund ..... $41,149.35
Juvenile Court Fund ..... $13,563.71
Residential Impact Fee ..... $1,271,746.17
Commercial Impact Fees ..... $173,059.13
C.A.I.P FUND ..... $266,233.60
General Obligation SPLOST 2022-2028 ..... $1,590,770.44
L.M.I.G. Grant (DOT) ..... $335,354.40

c. County Manager Comment

Current tax appeals are about 792 appeals remaining. 230 are currently in the mail to citizens to be considered. Tax Assessors Office is working on this. Hoping for the end of September.

Tax appeals. Just got Sales Ration Study back. 226 sales from last year. We are required to keep appraised values between 38 and 40%. Based in sales, we were at 29% last year. This is why we’ve had so many appeals and are trying to get this in line with state requirements.

The showing of Murder of Coweta event will not be able to be held at the courthouse at this time.

We applied the second time and have been approved for a CDBG grant to fix Tanyard Road for $1 million dollars. [Note from the Editor: Congratulations to the county and thank you to everyone who had a hand in making this happen! Tanyard Road has needed to be widened and just fixed in general for YEARS.]

d. Commissioner Reports: None.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: None.


a. Approve/Deny Intergovernmental Agreement with Development Authority of Pike County relating to funding for an Economic Development Project.

County Attorney Morton asked that this be removed because the Development Authority has asked for a meeting. [Note from the Editor: I went to the Development Authority's meeting on Wednesday, and this still hasn't happened. There was a joint meeting of the IDA (aka Development Authority or Industrial Development Authority for those who have been around as long as I have and know the original name--which is still on their by-laws but may need updating because they are so much more than just industry now!) and the Board of Commissioners back in February of 2023 in which funding was discussed as well as getting a written MOU (memorandum of understanding) between the entities that still hasn't happened. www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC2.20.23.html. It's been discussed in the many months that I have been attending IDA meetings between IDA members and the county manager, but it still hasn't happened. I don't understand the hold up there because it's simple. The IGA (intergovernmental agreement) is a lot more complicated than simply saying that funding is guaranteed from the county but probably shouldn't be as complicated and as drawn out as it has become. The Board of Commissioners has a job, the IDA has a job, and sometimes the two can't mix from what I am understanding. Especially when it comes to obtaining funds for actual projects. www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/IDA9.6.23.html has a link to the Development Authority Meeting that I attended on Wednesday morning.]


a. Consider one appointment to the Pike County Board of Tax Assessors to fill an expired six-year term, set to expire August 31, 2029.

Kristen Cudnohufsky and Christopher Tea. CM Rogers. This is Christopher Tea’s 3rd term. Rogers said that he thinks that he thinks that Kristen would be good for change on this board. Motion to appoint Cudnohufsky for this board based on her county government experience. Approved 5-0.

b. Discussion of the Local Bridge Replacement on Williams Mill Road over Little Potato Creek Tributary.

Rogers got paperwork from GDOT about replacing the bridge. This is a fairly new program. They’ll pay for everything but land acquisition. They ask that we fund $75,000 for land acquisition. This will be a very good thing for us, and he doesn’t believe that it will cost this much which will lead to a possible refund. Recommended moving forward.

Proctor. Where will the money come from and how much do we have to pay? Rogers. Anticipates an invoice at some point in the next six months. Probably a 2 year project similar to Concord Road. Anticipate 2 years to get funds back once paid. Need to look at LMIG and SPLOST excess funding. There are multiple areas to pull this from. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0. [Note from the Editor: Kudos to Commissioner Proctor for asking the two necessary questions for anything the commission does.]

c. Discussion of Special Road Projects.

Lily Lane. Private road outside of town. Combine with Motes Drive which is used by a school bus on a daily basis. What does the county do to maintain these roads. The county does not spend any taxpayer dollars on a private road. However, he has been asked by residents how the county can take these over. They have to be 22 feet wide, etc. We need to have some conversations on how to do this. Cautioned commissioners about taking over private roads. Lily Lane is a dirt road off of a dirt road off of a dirt road. Motes Drive is used by the school buses. Some of the ditches are bad, etc. Rogers. The problem is public equipment on private property.

Jenkins was asked about paving one section by the dam on Hwy 362. Owners are not going to allow people to cut through the dam anymore. They have asked if we can do a roundabout on Ranchland on the other side of the dam. Possibility of a roundabout on the other side. Rogers can get the numbers on this and see about presenting that for a project if needed for Hwy 362.

Twin Oaks Pass currently runs from Caldwell to Flat Rock Church Road. May 1/8th of a mile long. She has purchased the property on both sides. Probably an old cut through. She has asked the county to close this road. Rogers sees no problem with this. Really looks like a driveway. Motion to abandon Twin Oaks Pass. Approved 5-0.

Jenkins asked about private property roads that buses go down and tear up. Rogers. Yes, there is a good possibility of this.

Approached by an individual who offered to help pave a section of Bethany Church Road. Willing to donate quite a bit of time and money. The issue that Rogers has is 1) it is not a planned project road so we don’t have money planned for it 2) he is willing to put up to $250,000 of his time and money to do this. Todd Goolsby said that this is probably a $500,000 that would cost the county $250,000. It doesn’t impact a lot of people, and we would probably not consider this otherwise. He will give us the right of way, prepare the road from the base up with his equipment, and all we would need to do is put asphalt on this. This is a rough section of road. We will be saving money if we do this if we are going to pave it later on. If we are not going to pave it in the near future, we need to walk away. Johnson. Can we approve it now and add it to the list for later? Rogers. No. He wants this done sooner rather than later. Guy. If we don’t have the money sitting there right now, we don’t need to do this. Rogers. We already have projects that are promised to the citizens, and this would affect other projects. Johnson wanted to see if this could be approved tonight with a caveat that we do this around 2026 or so. Rogers thinks if this was put on the back end of the list, it might be 2027 or 2028. Discussion: It’s a great deal, and we wish that it was on our list. We were not going to do Tanyard Road if we didn’t have the CDBG, but it’s a $2.2 million project. Rogers. If we are not going to do anything, we don’t have to do anything at all.

d. Discussion of Harden Road.

There was a section by New Hope Church that was paved. There were complaints about the road coming apart, and the county took up the asphalt. The church has asked that we put the 200 feet back that and the funding is available. It’s pretty much ready to go. The kids get dusted out on a regular basis as cars go through there. There was a discussion about a year ago, and he included this in current plans if the board wants to do this. Motion to pave it while we’re in the area. Discussion to include Kendrick Road patching? That was included. Approved 5-0.

e. Approve/Deny Intergovernmental Agreement between Pike County and Pike County Parks and Recreation Authority relating to the funding of the Development and Improvements of the initial phase(s) of the Authority’s Master Plan.

The Vice Chair is here tonight. Jason Leatherman. Masterplan was discussed a year ago. This just shows us supporting what they are doing with the next phase without us having to put any money forward. Leatherman. Just an agreement that the county will continue the agreement with United Bank. Baseball and softball are next on the list. Johnson. The Community Center turned out great. The bank wants the two separated. The funds are in their budget. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

10. PUBLIC COMMENT (limited to 5 minutes)

a. Brooklyne Wassel to address the Board regarding agriculture in Pike County and the resources of Pike County Extension. (verbatim)

"First and foremost, thank you for the opportunity to speak tonight and thank you for your pivotal support of the Pike County Extension office. We are able to serve the Pike County community because of the support you provide.

As many of you knew, my name is Brooklyne Wassel. I serve as the Pike County Extension Coordinator or Department Head as well as the county's Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent. Through this role I assist clients within the community with questions, concerns, and recommendations related to agriculture and natural resources by providing non-biased, research-based information from the University of Georgia. That can look like pulling hay samples for quality analysis, helping someone read their soil report so they can start a garden, or even answering questions about pesticide applications from someone who is new to the neighborhood.

Agriculture is at the very heart of this community. Every year county Extension agents report what is called a "Farm Gate" value for the previous year to show the economic impact of agriculture within their county. Though the 2022 numbers have not been released yet, Pike County's 2021 Farm Gate Value and therefore economic impact was over $22 million. This speaks volumes as to the footprint and fabric of agriculture in this community.

I am passionate about the job I do and the people I serve. This quickly became my community five years ago, and I would not change any of the experiences I have had with the incredible people that call Pike County home. As we continue to move forward, I would like to encourage the Board, the County Manager, the Planning and Zoning Board, and anyone else who has questions related to agriculture to please contact me so that I may provide resources and facts related to the matter at hand.

Thank you again for your time."

[Note from the Editor: $22 million is NOT a small number. We are an agricultural county, and it would do well for the commissioners and planning commission members to hear the people when we are talking about freedom and needing less rules rather than the more that have been suggested in the proposed ordinances.]


a. County Attorney Rob Morton request Executive Session for consultation with the county attorney, or other legal counsel, to discuss pending or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the county or any officer or employee or in which the county or any officer or employee may be directly involved as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1), germane to pending or potential litigation.

b. County Manager Brandon Rogers requests Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a public officer or employee or interviewing applicants for the position of the executive head of an agency, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(b)(2), germane to personnel.

c. County Attorney Rob Morton requests Executive Session for discussion of the future acquisition of real estate as provided by O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(4).

Motion to go into executive session. Approved 5-0. 7:20 p.m.

Back in session 8:52 p.m.


Agenda subject to change.

[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.]