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, September 27, 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 all of the paperwork submitted for the meeting.

Commissioners James Jenkins, Jason Proctor, and Tim Daniel were present along with Chairman Briar Johnson, County Clerk Angela Blount, County Manager (CM) Brandon Rogers, and County Attorney Rob Morton. Commissioner Tim Guy was not able to attend this meeting.

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

2. INVOCATION……………………………………………………………….….….Karen Brentlinger

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ....................................................................... Chairman 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 September 14, 2022, Regular Monthly Meeting.

b. Minutes of the September 14, 2022, Executive Session.

c. Minutes of the September 19, 2022, Special Called Meeting.


a. Chris Childress of Pike County Parks and Recreation.

We started a building project up there in May of this past year, and we had to head start the building project and the site work was behind. We had a project management team to do the entire project, and we feared that it wouldn’t be completed on time. I cannot thank the county enough for coming out and doing as much as they have done so quickly. We are 80% complete and are hoping for a November finish date… ON SCHEDULE. Because of this, everything may line up… parking is a problem out there… period. Even if we stop at this moment, we can use it for parking if we need to because of the county. I can’t thank you enough.

Also wanted to come to the commission meeting after an almost 5 hour Rec Department Meeting on projects that they worked for that are moving. Volunteers. Here are some highlights. This new Board from this past July is a very good Rec Board. I’m the only survivor from before, but every Board member has a tasked project with needs assess, cost analysis… these volunteers are putting so much effort into something that won’t happen for a couple of years. So, our paid staff can handle the day to day stuff. Last Wednesday, the rec director, head of soccer, and all of the Board members were there. First time in 8 years that EVERYBODY was there. He can’t say thanks enough to the volunteers at the Rec Dept too. And he thanked the BOC for their selections for the Rec Department.

We are always trying to find funding. Grant writer working on a DNR $1.5 million reimbursement grant. They will pay up to 75% on this. In kind helps out and is matched in kind. $460,000 on contract for the project. The county did this for $130,000. Match in kind for reimbursement… If the county can do the work, we get a match in kind for the value of what is done.

We have to go for funding from where we can get from wherever we can get it. The purpose is to cover watershed properties. Our wood line properties almost fit into the Flint Watershed. We may be able to use this so we qualify. We have to do something in the woods. There was a proposal using that space for disc golf. If we get disc golf, how much does it cost? About $500,000. What about the other million? Parking! It’s the biggest safety concern in this concern. Guess who just showed up and showed out with parking already. And they do it for a percentage of the cost for in kind. Thank you!

We want to partner with the county. We don’t have $350,000 at the Rec Department in our checking account, but we would like to partner with the county on this. This is reimbursable and match in kind. We need support through a local bank on credit to say that we have it for expenses because the money will be paid off. We may ask for help on this next year.

October 14 is the application deadline. We anticipate possibly coming back with help for the debt service. If you pass phase 1, it’s almost a done deal. No award until August of 2023. But we’ll know yes or no at the end of this year.

There is also another DNR grant for $500,000 that we are looking at after October. Build Refurb. Including more parking. The same situation with reimbursement. Budget. We are taking a different approach this year. In years past, we were extremely conservative. We saved money and our impact fee balances so we could have a future master plan. The decisions from back then affect today. In the past, our park director has been solely responsible for the budget. He still has that day to day responsibility. In the past, these budgets were coming back to be cut before it was presented to the BOC. Y’all never got to see our needs. It was always, can we submit a budget that they can’t touch. It was ok then when planning for the future, but not this time. I expect to get less than we ask for every time. It’s tax money. It is what it is. But I believe that it will bring in money has more opportunity to be a revenue generator. I’m fighting for kids in this county. I’m saying all of this to say that we are fixing to take a different budget mode. If our board is going to spend 5 hours meetings, cost analysis, grant writing, etc. as volunteers in our community, then I will continue to stand up here and request money. If they do their due diligence to provide the numbers, we are going to create line items with specific projects with specific things. And it won’t come from our Rec Director. The Rec Board has a responsibility to make sure that we have a facility to provide for Pike County and anyone else who wants to use it and generate money from the project.

I expect you not to look at the Rec Department because y’all don’t have complete control over it, but at the end of the day, if they are going to work like this, I am going to show those numbers to you. Cut it, but you’ll know about it. I’m informing people when they ask questions on FB. We all want this for our community. I say this to tell you that I anticipate cuts, but we want to be involved because we have not been involved in the past. Someone will participate in budget hearings. Ask and you shall receive. Build it and they will come. We are turning people away and busting at the seams.

We’ve done a very good job of counting every penny. We only ask for money that we know exists. We’ve literally cut site work—the biggest amount of money—to get a job done. There is impact fee money. Phase 1A. We are prioritizing and trying to find a way to use that remainder for something else. He requests the remainder for after paying the county back for materials $130,000 to be reallocated toward another project. I’m tired of kids getting hit with baseballs. He saw somebody hurt. His 2 year old daughter got hit last year at another facility. And it happened here too. There is a difference between being on the field and playing somewhere else. We have the talent to hit line drives to hit them into the 6U field. Our number one concern is parking … and safety netting. It’s $156,000. They can start November 1. We don’t have the amount in Impact Fees to pay that. We have about $60,000. We have about $50,000 that we can set aside out of Concession Stand money. That’s $110,000. There may be something in baseball, but it won’t be enough to cover it.

I’m asking you to redirect Impact Fee money tonight. He talked with a ton of people today. Thank you!! Because of that time today, there might be an answer. We have got to put up safety netting. The company anticipates 60% next week. The next 20% at the end of the month. The end of the project is the rest. We have literally November and December between seasons. I am asking us to redirect the $60,000. Another option, can General Fund money pay that and we pay our Impact Fees back to the General Fund. I’m this passionate because a child got concussed from a baseball. I’m passionate because we’ve done due diligence. We can’t wait to build money for safety. We’re running thousands of people through there running on our small budget. Go to another county and see what their parks are doing. And see who is coming to Pike County from other places. This is a baseball and softball community. Soccer is doing well. I’m a juvenile law attorney. I volunteer my time to represent delinquent juveniles. Kids from other counties come here playing in the fall and spring. We cancelled another delinquency calendar here for our juveniles. There is a direct correlation between the work that people are doing for our kids. 75 teams and 3 coaches for each team. Then the same for soccer. We’re taking care of our kids, and we get less funding than these other places.

Tonight, I want to protect the grandmother, the board member’s wife, possibly my own kid out here. Y’all have unanimously voted for what we asked for in the past. All I can ask for now is the $60,000… If there is a way to maybe help us find the next $20,000, please help us. He asked if there is a way to reimburse the General Fund legally. You have done an amazing service for our community. He hopes for a motion on this tonight.

Briar Johnson said that the CM will have look at finances. You’re turning kids away. How many approximately? About 40 who could not play.

James Jenkins. You did good. He has done some digging after talking to Chris today. I would think that there is a way to consider the Impact Fees… They have a short window on this. Can we take this out of future Impact Fees? They owe us $200,000 or so… Can we advance this to them for now?

CM Rogers said that there was a talk about money that is owed to the county and possibly using that money instead. We just wouldn’t ask for our money on that until a later date.

Motion to allow them to use that money for the netting and ask them to pay it back at a later rather than sooner. Discussion: This is the best we could come up with today. This was quick because of the deadline. Jenkins would like to see them get this done. Is there something that the Board and the BOC can sit down and come up with the funding-CM Rogers. Perhaps on Friday. CM Rogers said that Proctor, Jenkins, Morton, got calls and Tara Winstead and CM Rogers spent a lot of time on this today as well. Morton said that one motion can be to reallocate those Impact Fees that have already been approved. $50,000 in concessions would bring it up to $110,000. You can authorize the CM to investigate the best proposal for the rest of it. But start with the reallocation of Impact Funds.

Jenkins – Motion to reallocate the $60,000 of Impact Fees that were already approved for the Phase 1A project to be used for the netting and the $50,000 comes from Concession and the county manager will investigate for the rest. 80% by November 1. We will have time to help with the other 40%. CM Rogers can do this at a later meeting. 60% will be covered with $60,000 and $50,000.

Briar Johnson – How long does this netting last? 25 years. Stays up all year round. Proctor 2nd. Discussion again: The possibility of funds being reimbursed will be looked at as well. Approved 4-0.


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 October. Revenue/Expenditure Statement and Detail Check Register is included.

b. County Manager Report

Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund ........................................................................................ …$2,900,901.88
Fire Dept. Donations ........................................................................................ $7,520.73
Cash Reserve Account ....................................................................... …......$467,520.93
Jail Fund ........................................................................................................ $36,579.71
E-911 Fund .................................................................................................. $421,301.12
DATE Fund ................................................................................................... $40,749.11
Juvenile Court Fund ....................................................................................... $13,244.37
Residential Impact Fee ............................................................................. $1,270,598.76
Commercial Impact Fees ............................................................................. $163,947.11
C.A.I.P FUND ............................................................................................. $181,348.00
General Obligation SPLOST Tax Bond Sinking Fund, 2016 ........................ ..$3,920.52
L.M.IG. Grant (DOT)………………………………….…………………..$261,125.05

c. County Manager Comment

Be safe and prepare for the storms this weekend. Thank you to all of the volunteers. Thank you for all that you do.

d. Commissioner Reports

Chairman Briar Johnson. Said that he has continually heard Public Works Director Todd Goolsby’s name and compliments on the roads, etc. I want to thank Todd and the Road Department for all they do in the community. Also thank you to Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Gilbert and everyone worked on the Comprehensive Plan. Also thanked the Water Authority and the volunteers for their work on the Watershed Plan.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners



a. Approve/deny Second Reading of Text Amendment to Title III: Administration, Chapter 36 Personnel Policy, Section 36.10 Training and Development and Related Expenses (B) (3) Lodging.

Morton handed a copy of this as well as sending by email earlier today. Motion to approve 2nd reading and adoption. Approved 4-0.


a. Consider one appointment to the Animal Shelter Advisory Board to fill an unexpired term, set to expire September 30, 2024. Applicant has met criteria.

Chandler D. Eidson, Jr (C.J.), Tenli Page. CM Rogers recommended Mr. Eidson. Both present at the meeting. Motion to appoint Mr. Eidson. Approved 4-0.

b. Discussion of Municode funding.

This was similar to the Rec Department with reallocating administrative funds to CIE Prep on Impact Fees. This was approved at a past meeting, but this would be different funding source with no other changes. Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.

c. Approve/deny notice of intention to introduce local legislation a bill to authorize the assessment and collection of a technology fee by the Probate Court and Magistrate Court of Pike County.

Requested from both Probate and Magistrate. Temporary fee to upgrade their technology. Both places have electronic retention and want to put past paper records into electronic form.

Magistrate also asked to be a non-partisan position. She has to send legislation to the state for approval to change this the Magistrate from partisan to non-partisan. Motion to approve technology fee for Magistrate Court that must be approved by the state legislature. Approved 4-0.

Motion to do the same for Probate Court. Approved 4-0.

Discussion that this used to be non-partisan in the 1990’s. Morton said that because one board doesn’t bind another, she is asking for local legislation to be sent to the state for approval. Motion to allow the Chief Magistrate Judge to be non-partisan. Approved 4-0.

d. Approve/deny amendment to Schedule D-2 of the administrative Services Agreement in the ACCG Defined Contribution Retirement Plan.

CM Rogers - Just another update to the contribution plan with additional options for retirees. Flexibility and offers the county an opportunity to be a little more competitive. Does it add any more cost? No. Hoping for a more discounted rate because of this. Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.

e. Ratify CAT Lease Agreements.

CM Rogers said that the Board has talked about this, but for some reason, there is nothing on the record for a vote to say that it’s approved. Just need something on the record to go with the lease copy. Motion to approve the lease agreements with CAT. Approved 4-0.

f. Approve/deny Reidsboro Road water project.

This past week, the Water Authority Board approved moving forward with this to extend from the Reserve to Brown Station with a 10 inch waterline. This is an ARPA Project. Are you still willing to move forward with this? Plan to have Public Works to help with this as much as possible during the winter in the downtime. Motion to approve this project with ARPA funds (Covid money). Approved 4-0.

g. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input regarding Pike County 30-Year Water Resources Management Plan.

PUBLIC HEARING. 20 minutes on each public hearing. CM Rogers said it took some doing to get this on the BOC website. Click here to read it while you can because I am not uploading a 750+ page document to my website. It's fascinating though!]

The request is to have the ISO rate lowered for the county. We want to go to a 4. There are ways to improve our fire department and our water resources. The individual cities all have a part in this as well as the Pike County Water Authority.


Becky Watts. I told commissioners that I haven't read through the entire 750+ page document yet, but I had flipped through a lot of it and greatly appreciate what has been done with this project. I thanked everyone who had a part in this because it is planning for the future, and we’ve never done this before. [Note from the Editor: I might have mentioned that we have a reservoir in our county that doesn't belong to us as an example of a lack of planning in the past. Seeing planning taking place now makes me happy!]

Closed the public hearing.

CM Rogers said that we’ve worked on this for more than 1 ½ years. Everything that we have done on adding fire department paid people and additional training and even the project with ARPA funds that was approved is a part of this. Motion to accept the plan as presented. Approved 4-0.

h. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input on Capital Improvements Element (CIE) Annual Update, pursuant to the Georgia Development Impact Fee Act and the Development Impact Fee Compliance Requirements of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Planning and Development Director Jeremy Gilbert spoke and advised that this is the annual update. We are required to provide a list of projects as well as expenditures. Asking for a resolution to send this to the DCA.


None. Closed the public hearing.

CM Rogers said that this runs from October to November each year. We are a little behind on this so you may see the next part on this in November as we are trying to get caught up. Motion to approve. Approved 4-0.

i. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input on Comprehensive Plan transmittal to Department of Community Affairs.

Update that we’ve been working on since January. Comp Plan Steering Committee has met over the past 9 months. 3 Rivers has put together our plan. This is a working draft to help us keep our Local Qualified Government Status. Asking for a transmittal to the DCA so this can be reviewed over the past 30 days.

Click here to read through it for as long as it is on the Pike County government page.

Paul Jarrell, Planner from Three Rivers Regional Commission. We’ve been working on the draft update. This is a joint plan with the cities. We had very good discussions. This is a public hearing to let the citizens know that the draft is ready for review. Hoping for an approval from the DCA soon so we can have a final approval and continue to apply for grants. Motion to transmit the report. Approved 4-0.


a. Anthony Vinson, J. Joel Edwards Library, to address the Board regarding books shelved at the library.

This letter was read aloud verbatim to the commissioners by Anthony Vinson, Chairman of the Pike County Library Board of Trustees and emailed to Pike County Times after the meeting.

To Briar Johnson
Chairman, Pike County Board of Commissioners
From Pike County Library Board of Trustees

Mr. Chairman,

On 15 September 2022, Commissioner Jason Procter publicly alleged that “inappropriate” books were being shelved at the J. Joel Edwards Library. Concerned and chagrined, the Pike County Library Board of Trustees submits this letter of response and remedy into the public record.

Materials shelved at the library are carefully considered for purchase and are subject to a rigorous review process that begins with the management and staff of each individual library, supported by the Flint River Regional Library collection development professionals, and based on the best practices as recommended by the Georgia Public Library Service. Materials should reflect a cross-section of the community served, and each individual patron should be afforded the dignity of finding themselves represented. The contents of books, films, and other materials shelved at the library are available for review online, before checkout, at terminals located at the library.

We, the members of the Board, trust both the process as outlined, and our library manager. We assert that it is the responsibility of each individual patron to use the available resources to determine what materials are appropriate for themselves and their families. To operate otherwise would be a form of censorship.

Since any book or other circulating material might be considered “inappropriate” to an individual patron or citizen, and for any variety of reasons, a formal review process is in place to address such concerns officially and promptly, for both the individual as well as the community at large. Rather than potentially divisive public comments, the commissioner might well instead have addressed his concerns with the library manager. She would have advised him of the formal process, and the book in question would have already been reviewed. For convenience, a copy of the Flint River Regional Library System Materials Reconsideration Form is attached.

The commissioners are welcome to attend regularly scheduled library board meetings, and in fact, are encouraged to do so as most of the Board serves at their pleasure. We also welcome any inquiries from the Board of Commissioners or individual members since, in almost all cases, any concerns may be amicably addressed well ahead of contentious public comment.

Anthony D. Vinson
Chairman, Pike County Library Board of Trustees

[Note from the Editor: A note of clarification needs to be made. The commissioner cannot speak directly to a department head with our county manager form of government. Everything must go to the county manager to be handled. Additionally, I walked in at the end of the Town Hall Meeting in which a discussion was ongoing about censorship and materials at the J. Joel Edwards Public Library. I did not have my recorder on for anything but the very end when County Attorney Rob Morton said the following: "Programs and materials are all addressed through the Flint River Library Association with the assistance of the Pike County Library Board."

But my thoughts on this subject have not changed from what I wrote at the first meeting when this came up...]

From my notes on the September 14, 2022 BOC Meeting:

Proctor – Thanked Rosemary for her work at the library. He wants her and the Board to be aware that we might have had some inappropriate books at the library and asked that they would check what was being put into the library better. [Note from the Editor: There is great irony in this being discussed in a county meeting during Banned Book Week. Here are just a few books that have been banned in the past because someone in authority thought that they were inappropriate: Ferdinand the Bull, Yertle the Turtle, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Charlotte's Web, The Story of Babar, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Golden Compass, The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, Lord of the Flies, The Scarlet Letter, Uncle Tom's Cabin, A Wrinkle in Time, Huckleberry Finn, The Harry Potter Series, 1984, and The Bible... Y'all forgive me for being blunt, but I'm just going to say this the best way I know how. I don't agree with everything on FB, I don't agree with everything on the news, and I don't agree with everything in the library. However... this isn't about me because we have a big community with a lot of people and a lot of different opinions and things that they like too. As a parent whose kids grew up in this library, the Griffin Library, and libraries around the state that are connected to our library system (yes, I can tell you where the library is in Helen, Georgia!), my kids checked out ALL of their library books on MY library card until they were in their late teens (50 books is the limit on 1 library card--ask me how I know!), and I told them NO on some books depending on their ages. Why? Because it was my job to screen what they read when they were young and impressionable. Does it mean I didn't sometimes mess up and take something back quickly after realizing it? Nope because we did that occasionally. But I didn't make a fuss about it. Now there are exceptions where kids are being indoctrinated in school libraries where parents have no idea what they are reading and have been shut down in school board meetings for reading some of those books aloud. (NOT here but in different places around the country.) That is NOT what I'm talking about. I'm talking about a public library here in our county where parents SHOULD BE going in with their kids and monitoring what they read. If I complain about a book that I don't like and try to get it censored, someone else is liable to do the same to books that I like and agree with. The library is following guidelines put in place by the Flint River Library System. Personally, I follow the same way of thinking with the library as I do with FB when I don't like something. I just keep scrolling (or in this case moving to the next book) because this isn't about me, and parents have a responsibility when kids check out books at the local library. Rant done... with my apologies for having to say that out loud. In my opinion, someone needed to say it, and I might as well be the one. It's not personal toward anyone because I have no idea who made the complaint. It simply is what it is.]



Motion to adjourn. 8:04 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.]