Lee County approves Grand Island alcohol license

LEESBURG, Ga. -- Despite Commissioner Dennis Roland's contention that the Lee County government "should not be in the business of selling alcohol," the Lee Board of Commissioners approved Paige Etheredge's request that she be granted a pouring license for retail sale of alcoholic drinks at the Grand Island Club.

The action Tuesday was part of the Commission's monthly business session.

Commissioners also approved financing of a long-discussed flood elevation study that may allow the owners of some 80 homes drawn into the Federal Emergency Management Agency's new flood plain map to forego the purchase of expensive flood insurance. The county, along with the Leesburg and Smithville city councils, will each pay a portion of the costs for the $74,400 study.

"Did we get something in writing from the city of Leesburg and the city of Smithville saying they would share in the cost of this study?" Roland asked.

County Planning and Engineering Director Bob Alexander said Leesburg officials had confirmed their participation in writing and that Smithville's city attorney (Tommy Coleman) was completing that municipality's written agreement.

The Board voted to deny a request by the Family Connections agency that the county become its fiscal agent, fronting reimbursable expenditures.

"We just don't have the staff available to meet this request," Commissioner Rick Muggridge said before the Commission voted to deny the request.

Family Connections Coordinator Patsy Shirley left the board room immediately after the vote was taken.

The Commission also:

- Approved an agreement that will allow the use of $350,000 in Homeland Security grant funding to become a part of the 23-county MOTOBridge program that allows emergency personnel to communicate within the region;

- Appointed Joe Wright to an unexpired term on the Lee County Housing Authority;

- Reappointed Greg Crowder, Gary Harrell, Fred Finney, Eddie Hinman, Neil Thompson, Lee Stanley, Larry Walters and Al Manry to one-year terms on the Lee Development Authority; and

- Approved the $16,890 purchase of a 2007 van to replace a 17-year-old County Extension Service vehicle with 193,000 miles on its odometer.

The Board tabled a budgeted request to approve a contract for the county tax commissioner's website because there were unanswered questions about the agreement.

"Ms. (Susan) Smith was invited to be here and to bring a copy of this proposal, but she was not able to do so," County Administrator Alan Ours said before the Board voted to table action on the proposal.

After being questioned during a public forum about "rumors circulating in the county" concerning the Lee County Chamber of Commerce's plans to relocate and about a county department head proclaiming "the opinions of (certain citizens) don't matter," Muggridge said, "I'd like to reiterate that this public forum is held to allow every citizen an opportunity to bring concerns to this Board. It is not a cross-examination of the County Commission."