LEESBURG — The Lee County Commission had to put off its planned approval of an agreement with Motorola that would have started the ball rolling on the installation of a new emergency radio system in the county.
County Administrator Tony Massey told the commission at its December meeting Tuesday night that he’d met with Albany city officials before the meeting to clear up language in an intergovernmental agreement that would have allowed the county to link with a communications tower owned by the city of Albany. That link is essential to installation of a system that will provide clearer communications in Lee County and meet a federal mandate requiring radio communications be converted to a narrow band width.
“I had a very positive meeting with (City Manager) James Taylor, (City Attorney) Nathan Davis and (Assistant Emergency Management Director) Jim Vaught in Albany,” Massey said. “And let me start by saying that I would be remiss if I did not thank them for their willingness to discuss these issues.
“I think we were able to clarify the issues (that prevented completion of the intergovernmental agreement). It’s my impression that (the Albany City Commission) will put this issue on their agenda next Tuesday. I recommend that we hold off taking action on the agreement with Motorola and the agreement on (constructing a) cell tower until this action is completed.”
Massey recommended that the county call a special meeting on Wednesday of next week if the Albany City Commission approves the agreement the night before.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, Lee officials got good economic news from representatives of the county’s auditing firm and its health insurance broker.
Nicole Ranew with Geer and Associates told the commission the county had gotten a “clean audit opinion, no audit findings” and had completed the most recent fiscal year with a $342,000 budget surplus.
“What this report means is that this board and the county’s agents are operating under sound financial stewardship,” Ranew said. “Your county is in excellent financial shape, and in this economy that’s not something a lot of counties can say.”
Commissioner Rick Muggridge commended County Finance Director Heather Kittrell, government department heads and the commission’s Finance Committee (Williams and Duffy) for the audit report.
“I feel this is a team effort, but we know who the captains of that team are,” Muggridge said.
Chad Slaughter with J. Smith Lanier recommended, and the commission later approved his appeal, that commissioners keep the same insurance provider with no changes to employee plans.
“Lee County has done an outstanding job of providing a lucrative benefits package to your employees,” Slaughter said.
Commissioners also approved the alcohol license request of Sue Plymel at the 3005 N. Slappey Blvd. Dollar General business and gave blanket approval to the 2012 renewal of existing alcohol licenses in the county.