LEESBURG — While Lee County Commissioners typically take binding votes on issues during their second meeting of each month, they pushed forward with a number of vital initiatives at their work session Tuesday night to give each a two-week head-start.
The most compelling early binding vote came on approval of a $159,389.73 bid for paving of 1.8 miles of Crotwell Road. That project marks the official start of an aggressive $1.9 million roads project voted on by the commission at its Sept. 27 business meeting.
“I recommend you accept the low bid from Reeves Construction Co. tonight so that workers can get a jump on the cold weather that’s coming,” Planning and Engineering Director Bob Alexander said. “Public Works crews have been doing the preparation work for three weeks, and your vote will allow us to move forward with this project as quickly as possible.”
The commission unanimously agreed to the early vote.
“I’d like to take a minute to publicly thank Public Works for the job they’ve done,” Commission Chairman Ed Duffy said. “They’ve been out there three weeks now, and they’ve already saved the county close to $50,000 just on this project.”
Commissioners also OK’d the consolidation of two grants that would allow the county to move forward more quickly on a Flowing Well Road project.
“If you go ahead and OK this recommendation, which is essentially housekeeping, our Public Works crews can move ahead with this project as soon as they’ve finished with Crotwell,” Alexander said.
The board also heard a request by Fire Chief James Howell to accept bids totaling $238,773.84 for self-contained breathing apparatus and an air compressor already approved by voters in the Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax VI vote earlier this year. Duffy said advance funding for the equipment had already been approved and was available.
Commissioners also were asked to approve a Lee County Emergency Management Agency logo and a request by Howell to name Assistant Fire Chief Paul Branch a deputy Lee EMA director.
“In the event of a major disaster, I am bound to be in the emergency management center,” Howell said. “If Paul is named deputy director, he will have authority in my absence and he would be my eyes and ears in the community, assuring that I get correct information.
“Paul understands that there is no additional compensation for this position, and he accepts that.”
Commissioners gave County Attorney Jimmy Skipper a directive to amend the county’s alcohol ordinance to allow one-day licenses for charitable events and heard a proposal by Public Works Director Mike Sistrunk to declare five Lee Sheriff’s Office vehicles surplus property.
“A couple of the vehicles could be used by other departments, but they all have high mileage,” Sistrunk said.
State Rep. Ed Rynders addressed the commission briefly, informing the board that the county’s redistricting maps had been approved by the state Legislature. He also said state House Speaker David Ralston would visit the county next week.
“We look forward to having the Speaker visit the greatest county in Georgia, and I know we’ll want to give him a warm Lee County welcome,” Rynders said.
Members of the Lee County High School Youth Council gave a brief history on Red Ribbon Week and invited commissioners to display a ribbon during the week. Duffy read a proclamation declaring Oct. 22-30 Red Ribbon Week in Lee County.