LEESBURG, Ga. — The Lee County Commission gave final approval to a $22 million Fiscal Year 2013 budget at its business meeting Tuesday night with no discussion.
The action was part of a relatively brief meeting at which the commission also rejected a request for a variance that would have allowed a local restaurateur to operate from a “30-plus-foot fifth wheel that is metal” in opposition to a county ordinance that, according to Planning and Engineering Director Bob Alexander, does not allow manufactured or mobile homes to be used for commercial purposes. “The Lee County government is pro-business, and we want to make it as easy as we can to do business here,” Commission Vice Chairman Rick Muggridge said before the vote on the matter. “One of the ways we do that is by making sure every citizen has equal access, and that means the same rules apply to everybody.
“If we allow such changes for one person in a case like this, we’d be obliged to allow changes for all citizens.”
Commissioners approved a prioritized paving list presented by Alexander at their June 12 meeting, but with the added stipulation that the road projects will not be undertaken in any particular order. Both Muggridge and Commissioner Dennis Roland objected to approving any priority list that indicated the order of the projects.
Also at the meeting, the commission approved an $18,500 change order for driveway construction along Flowing Well and Donald Roads; appointed Gary Knight to the Lee Library’s Board of Trustees; reappointed Victor Stubbs, Bob Usry and George Wells to the county’s Utilities Authority Board; OK’d a $15,238.13 change order for work at the Oakland Library, and voted not to change the county’s ordinance on public demonstrations.
County Attorney Jimmy Skipper had drawn up two amended ordinances at the request of Sheriff Reggie Rachals after a group threatened to demonstrate at the recent funeral of Marine Lance Cpl. Steve Sutton, who was killed in Afghanistan. But the commission rejected both amendments.
“It must be pointed out that the public demonstration ordinance we have in place now is aligned with state law,” Commission Chairman Ed Duffy said after the meeting.
Commissioners also approved a requested alcohol license sought by Scott Mitchell for his Flash Foods business at 1584 U.S. Highway 19 South and OK’d a $2,083.53 change order in a communications contract the county has with Motorola.
Prior to Tuesday’s commission meeting, the board met as the county’s Parks and Recreation Authority and approved Colony Bank’s 2.75 percent tax-exempt bid to renew a $136,500 loan that is being used to pay off debt previously incurred by the county-owned Grand Island Club.
“Getting bids (on the loan renewal) proved to be a beneficial move for the county,” county Finance Director Heather Kittrell said. “We were paying at a rate around 6 percent, and Colony offered to renew the loan at around 4 percent. But through the bid process we got a much better rate.”
The loan is based on a 72-month fixed payment plan.