County officials clarify concern

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2010

At their regular meeting Tuesday, the Decatur County Board of Commissioners reacted to letters from Claude Shirley and Winston Pearson on possible misuse of county equipment on personal property.

Commissioner Gary Phillips began the comments on the matter by talking about the county providing help to Swanswall Missionary Baptist Church on Swanswall Road in the Cyrene community.

He explained that runoff from a county road had caused a washout on the church’s property and that the cost of correcting it was minimal.

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Commissioner Phillips, in whose part of the county the church is located, explained that the county had had two loads of dirt donated to them and the only cost to the county was $404.10 for a little grading work.

Commission chairman Earl Perry said the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia does not consider counties helping rural churches to be a gratuity.

Chairman Perry, Board Vice Chairman Butch Moseley and commissioners Russell Smith, Palmer Rich, and Dr. Charles Stafford all agreed with Phillips that helping the church was the right thing to do.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board voted to officially set the county millage at 8.56 mills and the Decatur County Board of Education millage at 12.99 mills. They also approved the final plat for Bethany Estates, a 35.7 acre residential subdivision to be located off Bethany Road.

Commissioners’ first order of business on Tuesday was to graciously accept an American flag from Ben White of Woodmen of the World Lodge 883 in Faceville.

White explained that the Woodmen of the World are second only to the United States government in the purchase of American flags, which they present to churches, schools and government bodies.