Decatur County Commissioners discusses emergency services, Whigham Dairy Road and more

Published 12:35 pm Saturday, April 6, 2024

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The Decatur County Commissioners met for their final meeting of March last Tuesday evening. Following the invocation and pledge of allegiance, the commissioners voted to remove an item from the agenda. Before moving into new business, the commissioners heard from a member of the public, who requested that the commissioners refrain from using code names on projects in the future, and refrain from signing non-disclosure agreements, in the name of public transparency.

Following this, the commissioners considered an E-911 request to purchase equipment. This equipment included UPS battery backups for the 9-1-1 radio tower sights. The cost for the units includes delivery, installation, and removal and disposal costs. The commissioners approved the equipment purchase.

Next on the agenda, the commissioners considered approval of an amendment to the county’s EMS agreement with Grady County. Specifically, this would replace the current fleet of ambulances with vehicles that have lower mileages on them. The commissioners voted to approve the amendment.

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The commissioners then heard of the proposed agreement with Survival Flight EMS; the agreement calls for three 24/7 ambulances, paramedic-staffed advanced life-support (ALS) units, and one non-emergency transport ambulance that operates 40 hours per week. The agreement states that Survival Flight will maintain the ambulances, and split the cost of replacing any ambulances, with the county maintaining ownership of the ambulances at all times. The agreement lasts for five years, renewable annually, with a subsidy of $800,000 the first year, with a 3% CPI increase each year; it will go into effect July 1. The commissioners approved.

Next, the commissioners considered a state highway system revision order pertaining to Whigham Dairy Road. The order would remove Whigham Dairy Road from the local road system and put it under the state highway truck routes. The commissioners approved the order. Commissioner Pete Stephens clarified to the public that the Whigham Dairy Road project is aimed at helping with traffic issues from large trucks navigating downtown.

Following up on the previous order, the commissioners next considered the assignment of a CSX easement and resolution to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) regarding Whigham Dairy Road. According to county administrator Alan Thomas, the easement was originally assigned to the county in 1980, but as Whigham Dairy Road will now be a part of the state trucking system, it has been requested to be transferred to GDOT. The commissioners approved.

Next, the commissioners considered a proposal for engineering and surveying services, which they did.

The last public item on the agenda was the approval of errors and releases, which were likewise approved.

The commissioners then made a motion to enter into executive session to discuss litigation. Upon returning to open session, the commissioners stated that no action had been taken. The commissioners gave their closing remarks, and the meeting was adjourned.

The next commissioner’s meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 9, 2024, at 9:00 AM.