Tags to hang from the mirrors of vehicles for admission to the county’s trash collection convenience centers will be available for sale for Newton County residents beginning Sept. 15.
Newton County Fire Services Chief Jeff Monroe and Human Resources Director Keyra Fray were given the task by County Manager Lloyd Kerr to come up with a system to impose a $50 fee for the use of the 11 centers spread throughout the county.
Monroe presented the plan to the board of commissioners (BOC) during Tuesday’s public meeting at the Newton County Historic Courthouse.
Residents can get an application form available at the county’s convenience centers, on Newton County’s website, at the Newton County Fire Services Building, on Hwy. 278, the Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority.
After filling out the application, and providing a proof of residency such as tax or utility bills or mortgage or lease agreements, residents can purchase the tag online — with a 3 percent surcharge for credit/debit cards — by mail with a personal check or at Newton County Fire Services, 4136 Hwy. 278, Newton County Water and Sewerage Authority, 11325 Brown Bridge Road or mobile units, to be announced at Dollar Generals throughout the county.
The tags will be available for purchase at Newton County Fire Services only on Sept. 15. On Sept. 22 the tags will be available for purchase at the water and sewerage authority and all other locations.
Tags will be required at all centers beginning Oct. 15.
Among those locations will be the mobile units, operated by Newton County Fire Services employees. Fire Services has agreed to temporarily work with the county’s Solid Waste Authority (SWA) in order to disseminate information on the centers’ new tags, and sell the tags.
As part of that, a fire services command staff vehicle, with a laptop and wireless capability will be utilized for the sale of the tags. Those vehicles, or mobile units, will be stationed at Dollar General Stores throughout the county in order to make the tags more accessible to residents.
“Dollar General is letting us set up there, and giving us a good single point of focus where you can come to that location and get a tag,” Monroe said.
The schedule of the mobile unites will be made available at a later date and posted on the county’s website and social media sites.
“It’s our intent to cover Newton County top to bottom and left to right with information and the ability for citizens to purchase these tags easily,” Monroe said.
Other details about the tag that Monroe explained to the board are that they are for one vehicle per tag; if the tag is lost, the first replacement tag will be $25, and additional replacement tags will be $50; there is a limit of 10 trash bags per week per household.
The BOC decided to charge a $50 fee for the centers during the budget process for fiscal year 2017. Also during that time the centers’ hours were reduced and it was announced that all the centers would close on Feb. 15.
Alcohol ordinance passes
The (BOC) approved a change to the county’s alcohol ordinance Tuesday.
The changes, which will allow golf courses and country clubs to sell alcohol, increase the number of catered activities to serve alcohol from four to eight a year, and allow for certain restaurants and hotels to sell alcohol in the overlay areas passed 3-2.
Commissioners J.C. Henderson, District 4 and John Douglas, District 1, voted against the changes.
The ordinance also allows for conditional use permits to be granted in all other areas if granted by the BOC.
The BOC opted to table the sale of hardwood timber in the proposed Bear Creek Reservoir basin to the Sept. 20 public meeting.
"I do understand we need to make a decision because this was voted on in our budget on money from timber," District 3 Commissioner Nancy Schulz said. "I do believe all of us would need to have more information in terms of assets surplus property down near bear creek reservoir."
The BOC will have a work session at 6 p.m. on Sept. 20 to discuss the county's surplus property and possible timber sales.
Sheriff purchases approved
The BOC approved the sheriff’s office purchase of two pairs of VHF frequencies for new radio system and upgrades Tuesday.
The frequencies will cost $95,000.
Approval was also given to the sheriff’s office for the purchase of 67 Cradle Point Multi Band Router with antenna and three year support and labor.
The BOC denied the application of a tax refund for Jerome Fortune of Covington Place subdivision. Because there was no obvious error in Fortune's taxes, the BOC was required to hold a hearing on the justification for a refund.
Fortune was not in attendance Tuesday when his refund request for $3,896.53 was voted down.
"I'm disturbed that it took time to do this and Mr. Fortune is not here," Douglas said. "I would think in the future if it comes to us on the board that someone who wants us to go through this, they be here."
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