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BOC: Non-profit policy deferred
Permit for church after-school program approved
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The Board of Commissioners reviewed issues to bring to Rockdale's state legislators, deferred discussion of a policy for non-profit funding and approved a special use permit enabling a church after-school tutoring program during their meeting Tuesday morning.

Here are some of the actions taken in today's meeting:

- The BOC unanimously approved the second reading of a special use permit that allows Epiphany Lutheran Church to run an after-school tutoring program. Neighborhoods around the church, which is located on Ga. 20, had submitted a petition for a traffic light at that intersection, which is used by residents, the Eastminster School and the church.

Commissioner JaNice Van Ness said, "I do have concerns but I will support this measure... I do have concerns that the county taxpayers will be left holding the bag for a red light."

- A contract for an intake coordinator with the State Court's DUI court was approved, at $26 an hour, not to exceed 40 hours a week.

- The commissioners reviewed the six items on the 2011 Legislative Packet to bring to Rockdale's state representatives and state senators and decided to remove two items - a transfer tax on real estate that would go towards maintaining and acquiring green space for the county and a request to shorten the early voting period.

Other requests included state law changes to make the elected Magistrate Court judge position a non-partisan elected seat instead of a partisan elected seat, documentation to formalize the Probate Court judge's current salary and compensation, and to allow the Sheriff's Office prison laborers to go onto private property to remove gang graffiti.

"I think it sends a clear message that Rockdale County will not tolerate" gang graffiti, said Commission Chair Richard Oden.

Another request was to give the Stormwater department the ability to place liens for unpaid stormwater utility fees. Tax Commissioner Dan Ray pointed out that he had no authority either to collect delinquent stormwater fees, and this law change would give the ability to do that. Chief of Staff Greg Pridgeon said the department was collecting about 88 percent of its fees.

The BOC agreed 2-1 to delete the request to change the early voting period from 43 days to 14 days, with VanNess voting against. She pointed out Georgia has one of the longest early voting periods in the country and reducing the time would reduce the cost incurred by counties.

Oden said Georgia had a history of voting obstacles and Commissioner Oz Nesbitt said he wanted to allow all 43 days to let people get out and vote.

- Discussion on a policy on the funding of non-profits was deferred to the agenda for the Feb. 8 meeting. Nesbitt said he was abstaining from voting on the policy.

- Discussion of the 2011 Captial Budget for general fund items was deferred to the next work session on Feb. 1 due to lack of time. Stormwater's capital budget of about $3 million and the Water and Sewer fund's capital budget of about $5.6 million was previously approved.