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Rockdale to update day care regulations
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Rockdale County is currently in the process of changing its laws governing child and adult day care centers.

Planning and Development Director Marshall Walker briefly explained to the Rockdale Board of Commissioners that the new proposed county ordinance will reflect the Georgia state laws regarding definitions and use standards of a day care.

"Currently there are some discrepancies between the state standards and what the county ordinance requires," Walker said during the Tuesday morning work session. "This will bring it up to state standards."

The planning and development department has had major discussions with state officials recently and is proposing to have a first reading of the proposed law next week during the board's voting session.

"We are asking for a first week next week to start through the process," said Walker. "We expect there may be some change but additional discussions will be held as we go forward."

The proposed law is separated into three different sections.

The first section completely does away with the old definitions of day care center, adult, day care facility, adult day-care center, child, playschool and child day-care facility. Replacing them will be more specific definitions and categories to define a day care, including adult day center, child care learning center, group day care home, family day care home and pre-kindergarten.

Section two of the new law clarifies the permitted uses of the newly categorized day care facilities and section three states that all facilities should comply with all applicable State of Georgia rules and regulations.

Commissioner Oz Nesbitt, Post 1, asked if the planning and development department could meet with County Attorney Qader Baig to discuss how the new law fixes the discrepancies Walker alluded to earlier.

Then, Nesbitt requested Walker to have a one-on-one talk with each commissioner about the law.

"I think then an opportunity should be made to circle back to each of the commissioners to make sure that we are clearly abreast on this particular issue before moving forward," Nesbitt said. "Whatever those (discrepancies) are, we need to make sure we are clearly abreast on them before we make a decision on the first read or second read."

In other county business, Rockdale County Chief of Staff Gerald Sanders requested the board dissolve the county's second Board of Equalization, which hears challenges to property tax assessments.

The board was created in September 2011 with the anticipation that the number of property tax cases would increase with changes in the tax assessment process mandated by state law that year. Since 2013 there has been a drastic reduction in the number of appeals of ad valorem tax assessments files and Sanders says the boards are now caught up with the cases.

According to the resolution, dissolving the additional board would reduce the cost and expenses associated with the yearly educational requirement of board members.

The board of commissioners will meet to vote on the matters discussed at 10 a.m. on Sept. 23 at the Assembly Hall, 901 Main Street, Conyers.