County Commissioner Steve Hudson announced that engineering plans for a deck and facility for the overlook at Sprewell Bluff are now complete and the county is just waiting on the engineer to give the go ahead to get started. Hudson stated the plans include a 60-foot wide deck and a building which will house men’s and women’s restrooms, a meeting room which can be used for events such as business meetings, receptions or family reunions and a kitchen; all of which will be available for rental from the county for a small fee. Once completed, due to the risk of vandalism, the deck and building will only be open to the public anytime there are volunteers available to monitor the usage.
In efforts to control vandalism and enforce the park rules, the Board of Commissioners are in the process of drawing up a park ordinance which will be for all county parks. Hudson told the board this was needed after he spoke with Upson County Sheriff Dan Kilgore, who stated the rules could not be enforced by his department unless there was an ordinance in place.
The board is also considering raising the county’s heavy hauling fee as a way to protect the county’s roads. Hudson stated during Tuesday’s meeting that JaAnn Drive had finally been fixed and repaved after it was torn up by a contractor who was doing work for the new Performing Arts Center. However, a week had not gone by before the same contractor came back to do more work and damaged the road again.
Currently the heavy hauling fee for Upson County is $1,000 and Chairman Rusty Blackston stated he felt it needed to go up to at least $5,000. Hudson countered that he would like to see it go to $10,000. Commissioner Frank Spraggins agreed that it needed to be increased and noted that the county crews did an excellent job repairing the road before it was messed up again. No decision on what the fee should be changed to has been made as of yet.
In a work session prior to their meeting, the board voted to keep the county employees health insurance with Cigna. The changes in insurance rates equal out to a 10 percent increase in what the employees pay and a 10 percent increase in what the county pays with total cost of the insurance costing the county $1.25 million. The new insurance costs will not go into effect until July 1.