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Prince predicts ‘slap on the hand’ from EPD

Chairman to
meet with state
officials Thursday
The continuing wet weather has caused problems for the Grady County Road Department, which is in the midst of major public works’ projects.
After being asked for an update on the State Park Road project, Grady County Commission Chairman Ray Prince admitted to Commissioner Keith Moye, who inquired, and the rest of the board, that the county is facing possible fines for erosion control violations on the project.
Prince said that a meeting has been planned for Thursday with himself, consulting engineer Stacy Watkins, Grady County Road Superintendent Stanley Elkins, and officials of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division of the State Department of Natural Resources.
“We probably won’t be fined, but we will get a slap on the hand from EPD,” Chairman Prince said.
The county commission chairman said that as fast as the rains wash away what has been repaired, the county responds and makes repairs only for another rain to come and wash it away again.
Vice Chairman T.D. David asked who would be involved in the meeting and who called for the meeting. Chairman Prince said EPD had requested the meeting after a recent inspection of the project, which he said occurred at “the wrong time.” “It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is,” Prince said.
“Will (County Attorney) Jennifer (Herzog) be meeting with you, too?” Vice Chairman David asked.
“Not at this point,” Chairman Prince replied.
In other business Tuesday night, Commissioner Moye asked about the status of Accounting Manager Donna Johnson’s review of the cost of county issued cell phones.
Ms. Johnson said she had been “bombarded” with questions since it became public that the county commission was considering changes and possible elimination of the majority of county issued cell phones, but until new guidelines are established she could not move forward.
Moye said based on his calculations, the county is spending in excess of $40,000 a year on cell phone service.
“A lot of them don’t need them,” Chairman Prince said.
Commissioner Moye noted that the budget for cell phones in the county road department had already been exhausted for 2018 with five months remaining in the fiscal year.
“They all have radios, why do they need phones, too?” the accounting manager asked.
Chairman Prince said the abuse was not limited to the road department and he said that a review of all departments was necessary.
The board is looking to schedule a work session to discuss the cell phone issue and the chairman suggested it take place once a new administrator is on board.

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