A VETERAN COUNTY EMPLOYEE was recognized Tuesday night for his many years of dedicated service to Grady County. Former Road Department Operations Manager James Hawthorne, who recently retired, was recognized for his 36 years, 7 months tenure with the county. “James was a well respected and loved employee who dedicated his life to serving Grady County and its citizens. He was a mentor to all employees who worked with him and he took his job serious but also kept a great sense of humor, which boosted the morale of those around him. James will be missed and extremely hard to replace. His skills were honed and unmatched in many areas of the road work business. James did it right the first time. He will always be welcome in our offices and we thank him for his life long support and above all friendship,” said Grady County Administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III. Shown above are, l-r, County Administrator Johnson, James Hawthorne, Grady County Commission Chairman Keith Moye and Grady County Road Superintendent Stanley Elkins. Hawthorne began work with the county in May 1983 and retired this month.
As of Friday, repairs to the elevator at the Grady County Courthouse were completed and the unit is now functioning properly and has been put back into service.
The lone elevator, which provides access to the second and third floors of the courthouse for those who cannot walk up steps, had been out of commission since Nov. 13, 2019.
Grady County Administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III, voiced his appreciation of the crew from Albany Elevator for working extended hours to complete the project as soon as possible.
“Once they got started, they worked from 7:30 a.m. every day until 5:30 or 6 p.m. most days. They were intent on getting it done as soon as possible. I could not be more pleased with their work,” the county administrator said.
Johnson also updated the board on one of the workers on the project who was injured earlier this month while working on the elevator. The county administrator said the worker was recovering and was lucky to not have suffered more serious injury or possibly death.
According to Johnson, the Albany Elevator employee was struck in the back of the head when a wench being used on the repairs was compromised. “The young man was extremely lucky he was not hurt worse,” Johnson said.
In other business Tuesday night, the board:
‰Authorized the execution of a contract with Cell Tower Solutions to conduct a survey of communication towers within Grady County to provide the Grady County Board of Tax Assessors with an accurate, up-to-date valuation of equipment attached to communication towers in the county for tax purposes. The county administrator has determined that Cell Tower Solutions is the sole source contractor available to the county for this work. Previously, the administrator had suggested soliciting a request for proposals for the project, but this week he sought board approval to do business with the firm or deny the Board of Assessors’ request to contract with the Athens based firm. The work will not cost more than $45,000, according to county officials. Currently, tax assessors here and nationwide rely on information provided by the cell tower companies and providers, which in many instances is reported as a value significantly less than the actual value, according to Cell Tower Solutions officials. Company officials say that based on past experience, the county will recoup its investment in the survey and receive additional revenue year after year. Officials said work could begin as early as this week.
‰Voted unanimously to extend the county’s contract with Rhonda Edwards as the concession vendor at Barber Park for 2020. Edwards pays the county $1,2000 annually for the right to serve as the park’s concessionaire.
‰Heard a presentation on the upcoming Grady County Disability Services Fair to be held at the Cairo High School College and Career Center on Thursday, Feb. 6 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Cathey Hoskins, Project Search coordinator with the Grady County School System, made the presentation to the board. Hoskins said that 78 vendors have been invited to participate and they will be able to assist those with disabilities and/or caregivers that evening. For more information, see an advertisement about the event on Page B4 of this edition of The Messenger.
‰Approved an increase in the fee for recordings of plats to match state fees. The recording fee is going up from $8.28 to $10.35.
‰Approved the purchase of the second round of 1,000 Carp for Tired Creek Lake at a cost of $8,000. The Carp are being put into the lake to help combat hydrilla and reduce the need for expensive spraying to battle the hydrilla problem at the lake.
‰Approved $250 in sponsorship for the production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream at Popes Museum on Saturday, April 18. Popes Museum has partnered with Tallahassee Shakespeare Troupe, the Thomasville Entertainment Foundation and the Georgia Council for the Arts on this project and a grant has been awarded to Popes Museum, which requires a 50 percent match. Michelle Dean of Popes Museum made the presentation to the board Tuesday night and she is seeking eight sponsors of $250 or more. Commissioner June Knight also pledged to sponsor the event personally Tuesday night. According to Dean, the production will be open and free to the public. Also part of this project will be to offer workshops for English students at Cairo High School and Washington Middle School, according to Dean.