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Renters of the Grady County Agri-Center who leave the facility in a mess or cause damages will end up losing more money following action by the Grady County Commission on Tuesday.
The board voted unanimously to increase the security deposit charged to rent the county facility from $100 to $250.
According to county officials, the county has seen a number of renters leave the facility in an unclean condition and forfeit their deposit.
The administrative staff recommended increasing the deposit by $150 and leaving the rental fee at $350.
“It’s left in a mess a lot of times and tables and chairs are missing, too,” Commissioner Ray Prince said.
Commission Vice Chairman Phillip Drew said he was in favor of continuing to rent the facility, but he urged the public who rents the facility to be more responsible.
Commissioner LaFaye Copeland said she was unaware the facility had been rented this year due to the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings of large groups.
County clerk John White said the Agri-Center was not rented in March, April or May, but by June and July rentals began to pick up.
The deposit goes into effect immediately for all new rentals.
In other business Tuesday, commissioners:
Heard from Michelle Dean, owner of Pope’s Museum in northern Grady County, who is encouraging the county to work with the City of Cairo and Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce to establish a “Grady County Days” festival to be held in March. Dean said she would like to see the festival held in conjunction with the announcement that Laura Pope Forester will be inducted into the Georgia Women’s Hall of Fame. Dean shared data with commissioners that she said indicated the impacts of the shutdowns as a result of COVID-19 were having dramatic impacts on suicide rates, increased dementia as well as increased domestic violence. “The cure cannot be worse than the disease itself,” Dean said. She also said the festival would “rekindle civic pride and hope.”
Discussed three proposals received for the outsourcing of the mowing of county rights-of-way with road superintendent Stanley Elkins. Elkins suggested there is a lot to digest in the various options the county has been presented and with the end of the growing season the county would have time to discuss and deliberate further. However, Commissioner June Knight, who pushed to solicit bids on mowing, voiced her opposition to putting off making a decision. Ultimately, the board decided to schedule a work session to discuss the matter some more.
Heard a report from county commission attorney Gabe Ridley that the county had closed on the purchase of property on Bunn Lane near Whigham for a manned dumpster site.
Accepted the recommendation of the Grady County Lake Authority to contract with Wood & Parters to revise the master plan for Tired Creek Lake at a cost of $2,200.
Heard a report from county finance director Holly Murkerson about the possibility of leasing a new dump truck for the road department through a Kentucky firm. The board authorized Murkerson to pursue a lease agreement and to share with the county attorney for his review before bringing forward a recommendation at the board’s next meeting. According to Murkerson, the county can lease the new dump truck and pay $263 per month for a term of 18 months at which time the truck would be sold at auction and the county’s additional expense would be approximately $7,000 to $9,000 for the use of the new equipment. Currently, only two of the county’s four dump trucks are in good working order, according to Murkerson.