2017-11-16 / Front Page

Council considers DCS proposal to use community service laborers

Having recently been approached by officials with the Georgia Depart­ment of Community Supervision (DCS), Lincolnton’s councilmen will now consider using community service labor to complete certain tasks and functions within the city’s realm.

Currently, several government entities within the county also have an agreement with DCS for the completion of cleaning, custodial work, lawn maintenance, road ser­vices, and many other areas.

“As you know we deal with felony cases, we deal with the superior court,” Mike Peterson, an official with DCS, explained. “Some are given so many hours of community service that they have to perform in the county they live in.”

This labor program is limited to persons who are on probation only, parolees are not permitted.

According to Peterson, all persons must be supervised by whatever en­tity they are placed under for work, the city is not liable for injuries as long as working conditions are safe, and the city will not have to provide transportation.

Peterson stressed, “we only assign people who have the abilities to do what they’ve been assigned.”

Considering that a wide range people are offered community service related work, DSC places people into appropriate positions that ensure the safety of both the community and the individual under work supervision.

Furthermore, the understanding of those on probation is that if they fail to perform their designated amount of community service hours, it could result in revocation of their proba­tion, which is a great incentive for them to work dedicatedly, according to Peterson.

In other business, councilman Larry Goolsby reminded the rest of the members of council about a tentative rate increase for water services, which may be taken to a vote at next month’s meeting.

“We had talked several months back about water rates, and next month we need to vote this in so it will take effect for our January bills,” Goolsby said.“We had talked about a $3 [increase], and that’s nothing but the base rate.”

The base rate bill would pos­sibly move from $22.50 to $25.50. Should sewage and garbage rates also increase as well, those bills would move at a minimum from $58 to $61.

Additionally, Goolsby reported that the CDBG job at Joan Way and Kings Way is set to begin in February.

Council voted for clerk Martha Jo Austin to research the prices on a folding machine for bills, as the price of post card bills has become too costly. The purchase price for a mid-size machine is $6,691, a small- size machine is $4,157.16, however there are leasing options as well.

Council also voted for Austin also to begin the process of having a new server installed that will host both city hall and the police department for a cost $12,000.

Members voted to have a valve repaired at the water treatment plant by Pro Pump Solutions for $5,124, with the stipulation that other per­tinent details are discussed before proceeding with the repair.

In other business, council dis­cussed its options for providing benefits for the city fire department, as all legally organized fire depart­ments in Georgia are required by House Bill 146 to provide certain cancer benefits for their firefight­ers, effective January 1, 2018. This encompasses full-time, part-time, and volunteer fire fighters.

Offered through the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA), members looked at two options to pick from including a “Lump Sum Cancer Benefit” estimated at $1,833 for an annual premium, and a “Long-Term Disability (Income Replacement)” option for an annual premium of $741.

As a part of his departmental re­port, Adam Minyard recorded that the water treatment plant produced 18.1 million gallons, and received a total of 2.85 inches of rainfall over the month of October. He also reported that there were eight meters to turn off on the cut off list, and that his crew repaired a service line on Metasville Road.

Ben Alligood reported that the wastewater treatment plant had an approximate influent of 582,000 gallons; a city influent of 5.1 mil­lion gallons; and a treated effluent/ discharge of 5,754,900 gallons.

Building and Code Enforcement Official Jim Farrand reported that the Planning and Zoning Depart­ment had one emergency/911 ad­dress assigned; issued 15 building permits; and had one rezoning ap­plication for $981. There were also 12 inspections on building permits; 40 meetings with property owners were conducted; and there was one violation.

Chief Brandon Lively reported that the Lincolnton Police Depart­ment answered 237 calls to service throughout October. These calls included 26 incident reports, 53 miscellaneous calls, five accident reports, along with 22 citations, and 30 warnings.

“Our department assisted with the trick or treating on Kelly Street this month, and had no issues to report,” Lively included.

Chief Matt Ivey reported that the Lincolnton Fire Department had two fire calls in October. One was a brush fire and the other was a vehicle fire.

The next meeting of the Lincoln­ton City Council will be held on Tuesday, December 5, beginning at 7 p.m. at city hall.

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