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Tax Concerns, Food Bank Funding & Road Paving highlight Commission Meeting

At Tuesday's County Commission meeting Commissioners again heard several concerns from fixed-income seniors and property owners about rising property taxes.
Commission 062122
Credit: BOC

At Tuesday's County Commission meeting Commissioners again heard several concerns from fixed-income seniors and property owners about rising property taxes.

"Each time you raise tax revenue, no matter through raising the millage rate or an increase in the property value, you are making it more and more difficult for these businesses to survive," the owner of L.A. Waters in Statesboro, Anthony Waters said.

"This increase has hit homeowners hard," said another concerned citizen. "I think that we should consider the fact that taxpayers in this county are fighting inflation just like the City.

Commission Chairman Roy Thompson responded to all of the comments, saying much of the tax increase has to do with taxes going towards schools.

"Some senior citizen paid for me when I was in school at 6 years old," said Thompson. "They probably complained also, just like people are complaining now. I feel like it's my moral obligation to pay for kids that are in school today, not because I'm a senior citizen, but because somebody paid for me."

Commission Action

Approved: Resolution to enter into a joint grant application with City of Statesboro for a CDBG Employment Incentive Program.

  • These grants are used to assist cities and counties with improvements to economic development, public facilities, and housing in Georgia. This particular grant will be requesting funds to assist Aspen Aerogels, Inc. with water and sewer improvements.

Approved: Resolution to Approve ACCG-IRMA Coverage for 2022/2023

  • The renewal of property and liability coverage through ACCG-IRMA, as quoted in the proposal. The premium (price) for the 2022/2023 coverage will be $685,465, with liability limits of $2,000,000.
  • The new premium is $107,813 (or about 18%) higher than last year’s cost of $577,652. This difference is due to several factors, including inflationary/market changes, claims experience, and growth.

Approved: Catastrophic Inmate Medical Insurance Renewal

  •  Renewal with Hunt Insurance Group, LLC, for the inmate excess loss medical insurance, covering inmates at the Bulloch County Jail and Bulloch County Correctional Institute. This insurance plan covers claims that exceed $75,000, up to a maximum of $500,000 per covered claim.
  • The premium (cost) is $17,739.36, which is $3.88 per inmate per month. This represents a 4.3% increase from last year’s cost of $3.72 per inmate per month. The increase resulted from the overall increase in healthcare costs due to inflation.

Approved: Motion to enter in a service agreement with Unifirst in the amount of $13,065.

  • Unifirst will provide walkoff mats, mops, terry towels, urinal pads to the following buildings: North Main Annex, Agri Business Center, Bulloch County Annex, Magistrate Court, Probate Court, and Judicial Annex.

Approved: Amended Summary Plan Description for Employee Health Care Plan

  • Changes to the Bulloch County Employee Health Care Plan were several edits to the document were necessary to comply with the “No Surprises Act,” recent legislation which is designed to protect patients from surprise bills for emergency services at out-of-network facilities or from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities.
  • In addition, the Plan now reflects coverage for “Teladoc,” a virtual provider for general medical needs, dermatology, and mental health concerns.

Approved: Adoption of Restated Flexible Benefits Plan and Associated Documents.

  • Bulloch County maintains, as a benefit for employees, a Flexible Benefits Plan that allows certain benefits, including Flexible Spending Accounts, to be funded from pre-tax contributions. The Plan is described in, and governed by, a Plan document previously approved by the Board of Commissioners.

New Commission business:

Approved: Approval of Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Statesboro for Use of ARPA Funds to Support Food Bank

  • An intergovernmental agreement with the City of Statesboro commits the County and City to use $500,000 each ($1 million total) in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to purchase property and construct a facility for the Food Bank on the terms and conditions contained in a separate Memorandum of Understanding with the Food Bank.

Approved: Memorandum of Understanding with The Food Bank, Inc., and the City of Statesboro

  • The Food Bank, Inc. and the City of Statesboro provides the terms and conditions on which the County and the City will provide American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the Food Bank for the purchase of property and construction of a facility for the Food Bank

Approved: Motion to approve a bid and enter into a contract with Reeves Construction Company for County Road Resurfacing 2022 in the amount of $7,945,695, to be funded by LMIG and TSPLOST.

  • This contract includes the resurfacing of approximately 45 miles of county paved roads. Also included in the contract is the restriping of the roads being resurfaced. The list of roads is attached.
  • The County Engineer recommended awarding the contract for Bulloch County Road Resurfacing in the amount of $7,945,695 to Reeves Construction.

Approved: Motion to purchase computers and hardware for the new fire engines.

  • The goal is to outfit each new apparatus with the equipment that will afford personnel with the information they need while responding to all emergency calls.
  • The commission approved awarding the project to Mobile Communications America, located in Statesboro.