County commissioners unanimously approved policy changes proposed by new chairman Anthony Dove Monday, with the most notable action including a change to the BOC’s meeting schedule.
The commissioners will now hold agenda-setting meetings on the final Monday of each month. They will hold business meetings on the first Monday of the month.
A time for “citizens’ comment” will be included at the end of agenda-setting meetings to allow people to address the board about items not on the agenda. Dove also proposed that the board hold a “citizens’ comment” time at the beginning of agenda-setting meetings to give people an opportunity to comment on items on that night’s agenda.
Monday’s meeting was also the group’s first in the renovated meeting room, which now has a raised platform and semi-circular board table. Commissioners each have a microphone, with their voices amplified through a PA system.
Dove noted that the Madison County Library has been moved up the list for possible state funds for expansion.
“It could possibly come up in 2010,” he said.
If the state awards money for the library, the county will also have to provide funds for the project. The county renewed a one-cent sales tax in 2008, which officials estimated would bring in $12.6 million over six years.
The BOC tagged $750,000 of that money for the library. Dove noted that sales tax collections are down and informed the board that it will need to consider what action it wants to take on SPLOST if the state proposes funding for the library in 2010.
Dove also mentioned that property tax collections could be down in 2009. Other counties that got their tax bills out in 2008 are seeing smaller returns than usual. Madison County’s tax bills are due in late March.
“We’re watching this closely,” said Dove. “And we may have to make recommendations on adjustments at that point.”
The chairman also urged commissioners Monday to have a list of road projects ready to go in case the federal stimulus plan does lead to more funds for local road projects.
In other matters Monday, the board met in closed session to discuss personnel and litigation for roughly an hour Monday night but took no action. Dove said Tuesday he has narrowed his search for a new county clerk, adding that the clerk’s post will have a reduced salary and less responsibility than in the past.
“I’ve narrowed it down and am re-interviewing some people,” said Dove, who didn’t want to say how many people remain in consideration.