The Charlton County Board of Commissioners met Thursday, May 7 in St. George.

During the meeting, commissioners received a variance request for Mark Steck who wishes to build a garage on his property. With the current plans, the garage would have an 11-foot set back. However, set back requirements state there needs to be a 15-foot set back. Steck stated the adjacent landowners were fine with the garage being placed in the designated area. County Administrator Hampton Raulerson suggested the board refund the variance application fee and add the set back into the ordinance in the future. The board approved unanimously.

Raulerson announced there is currently no policy for reimbursement requests for the landfill fee on citizens’ tax bills. He shared that the fee helps to offset the majority of the cost for providing curbside can pickup services throughout the county. Raulerson presented a Curbside Pickup Reimbursement Policy, which states for residents who have had their trashcans collected and have been charged the landfill fee that a prorated reimbursement should be made to the individual based on the number of months left in the fiscal year after the can was collected. Those having their cans collected and removed from the tax bill must pay for the number of months the service was provided up to the month the request is made. The board tabled the topic to look over the policy more and will make a decision at the next meeting.

The board members unanimously approved renewing the Client Service Agreement for wellness. Many employees have benefited from this program.

The commissioners discussed approving the Southern Georgia Area Agency on Aging contract to provide the senior center with congregate and home-delivered meals. The only difference in last year’s agreement is the dollar amount. The county’s budget was adjusted already to accommodate the difference. There is an average of 20 congregate meals and 40-50 home delivered meals, which requires more working hours for Connie Bass Senior Center Director. The board approved unanimously.

The board also approved the ratification of the Southern Georgia Regional Commission Agreement for Professional Administration. The agreement states the SGRC will render certain technical and administrative services for the county assisting in implementing its pending FY2020 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). There is no cost for the county. The ratification was approved unanimously.

The county received only one bid for the use of the building at Traders Hill. Adam and Tammy Bell, who are caretakers of the Traders Hill RV area, were the only bidders, offering $350.00 per month. Commissioners Luke Gowen and Drew Jones, as well as Finance/HR Coordinator Becky Harden complimented the Bells on their care of Traders Hill. The board approved the bid unanimously.

The commissioners approved the purchase of a tilt coupler for the Road Department from Yancey. The coupler will attach to the 309 excavator, giving attachments more mobility. The cost is $20,608.00, which is state contract pricing. The equipment will be purchased using TSPLOST funds.

The Road Department’s 326 excavator’s warranty will be expiring and any repairs following the expiration will fall on the county and SPLOST funds cannot be used. SPLOST funds can however, be used to purchase a new excavator. Raulerson suggested purchasing the machine up front, also from Yancey, using reserve funds and pay the account back with SPLOST funds. The business is offering $126,300.00 for trade-in, making the cost of the new excavator $150,472.00 with a guarantee buy-back of $100,457.00. The motion was made and carried unanimously.

Raulerson announced the Georgia Department of Transportation plans to rebuild the bridge over Spanish Creek on Grace Chapel possibly in 2024. The county plans to pave a portion of Grace Chapel, but will now need to pave the opposite side (U.S. 1 to Old Dixie Hwy.) This will increase the project cost estimate from $133,052.25 to $194,372.18. The commissioners approved unanimously.

Timber at Burnt Fort needs to be cut at Burnt fort for the construction of a parking lot. There are extra tracts of land that could also be cleared. Raulerson suggested cutting the extra tracts and declaring it surplus. The board agreed to cut the timber at one time, declare it surplus and put it out to bid for sale.

During the meeting, the commissioners heard from Mark Steck, who stated he lives on St. Marys River Bluff Road and asked when the paving of his street will be paved. Raulerson stated the road will be paved about a quarter mile and should be put out to bid by June. Raulerson stated he would get a lease drafted for Adam and Tammy Bell for the building at Traders Hill. Commissioner Alphya Benefield thanked everyone for their support and attendance. She also thanked Commissioner Luke Gowen for contacting Congressman Carter in effort to help a local citizen. Commissioner Gowen thanked her and shared that it was a group effort.


Raulerson alerted the board that court offices currently have a temporary sneeze guard, and suggested the guards be made permanent. He stated the Law Library offered to pay half of the $6,100.00. He also suggested $10,000.00 be moved from contingency to the building fund (in case any issues arise). The board will vote on this at the next meeting.

The commissioners will meet again Thursday, May 21 at 6:00 p.m.