By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hall commissioners delay decisions on parks, tax collections until 2010
Placeholder Image

The Hall County Board of Commissioners decided to postpone two major decisions until 2010 at the board meeting Thursday evening.

Commissioner Steve Gailey proposed waiting until the first meeting of January to vote on a construction manager for the North Hall and Cool Springs parks after the commission discussed a number of concerns with the bidding process.

A committee of county staff members recommended the commission select Charles Black Construction Co. as the construction manager for a proposed cost of $689,100 — nearly $52,000 more than the lowest bidder.

"The process we have for bids and proposals for professional services is the same process the state uses," said Purchasing Manager Tim Sims. "The committee makes the recommendation and it’s up to the commission to accept it."

Banks said he doesn’t like the idea of awarding a bid to anyone who cannot offer the lowest price and asked why that much money could not be used to hire someone to oversee construction for the county.

"Why don’t we have our own construction manager on site?" Banks asked. "We’re wasting the taxpayers’ money the way I look at it."

Gailey said there were too many unknowns to make a decision before the end of the meeting.

"Companies base their fees on a schedule," Gailey said. "These two companies are way different in their schedules."

Gailey, who has been very vocal about fast-tracking the North Hall park, said he doesn’t think postponing the vote for the construction manager will delay the highly anticipated facility.

In other business, the commission unexpectedly voted to repeal an earlier decision to start collecting taxes in two installments in 2010.

After hearing new information about state guidelines for late payments, Chairman Tom Oliver wasn’t convinced it would be good for taxpayers.

Nearly 70 percent of voters said they would prefer to pay taxes in two installments on a 2008 nonbinding ballot question.

Commissioners were ready to approve Oct. 1 and Dec. 1 due dates, before hearing that state law would require a 5 percent penalty if the first installment is not paid by the Oct. 1 due date.

Currently, a 1 percent interest is charged each month after the Dec. 1 due date until the bill is paid. After 90 days, there is a 10 percent penalty.

Oliver said he doesn’t think so many people would have voted to pay taxes in two installments if they knew the penalties would be so steep.

Because Thursday’s meeting was the last of 2009, the commission had to approve the measure that night for taxes to be collected twice in 2010.

Commissioners Billy Powell and Ashley Bell suggested continuing to collect taxes just once next year and including a ballot question during the 2010 election explaining the 5 percent penalty to see if people still prefer paying taxes in two installments.

The commission voted unanimously to do so.