Hall County Commissioner Ashley Bell brought up three potential resolutions to discuss with the board at Monday morning’s work session.
All are budget-related, Bell said, and deal with gifts of real estate, SPLOST projects and employee contracts.
Bell said when property is donated to the county, if any county-funded improvements to the property are required as part of the gift, the commission should have an idea of how much that would cost before voting.
Bell recommended the county administrator prepare the cost-estimate.
“When we vote on it, we could see what that projected cost would be,” Bell said. “That way we kind of have a heads up on it.”
“I don’t think that’s unreasonable,” Commissioner Steve Gailey said.
Commissioner Billy Powell wanted to ensure the rules would only apply to gifts with specific requirements. He said Hall County may accept land and not build on it for a decade or more, which would make cost estimates impossible.
Bell said he also would like the county administrator to prepare cost projections when the county approves building facilities like libraries and parks with special purpose local option sales tax funds.
The study would estimate how much it would cost to operate and maintain a facility for three years.
“We may build the building but we may not have the resources to open it,” Bell said.
Bell’s final recommendation was that all changes to county employee contracts must be approved by the commission.
“If that severance package has changed from what it was in the contract, it needs to come before us,” Bell said.
The commission also revisited the proposal from Public Works Director Ken Rearden to fund a review of the city of Gainesville’s Water and Wastewater Rates Differential Study.
The $7,800 study would have county consulting firm Camp, Dresser & McKee review the city’s most recent differential study to determine if users are paying an accurate amount for the services and assets they use. County users currently pay twice what city customers pay for water.
Rearden said the study might look at, for example, how much Hall County users are paying for sewer infrastructure.
Most of the commissioners agreed to the idea.
“If we go ahead and look at the rates, we’ve got our own study,” Chairman Tom Oliver said.
But Commissioner Bobby Banks spoke out, calling the study a waste of money.
“I don’t think they’ll ever change their mind. It’s set in stone that the county will pay double, It’s never going to be fair,” Banks said.