October 19, 2018

Local paramedic receives 30-year Service Award

(L-R) Commissioner Adams, Commissioner Hammond, Chairman Boone, Tim Rogers, Commissioner Hooks, Commissioner Denney and Commissioner Caldwell (Photo: Debbie O’Neal/Times-Journal)

(Franklin/Times-Journal) — The Heard County Commissioners met on August 28, 2018 at the administration building in Franklin. All Commissioners were in attendance.

Chairman Boone called the meeting to order, gave the invocation and led everyone in the pledge to the flag.

Commissioners presented Tim Rogers, Heard County EMS paramedic, with a 30-year service award in recognition of his loyal and dedicated service to Heard County. Tim began his career on July 30, 1988 in Heard County.

Chairman Boone stated, “Thirty years of service is an accomplishment that shows dedication. Nobody can say that this man isn’t dedicated to his job, his profession and his county. I thank you on behalf of me, Chairman of the county and I’m sure I’m speaking for all the rest of the citizens by saying we appreciate your service.”

“The biggest thing I can say about Tim is he is an excellent mentor to new Firefighters, new EMT’s and new Paramedics. He has a great bedside manner with the residents and anybody he works with,” said Heard County Fire Chief Steve Wirth. “The biggest thing is he takes time with the new employees to mentor them, showing them the right way of doing things, treating people right and being respectful. That goes a long way in this business.”

Tim Rogers said with a smile, “Thank all of you! It has been an honor! If finances stay the way they are I’ll be here another 30 maybe.”

Commissioners held two public hearings at the meeting.

The first hearing was a continued public hearing from last month that was on the agenda for a rezoning request by Robert Payne. The request was for the property at the corner of Pea Ridge Road and Franklin Parkway for a storage facility.

The commissioners approved the rezoning request for the property to be zoned from agricultural to commercial with conditions on the variance that were put in place by the zoning committee.

The second public hearing was a request for a special use application for TowerCom V LLC for the property located at 2412 Strickland Road in Franklin in regard to building a tower to help develop a wireless network in Heard County.

Planning commission recommended the approval of the application with the conditions that TowerCom will supply spots for Heard and Troup County emergency services as well as provide a spot for Heard County Development Authority for broadband service.

TowerCom is a tower builder and owner that works with carriers to help develop wireless networks and wireless infrastructures. TowerCom represents T Mobile and assists them with responding with customer demands.

Attorney Scott Taylor from Arnall Golden Gregory law firm in Atlanta, who represents T Mobile, gave a presentation to the board at the hearing.

“The goal is to build out the network from Strickland Road in a westerly direction and a northerly direction. This will be the first step in the process. The coverage will improve substantially in the area of the tower and to the west. The Planning commission has approved the two variances we requested which were 75 feet on the tower height and a setback from Strickland Road of 108 feet,” said Taylor.

“This would be a good solution for the area. This tower meets T Mobile’s needs and provides 4 additional spots for other carriers that can be brought in. Tower Com has agreed to provide space free of charge to Heard and Troup County for emergency communications on this tower. We believe it will bring much needed telecommunications to the county. We respectfully request your approval of this special use application.”

Rob Petry of 189 Liberty Road spoke against the tower being placed in the location on Strickland Road and his safety concerns with the EMF (electromagnetic field) for his family.

Commissioners approved the special use application subject to the conditions recommended by the planning commission for TowerCom. The construction of the new tower will be in November or December of 2018 depending on the amount of time it takes to get the proper permits.

Minutes from the July 24 meeting were approved as written.

Election Supervisor Tonnie Adams recommended to the board that Mrs. Robin Smith be appointed to the Heard County Board of Elections and Registration which the Commissioners approved.

Commissioners adopted a fee proposal to cover Health Department inspections on any new public pools being built in Heard County for the Heard County Health Department to have in place for the future. Commissioners adopted a fee proposal as submitted by Heard County Health Department.

Commissioners adopted resolutions for 911 charges on telephones, wireless and prepaid wireless services. The resolution was put in place due to new changes in the law so that each county will receive the tax revenue.

Commissioners discussed and approved sending the cell tower ordinance back to planning commission to allow updates that would interest carriers to show more interest in Heard County.

Commissioners adopted the resolution and set the county millage rate at 6.83 mills with no increase in taxes.

Heard County Development Authority Executive Director Kathy Knowles updated the board on Glover Road Park renovations and submitted two proposed plans to the board for questions or comments and approval to move forward.

Some of the plans purposed were taking the steps to update a takeout ramp for kayakers coming from Bush Head Shoals, adding parking area, adding public restrooms next to the gymnasium, resurfacing tennis courts and making two half courts with a fence down the middle allowing two pickup games to take place at one time, and moving the skate park where the basketball court is now.

Knowles proposed moving all this to the county controlled property where the county will be able to keep it under surveillance. She also suggested adding a new pavilion on elevated ground that could be used for family reunions, company picnics or serve as a stage for a band in amphitheater type environment all in a fenced in area so that admission could be charged.

The pavilion would have the ability to hang a screen, so that a screen on the green could be held and people could bring their lawn chairs.

Knowles spoke of revamping the concession stand so it could be opened when an event is going on, moving the playground closer to the concession stand, leaving the walking trail as is, leaving one ball field, leaving the outdoor lighting and upgrading the picnic tables.

Knowles asked the board if they would like her to proceed with proposed plans that would take place in phases so that she could move forward and bring back some prices. The project will be funded by Heard County Development Authority and maintained by the county. The commissioners gave Knowles the approval to move forward.

The commissioners went into executive session to discuss litigation and real estate. The meeting was ajourned.

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