THE PICKENS COUNTY WATER & SEWER AUTHORITY
Water Board Meeting
Thursday, July 18, 2023, at 6:00 pm
Pickens County Administrative Building
I. Call to Order
II. Approval of Minutes
IV. Old Business
A. Price Creek Road
B. Mullinax Road and Gibson Trail Line Installation
V. New Business
A. Tyler – New Computer System Billing Date and Billing Cycle
VI. Cost Reports
Jasper, GA (December 16, 2022) – On Wednesday, December 14, 2022, Kelly Eugene Howard, age 49, of Pickens County, Georgia, was arrested and charged with one count of Sexual Exploitation of Children by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit. The GBI CEACC Unit began an investigation into Howard’s online activity after receiving Cybertip Reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) regarding the possible online possession of child sexual abuse material. This investigation led to a search warrant at Howard’s residence and his subsequent arrest. The GBI CEACC unit was assisted in the execution of their search warrant by the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.
Howard was transported to the Pickens County Jail upon his arrest.
This investigation is part of the ongoing effort by the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, housed within the GBI’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes Unit, to identify those involved in the trade of child sexual abuse material. The ICAC Program, created by the U.S. Department of Justice, was developed in response to the increasing number of children and teenagers using the Internet, the proliferation of child sexual abuse material, and the heightened online activity by predators searching for unsupervised contact with underage victims.
Anyone with information about other cases of child exploitation is asked to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Unit at 404-270-8870 or report via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children CyberTipline at CyberTipline.org.
Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/
Nickolas Ragsdale is 18 years old and was last seen in November 2021 on Robin Rd. in Jasper, Georgia. If you have had any contact with Nickolas or know of his whereabouts, please contact Detective Joe Price at 706-253-8935.
JASPER, Ga – The Pickens County Board of Education had its monthly meeting on Thursday September 8th.
Firstly, Dr. Ron Newcomb, the president of Chattahoochee Technical College, highlighted the success of the college’s collaboration with Pickens County High Schools to provide vocational training to students. This program also allows students to gain college credits in case they choose to further their education in a university.
Secondly, Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) Director Carissa Parker highlighted the federal and state grants the CTAE programs received.
Thirdly, the Chief Financial Officer Amy Smith, broke down the current budget and expenditures made. She highlighted that Pickens County can again boast no debt.
Thirdly, Mr. Wallace gave an update instead of the Chief Operations Officer Stacy Gilleland. He explained that the county is seeking to acquire seven new buses for the next year. The bus orders take a year to be fulfilled. The seven buses will cost around $229,ooo, which the county will pay for out of pocket and receive reimbursement from the state.
The overall goal is to keep the fleet of buses less than ten years old, with up to date security equipment and air conditioning.
Finally, the Board of Education meeting concluded with the members’ approval all the action items.
Georgia State Patrol arrested Tucker after he registered .03 on the Breathalyzer. In Georgia, the legal limit for commercial vehicle drivers is .04% blood alcohol levels. Consequently, the BOE has decided to terminate Tucker’s employment.
Decerbo faces DUI and failure to maintain lane charges. According the Pickens County BOE, there were no indication that she drove her school bus while under the influence. Despite this, the BOE has decided to suspend her until the charges pending against her are resolved.
These two arrests have caused the BOE to review their bus related policies, procedures, and protocols. Furthermore, the BOE will be providing additional training to their staff and outside consultants who play a role in transporting the children of Pickens County.
JASPER, Ga – Pickens County bus driver, Tammy Decerbo, 43, was arrested on Monday and charged with DUI. This is the second Pickens County school bus driver arrested within 72 hours.
According to Pickens County Sheriff’s deputies, Decerbo was observed driving erratically on the road. They performed a traffic stop when she almost drove her gold Honda Accord off E. Church St. She agreed to take a field sobriety test and failed.
The Georgia State Patrol also administered a field sobriety test, which she also failed. She was subsequently charged with DUI.
Although the Pickens County Board of Education released a statement following Jeffrey Tucker’s arrest, they have not yet released a statement regarding Decerbo.
Both Decerbo and Tucker have bonded out of jail.
JASPER, Ga – On the afternoon of Friday, August 19th a Pickens County School District bus had an accident. This was a single vehicle accident, and none of the students needed medical accidents. There were no injuries either.
Afterwards, the Georgia State Patrol arrested Jeffrey Tucker, the bus driver, and initially charged him with DUI, failure to maintain lane, and 40 counts of reckless conduct. District personnel made contact by phone or have left messages for all parents with children on the bus.
Once law enforcement has completed its investigation, the district will conduct its own review into circumstances surrounding this event.
This is an ongoing investigation. At this time, this is all the information available.
JASPER, Ga– The Pickens County Board of Commissioners (BOC) had their monthly work session on Thursday, August 4th at 4:30 pm.
The members of the BOC are: Kris Stancil (Commission Chairman), Josh Tippens (Commission Post 1- West), and Josh Tatum (Commission Post 2- East).
Work sessions are shorter than regular meetings, but they allow participants to focus on specific goals with no interruption. The public is welcome to watch without commentary.
The Work Session agenda kicked off with department head updates. Next, the commissioners discussed the Local Options Sales Tax (LOST). Finally, the work session ended with closing remarks appreciating the sheriff’s department’s presence in the school zones.
Department Head Updates
Firstly, extensive road maintenance has been ongoing throughout the county, but supply chain issues have caused some delays. Contractors have projected to start working on Cove Road between the 16th and the 20th. Grandview’s maintenance will begin after that. But, contractors do not have a start date yet.
Repairs on the water line on Anderson mountain going across South Cove. Additionally, the water line will be an ongoing issue until the pipe can be entirely replaced.
Pickens County is expecting a check for $120,000 for reimbursement for the county’s response to Hurricane Zeta.
Pickens County will host six Mountain Football League football games at Dragon Stadium along with the Girls Flag Football Superbowl on October 29th.
LOST Renegotiation Recap
LOST (Local Options Sales Tax) renegotiation happens every 10 years. On June 10, Pickens County sent a letter to all municipalities to kick off the renegotiations. LOST was voted in 1985 as a “source of replacement revenue from sales tax to offset property taxes.”
The first meeting was on June 22nd to establish the schedule and dispute resolution for the renegotiation process. The Current distribution is 70% for Pickens, 25.7% for Jasper, 2.8% for Nelson, and 1.5% for Talking Rock.
Chairman Stancil expects that the renegotiations will go into mediation. The deadline for an agreement is December 30th.
JASPER, Ga – The Pickens County Board of Commissioners (BOC) had a meeting on Tuesday August 4th at 5:30 pm, right after their work session.
During the meeting, department heads recognized outstanding employees. Additionally, the agenda included the review of old business, a discussion of new business, and a few action items.
The meeting kicked off with an amendment to the agenda. After this, the meeting followed the agenda accordingly.
The Sheriff’s office recognized the following employees for May, June and July.
The Tax Commissioner’s office recognized Kelly as the employee of the quarter. She stands out as an employee with a great attitude, excellent customer service, and for always going above and beyond.
There were no items for the consent agenda.
In the last meeting work session, the BOC proposed to update the Mileage Policy to match the state’s automobile mileage reimbursement policy.
Secondly, the Employee Handbook saw proposed updates which include: the remote work policy, exempt vs. non-exempt status, children at work, administrative leave, vacation time rollover, and county vehicle take home policy.
First off, in September, there will be ACCG Legislative Leadership Conference with training. The BOC approved Chairman Stancil as the delegate to represent Pickens County. Secondly Commissioner Tippens will represent the BOC on the committee reviewing the Comprehensive Plan.
According to Chairman Stancil, action items are to approve minutes from the three meetings on July 21st.
No Guest Comments.
After that, the BOC went into the Executive Session.
PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. – The Pickens County Recreation Department has successfully organized the first all girl flag football team in the county.
For many years, cheerleading and soccer were the only two sports available for elementary and middle school aged girls in the fall. Brian Z Jones, the Director of the Pickens County Recreation Department (PCRD), explained that this was not the first attempt to put the historic team together.
In 2021, the PCRD tried to put a team together when the Mountain Football League wanted “to gauge the interest of girls in flag football,” At the time, despite PCRD’s efforts, there was not enough interest to have a full team.
This year, although there were a few challenges, Pickens County can now boast having a girls flag football team. To make this historic team happen, Director Jones, who is also the coach, had to use all his resources. He explained that as the registration period was closing, there were slots still open. He had to contact parents he worked with “on one of his Rec Basketball teams” to get the word out. With all that said, he was able to assemble nine girls for the current team. Four of these nine girls on the team came directly from the basketball team he coached.
Now that the team has been assembled, the girls have started their practices and are eager to play the sport. Their first game is on August 27th. The rest of the season’s schedule is available on the Mountain Athletic Conference website.
Director Jones hopes to increase participation in youth sports through this new avenue for the young girls of Pickens County. He urges members of the community to get the word out so more girls can participate. His goal is that there will be “Enough girls in 2023 to have three or more teams.”
If you have any questions, please contact Director Brian Z Jones with the PCRD at [email protected].
PICKENS COUNTY, Ga. – On Thursday July 21, Josh Tippens became the sworn in West End Commissioner in Pickens County.
Commissioner Tippens has deep roots in Pickens county, and this is the basis for his pride, drive and passion. He emphasized that he considers himself a “community minded servant leader who loves his family.”
As West-End Commissioner, one of his major goals is to ensure that the people have a voice in their government. During elections, Commissioner Tippens had his ears on the ground. He went door to door to hear exactly what residents were saying about the future of the county.
According to Mr. Tippens, “The voters of Pickens County made it abundantly clear” that they prefer a slow paced growth. To many residents, the county must remain “a rural haven.”
Commissioner Tippens is ready to advocate to preserve the “agricultural integrity of the west-end.”
He said that “at this point in Pickens County’s growth progression, [he does] not believe any high density residential developments or heavy commercial operations are a good fit for the west end.” Of course, growth is part of the development of Pickens County, but right now, his focus is to preserve its rich “history, culture and landscape.”
Commissioner Tippens intends on making sure that the people of District 1 “have a voice at the table” at every meeting. He said, “A majority of District 1 residents placed enough confidence in me to vote on my behalf. And I have every intention of ensuring that they have someone who will fairly represent them. [I will] listen when they have concerns.”
Because of this, his first hurdle is the LOST (Local Options Sales Tax) negotiations that started last week. The LOST is “not to generate more tax revenue for the county.” Instead, it is to “offset the tax burden for property owners.” In the end, as a public servant, Commissioner Tippens continues to encourage responsible growth to ensures the residents of Pickens County are always first.
Come have your picture with Santa on Dec 11th from 1-3pm. Please bring an unwrapped new toy for the Marine Corp Toys for Tots Campaign.