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County may reimburse for towing in first storm
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Forsyth County News

Other action


Also during its work session Tuesday, the Forsyth County commission approved the following:

* Service agreements with beBetter Health Inc. to provide a tobacco cessation service on a per-diem basis as part of the county's wellness plan, and with Summit Health Inc. to provide annual health screening services and flu shots.

* A release claim for property damages in the amount of $25,000. The claim stems from a vehicle accident in which a county roads and bridges truck was damaged by another driver.

* Software installation and package renewals for several different departments.

* Grants that will be used by the Emergency Management Agency director to attend training; to provide materials for the community emergency response program; and for senior nutrition programs.

* Requests from the parks and recreation department to bid for site work at Central Park in preparation of new playground equipment, and for field renovations at Midway Park, which include realigning the field and other improvements.

* F.E. Sims Enterprises Inc.’s bid of $644,000 to add turn lanes and a traffic signal at Old Alpharetta and Caney/Pine Grove roads.

* Installing a sound barrier wall at Fire Station 7 for about $55,000.

* An agreement between Forsyth County and Safe Kids Worldwide to form a Safe Kids Forsyth local coalition, which the fire department would manage.

* Authorizing the engineering department to acquire right of way on Church Road in order to improve and widen it.

* A right-of-way exchange agreement for Chattahoochee Pointe Drive.

* Reappointments of parks and recreation board member Kimberly Board; Commissioner Cindy J. Mills and GMRC employee Nancy Smallwood to the social services; and Tom Brown, director of planning, to the Lanier Joint Development Authority. Brian Tam was appointed to the transportation committee and Ryan Arnold, county grants manager, to social services.

* Directed county attorney to place affidavits in the chain of title for the Manor Golf and Country Club regarding a reuse agreement.

* Ratified CitiMortgage excess tax funds agreement for $24,500.


-- Crystal Ledford

As another round of winter weather approached, Forsyth County commissioners discussed the possibly of helping some motorists whose vehicles were towed during January's frigid blast.

During a work session Tuesday, the commission voted 5-0 to direct County Attorney Ken Jarrard to draft a measure that could potentially allow people who abandoned their vehicles on county roads to be reimbursed for expenses incurred after they were towed.

County Manager Doug Derrer told commissioners he had received five requests for reimbursement. He said the costs appear to be between $150 and $200 each.

Citing information from authorities, Derrer said about 50 vehicles were towed between Jan. 28-30 in Forsyth as motorists struggled to drive. His staff also checked to see if nearby counties were planning to reimburse for towing expenses.

"Fulton, Cherokee and Gwinnett, at the time we did this research, they were not providing any kind of refunds," Derrer said. "From DeKalb County down, those counties were providing some form of refund and/or a tow fee and even perhaps lot fees."

Commissioners Pete Amos and Cindy Jones Mills noted they had received a few calls and emails from residents about the matter.

"I even spoke with one man who said a deputy was there and the deputy advised them to leave the cars there [on a roadway]," Mills said. "He went back the next day and his car had been towed."

Amos asked Jarrard about any sort of liability the county could incur from providing reimbursements.

"I don't know. I think if the board is inclined to do this, I would respectfully ask that you give me some instruction and let me put together a resolution for you," Jarrard said. "I'd like to just double down on the legality of it.”

Commissioner Todd Levent questioned how the county would determine eligibility.

"Obviously, we're going to give you a finite window of the days ... and then we'll just have to link it up to the weather-event driving," Jarrard said.

Levent and Mills said they wanted to ensure the county would be protected from paying fees incurred as a result of a wreck.

"We don't want to get into the accident business," Mills said.

Derrer sought to clarify that the resolution would apply only to the Jan. 28 to 30 time frame.

"That's what we're going to lock it down by are those discreet dates of the last storm," said Jarrard, adding that the same practice probably would not be available for every winter storm.