Also at a work session Tuesday, Forsyth County commissioners:
• Discussed modifying the solid waste ordinance to offer incentives to hauling companies that feature recycling, have an office in the county or use the landfill here. Offering recycling to customers would not be mandated.
Companies would also be required to submit quarterly data reports.
• Awarded $435,000 in social services grants to local nonprofits that work with Juvenile Court.
The recommendations of the social services committee were approved, except Jesse's House received an additional $26,000 that had previously been set in reserve.
• Set hours for the three county recreation centers as recommended by the parks and recreation board. The centers will net an additional four hours for an estimated cost of $3,000 this year.
• Adopted the five-year master plan for the parks and recreation system after reviewing the financial appendix.
• Approved the sites and purchase of five outdoor warning sirens from Loudoun Communications for $87,175 from the fire reserve fund.
The sirens will be placed at Fire Station 7, Ducktown and Windermere parks and Big Creek and Midway elementary schools.
• Granted a bid for a traffic signal at Peachtree Parkway and Stoney Point Road for about $69,000 to North Cherokee Electrical Contractors.
The funding will come from 1-cent sales tax revenue. The state Department of Transportation will provide materials.
• Accepted a bid to improve the Old Atlanta-Gilbert Road crossing for about $394,000 from Martin Contracting, to be funded from 1-cent sales tax funds.
Discussion raised questions about revising the local business initiative, since a Forsyth business did not qualify for the bid boost based on number of employees living in the county.
Note: All votes were 5-0 unless otherwise noted.
-- Alyssa LaRenzie
Forsyth commissioners have agreed to sell the county’s option to purchase a small piece of land for $25,000.
The property, which is three-hundredths of an acre, is owned by LaRose Manton and leased to Sprint for a cell tower.
The county had a right to purchase the small parcel based on a 2004 option agreement signed when Forsyth bought the property surrounding it, County Attorney Ken Jarrard said.
A possible use for the site on Lanier 400 Parkway may have triggered the option agreement then, Jarrard said, but commissioners couldn’t think of a current reason.
During a work session Tuesday, Commissioner Pete Amos said if the county doesn’t need the property, then “I look at it as $25,000 we don’t have.”
Under the option, the county could buy the site under an appraisal process at any point during the lease, but would have to consider the revenue stream from the cell tower in that price, Jarrard said.
When the lease expired in 2022, he said the county could then buy the .03 acre for an appraised price based on value of the land only.
The owner offered the buy-out earlier this month, but the commission had some questions about the revenue from the lease and delayed its decision.
Jarrard reported Tuesday that the lease is expected to generate nearly $300,000 over its course.
Commissioners ultimately decided in a 4-1 vote that without a need for the property, there was no reason to buy it from the owner. Chairman Jim Boff voted against the measure.
According to county records, the tax assessor’s office valued the site at $43,750 in 2011.