Montgomery Commission Hears Proposal For Athletic Programs “ Teamwork”
A new partnership between Brewton-Parker College and the Montgomery County Recreation Department could facilitate the sharing of facilities and personnel for community athletic programs. New Recreation Department Director Kendall Bennamon presented the proposal for the partnership during the June 14 meeting of the Montgomery County Commission. Bennamon advocated using BPC umpires, referees, scoreboards, and continued from page
volunteers to assist Montgomery County youth programs. He said BPC is interested in the use of the Mount Vernon gym for basketball practices for their junior varsity teams, and in return, will revarnish the gym floors free of charge. County Manager Brandon Braddy is currently reviewing the legal aspects of this action and the project will continue to develop.
This partnership with Brewton-Parker would mark the first time the college, the Recreation Department, and the local school system (the school system and the city of Mount Vernon have a previous partnership involving the city gym and high school track) have all connected for the betterment of athletics in the area.
“This partnership marks the sense of unity arising in Montgomery County and evokes hope for future endeavors, said Commissioner Chad Kenney.
“With BPC being a Christian college, I think it is an amazing thing to see these athletes truly be the hands and feet of Jesus, and I am excited to watch the county’s youth be poured into by athletic role models they may look up to,” Commissioner Ginger Morris commented. Bennamon also informed Commissioners that workers are continuing to work on improving the Recreation Department grounds and facilities, as overgrown vines and greenery are being cleared and the mower has been repaired. Bennamon was also enthusiastic about the county’s 8U Coach Pitch Baseball Team, which will begin play in the state tournament on June 22 in Claxton. Bennamon requested the commissioners to ponder the purchase of a new drag machine for the department. The current machine is not as efficient as necessary and is beginning to suffer wear damage from age. Former Recreation Department Director, Steve McLeod, was recognized by the Commission for his work the last four years to revive the department; McLeod has resigned to pursue other interests but is enthusiastic to return as a volunteer.
Commissioners also voted to approve the installation of three new scoreboards at the recreation fields. Both Altamaha Bank & Trust and Mount Vernon Bank purchased scoreboards. Each contract costs $2,400 and provides advertisement for the banks for five years. Altamaha Bank & Trust is contracted to field one, while Mount Vernon Bank is contracted to fields two and three. County Manager Braddy stated these scoreboards should be manufactured and installed by July 1, when the contract officially begins.
New Ambulance, Truck Arrive Montgomery County Emergency Management Services brought the county’s newest ambulance and pickup truck for commissioners to inspect, which were purchased with a grant from the Community Facilities Loan and Grant Program by the USDA. The vehicles have passed state inspection and will become a tremendous asset to the county’s emergency services units.
The ambulance previously in use was removed from service to undergo a new engine installation; thus, the timing of receiving the newest ambulance is perfect. Commission Chairman Leland Adams echoed this sentiment, adding that the Rural Development Office of the USDA is an important resource to small counties, such as ours.
The ambulance receiving a new engine is the 2013 model; Daniels Chevrolet will install the new engine, and the old engine will be kept in case of need for repairs in other vehicles. Commissioners must choose between the installation of a brand-new engine, which will cost around $18,000, and a preowned engine, which will cost around $14,000.
Montgomery County Road Department Manager Milton Fountain discussed the possible application for another USDA development grant by June 30 for a dump truck for the department. Fountain said, $50,000 is available through this grant, and he plans to work with County Manager Braddy to obtain a quote on the vehicle for this purpose.
Courthouse Repairs and Other Matters Also, Commissioners voted to approve the transfer of funds to the county’s Capital Projects Account to pay for the extensive courthouse repair efforts. These payments will be made as the project is completed and is expected to commence immediately. Commissioners voted to move $15,000 more to this fund to finance the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department’s vehicle improvement projects in exchange for the Commission obtaining a truck formerly used by the Sheriff’s Department.
Renewal of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia IRMA (Inter-local Risk Management Agency) insurance was unanimously approved by Commissioners. This insurance costs $9,279 and aids in the financial protection of property and liability.
Many individuals were appointed to various boards and agencies in the county. Andrea Towns was appointed to a three-year term on the Montgomery County Library Board. Towns is accomplished academically, and County Manager Braddy shares that she will be a “tremendous asset” to the library. Kay McDonald was renewed for a five-year term on the Montgomery County Department of Family and Children Services Board after having completed her current term. Jessie Collins and Zellene Robinson were appointed to the Heart of Georgia Agency on Aging; both individuals have experience serving with the agency.
Commissioners reestablished Ashley Alley as a county road after discovering its removal from the Department of Transportation’s record. Commissioners are unsure why this removal ever occurred. Also, Commissioners added a small (less than a mile) stretch of Largo Drive to DOT records. This area remained undocumented because of the establishment of a new right of way. Montgomery County currently expects $4.5 million in revenue this year, and has already received around $3 million, which is 75% of the budget. The County has only expended 39% of the budget for the year, and currently has $3.79 million cash.