Plans Move Forward for Montgomery’s New EMS Building
Montgomery County’s plans to build a new Emergency Medical Services building took a step forward last week. In its regular September 13 session, the Montgomery County Commission adopted a resolution to authorize the application for a USDA Rural Development loan for up to a $1.4 million to construct an approximately 4,000-squarefoot Emergency Medical Services building on Earth Saver Drive. County Manager Brandon Braddy explained that the USDA loan will be made available to the county with a long-term, fixed interest rate (2.25%) and will be serviced out of SPLOST. He said the projected cost, which has been calculated at $200+ per square foot, may be adjusted downward if bids come in under the estimates.
The structure will replace an inadequate and outdated building that previously served as a portable school classroom. During the session, the Commission approved hiring SP Design Group of Macon as architect for the EMS building. The Commission also agreed to hire the firm to design modifications for the Sheriff’s Office. This construction will accommodate COVID safe distancing provisions in the office and will be paid for through American Rescue Plan Act funding. The ARPA funding coming to Montgomery County totals $1.78 million that will be allocated in two payments. Of this total, $1.25 million will go toward broadband development and the remainder will be allotted to the construction at the sheriff’s office.
The Commission also adopted a resolution to request from the Georgia Department of Transportation that additional safety measures be put in place at the intersection of State Routes 130 and 135. Multiple wrecks and fatalities have occurred at this intersection where Highways 130 and 135 and Petross Road converge.
In other matters, the Commission approved the first reading of an amendment to the county ordinance regarding setting speed limits on various county roads, but the action was later rescinded when the County was notified by the DOT that further modifications need to be made to the amendment. A new resolution including the DOT’s recommendations will be introduced, and the process of amending the ordinance will be reinitiated.
The Commission approved refunding $1,351.67 in property taxes to Bobby and Melinda Gibbs. Braddy said the refund would be handled through the County’s Tax Commissioner through the collections budget. The Commission is authorized to refund taxes for up to seven years. In his report on County finances, Braddy related that at the end of August, 66.7% of the year had elapsed. Budgeted revenue and expenditures are $4,500,185.00, year-to-date actual revenues are $3,950,285.29 and expenses are $2,999,081.34, so on August 31, revenues exceeded expenses by $951,203.95. The Commission approved the Local Government Scrap Tire Abatement Reimbursement Program Agreement and declared nine acres of timber at 208 Earth Saver Driver as surplus property. The Commission authorized the sale of this timber (estimated at 891 tons) and for the invitation for bids to commence.
EMA Director Donnie Daniels reported that the County will begin regular siren tests on October 6 using the new Community Emergency Alert station on the campus on Brewton-Parker College. The tests will be conducted the first Wednesday of each month at noon. An Emergency Alert System linked to the county’s 911 center will alert the community when threatening weather is imminent. The siren can be heard from one mile away or more. The project, which may be used as a model for other communities, was funded through a grant.