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MoCo Passes Redistricting Plan

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Montgomery County’s redistricting plan, passed unanimously November 8 by the County Commission, has been adopted by the Georgia Legislature and incorporated into the state redistricting maps. The new Senate and House district maps are now on Governor Brian Kemp’s desk and awaiting his signature.

In the new county redistricting map, Montgomery County returns to having five voting districts instead of four. Commissioners selected Plan 2 from the three redistricting plan proposals provided by the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office of the Georgia General Assembly. In Plan 2, Montgomery County will remain with the same number of representatives on both the Commission and Board of Education, but District 3 now encompasses most of the neighborhoods adjacent to the Montgomery County Elementary School in Ailey.

District 3 is now a minority-majority district, with Commissioner Clarence Thomas and Board of Education Member Eugene “Pete” Ward representing the area. The creation of this District removes some of the territory represented by Commissioner Ginger Morris and Board of Education Member Debra Gay, but Morris and Gay, along with Thomas and Ward, were in complete support of the new plan. Another change the plan brings about is that Board of Education Members Gay and Ward will have to run for two-year terms upon their next reelection before returning to the normal four-year term. This is to regulate the offset years of elections so that the entire board is not up for reelection at the same time. Gay and Ward were included in the work session and decision regarding this topic because of the impact that the decision had on them.

Other minimal changes of territory come with this redistricting plan for all members of the Commission based on population. Insurance Premium Tax Allocation Commissioners approved the allocation of funds from the tax on insurance premiums within the county to the Rural Fire Protection and Solid Waste Collection county agencies. The county received a total of $378,753.70 in revenue from the Insurance Premium Tax in FY2021. Every year, Commissioners select county agencies or offices to receive this funding.

This year, the Commission voted to transfer $129,000 of that revenue to the Rural Fire Protection Agency and $259,753.70 to the Solid Waste Collection Agency. Both of these agencies primarily serve the unincorporated areas and will use this money for improvements.

Speed Ordinance Amendment Adoption

The final reading and adoption of the speed limit changes within the county occurred at the regular Commission meeting on November 8. This adoption comes after many months of study by engineers regarding the roadways.

The amendment will now be sent to the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Department of Public Safety to be enacted. Law enforcement now has the ability to enforce these speed limits through radar detection.

Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance Amendment

Commissioners voted to adopt the previously proposed amendment of the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance to combine the licensure process for both the sale of wine and malt beverages for off-site consumption.

The major change that accompanies this combination of policies is that the sale and distribution of these beverages will only be available from 8 a.m. until 12 a.m. on Monday through Sunday, with no distribution to occur within the County on Sunday. Oconee Drug Task Force Contract The contract between the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners and the Oconee Drug Task Force was renewed for another year to provide the County with drug enforcement services.

This one-year agreement costs the County $13,379, which is paid for with the Sheriff’s Operating Budget. This task force serves multiple governments within the area and aids Dodge, Wheeler, Pulaski, Montgomery, and Telfair Counties and Eastman, McRae-Helena, and Alamo law enforcement.

Dump Truck Lease

The Commission approved providing the Montgomery County Road Department with a new Kenworth dump truck, which will be leased through BancorpSouth Equipment Finance. The lease lasts for six years, during which the County will pay $2,226 a month. The grand total of the lease is $148,279.

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