Haralson County commissioners addressed a shortage of office space for county business, approved new fines for animal control violations, and honored a veteran educator for 40 years of service, during their Feb. 5 regular meeting.
Chairman Allen Poole announced to those attending the session that the county was “fast growing out of space” to conduct its business, and so he had led a delegation to visit a site in Cobb County, where school officials want to sell some portable buildings.
During the meeting, the commissioners authorized using SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) funds allocated for county building improvements to purchase and transport at least six of the buildings to sites prepared in Haralson County.
The commissioners also voted to approve new fines for violations of animal control ordinances so as to make them more in line with other jurisdictions. Examples of the fines approved by the commissioners were:
• A $100 fine for violators of the leash law (double for repeat offenders)
• A $200 fine for failure to vaccinate for rabies
• A $300 fine for failure to control an animal, constituting a public nuisance
The commissioners also honored veteran educator Rozie Rosser with a proclamation declaring Feb. 20 – her 90th birthday – to be “Rozie Almon Lewis Rosser Day.”
Ms. Rosser was born in Waco on Feb. 20, 1920, and was the first African-American woman in the county to receive a college degree, first earning a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics in 1946 from Fort Valley State College, then earning a master’s degree in Education from Clark Atlanta University in 1972.
She was an educator for 40 years, beginning at the Tallapoosa Colored School, where she had been a student. She went on to teach at several other schools before retiring in 1986.
In presenting the proclamation, Poole declared that “it is not every day that we get a chance to honor a pioneer in our community,” and noted that it was appropriate that Ms. Rozzer be honored during February, recognized nationally as Black History Month.
Upon receiving the proclamation, Ms. Rosser received a standing ovation from those attending the commission meeting, which included a number of her family and friends.
She said the honor “means a lot to me, and to my family,” adding, “I love Haralson County, and I love the people of Haralson County.”
In other business, County Surveyor Gregory Dewberry reported to the commissioners that work will soon resume at the recreational facility being built near the Senior Center.
The project had been suspended during the winter season after there were delays last year in finding a contractor to perform the kind of precise grading and leveling needed for athletic fields. Dewberry reported that grass planted to cap the fields over the season had protected them, and that sodding would begin at one football field and a soccer field within a few weeks, along with building restrooms and a concession area.
Dewberry noted that by May, the $200,000 balance of SPLOST funding the project could be exhausted due to lower-than-expected sales tax revenue.
On another matter, Dewberry reported that work to raze the Summerville Motel in the Corinth community was on hold pending a report from a consultant hired to determine whether the structure had asbestos or lead. The presence of such contaminants, Dewberry explained, would determine whether debris from demolishing the site would have to go to a specialized facility, or could be disposed of in a standard landfill.
Last fall, the county acquired ownership of the property following a protracted dispute with its owners, acting upon complaints from neighboring residents and businesses that the motel had become a haven for transients and illicit activity. They plan to raze the property and recoup costs of the demolition and taxes owed by selling the land.
Dewberry said the report from the asbestos assessment was expected back within the week.
The commissioners also voted to re-appoint former commissioner Charles Sanders to serve another term on the Hospital Authority Board.
Also, county commissioners tabled action to authorize the purchase of new computing equipment for HPI (Haralson Progressive Industries).