Stephens Co. Makes Payment to Toccoa for Animal Shelter

Stephens County makes a payment to the city of Toccoa in regards to the new animal shelter.

Commissioners unanimously approved a payment to the city of just over $81,000 Tuesday for expenses associated with the cost of the new Toccoa-Stephens County Humane Shelter. The money will come out of contingencies in the county’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget.

Last September, the city of Toccoa agreed to forward fund $200,000 to the shelter provided that the county was responsible for 50 percent of that amount. The county then agreed in September to guarantee that 50 percent. Following some confusion over the wording of what the city and county each agreed to, the two sides clarified in November that each side would cover 50 percent of that $200,000, with officials from both sides saying that it went back to the agreement between Toccoa and Stephens County to cover operations of the new shelter for three years, with each side paying half.

Commissioners approved the payment and the corresponding budget amendment. County commissioners also approved two other budget amendments for human resources and elections that were both within the department.

Elsewhere, Stephens County Commissioners also unanimously approved a budget calendar for Fiscal Year 2014.

Under the approved budget calendar, Stephens County Commissioners would receive a proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget on May 21, hold public hearings on June 11 and June 25, and approve the Fiscal Year 2014 budget at their meeting on June 25.

In other action during Tuesday’s meeting, commissioners approved an election hardware maintenance and support services agreement with Election Systems and Software, LLC in the amount of just under $6,900 a year.

Finally, following an executive session Tuesday, commissioners approved two additional motions.

First, Stephens County Coroner Chris Stephens had a five percent longevity increase approved by the commission over his current base salary. This was necessary, according to county officials, because his base salary was not calculated by population as was those of other constitutional officers when he was first elected. Other constitutional officers received the longevity increase automatically upon re-election per state law.

Second, county commissioners approved $200 per month expense allowances for Stephens County Probate Judge Glenda Ernest, Stephens County Tax Commissioner Dene Hicks, and Stephens County Clerk of Court Tim Quick effective on July 1. Sheriff Randy Shirley already received this expense allowance.

Both motions were approved unanimously.