Greene County Commission adopts resolutions on 4 mil property tax increase, Streetscape II Project and Sales Tax Holiday

On Monday, June 8, 2020, the Greene County Commission held its regular monthly meeting at the William M. Branch Courtroom, with social distancing and masks. All members of the Commission were present.
The Commission passed a resolution to authorize a procedure for a four (4) mil increase in property tax, which can be approved locally without Legislative approval, since the earlier proposal for a 5 mil increase did not receive legislative consideration in the shortened session.
The 4 mil proposal includes 2 mils for the Greene County Health System, 1 mil for the Commission General Fund and 1 mil to be divided between Parks and Recreation, Senior feeding programs, storm shelters and the Public Works Department for matching funds on state funded projects.
This 4 mil tax increase will still be subject to a county-wide referendum on the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot and must be approved by a majority of Greene County voters. One mil of ad valorem property tax currently generates about $165,000 in tax revenues. The 4 mil increase would generate $650,000 in new revenues to be split among the agencies, with half going to the health system for the hospital, nursing home, and physicians clinic.
The Commission approved a resolution to allow the Greene County Industrial Development Authority (GCIDA) to make an application for an $873,000 grant from the ALDOT for a Streetscape II grant to repair and replace the inside sidewalks around the Old Courthouse Square. The resolution also provides that the GCIDA will be responsible for raising the 20% matching funds if the grant is approved.
The City of Eutaw has received a grant of $640,000 for improvements to the outer sidewalk areas around the Old Courthouse Square and is currently working on the engineering details to do this work. Matching funds for this Streetscape I project were provided by the City of Eutaw, Greene County Commission and GCIDA.
Since the Greene County Commission owns the Old Courthouse Square, in the center of the county, it had to authorize the application of funds for the Streetscape II Project.
The Commission also approved a resolution to support the ‘2020 Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday” on July 14-19, 2020.
Brenda Burke, County Administrator gave a financial report showing the county finances remain solvent and generally within budget for the eight months ending May 2020. The Commission approved payment of $ 484,149 in bills and claims including $283,558 for the General Fund.
Burke asked the Commission for directions and instructions on reopening the Courthouse for regular business after the Coronavirus closing. She indicated that the procedure was to allow a limited number of people into the Courthouse at any one time, to allow for social distancing. A staff person is needed to monitor the front door and allow people to enter in an orderly fashion. The Commission agreed to check with the Sheriff to see if a deputy could be assigned to help monitor the front door.
In other actions, the Greene County Commission:
• Agreed to consider a new contract with Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) for health insurance coverage for employees
• Agreed to modify the county’s Rebuild America Plan to include pipes and riprap purchase for Flag Road
• Agreed to proposals from the County Engineer with regard to the 2020 ADECA Community Block Grant Program for $350,000 with a $35,000 matching requirement; and awarding of a contract for Program Administration to Grant Management LLC for these funds.
• Approved utilizing the Eutaw Activity Center for COVID-19 testing on June 16, 2020; and working with other agencies in the county to expand testing and spread testing sites to communities around the county.

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