County Commission Chairman Billy Croker asked the group to complete plans to consolidate animal control and building inspection and move on to other issues. He is interested in ways of dealing with increasing crime statistics.
He presented the idea of “declaring war on drugs” and called for a meeting of police chiefs, mayors, managers, council members and others who wish to address this topic.
“I have asked County Manager Jim Bramblett to contact J.P. Foster to attend such a meeting,” he said. “We need undercover agents to help us do something about drug-related crime.”
Croker believes that more needs to be done. He pointed out that more arrests should be made, not just street dealers who are selling drugs to support a habit.
“We need to go after the big boys,” he added.
Larry Pittman, Aragon councilman, drew attention to the fact that law enforcement agencies are too fragmented. He agreed that more consolidation is needed. Rockmart City Manager Jeff Ellis pointed out that every community has the same type of crime and problems as Atlanta. “They just have more of it,” he said.
Croker referenced a previous effort to consolidate police services and a $25,000 study that was completed. However, he added, it was never done. “Let’s get animal control and building inspection done and move on to other consolidation efforts.”
Prior to these comments, Galloway introduced the subject of a site for the animal control facility. She reminded the group of the previous meeting when Bramblett explained the location at the old landfill site was not suitable.
He said that several bores at the proposed location (old landfill off U.S. Highway 278) had revealed the area was garbage bound, excluding a small portion of the parcel in front of the property.
Bramblett said Rockmart has a four-acre site in the 101 Park and Cedartown has a four-acre site on Fifth Street. Both parcels are good, he said. He explained the Cedartown site has sewer service available, but the one near Rockmart would have to have a six-inch line run about 400 feet.
Ellis acknowledged $500,000 has been allocated from SPLOST funds for the project. He expressed concern not to build a “Cadillac” facility but one that is functional and flexible.
Cedartown City Manager Barry Atkison suggested that an appraiser be hired to determine price. “Instead of swapping money, we can swap out participation sometime later in the contract,” he said. He also agreed that the animal control center could operate from the existing sites, now located in Rockmart and Cedartown.
Ms. Galloway urged Ellis to determine cost of the availability of the 101 parcel and to get the intergovernmental agreement signed. Both Cedartown and
Aragon have given a green light to the project. The group also reviewed a final draft of a proposed animal control ordinance. Noted was that there will be no night drop off, owners will be held responsible for damage to property, no unclaimed animals will be turned over to labs for experimentation and the animal control director has the right to refuse adoptions.
Following other discussion, Ms. Galloway asked the group to make needed decisions. “Let’s get busy on the location, tie it down, work on the building specifications, get it out to bid and move forward. We can sit and talk every month but that doesn’t get the job done.”
She directed attention to the next issue on the group’s consolidation agenda – building inspection. This will include codes, development regulations and similar issues. Ellis was named chairman of a sub-committee to view the proposed consolidation. He will work with Atkison, Bramblett and Pittman.