by Robin Kemp
The Clayton County Board of Commissioners meets Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. to address numerous budget amendments and zoning requests, as well as sign off on funding for upgrades to the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department closed-circuit security control system, an annual contract between Central Services and Redspeed Georgia, LLC for automated school zone speed detection services (with the county getting a 71.5 percent cut each month for citations), and a subscription to CLEAR Proflex data services for the Clayton County Police Department (giving them access to live booking information, arrest records, mugshots, license plate detections, and “billions of cell phone, landline, TracFone, business, and VoIP records delivered in real-time”).
The board will take up a resolution to issue $72 million in general obligation bonds. Voters approved these bonds, which will pay for improvements to county and municipal facilities. Some of the many examples include:
- Broad Street Plaza in Jonesboro
- more green space for Lake City
- financial software upgrades for Morrow
- sidewalks for Lovejoy
- public safety vehicles for Riverdale
- park and greenway improvements for Forest Park
- a county administration building
- a library for Rex
- two pedestrian walkways “over heavily traveled roads”
- new HVAC, sewer, roof, ceiling, flooring and electrical for the Harold R. Banke Justice Center
- various major repairs to county recreation centers
The bond maturity date is Feb. 1, 2027 and the registered owner is Wells Fargo Municipal Capital Strategies, LLC.
Activist Eric Bell of Clayton County Young Democrats has called for others to join him during public comment to demand reforms in the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office following the arrest of Roderick Walker. Walker was granted $25,000 bond and transferred to the Fulton County Jail Monday night after a large demonstration Sunday. Sheriff Victor Hill fired but did not identify one deputy for use of excessive force. Bell is also calling for legalization of marijuana and implementation of the “Eight Can’t Wait” police reform agenda.
The board also will consider a resolution for the county “to accept abandoned property for official use by the Clayton County Police Department.” This order is for numerous items, such as televisions, all kinds of jewelry, firearms and accessories, knives of every description, a sword, a machete, cell phones, tools, a Chanel clutch purse, a Taser, an Xbox, laptops, a toy truck with remote control, and (for the health-conscious) a pullup bar.
The BOC will vote on a change to civil service rules that would allow county employees to get paid if an emergency closes their offices. If the emergency is less than seven business days, those who are relieved from work would get regular pay, while those who are required to work would get regular pay plus annual leave for hours worked. If the emergency is seven business days or longer, the BOC would pass a resolution setting their pay.
Back for consideration is a zoning amendment that would create an “INDP” district, “specifically for office administration, logistics operations, warehousing and other light industrial operations.” The Zoning Advisory Group recommended denial on Aug. 3 and the text amendment was sent to the Aug. 25 work session, when it was tabled.
A request by Karunanidhi Properties LLC to modify plans to build a hotel at Forest Parkway and I-85 is being recommended for approval with conditions in District 2 (Commissioner Gail Hambrick).
Also up for consideration in District 2 is a development of 121 single-family attached townhomes (The Townes at Flat Shoals), which would go up in a single-family residential area zoned RS-180. The property is about 25 acres and fronts West Fayetteville Road, just east of the Castlegate subdivision near Flat Shoals Park. The applicant is Battle Law, P.C. on behalf of Blackstone Investment Company. Planning and Zoning has recommended approval with conditions.
Mapilar Dahn, founder and CEO of MTS Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc. and mother of three kids with sickle cell, will be recognized for her contributions to sickle cell awareness (September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month and Dahn will be a guest on an upcoming episode of The Real Story with Robin Kemp).
Here’s the short version of the agenda and the longer agenda packet with all the supplemental documents for your reading pleasure. We’ve embedded the video for your convenience:
You can attend the meeting at 112 Smith St., Jonesboro, if you wear a mask and follow social distancing requirements, or you can watch the meeting live or at a later date, both online and on CCTV23, Clayton County’s government access channel (23 on Comcast, 99 on ATT-U-verse). Here’s a map so you can find the meeting: