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County approves Sunday sales referendum

Commissioners voted 3-2 at the April 11 meeting to approve a resolution so voters can decide whether Sunday sales of alcohol will be allowed in the county. ’We had some calls and visits from citizens. This is a volatile issue in some areas of the state and not in others, so it’s back on the agenda for review and comments,’ said county manager Bill Sawyer. Commissioner Carol Bass said she checked with her constituents and they disapproved allowing the referendum by about 10-1. ’This is an opportunity for the people to decide,’ commissioner Don Collins said. ‘This should be put on the referendum to allow them to vote it up or down.’ Commissioner Tommy Powers said he spoke with local convenience store owners and his minister and he does not support the resolution. ’I was bitterly opposed to this when we first made the decision,’ he said. ‘I still don’t feel like I can support it.’ Commissioner Tamra Jarrett also said the issue should be brought before the citizens of Pike and seconded a motion to do so made by Collins. Commissioners Bass and Powers opposed the resolution but chairman Doug Mangham’s vote passed the issue 3-2. Commissioners also discussed an Environmental Protection Division fine of $3,000 paid by Pike for burning solid waste when limbs and trees from county property between the West Central Georgia Pre-Release Center and the recycling center in February. ’The county has 400 square miles of trees that fall and drop limbs. We were trying to take care of that problem as cost-effectively as possible,’ Sawyer said. Collins brought up a recent case from the EPD against Williamson for burning a brush pile with all the trash removed. ’I was there when Williamson carefully pulled out anything that was household item and they still got cited,’ he said. ‘I believe we’ve been over-regulated by the EPD. Williamson received an apology from the EPD so just because the EPD says it’s wrong doesn’t make it wrong. Mayor Steve Fry was successful in his pursuit of justice.’ The county also: ’¢ Denied a request for closure of Johnson Road due to animals and debris being dumped there. ’¢ Approved a letter stating no objection to the state issuing a one-day alcohol license to the Pike County Chamber of Commerce for a golf tournament fundraiser at The Cedars on May 7. ’¢ Adjusted the budget calendar for fiscal year 2012-13 from May 11 to May 24 for the proposed budget. ’¢Â Approved a 30-day temporary construction easement for Motes Road. ’¢ Approved a tax refund/relief application by Dr. Frank Kirby for $1,713.95 as the Pike part of an overpayment for leased equipment erroneously billed as owned with a duplicate payment received by the lessor, resulting in overpayment by the business owner. ’¢ Heard from public works director Todd Goolsby that 52 work orders were filled and 32 vehicles were serviced and repaired last month with work continuing on New Hope, Sullivan and Tanyard roads. Mowers will begin on county roads this week.

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