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Citizens packed the courthouse for the Aug. 29 commission meeting with many speaking against proposed changes. A workshop with commissioners and planning and zoning board members from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13.

County okays first reading of UDC changes

Commissioners approved the first reading of the Pike County Unified Development Code (UDC) at their Wednesday, Jan. 10 meeting. Planning and Zoning director Jeremy Gilbert addressed the board about the UDC, noting that it had been cleaned up with changes requested by both citizens and commissioners. He noted that commissioners can make changes through the UDC’s second reading approval.

“We have been going through this process for a number of months and we have had many meetings to get this right,” he said. “This document represents all the input from the board and from citizens.”

Gilbert also noted that he has met with the county attorney to discuss aspects of the UDC that are necessary to meet the requirements of zoning procedures law. Commission chairman Briar Johnson noted that changes need to be made to R2 requirements in regards to requiring citizens to have public sewer. Commissioners unanimously approved the first reading of the UDC.

The second hearing will be held at the commission’s Jan. 30 meeting. The county’s moratorium on zoning change and subdivision requests ends Feb. 1 or when the UDC is approved.

The board also discussed county finances with county manager Brandon Rogers noting that due to the delay in property tax collection, the county’s general fund dropped below $200,000 and a temporary transfer of funds from ARPA fund into the general fund.

“We expect the tax commissioner to transfer the taxes collected so far to us any day and the funds moved will be replaced,” said Rogers.

A request by the Pike County Water Authority for $66,000 for an upgrade in water line sizes was denied by commissioners.

“If they have the money in the account to take care of it, they need to use what they have and if they need anything in the future, they can come back to us,” said commissioner Tim Guy.

Rogers noted that the county has already obligated ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds to other projects which would have made it difficult to fulfill the Water Authority’s request.

The county also:

• Approved Tim Daniel as the vice chairman for the board of commissioners for 2024.

• Heard that there were no applicants for the tax accessors board and that the opening would be advertised again.

• Discussed a Freedom from Smoking program for county employees that could help improve employee health. A motion was made to approve for six months but failed due to the lack of a second.

• Discussed a request from 20 citizens for speed bumps in Ranchland Estates. It was noted that the cost would be around $810 per set of the 11 requested and more than 5,000 vehicles travel through the subdivision in a month. Commissioners approved installing six sets of speed bumps.

• Approved the surplus of four vehicles and one tractor, including a 2005 Pontiac Bonneville, a 2006 Chevrolet Impala, a 2010 Dodge Charger and a New Holland Ford 1620 HST Tractor. Items are usually sold on govdeals.com.

• Approved use of the courthouse grounds for A Day of Giving, organized by the Concerned Citizens for Pike/NAACP on Jan. 15.

• Discussed qualifying fees being based on salary and approved the following qualifying fees, $424.08 for county commission chairman, $385.53 for commissioners, $1,660.34 for tax commissioner, $1,660.34 for clerk of superior court, $1,693.55 for magistrate judge, $1,927.66 for sheriff, $367.53 for coroner, $61.50 for school board District 3, $84.00 for school board District 4 and $57.48 for school board District 5. Qualifying for the May 21 general election is set for March 4 at 9 a.m. to March 8 at noon. Qualifying must be done at the board of election office at 81 Jackson Street in Zebulon.

• Held several executive sessions and reconvened to agree to allow the new hire for the finance office a week of vacation.

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