The board discussed the issue at a work session Wednesday, March 17. Board Chairman Allen Poole said he will work with Ming Lim, the Board’s attorney, to see if the county can legally pass an ordinance to determine what time of year logging companies harvest timber.
During the winter months logging trucks cause the frozen, brittle paved roads to crack, Poole said. During the warmer months, the roads are more flexible and less likely to crack.
The ordinance currently requires logging companies to pay a $5,000 bond that is refundable if roads are not damaged.
Lim said he would research if increasing the bond amount or applying multiple bonds for multiple property entrances were allowed in updating the ordinance.
The logging trucks also leave mud on roads, and the board went over preventative measures to add to the ordinance. One option discussed was to have the fire department clean the mud off the roads and then send the bill to the logging companies. Another option was to require trucks to clean their wheels before entering the road.
Board member Vance Posey said there should be a penalty for logging companies that leave roads a mess, but he did not want to put the logging companies out of work.
Poole said he would consult with Haralson County’s Public Works Department and the Permit Office to get their input on the proposed changes to the logging truck ordinance.
In other business, Sandra Tant, chief appraiser for the Haralson County Tax Assessors Office, told the board that the state owes the county $23,888 in reimbursements for the Forest Land Protection Act. The FLPA is a voluntary tax program that allows landowners with 200 acres or more to pay less money in taxes for not developing land. The lost tax revenue is reimbursed to the county by the state.
The board decided to send a letter to the Georgia Department of Revenue to try to obtain the reimbursement.
The next regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners meeting will be at 10 a.m. April 6 at the Haralson County High School Fine Arts Building.