With a single vote, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved several items, including an agreement to transfer the West Georgia Technical College campus back to the county.
The resolution with West Georgia Technical College (WGTC) asks that the existing WGTC campus return to Carroll County once the new campus has been completed on the Highway 166 Bypass.
The item was among those the commissioners had agreed to place on a consent agenda during their recent work session. Those are items the panel have already discussed and agreed only require an up or down vote. By voting to approve the consent agenda, a government body approves all the items simultaneously.
In a letter to commission Chairman Michelle Morgan and the other commissioners, WGTC President Julie Post said there was always an understanding and agreement between state, county, and city representatives that the property would revert back to Carroll County.
Additionally, Post said that when the construction on the new campus is complete, “WGTC has no continued interest in occupying the original Carroll campus facility or the land associated with it.”
Also on the consent agenda was an agreement to partner with the City of Carrollton to create a regional park.
The city-county partnership with the Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program required the board to approve of $366,125 on their end to go toward connecting and constructing new trails in Carrollton and unincorporated Carroll County along the Tallapoosa River connecting Hobbs Farms with Little Tallapoosa Park.
The program will provide an opportunity for both local governments to collaborate in the planning, execution, and funding to create a regional park for the entire west Georgia area. The Carrollton City Council has already approved their end of the project.
The board also approved an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Whitesburg for the county to provide demolition and site work services for a new City Hall.
The new Whitesburg City Hall will be funded by SPLOST funds, possible grants, as well as assistance from the Carroll County BOC, who agreed to help with funds and work associated with clearing and grading the site on which the 3,600-square foot structure will be built.
The facility will include offices for city hall and the police department, meeting chambers for the mayor and council, a courtroom, and a few offices to accommodate future growth.
Other features that will be included in the structure are LED lighting and a video/sound system that will benefit the mayor and council at their meetings and other public use of the conference room.
After the consent items were approved, the board then held two presentations.
The first presentation was to recognize seven new graduates for Carroll County Fire Rescue.
During the presentation, Chief Tim Padgett read off the names while the graduates shook hands with the commissioners before receiving their certificate of completion.
A second presentation was presented virtually by Carroll County Sheriff Terry Langley. The presentation focused on Red Ribbon Week, which serves as a catalyst to mobilize communities to educate youth and encourage participation in drug prevention activities.
Carroll County Commission Chairman Michelle Morgan then dedicated the week of Oct. 23 through Oct. 31, as Red Ribbon Week in Carroll County.
The commissioners also approved three requests for zoning modifications.
The first was an application requesting the conditional use of a piece of property near Temple that would host weddings and/or other events.
No one opposed the plan during a public hearing and the board approved the request by a 6-0 vote.
But a plan to rezone 8.88 acres of land near Whitesburg did meet opposition.
Mike and Donna Holder were asking to rezone two parcels of land off Highway 16 from agricultural to commercial, then obtain a conditional use permit to operate a mini-warehouse storage facility. During the public hearing, one citizen spoke against the plan.
“I don’t have a problem with what he is trying to do,” said Kenny Yancey, Whitesburg resident. “But, this affects me. I will be the one who has to see this.
“I don’t know what his plan does, and I’m sure everyone will be able to rent it. But, I don’t want it to be at my cost. The house I built myself and have to look at that.”
According to county planner Janet Hyde, the staff and county Planning Commission recommended denial of the request.
Regardless, the board found that the applicant addressed all of the citizen’s concerns and upheld the request with additional conditions to be addressed, such as lights.
The board approved this request with a 5-1 vote, with Morgan casting the “no” vote.
Lastly, the commissioners considered an application to split a one-acre tract of land containing a house from a 24-acre plot, and to rezone the one-acre tract from agricultural to residential.
Three citizens spoke out against this request due to the uncertainty of the developers plans. One resident, Merrilee Brown, said that her biggest concern is the constant changes in the plans.
“I just need some clarification,” said Brown. “When I came last week, he said he only wanted one acre because a family he was selling to could not afford four acres of land.
“Now, his story is completely changing. So, I just need clarification.”
However, after hearing both sides, the commissioners approved the request by a 4-2 vote.