Commission Gives Update on Projects in the County; Closes FY 2020 Budget


Three projects in the county are moving forward as county commissioners get an update on phase 1 of CARES Act spending and final budget numbers for Fiscal Year 2020.

The first three storm shelters for Dade County are almost ready for groundbreaking. EMA Director Alex Case said the RFP’s were sent out and only one bid was returned and another company responded they would be unable to bid on the project. Others had called, but no bids were submitted. The company commissioners approved for the manufacturing, delivery, and installation of the storm shelters is from Alabama and has supplied shelters to other counties. Total cost of the three shelters, which will be multipurpose use for the communities and will have power, heat and air, and bathrooms, is $1,276,290.  A grant from FEMA will pay $957,270.50 toward the shelters with a grant from GEMA paying $127,629 and the county’s share of up to $191,043.50 pending approval of the bid by GEMA and FEMA. The first three shelters will be installed at the four fields recreation complex, at South Dade community center and at Davis Elementary School.

Work continues on the Lookout Lake Dam project and Commissioner Allan Bradford said the project was on time and the lake ended up not being as low as people thought it would be. Bradford said the project should be done on time.

Also moving forward is the courthouse renovation. Donna Street with the Trenton Dade Historic Preservation Commission said that the Committee had applied for and received two grants. The first was the Historical building survey for the city of Trenton and the survey would be complete by the end of the week, but they are reporting 462 homes within city limits as forty years or older. The second grant from the state for $20,000 was being used to make repairs to the structure of the roof. The roof itself is good, Street reported, but the structure of the roof – like the beams – is not. They were told that another snow like in ’93 would cause the roof to fall. RFP’s were sent out and the Historic Preservation commission hopes to have a company approved for construction of the roof support structure by next month with construction starting as soon as the bid is approved. Metal will be used instead of wood for the new roof structure.

EMA Director Alex Case gave an update on CARES Act funds that were provided to the county. Case said the first 30% of Phase 1 has been allocated and three quarters of what is left has been allocated as well. COVID funds can go to four different areas that include public safety, public health, health and safety for employees and public and transportation. The county purchased an ambulance with part of the COVID funds because it was taking more time for ambulances to return to service due, in part, to cleaning and disinfecting of ambulances between calls and other COVID related issues. The new ambulance will help provide coverage when both of the regularly staffed ambulances are on calls or transporting. Also included in those funds are modifications to the courts facilities and other county buildings and properties like sneeze guards and aluminum store fronts separating public from employees, hands free sanitizer stations like at the schools, and updates to systems for teleworking.  Case said there is talk of a phase II of CARES Act Funds which may see Dade getting nearly the same amount as Phase I.

A budget amendment to help close out the Fiscal Year 2020 budget was approved by commissioners. The amendment is required by auditors. Fiscal Year 2020 was closed on August 30. Part of the budget amendment was to add in the CARES Act funds that were applied during FY 2020. Fiscal Year 2020 revenue ended at $10,394,095 with expenses ending at 590,599.95 under the budget.

Bradford said he is working on another tire amnesty day. The county has hosted two tire amnesty events that collected a combined total of 6,000 tires from Dade County. The paperwork has been turned in for the new amnesty event and Bradford said it takes about 90 days to get everything processed. The tire amnesty day will potentially be held in December or January.

Rumley gave the most recent COVID numbers for Dade County which are at 208 positive tests since testing began and four deaths. There have been 41 positive cases in the last two weeks.

Commissioners approved the purchase of a sod cutter for $4200 from ARB; the purchase of a 10 ton split heat pump from Reeves Heating and Air for $14,040;  the purchase of various equipment for North Dade Fire Department at $26,029.22 pending approval of the fire chiefs association; proclamations declaring September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Library Card Sign Up Month, the week of September 20-26 as Family Literacy Week, and September 15 as Respect for Law day; an amendment to allocate funds from the 2015 SPLOST; an amendment to the FY 2020 budget and an amendment to the FY 2021 budget; the abandonment of Lifestyle Lane in Wildwood to the property owner; surplus equipment of three vehicles – two crown vics and a marquis with over 200,000 miles; and amendment to the ABC ordinance for liquor by the drink to bring ordinance into compliance with state statutes; and the GDOT/LMIG maintenance/improvement grant for FY 2021.