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Monday August 3rd, 2015 1:18PM

Commissioner makes his point with 'Barbie Doll'

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - At least one Hall County Commissioner said Monday he is opposed to requiring pawn shops, second hand dealers and precious metal dealers to use an electronic reporting system.

The dealers would register all merchandise received with the system. The Hall County Sheriff's Department wants the system in place, saying the aim is to deter crime and help recover stolen goods.

Commissioner Craig Lutz said all it will do is deter customers and used his daughter's Barbie Doll to illustrate his point, citing a section of the proposed regulations.

"She would not be able to sell to a second hand dealer in Hall County because of this ordinance," Lutz said. "We're not talking about just pawn shops; this is any second hand dealer. This is 'Play It Again Sports' this is 'Game Stop' or any of them. These kinds of things prevent the free market from taking place."

Lutz said under the proposed ordinance dealers cannot accept new or like new merchandise without the original sales receipt. The like new doll was in the original packaging and was bought in 1998. Lutz also displayed a miniature likeness of golfing great Tiger Woods in its original package. Commissioners will cast a final vote at their regular session Thursday. In another section Lutz found fault with fees.

"There is a fee charged when you enter stuff into the data base," Lutz continued. "It says the fee shall not be 50 percent of the actual cost charged by the Sheriff's Office or the third party administrator. We're basically handing out a blank check to the third party people for whatever the fee is going to be."

Sheriff's Department representatives were not present at Monday's work session at the Hall County Government Center as they previously had been when the proposal was up for consideration.

SEWER CREDIT CONFUSION

County Commissioners indicated they would attempt to end the confusion among south Hall sewer bill payers that occurred after the new rate structure was approved last December.

Pat Lahr, who lives in the Village of Deaton Creek, said county sewer customers were double billed and did not receive the correct credit.

"The best thing I think you guys can do now is to get things straightened out and communicate with the users on what the billing is for, what the credits are for," Lahr said.

Lahr said the new rate structure brought a 'bumpy transition' from when users were paying a flat $42 a month sewer rate. Commissioners expect to consider and act on sewer credits and refunds at Thursday's voting session.

PROPERTY SWAP

The City of Gainesville gets the now vacant second floor space in the Joint Administration Building downtown and Hall County picks up space in the old health department building on Prior Street.

It's all thanks to a city/county intergovernmental agreement reviewed by Commissioners that was worked out by Assistant County Administrator Marty Nix.

"We're exchanging our property in the Joint Administration Building for a portion of the property owned by the city on Prior Street," Nix said.

Nix said there was no money involved in the swap, just property; the city and county entered an agreement in 1977 to build the joint administration building.
The county vacated the building when it moved into the new government center on Browns Bridge Road last year.
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