Friday October 9th, 2015 2:44AM

Hall Commissioners vote to start the new C.I.

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Hall County Commissioners reversed a Monday decision to table consideration of an architecture services contract for the new corrections institute after hearing from Warden Walt Davis Thursday night.

The new institute, with a total $4-million price tag, is a 'go' with the commission's unanimous vote to approve up to $248,000 for the design.
Davis told commissioners the county is getting a lot of money-saving equipment and labor from the state, plus a well-known state-approved contractor.

"I met Tuesday with the Commissioner of Corrections and his two deputy commissioners, "Davis said. "They have pledged support of mobile inmate construction crews, that's free labor to the county. They bring their own equipment, they will do all the site preparation, they will do the foundation and all the block work, erosion control and clean-up on the site."

Davis added that he has a list of equipment that the State Department of Corrections is giving Hall County that fits into the new institute's design.

"I have a $100,000 cooler and a $100,000 freezer and they're donating several hundred thousand dollars worth of free equipment to us that will offset our cost," Davis said.

Davis said the electrical, plumbing, and roofing would be done by a contractor so the county would have the work under warranty.

"IPG, the company we've chosen, is on contract with the state and has been for several years and they've done really good work," according to Davis. "The normal rate on a contract like this would be eight and a half to nine percent of the total construction cost and we're getting this at six percent. That does not seem like a big difference but on a multi-million dollar project that adds up to tens of thousands of dollars."

Davis projected a 12 month completion date on a site next to the old facility on Barber Road. Commissioner Billy Powell said that he wanted to serve with Commissioner Scott Gibbs on a project oversight committee.

"That's so that when we have periodic construction meetings we have input representing the Commission and we also can provide feedback to the Commission until the project is completed."

Commissioner Craig Lutz made the motion based on Powell's request and it was also approved.


Commissioners agreed to hire a new risk manager for the county's Human Resources Department; the position has been vacant for seven years. HR Director Bill Moats said insurance companies are not going to give the county a decent quote for Workmen's Compensation coverage until it's filled.

"The reasoning was because we did not have someone that was managing our loss," Moats told commissioners. "We didn't have anyone here who was helping with Workmen's Comp or doing any training or monitoring claims. One of our issues is not having someone dedicated to Worker's Comp, safety or accident prevention."

Moats said he has an experienced employee who could take the job and the cost savings from a lower experience rating would pay the salary.


Commission Chairman Dick Mecum says he believes the biggest issue for 2014 is planning for a fast moving future.

Mecum previewed his State of the County address he's expected to deliver Saturday morning at the Hall Republican Party's Conservative Forum at Denny's Restaurant on Browns Bridge Road.

"That's my thing now," Mecum said. "We're going to have to plan, get our strategic plans together as to what we're going to do, how we're going to address it and where we're going to be in 20 or 30 years. Everything is going to come at us and it's going to come at us rapidly over the next few years. I think right now we need to plan for that and get ready."

Mecum observed that the county is in sound financial shape to begin the New Year, with increasing revenues and spending below the budget.

"We're about five percent under budget through the second quarter and we're about 11 percent over our projected revenues right now but that may change as the year goes on," Mecum observed. "We're seeing some positive changes, not great, but they're moving in the right direction."
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US stocks post sixth straight year of gains
U.S. stocks ended a strong 2014 with moderate declines Wednesday.
4:43PM ( 9 months ago )
Palestinians push ahead in pursuit of war crimes charges against Israel
Stung by a resounding defeat in the U.N. Security Council, the Palestinians announced Wednesday that they joined the International Criminal Court to pursue war crimes charges against Israel.
1:57PM ( 9 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 9 months ago )
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 9 months ago )
Sheriff: Man shot 2 on I-85 because he wanted car
A 22-year-old man shot two people who stopped to give him a ride on Interstate 85 in South Carolina on Christmas Eve because he wanted their car to drive to Georgia, a sheriff said Wednesday.
5:21PM ( 9 months ago )
Local/State News
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 9 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 9 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 9 months ago )
Chaos in the House: McCarthy withdraws candidacy for speaker, GOP vote postponed
WASHINGTON (AP) — Confronting insurmountable obstacles, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy suddenly withdrew from the contest for speaker of the U.S. House on Thursday, shocking colleagues just before the...
11:26PM ( 3 hours ago )
Isakson, Perdue attack part of bill they say sides with Ala. in water wars
Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue Thursday urged Senate leaders to remove language in the Energy and Water appropriations bill they say is a direct attack on Georgia in its ongoing water dispute with Alabama.
By AccessWDUN staff
6:56PM ( 7 hours ago )
D.A.: Moran gets life without parole in Gainesville taxi driver murder
A Gainesville woman was sentenced to life in prison without parole Thursday in murder of a Gainesville taxi driver earlier this year.
2:34PM ( 12 hours ago )
Rehabilitative Industries of Northeast Georgia ring-in month-long awareness celebration
Thursday morning area civic and business leaders joined RING staff members at their Athens Street headquarters to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
12:22PM ( 14 hours ago )
Gainesville Police investigate reported robbery
Gainesville Police are investigating what was reported as a robbery in the parking lot of an Athens Street business Wednesday afternoon.
12:18PM ( 14 hours ago )