Troup County extends emergency declaration to June 15, accepts funds for LaGrange-Callaway Airport

Published 5:17 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2020

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The Troup County Board of Commissioners extended its emergency declaration Tuesday to June 15.

The extension of the order does not alter any of the rules set forth by Gov. Brian Kemp in respect to public gatherings or sheltering in place. The extension of the order allows the county government to continue to classify county services as essential or discretionary. It also allows the county to appoint an emergency successor to the county manager if he is unable to perform his duties during the emergency.

“It extends those portions of the original declaration and operation that doesn’t have anything to do with the governor’s order covers,” said Mark DeGennaro, who served as the attorney during the meeting.

Additionally, DeGennaro said the extension of the order should not impact the June 9 election because it doesn’t affect the number of people in a certain area or social distancing guidelines.

Kemp’s shelter-in-place order for non-medical fragile individuals expired at 11:59 p.m. on April 30. For medically-fragile individuals, the shelter-in-place extends until May 13. The state’s public health state of emergency was extended until June 12.

The board also approved a resolution to accept funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Mosley said part of the act provided stimulus funds to local governments, and the Federal Aviation Association provided funds to airports across the United States based on population.

The LaGrange-Callaway Airport is eligible for $69,000.

Mosley said the amount would be used to supplement lost revenue that the airport would have received during the COVID-19 virus. He said the money would be used for operational purposes like the general operation of the airport.

The board of commissioners also ruled on a few requests to lift hiring freezes.

County Manager Eric Mosley first asked to lift the hiring freeze to fill a vacant sanitation roll truck driver position. The employee resigned on April 21.

Mosley said it was considered an important position to fill.

“We believe this to be a highly critical rehire as sanitation is definitely one of those essential functions of our government at this time,” he said.

The board approved to lift the freeze.

However, the next request to lift a freeze to fill a position in the recreational department did not succeed.

The board chose to deny the request to lift the freeze as the position, which was in the park’s maintenance crew, was not deemed a critical hire.

The board decided to wait until after the new fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

Mosley said a reopening date of May 18 had been discussed, but everything will not open at once within the recreational department.

“That will be a slow reopening, and not everything will open back up at the same time,” he said.

Another request to hire within the property appraisal department was also denied until after the new fiscal year.