Troup County Commission is expected to vote Tuesday on securing a bond for several special-purpose, local-option sales tax projects in order to start them sooner.
County Manager Tod Tentler said the need for the county to update its court technology is urgent because of problems in the existing, outdated software and increasing cost of maintenance. The county needs to secure a bond so it can pay for the upgrades up front, instead of waiting for the funds to trickle in.
“We just need to do that very badly now, so we need to setup a financing mechanism to go ahead and get that into place,” Tentler said. “The core technology is failing and we’re having to go in and patch it, and it’s costing us a lot of maintenance money to keep that going.”
Because interest rates on bonds are currently low, Tentler suggested the county look at adding other projects to the bond that could benefit from being done soon. The Troup County Development Authority has agreed to pay for the cost of the bond with money it received for its recent bond agreement with Kia.
Tentler proposed a $9.385 million bond, which would include the court technology upgrades at $2.55 million, public safety and energy efficiency upgrades at $2.17 million, roads and equipment upgrades at $500,000, recreation upgrades and renovations that includes renovation at Boyd Park at $2.975 million and expansion of the Hogansville Library at $1.19 million.
In other business, commissioners Tuesday also are expected to vote on an amendment to the county budget adding $527,647 in revenue and expenses. The biggest recipient of revenue will be $250,000 in drug funds shifted from the general fund to go toward building the new state patrol building at Lafayette Parkway and Interstate 85. The amendment also includes increasing the elections budget by $92,500 to cover additional expenses incurred from elections at the end of 2012, $80,226 for court services, $10,000 to animal control for increased cost of housing animals and $47,489 for building maintenance.
In another matter, commissioners also are expected to enact a new hiring freeze for county employees for 2013. The prior freeze expired at the end of 2012.
“I highly recommend we put this back on,” said Commissioner Richard English.