Commissioner Roosevelt Willis then inquired about former Pike County Recreation Director Shawn Shoats’ restitution after Shoats was charged with felony theft by conversion and subsequently accepted a plea bargain. County Attorney Rob Morton announced Shoats’ restitution currently stands at just more than $1,000.
Morton then updated the commissioners on the Monday meeting of the SPLOST steering committee, stating that a resolution will be adopted no later than July 1. He also said he has recommended that a professional, such as an engineer, be selected to handle the technical requirements associated with the job. Morton suggested a workshop and requested Watson coordinate that matter with all involved parties, as well as Sawyer, upon his arrival.
In unfinished business, the BOC approved by a 4-0 vote the refund of $1,217.11 to the city of Zebulon as a prorated amount for property purchased by the city April 27, 2009. That refund will be contingent upon verification that the requested amount is based on the correct formula of repayment.
In new business, commissioners approved Christopher Tea to fill the unexpired Board of Tax Assessors term of Charles Burden.
Commissioner Don Collins concluded the meeting by suggesting the appointment of a courthouse study committee which would be tasked with determining necessary courthouse renovations, including the relocation of existing tenants.
“I think to do this properly, I think we need to discuss this with the people who will be involved — Superior Court judges, the clerk of court, probate judge and magistrate judge,” Collins said, explaining that it has yet to be determined where these officials will work during the renovation process. “We can’t do anything on courthouse cost plans until we know what we’re going to do on this.”
Commissioner Tommy Powers disagreed about the need for such a committee, stating he does not feel that it is necessary.
“Well, the way I feel about it is we already have a SPLOST committee and I feel they’re highly intelligent enough to work with the company we already have working on this,” Powers said, adding that involving yet another committee would result in “the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing.”
While not openly opposed to the concept, Willis, too, was uncertain of its necessity.
“I certainly think we should consult with the people this will involve, but I don’t know if we need another committee,” he said.
Collins also was unable to secure the immediate support of Commissioner Parrish Swift.
“I recommend the SPLOST committee meet with involved judicial officials and determine the future need for the committee,” Swift said. “I think going to those people would be the best thing to do.”
Joy Walker, chairwoman of the SPLOST committee, agreed it would be helpful to have all parties involved with the proposed courthouse renovation meet together. Thus, a meeting with Carter & Watkins, the architect group currently involved in the project, will be arranged.