Fayette County Public Arts Committee seeks plan approval

Fayette County Commissioner Eric Maxwell. File photo.
Fayette County Commissioner Eric Maxwell. File photo.

The Fayette County Public Arts Committee is stepping up to the plate and making plans to improve the look of another county department.

The Board of Commissioners approved the committee’s request for concept approval to develop art for the Fayette County Animal Shelter exterior and interior spaces, in addition to developing art programs and events to showcase art while increasing awareness and visitors to the shelter. The vote came at the board’s Jan. 12 regular meeting.

The animal shelter will be completing renovations to the exterior of their building in early 2017, according to a county staff report, and employees there would like to have animal art as part of the exterior facade. This artwork would be of dogs and cats and preferably in cutouts of the animal that would be mounted to the building with the ability to change the designs when needed. The Arts Committee will research the best material for the cutout along with the best method to affix the artwork.

Artwork can continue inside the main office area that is open to the public and is a high-traffic area for visitors. There is the potential for a small mural scene in two areas — the staff desk area and the area above where a bench will be installed. The committee also plans to pursue the development of art events or programs that could include an art exhibit and auction (student and/or adult), art craft events, and an educational component which would aid the shelter in teaching about caring for pets and the concern for homeless pets.

Another item on the board’s agenda last Thursday night — the only public hearing on the agenda — involved an animal care facility. A request to amend part of the zoning ordinance with regard to animal hospitals, kennels and veterinary clinics was withdrawn before being heard.

The petitioner, Rebecca Tate, has operated a pet boarding/pet sitting facility at 311 Friendship Church Road but not in compliance with current 300-foot setback requirements for structures, pens runs or enclosures from surrounding residential zoning districts. The request was to reduce the setback requirement to 100 feet.

Both county staff and the Planning Commission recommended denial, and Chairman Eric Maxwell stated at the meeting that this issue was the first one about which he received communication from area residents the day after his Nov. 8 election to the board. A statement was read into the record from the Tates indicating that they were ceasing operation as of the day of the hearing and they would be relocating their business. The board voted unanimously to withdraw the item from the agenda.

In other business, the board approved a measure authorizing any two of the following signatures for transactions at or above $5,000: chairman, vice chairman, and county administrator. This is typically done every year since any of those positions can change in a given year.

A recommendation for Sam Burch to be reappointed to the Board of Assessors was approved. His new term begins this month and is for six years.

The board approved a $131,196 contract with AT&T for MegaLink communication circuits between the hub at the 911 communications center and the six radio towers leased by the county. The unusual length of the contract allows it to expire at the end of a county fiscal year — in this case June 30, 2019.

A requested equipment upgrade to improve the Water System’s processing of water bills was approved. The $91,090 processor system is complemented by a $9,480.90 annual maintenance agreement. The machine was referred to as “a key piece of equipment for the timely and accurate account of water bill payments and deposits,” according to a staff report. The board approved an amended agreement with Woolsey for municipal court services as well as the disposition of $1,765.34 in tax refunds.

The county will request that its legislative delegation pursue an amendment in state law to permit young people 10-12 years of age to operate personal watercraft or Class A vessel on state waterways when accompanied and supervised by a certified instructor. This issue, which has been discussed by the board and county staff at previous meetings over the past few months, is intended to help Row America participants who do not meet the age requirements to row solo.

A staff presentation with general information about proposed county SPLOST projects was given with no action taken by the board. During this overview a special GIS map was used by staff to demonstrate its effectiveness as an online education tool. The map can be viewed on the county’s website.

The consent agenda, approved unanimously, included authorization for the chairman, vice chairman or county administrator to sign checks for transaction up to $4,999.99; approval of those three officers execute contracts, resolutions, agreements or other documents on behalf of the board; approval of the Water Committee’s 2017 meeting schedule; and minutes from the Jan. 5 and 6 special called meetings.