‘Emergency’ declared in Fayette by commission

At the height of the winter storm last week, the old Fayette County Courthouse reposed in icy splendor with few to admire the wonderland spectacle. Photo/Steve Rapson.

Allows for federal disaster funds to offset costs

The Fayette County Commission Monday officially declared a state of emergency for the period following last week’s ice storm.

The designation allows the county to be eligible for state and federal recovery funds at a future date.

The commission was also effusive in praising county employees and volunteers who helped weather the storm, from the public works staff to emergency management officials who staffed the county’s emergency operations center.

Also thanked was the county’s Faith Based Disaster Network that helped run the shelter the county opened for residents who were without heat due to the power outage ... and they even helped clear trees from roads using chainsaws thanks to special training they received.

County Manager Steve Rapson said there would be an opportunity at a later date for the board to thank those who chipped in to help the county recover quickly from the storm.

In other business on a light agenda Monday, the commission approved a resolution urging permanent independent funding of the Georgia Ethics Commission. Chairman Steve Brown said such legislation has languished in the general assembly for more than a year despite severe funding cuts to the agency.

“This gives them the ability to have a separate revenue source locked in to the ethics commission to just fund their annual budget,” Brown said.

The commission also supported another bill in the Georgia Senate that would require final versions of bills to be posted 24 hours in advance prior to being voted on so they can be vetted by the public and the news media.

Brown praised Sen. Josh McKoon of Columbus who is pushing for both bills.

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