The Chatham County Commission has scheduled a public hearing Monday on its budget for fiscal year 2014. Commissioners are expected to discuss a possible increase in the millage rate, which would result in higher property taxes across the county. One major reason a tax hike may be necessary is a need for extra staff at the county jail.
The new year brings several top leadership changes in Savannah's Chatham County. The county commission has four new members, including a new chairman. But another familiar face also is leaving the county government. Pat Monahan has been assistant county manager for 27 years.
Officials in Chatham County are looking for clear answers on whether a proposed convention hotel would get state tax breaks. A law passed last year gives developers large breaks on tourism projects. But it left what qualifies up to the Governor. A policy aide to Governor Nathan Deal doubts Chatham County's project would make the cut because it could harm existing hotels.
Chatham County lawmakers have resolved an impasse over how to divide voters among county commission and school board members. Democratic and Republican county officials split last year over maps Republicans saw as favoring Democrats. Savannah Republican Ron Stephens says, new maps don't split precincts and get rid of sprawling districts.
A new survey shows, Metro Atlanta and Southeast Georgia voters favor a proposed new sales tax by a two-to-one margin. The state-wide poll by Survey USA for WXIA-TV Atlanta shows Northwest Georgia is evenly split on the tax idea, called T-SPLOST. Savannah's Chatham County Commission Chairman Pete Liakakis says, with an uncertain vote date, it's still too early for campaigning.
Commissioners in Savannah's Chatham County approved nearly $300,000 to buy more mosquito-fighting pesticides. The county is fighting its worst season for West Nile virus in years and was about to run out of money for pesticides it sprays over the community using a helicopter. The additional funding will keep the aerial fight against mosquitoes going for another month.
Chatham County Commissioners are going forward with more study of a proposed hotel on Hutchinson Island. The hotel would be next to Savannah's waterfront convention center and could get some public financing. County officials say, private companies won't build the hotel without some kind of public support.
Recycling advocates in Savannah's Chatham County are hoping to take advantage of a rarely-used power in the state constitution. They want to force a vote to start a curbside recycling program. Georgia's Constitution allows citizen-initiated ballot questions in certain, local cases.