Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor approved the combined millage rate of the county government and the county school system at his Wednesday meeting.
"We are keeping our millage rate unchanged as we have for the past three or four years," said County Administrator Peter Olson. "We remain at 9.01 mills for the unincorporated areas and 10.3 mills for the incorporated areas. We are also required by law to set the millage rate the school board has voted on, which is 18.85, a decrease of about 0.14 mills this year."
Following the third state-mandated public hearing Monday, school board members voted unanimously to decrease the 2018 millage rate to 18.85 mills from the former rate of 18.99 mills. However, the decrease is still a 3.6 percent increase over the rollback rate of 18.202 mills, so taxes could increase for some property owners whose fair market value increased this year.
Taylor also approved a new E-911 fee structure for cellphone users.
"The legislature passed a bill creating the Georgia Emergency Communications Authority and at the same time revamped the E-911 fees for cellphones," Olson explained. "In the past, prepaid cellphones only paid a 75-cent fee while other cellphones paid $1.50. This legislation equalizes all 911 fees at $1.50 per month per connected device."
Olson said the Georgia Department of Revenue needed an updated resolution from the county showing the changed fees.
Bartow Transit Director Weldon Dudley requested approval of the county's annual contract with the Georgia Department of Human Services.
"We are a subcontractor for DHS," Dudley said. "They reimbursed us $127,355.40 for 17,236 trips last year. Most of them were medical — dialysis treatments, doctor appointments, pharmacy visits or shopping trips.
"Lots of people can't drive either due to age or medical problems. Many of our seniors live alone — they have no family or friends to help them — and they need to buy groceries or pick up medicine or go to the doctor. But part of it is just being able to socialize with others."
Dudley said his vehicles logged more than 280,000 miles last year with more than 39,000 riders. In Fiscal Year 2019, he said he expects to exceed 350,000 miles carrying more than 40,000 passengers.
"Oh, I almost forgot," he said. "We also delivered more than 2,000 meals daily to homebound seniors."
Taylor's next public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 10 a.m. in the commissioner’s conference room of the Frank Moore Administration and Judicial Building at 135 W Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville.