By Taelor Rye
Raymond Mullis of the Eastman City Council visited the board to request funds for the July 4 fireworks, following up last year’s show, which Mullis stated was “the best we’ve ever had.”
At its last meeting, the city council approved the upfront payment of $10,600.00 for July 4 fireworks. The early payment allows the city to save money that would otherwise be spent with a later payment.
However, companies that donated upwards of $3,700.00 for the fireworks last year have decided not to donate so far this year, Mullis stated. Therefore, he asked that the board of commissioners donate $3,000.00 to supplement the $1,000.00 that the chamber of commerce has donated.
Commissioner Karen Cheek asked whether the payment could be covered by the contingency fund, which county manager Bobby Peacock confirmed.
During his visit, Mullis also shared that the yellow flags on Eastman roads such as Oak Street and Griffin Avenue denote areas that will be repaved by the state.
County attorney John Harrington provided an update on an audit of the Rural Fire Department, discussing the potential of mandating such an audit for funds given to the county fire departments.
Harrington stated that, since the county is the steward of fire department money such as Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) and Special-Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funds, the board can require information about money spent.
In addition to LOST and SPLOST funds, Peacock said that the county distributes $90,000.00 to be distributed among the nine fire departments, funds that come from the general budget. The question at hand is whether money from the general budget should be audited, as SPLOST and LOST funds are already closely monitored.