County to fund work force study
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
County Commissioners are interested in learning specifics about the work force living here in Morgan, and accordingly plan to green-light a study helmed by the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center that will tell local government exactly what kind of education and training local residents possess.
“We’ve never done a project like this,” said County Manager Michael Lamar at a recent regular work session. “A lot of people think that they know the lay of the land, but I’m not sure that any of us really know what the work force here is like here.”
The results from the study will help in future planning for the county, determining whether additional tech schools are needed, whether businesses looking to locate in Morgan can find workers here, and information such as how many residents leave the county to go to work each day.
“I’m good to go on this; I just want to make sure we utilize this information, and that it doesn’t just sit on the shelf,” said Commissioner Andy Ainslie.
The commission will spend about $15,000 in already-budgeted funds for the study.
In other business, the county agreed to purchase a Ford Ranger truck for use of code enforcement officials in the county. In the past, the county has often purchased larger, F150-style trucks, but rising gas prices have spurred interest in more fuel-efficient vehicles.
“In light of fuel costs, I think this is a good way to go,” said Lamar, noting that code enforcement officials do not necessarily require the extra power of the larger vehicles. “We don’t need to be in hot pursuit of dumpster violators,” he noted. The smaller vehicle will cost about $6,000 less than the larger truck and could get 30 percent more favorable gas mileage, according to Lamar.
Commissioners also talked once again about paving Weaver Jones Road in southwestern Morgan County, a long and winding road that District Four Commissioner Ellen Jones has been advocating paving since she came into office four years ago.
Procedures for the condemnation of right-of-way on the road could begin in the coming months.
“I don’t think we’re going to need as much right-of-way as we thought,” said Jones.
“Well, condemnation is the first motion you’ve got to make,” said Commission Chairman Mack Bohlen. “You can’t do anything until you’ve got the right-of-way.”
Commissioners also discussed a list of roads including Indian Creek, Double Bridges, Bethany, Jones Wood, Weaver Jones, Reese, Briar Creek, Plantation, and Hightower, all of which are scheduled to receive a topical coating of dust-control calcium chloride in the coming weeks. The roads will not be treated in their entirety, but principally in high-traffic areas and in front of residences.