Barrow sheriff to get traffic grant

WINDER — Tuesday night’s Barrow County Commission meeting included a pair of key developments for the county Sheriff’s Office.

The commission voted to allow Chairman Danny Yearwood to execute a contract with the Sheriff’s Office and the Barrow County School Board to formalize pay of the Sheriff’s 10 school resource officers working at 13 schools. The commission also allowed the Sheriff’s Office to accept an annual grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety that will bolster traffic enforcement.

Previously, Sheriff Jud Smith said the school board was not formally required to pay half of resource officers’ salaries. He proposed the contract to formalize payment. If the school board executes the contract, the county will bill it for half of each school resource officers’ roughly $40,000 salary. Additionally, officers who work extra curricular events like athletic events will be paid a set amount of $35 hourly.

The HEAT grant, named for Heightened Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic, brought the Sheriff’s Office nearly $44,000 to fund additional traffic patrol.

Smith said the grant “allows us to do our jobs better, without having to come back to (the commission) for more money.” He said school resource officers are “highly trained officers who have a huge interest in our kids, which everyone agrees is important. They’re not just cops in schools. They really help our kids out.”

In separate developments, the commission:

• Granted one resident a special use permit to operate a home health care facility, but denied another resident’s nearly identical request. Approved was Miriam Shaw’s request to provide care for approximately four patients at her home at 1213 Dylan Way in Bethlehem. Denied, however, was Melvin Moon’s request to care for that many patients at 1417 Princeton Drive in Statham. Though both sought permits to provide patients’ full-time assistance in bathing, grooming, dressing, toileting and supervision of medication, etc., the difference was that Shaw said she would reside at the home, as ordinance requires, and Moon said he would not.

• Voted to modify its ordinance governing manufactured homes in accordance with recently passed Senate Bill 384. Because the bill precluded municipalities from disallowing mobile homes solely on the basis of age, the county eliminated its requirement that newly installed mobile homes be fewer than eight years old.