Mayor Report


The Year 2017


The City of Crawfordville is proud of the accomplishments continuing to be made.



City Finances – The city’s finances are in excellent condition. Taxes have not been increased. Utility rates have not been increased, even though the city was under pressure from the auditors and a state agency to increase them. There was a concern that the Utility income could not continue making the payments for the long term financing of the sewage plant. This is no longer a problem. The city has been very successful in collecting money owed to the city as well as collecting past due utility bills. A point should be made that State Law requires the city to make the best efforts in collecting monies owed to the city. The city is not allowed to forgive debts or make donations unless it can be shown that this results in a like benefit for the city. The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld this law. Since the new administration took over the city’s management two years ago, the combined General and Revenue bank accounts have doubled. This is actually cash money in the bank! This does not even include the ten acres commercial property and fifteen thousand square foot factory building purchased by the city for cash!


Streets and Sidewalks – We made a number of street repairs and continue to improve on keeping the streets and right of ways clean. We still need input from our citizens in order to keep abreast of what is needed.


Employees – Changes in responsibilities will be forthcoming in 2018, partially on account of state laws and guidelines. Employee efficiency is very good. The city is now using a golf cart to increase efficiency in street maintenance and meter reading.


Citizens Committee - The Citizens committee was formed to make long-term plans for improving the city. Some of the projects include updating illegal and non-productive ordinances, obtaining grants to aid us in beautifying the city, and getting as much citizen input as possible. Linda Franklin, who heads up this committee, is well known inside and outside of Taliaferro County for very productive grant writing, obtaining numerous grants for many worthwhile causes. We are very pleased to be working closely with her.


Special Consideration - We continue to work well with Taliaferro County, the Chamber of Commerce, the Historical Society, the Board of Education, and Alexander Stevens State Park.


Many thanks to our Council Members, our Citizens, and all our Supporters.


Larry Stewart, Mayor





A significant problem for the city turned into a profitable opportunity. The city was sued for trespassing and dumping concrete waste from road repairs on property owned by Johnson Supply.


A previous administration had dumped concrete from street repairs on the property belonging to Johnson Supply. Testimony in Court denied there had ever been permission or a signed agreement.


The Court ruled against the City, and the City could be required to pay up to $40,000.


Mr. Johnson, who had originally purchased the property for Johnson Supply, was deceased, and the owners of the company had leased the property to “Rework and Repair”. The building and property has been vacant since this business closed.


The present owners were agreeable to negotiate with the City for the purchase of the property, and the city ended up acquiring the property for just over one half the assessed value, plus the lawsuit was withdrawn, and the Court accepted the withdrawal.


The City has, in the last eighteen months, made tremendous strides in collecting past due accounts owed to the City. This income, plus the difference made up from the Local Option Sales Tax account, allowed the City to purchase this property for cash. No loans are involved, and next year’s budget should still remain the same.


This property purchase is extremely beneficial to the City for more than one reason. Besides having a choice piece of property with an almost perfect industrial building to sell or lease, the City is saving money on two additional requirements. One, the City can cut enough property out of the industrial site to prevent having to purchase property for the dumping of used concrete. Two, the City dog pound adjoins this property, and now an additional small amount of property can be attached to the dog pound property. This is very important because the City was needing to purchase additional property to have the dog pound in compliance with the Department of Agriculture specifications. Now, the dog pound can stay on the same property and the City not be required to build a new dog pound on another piece of property. This lawsuit against the City has turned out to be a real so-called “Blessing in Disguise”.

The Year 2016

The City of Crawfordville is proud of the accomplishments made in 2016.

City Finances – The city’s finances are in good shape. Even though the tax base evaluation dropped, we did not find it necessary to increase the millage rate. By increasing worker efficiency, and better planning, we were able to cut expenses. The accounting system has been simplified and is now in full compliance with state guidelines. A Certified Public Accountant comes in once a month to check our books and make suggestions and/or corrections. The utilities software has been upgraded and is now incorporated as part of the accounting system instead of just being used to print utility bills. Utility charges were not being collected in a timely matter, and thousands of dollars were owed on water bills. These uncollected funds were not reflected in our profit and loss statements because they were still listed as assets. We have made tremendous progress in collecting past due bills and will continue to improve even more in the coming year. We will write off truly uncollectable accounts and our utilities reports will reflect a true standing of where we stand. The city will have no local control over raising utility bills unless we can demonstrate we are following state guidelines and have a good system in place to control utility costs. The city has been under pressure to raise water rates for several years, but we were able to delay increases in 2016, and hope to do so again in 2017.

Streets and Sidewalks - We finally paved the residential section of Sandy Cross Road and the section of MLK adjoining Broad Street. Most of these expenses were covered by accumulated Local Option Sales Tax and Special Local Option Sales Tax.

We have made many improvements in keeping streets and right of ways clean, and will continue to improve, especially with input from the citizens. Several more efficient procedures are being planned for the coming year.

Employees – Our city clerk is well versed in software and the Internet. She has been well trained by the utility software company, and continues to be trained by the CPA that oversees our accounting. Her responsibilities now follow the Georgia Municipal Association’s guidelines, on which she has continuous training and follow-up.

The new utility and street employees are working under new guidelines, and the new efficiencies are paying off. We are required by state law to test our wells every day, seven days a week. We now have two employees trained to do this, so this gives us total backup in case of sickness or time off. These are very important functions, and the city could be fined by the state if it was discovered this requirement had not been followed correctly.

Additional job training is available to all employees. Professional employees are always a sign of good government.

Security - Security cameras have been installed, recording all events along Broad Street from the court house to the post office. Security videos are also installed inside city hall.

Private security cameras record Goluke Park, Monument Street from the light to Moore Street, the alley behind the city hall, and sections of Moore Street. Night vision cameras are in effect, so even if it seems the area is in complete darkness, recordings are still being made.

The sheriff’s department has done an excellent job of keeping the city safe and passing on very good advice to the city. Everyone please support our law enforcement officers. They just never seem to get all the appreciation they deserve.

Utilities – We have had numerous water leaks throughout the city, and mechanical breakdowns of the sewage department and utility systems. We are now stocking emergency parts and have several options always available for out of town backup when necessary. We are taking the necessary steps to prevent and shorten water and sewage outages for our citizens.

City Vehicles and Equipment – Preventive maintenance will continue to be a priority during the coming year. Expenses can be much better controlled if emergency repairs can be prevented.

Animal Control – We have had a number of problems with loose dogs attacking and/or killing smaller dogs and cats. We have taken steps to correct this, and continue to ask all of you to immediately report seeing any loose dogs. The state has very strict laws on this, and the city will enforce them in their entirety.

We have improved the city dog pound, but the Helping Hands Humane Society has been a lifesaver for the city and the county in helping us implement the new state animal control laws. We are working to come into full compliance with the state laws.

Taliaferro County – It has been a pleasure working with the county personnel. We have received so much good advice during our first year of making improvements in the city.

We are also working on several joint projects that will benefit all our citizens, including getting a medical clinic back in the county (more on this later).

Chamber of Commerce, Historical Society, and Alexander Stevens State Park – The City is working with these organizations to keep our city and county current in services to our citizens and visitors. Examples of the cooperative activities include the joint efforts to restore the Holden Block sign after being knocked down and damaged by wind, and the coordination of the Christmas lighting and decorations. We look forward to maintaining a good relationship to continue improving the county and city during the coming year.

Taliaferro County School – Many changes have been made at the school, and currently we are all working together to improve health care in the city and county as well as the school. We look forward to working closely with the school during the coming year.

Citizens Committee - The Citizens committee was formed to make long term plans for improving the city. Some of the projects include updating illegal and non-productive ordinances, obtaining grants to aid us in beatifying the city, and getting as much citizen input as possible. Linda Franklin, who heads up this committee, is well known inside and outside of Taliaferro County for very productive grant writing, obtaining numerous grants for many worthwhile causes. We are very pleased to be working closely with her.

Dollar General - Approved for building in 2015, was constructed and opened in 2016, much to the excitement and well wishes of the citizens of Crawfordville.

Many thanks to our Council Members, our Citizens, and all our Supporters.

Larry Stewart, Mayor



Mayor Milner called the November 5, 2013 meeting to order and welcomed everyone. He asked all to stand and Pledge Allegience to the Flag. Members of the Council present were Vice Mayor Bobby Chapman, Ms. Vivian Stewart and Ms. Josephine Chapman.

Mayor Milner said the Council had received the minutes from the previous meeting on October 1, 2013 and asked if there was a motion to adopt. Ms. Stewart made a motion to adopt the minutes, which was seconded by Ms. Chapman. There were no additions or corrections. Mayor Milner asked for all in favor to say aye. The motion carried with a unanimous vote.

Mayor Milner stated that there had not been time to send out the minutes of the Public Hearing held on October 29, 2013. The Clerk was asked to read the minutes. There were no additions or corrections. Motion to approve was made by Ms. Chapman and seconded by Mr. Chapman. The motion carried with a unanimous vote.

The floor was opened for Public Requests. Mr. Dorsey Cooper asked if the approximately $10,000.00 which had been used in the budget, since the Sheriff still has not signed the InterLocal Agreement, could be applied to lower the taxes of city residents. The Mayor stated that it had already been factored into the budget before setting the millage rate. There has been an extra month since that time, which means there will be a small surplus. The tax bills are going out this week, so it is too late for changes this year, but there will be a possible reduction next year if there is a surplus that the Council wishes to use for that requirement. Mr. Cooper said that he had been checking other cities and we were way too high in our millage rate compared to other places. Mayor Milner explained that other cities had businesses that were actively involved in commerce and when you don’t have businesses that pay taxes, the burden falls on the homeowner, which makes the millage rate higher. Mr. Cooper then stated that no new businesses will want to come in with the high taxes.

No further Public Requests.

In the Mayor’s Report, he said that he had met with Board Commission Chairman Ware and Ms. Linda Grijalva of the Regional Commission concerning the concept of acquiring block grants, separate from the county to be dispersed to homeowners, whose homes are in need of repair. The grant would be available to those who qualify, and the funds can be dispersed to bring properties up to current standards. Mr. Ware wants to go ahead with the county. It is up to you whether we do it in the city. Ms. Grijalva feels that MLK Dr. to Commerce St. and toward Friendship Church has a number of homeowner occupied homes that would be eligible for rehabilitation through these funds. More study will need to be done which would require an application and $3000.00 to start the process, but there is no guarantee of approval even if we spend the money. He asked if the Council felt there was enough need in the community to make the effort to get grant funds and go forward.

Mr. Chapman asked if it would be city-wide or contained areas, what kind of work would be done to the home places, and if the work would be given to local workers. The Mayor responded, saying it must be a contained area, but there could be other pockets. The work could be anything from foundations, or roofs, to rebuilding the whole building. He was unsure of who would be awarded the work. He pointed out that she would be flexible in the options now, but once it is documented, it would be cast in concrete. The homeowner would have to demonstrate that they are truly qualified for the improvements. Once the agreement is signed, Ms. Grijalva has stated her willingness to come before the Council and answer any questions.

Ms. Stewart asked about suggesting areas, because there would be some that would get upset if they were not included. Anyone that has suggestions can make them to the Council to make sure that all pockets would be considered, even though there are no guarantees.

A motion was made by Ms. Stewart to sign the agreement with CSRA Regional Commission to apply for the grant. Mr. Chapman seconded the motion. The roll call was made with a unanimous vote to go forward with the agreement.

This concluded the Mayor’s Report and the Financial Report was given by Mayor Milner. He explained that in the Enterprise Budget there had not been an amended budget adopted which would true up through the first months of the year. This is on tonight’s agenda. This report is based on the original budget adopted last November.

There were no questions on the Financial Report.

In New Business, Resolution 2013-006 “To Provide for the Adoption of a Budget Amendment Containing Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure Changes for the Fiscal Year 2013” (Beginning January 1, 2013 and ending December 31, 2013) was introduced.

This amends both the Enterprise Budget, which is attached to the document as well as small amendments to the General Fund Budget. This is because we have to support garbage collection contributions from the General Fund since we do not collect enough to cover garbage fees.

Mr. Chapman asked what the method they use to charge garbage fees. The Mayor responded by saying it is based on a minimum of 300 cans plus fuel surcharges which is computerized statewide.

The Amendment was read by the Mayor explaining the increase in Revenue from $462,000.00 to $479,000.00. We also are taking advantage of monies not paid to Sheriff. The City also had to pay the county for reconstruction of the well house on Commerce St.

Ms. Stewart made a motion to adopt Resolution 2013-006. Second was made by Ms. Chapman. Motion to amend Section 1 to correct a typographical error was made by Ms. Stewart with second by Ms. Chapman. All were in favor of the correction which was adopted. There were no further discussions. The roll was called with a unanimous vote to adopt the Resolution as amended.

Resolution 2013-007 “Adopting a General Operations Budget for the Fiscal Year Beginning January 1, 2014” was presented to the Council with the Mayor explaining this was the portion of the Budget Public Hearing from the last week. The Resolution was read. Ms. Chapman made a motion to adopt Resolution 2013-007 and a second was made by Mr. Chapman. There were no further discussions. The roll was called with a unanimous vote to adopt the Resolution.

Resolution 2013-008 “Adopting Enterprise Operations Budget for the Fiscal Year Beginning January 1, 2014” was presented to the Council with the Mayor explaining this is the other portion of the budget from the Public Hearing. The Resolution was read. Mr. Chapman made a motion to adopt Resolution 2013-008 and a second was made by Ms. Stewart. There were no further discussions. The roll was called with a unanimous vote to adopt the Resolution.

The Business was completed. Ms. Stewart motioned to adjourn and the second was by Ms. Chapman.

Respectfully Submitted,

Brenda Vandiver

City Clerk