Under the initial proposal, City Park and Fairmont gyms would be closed on Wednesdays and Fridays and operate from 2 until 10 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturdays. AMBUCS Park Gym would be closed on Wednesdays and Fridays and operate from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The new schedule reflects the present usage pattern at the gyms.
Spalding County Board of Commissioners Chairman Eddie Goss asked how much the measure would save the county. Parks & Recreation Director Louis Greene said it was hard to come up with exact figures, but said money would be saved on utility costs.
“Trying to meet our nine percent (cuts) was really tough this year,” he said.
He said the reorganization would eliminate two paid positions, which would save the county money as well.
Goss said with summer approaching, the number of people using the gym during the day would increase. Greene said he had no objections to putting the change off until then, which County Manager William Wilson Jr. said would give the county time to conduct an analysis of just how much money would be saved.
Vice Chairwoman Gwen Flowers-Taylor moved to approve the new hours, on the condition that they will not take effect until Sept. 1. The commissioners voted 4-0 to approve.
During the reports of the county commissioners, Commissioner Bob Gilreath took issue with the implementation of the car policy. He said he had learned Wilson had allowed Spalding County Correctional Institution Warden Jimmy Sikes to take his car home. Wilson said Sikes reimburses the county for the gas and Goss had authorized this. When Gilreath questioned him on this, Goss said he had consulted with the commissioners on the matter and that a consensus of the commissioners allowed this due to a recommendation from the Department of Corrections.
Gilreath insisted the car be removed from Sikes’ possession that night and said Goss had been playing favorites.
“You do not have that authority, sir,” he said.
He and Goss argued the point further, with Gilreath saying the county should be consistent and restore all the take-home car privileges recently revoked in order to cut costs. Ultimately, Goss called for the commissioners to vote to go into closed session, putting a stop to the argument.