Pulaski County and the Town of Pulaski have enjoyed several successes in recent years by working together, according to Board of Supervisors Chairman Andy McCready, who addressed Pulaski Town Council Tuesday night.
McCready made his comments in response to those made during a July 3 council meeting by Councilman Joseph Goodman.
During the July meeting, Goodman expressed frustration over the inability to establish a new large item drop site for the town that accepts brush from town citizens doing cleanup projects on their property. That inability forces town residents and others to have to take their brush to drop sites in Dublin and Fairlawn.
At that meeting, Goodman said people in Pulaski were starting to think the county had forgotten about them. “They’re wondering what they’re paying county taxes for, and they are starting to believe the county doesn’t want to do anything for them. It’s insulting,” Goodman continued.
McCready told council Tuesday night the comments had caused him “some difficulty,” prompting him to request a meeting between town and county officials. A lunchtime meeting was held, he said, with Goodman, Mayor David Clark, Town Manager Shawn Utt, County Administrator Jonathan Sweet, Dean Pratt (Vice Chairman of the Board of Supervisors) and McCready.
McCready called it “a good meeting.”
Tuesday night he recounted the eight-year effort between the county, PSA and Town of Pulaski to place a new large item drop site on town-owned land behind the new Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office, and the difficulty in moving forward without the assistance of the Honeywell company that owns adjoining land.
However, McCready said the town and county have been very successful working together on projects during his six years on the Board of Supervisors.
McCready pointed to three new ventures in downtown Pulaski as examples of working together.
One located at a portion of the former Jefferson Mills plant, which McCready said sat vacant until it was purchased by Pulaski County and now serves as a warehouse for a county industry.
He said the town and county worked together on landing Falls Stamping and Newcan in the old Renfro factory in Pulaski.
McCready reminded that the county had purchased from the town the Maple Shade Plaza, renovated it and put over $1 million into the new IT center there – which also serves as the county’s Emergency Operations Center.
“A former mayor told us (county) that we needed to pave the parking lot at Maple Shade,” McCready told council. “We did at a cost of $450,000,” he said.
McCready then turned his attention to the county’s eight fire departments, including Pulaski Fire Department.
He said the town’s department had not received a new fire truck in 17 years. The town, he said, had always purchased the department’s new trucks. However, with the number of fire truck manufacturers declining and prices rising, that hadn’t been possible.
McCready said Pulaski Fire Chief Robbie Kiser went to the county’s Fire Protection Committee – “a county group made up of county folks,” he said – and the town is now included in the fire truck purchase rotation.
“Now, every eight years the town will be able to get a new truck,” McCready said.
McCready noted the town is now getting a new truck bought by Pulaski County at a cost of $550,000, and the town is putting up $67,887 of the total cost.
He told council the other seven departments in the county had given up their place in the capital budget, so the town could get its truck.
“So, I would ask, when it come time for this year’s Fire Prevention Parade this fall, that you (council) will come down and shake some of the Pulaski County fire fighters’ hands and thank them for giving up two years of their capital funding so that the town could get a new truck,” McCready said.
McCready also pointed out the county gives the town’s fire department $14,000 each year toward fire fighting equipment.
“Pulaski County is successful when the Town of Pulaski and Town of Dublin are successful,” McCready told council. “Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. We’re in this together.”
McCready said that as the two towns prosper, so too does the county. When Pulaski County prospers, so do the two towns.
“We’re in this together,” he said.
“The only way we’re going to be successful is if we stay together,” he added.
By MIKE WILLIAMS, The Patriot