CAIRO — Efforts to overhaul Grady County’s code of ordinances will begin in earnest next month at a planned workshop for county commissioners.

County Administrator Buddy Johnson said the August 6 workshop, which he anticipates may last several hours, will allow commissioners the opportunity to review the county’s ordinances and begin to contemplate what they would like to see amended.

“We’re going to start talking about what we need to change,” Johnson said Tuesday.

Commissioners voted in April to approve a $9,400 bid from Municode to take on the project of recodifying the county’s ordinances. The Municode project, which is expected to take more than a year to complete, will entail a full-scale review of the county code to ensure it does not conflict with existing state laws.

“They haven’t really gotten started yet, but (the workshop) will be things that they’ll deal with,” Johnson said. “Whatever we decide to change, of course that will be passed on to them.”

One of the objectives of the project will be to scrap rules that mandate Johnson must be an at-will employee. The county was forced to abandon a deal with Johnson earlier this year that stated he was contracted as a consultant “assuming the role of County Administrator.” County attorney Gabe Ridley reviewed the contract and determined that it could potentially pose a conflict with the county’s existing ordinances.

Commissioners are likely to re-attempt the deal — which Johnson said was intended to save taxpayer money — once the new ordinances are in place.

Also likely on the table during the project would be the creation of stronger enforcement mechanisms for chicken house operations that violate county ordinances. Local residents say the smell and unsightliness of the operations, some of which have existed for years, negatively impacts property values. Commissioners placed a 90-day moratorium on the construction of new chicken houses in March and then extended it for another 90 days in May. Though there is no hard deadline on when a permanent decision on the matter will have to be made, Johnson has said he would like the commissioners to have a sense of what to do next before the moratorium expires Sept. 1.

Other ordinances, including regulations on noise levels, may be reviewed as well.

“A lot of things need to be looked at,” Johnson said.

Members of the public are encouraged to attend and observe the workshop, which will begin at 9 a.m. at the Grady County Courthouse.

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