Work on a new Toccoa police precinct at the intersection of Pond Street and Collins Road is on hold.
City Billy Morse said Tuesday the work had to be delayed due to situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that resulted in city crews fulfilling other duties.
"We have not had the inmate work details this spring and summer due to COVID, so we have redirected personnel to grass cutting and other duties," Morse said.
"We hope to resume work soon," Morse said.
The precinct was mentioned briefly at the Toccoa City Commission's meeting on Monday, Aug. 24, by commissioner Jeanette Jamieson during discussions regarding receiving funds from the federal government's Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) act.
Jamieson asked whether CARES funds could be put toward the precinct construction.
Morse said that he believes they could.
At a cost that was estimated at $65,000, with $25,000 coming from the Northeast Georgia Housing Authority, Morse said CARES could cover the remaining $40,000.
"These monies (from CARES) are reimbursement monies that are already budgeted," Morse said.
The city is seeking some $446,000 in CARES funds of which $130,000 has already been received.
City commissioners approved a resolution supporting the acquisition of the CARES funds Monday.
"Our biggest claim (for reimbursement) is going to be for fire and police services," Morse said.
Also at Monday's meeting, city commissioners approved continuing with the city's health insurance company, Cigna.
Morse said the renewal includes a 9.9 percent increase in cost.
Responding to questions Tuesday, Morse said that the increase will be split between the city and employees at the same previous rate.
Morse said that no other insurance plans had an increase except for vision, which had a 5 percent increase that employees would have to cover.
Monday's meeting was held by teleconference.