Swingin' at the
Kali Smith and Matthew Buchanan took
a swing around the gym floor during a "Sweetheart Sock Hop"
held Friday night at Jackson County Elementary School. The event
was sponsored by the school's PTO.
Photo by Jana Adams
Two more units
will be added at power plant
The Georgia Power Company has decided
to build two more 80-megawatt generating units at its peak power
plant in Center next year.
Eight units are currently under construction at an estimated
cost of $200 million on Jarrett Road, just off Hwy. 441 across
from Louisiana Pacific. Those plants are due to come on line
starting in March, the first phase of what could eventually be
a 16-unit plant.
Georgia Power plans to use the gas-fueled generators during times
of peak electrical demand. The process is more expensive per
kilowatt hour than conventional generating plants, but the cost
is more than offset by the savings over purchasing power to meet
"We plan to build two more units in 2001, but we have made
no other decisions beyond that," explained John Sell, a
media relations official for Georgia Power.
The company has a contract with the Jackson County Water and
Sewerage Authority for up to 900 gallons per minute after July,
2001. It will begin taking county water most of it from
Commerce in March, when it will need 200 gallons per minute.
Starting June 1, the company's contract calls for it to receive
up to 450,000 gallons per minute, which was the company's original
estimate to cover eight units.
According to Sell, the company believes it can bring the two
additional units on line without exercising its option to go
over the 450,000 gpm mark.
The two additional units will increase Georgia Power's investment
at the Center site to $250 million, according to Sell. If all
16 are built, the project's estimated cost would hit $400 million,
by far the largest industrial project in the county.
Originally, it was thought that Georgia Power would build in
two eight-unit phases, but the decision to add two units during
2001 is a departure from that philosophy.
Meanwhile, the water authority is building lines to bring water
to the plant, both from its current system and from the Bear
Creek Reservoir, which is projected to come on line in July,
Last Thursday night, the authority's engineer, Charlie Armentrout,
told members that the water storage tank, pump station, piping,
etc., has been built and that General Electric is testing its
equipment on the site.
"Georgia Power is still scheduled to receive water for generation
in June," he said. "Our contract says the flat fee
begins in March."
Plans for a water line from Hwy. 129 east to Hwy. 441, some 52,000
feet of 16-inch pipes, have been submitted to the Georgia Environmental
Protection Division for approval. Armentrout projected that the
authority would be able to advertise for bids on that project
in 60 days.
Armentrout is also designing a line from South Jackson to the
Bear Creek Reservoir, and he expects those plans to be sent for
EPD approval within a month.
Speaking at last Thursday's regular water authority meeting,
Armentrout predicted that Georgia Power would build more units.
"I think they're going to commit to the other units,"
he said. "They sure have the site developed for it. They
have 400 or 500 employees, from subcontractors, on the site."
The authority expects to use water purchased from Commerce for
the plant, but also plans on using more expensive water from
Athens-Clarke County at times of peak demand. Its contract with
Georgia Power protects the authority in the event that the authority
has to use greater amounts of water from Athens-Clarke.
New athletic facilities
could be under way for JCCHS
BY ADAM FOUCHE
A new field house and wrestling complex addition
could soon be under construction at Jackson County Comprehensive
The Jackson County Board of Education voted Monday night to give
superintendent Andy Byers the go-ahead to begin to develop plans
and a budget for the construction of the facilities.
During the January meeting, athletic director and head football
coach Greg Lowe asked the board to look into upgrading the school's
"We have good facilities for the spectators," Lowe
said in January. "We have to share dressing facilities with
the basketball program. We need to look at fixing it with an
adequate field house."
Board member Kathy Wilbanks agreed with Lowe's assessment.
"We do need a new field house," she said in January.
At its meeting Monday night the BOE also:
·agreed to begin accepting bids on Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. for
the construction of West Jackson Elementary School. The board
also called for a special meeting on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. to consider
·approved a list of surplus equipment for sale or disposal.
·learned the bus replacement fund is more than $25,000
over budget for the year.
·learned author Jim Trelease will be speaking at JCCHS
on March 7.
·heard a presentation from the JCCHS Do Something League
about a new mentoring program called "Panther Pals."
·heard from chairman Barry Cronic, who told the system's
faculty and staff that he was impressed with the condition of
the schools after touring them with the board last week.
·approved the 2000-01 school year FTE contract for RESA
membership as is required by the state audit division.
·learned that the expansion of Hwy. 129 could affect the
entrance to South Jackson Elementary School. Byers told the board
he is still working with the Department of Transportation on
the plans for the expansion in front of the school.
·approved the following substitute teachers for the 1999-2000
school year: Melissa Harrelson, Nicole W. Webb, A. Jill Sosebee,
Kimberly D. Kiley, Rebecca P. Quintana, Kimberly L. Barber, Rena
W. Poe, Janice L. Perry, Joy J. Faulkner and Vicki G. Hanson.
·approved the following individuals for employment: Paul
McDaniel, custodian, Gordon Street Center; Ronald Pichan, teacher,
day alternative, GSC; Joy Faulkner, bus driver, Benton Elementary
School; Kenneth Barnett, bus driver, systemwide substitute; Joan
Martin, food service, North Jackson Elementary School; Frances
Brooks, food service, Jackson County Elementary School; Matthew
Ernest Casalini, maintenance, systemwide; and Pamela Hightower,
bus driver, systemwide substitute.
·accepted the following resignations: Brenda Jones, Ralph
Brooks, Muarl Davis, David Gillespie, Jennifer Kesler, Linda
Ward, Patsy Howard and Tammy Smith.
Jefferson BOE adopts
By Jana Adams
The Jefferson Board of Education approved a policy Thursday night
that will require out-of-district students to apply for admission
to Jefferson City schools. Upon acceptance, students and parents
will sign a contract pledging good behavior on the student's
part and parental cooperation in academic efforts.
The BOE discussed the policy at its January meeting and voted
in its favor Thursday. The only change the board made to the
policy was to strike a statement that said non-resident students
could be removed from the school system because of lack of space.
"We want to implement this for the coming year," said
BOE chairman Ronnie Hopkins. "It's basically set up for
The policy will be in effect for the 2000-01 school year. To
date, the Jefferson schools had no such enrollment policy, but
established this one in response to a dramatic increase in student
population in the past two years.
The policy states that additional non-resident students will
not be accepted for a class, grade, school or program that has
reached 95 percent of its limit set by the board. Non-residents
already enrolled will be grandfathered in.
"We may already be there (at 95 percent) in some programs
now," Hopkins said. "We will determine the 95 percent
limits. We will probably seek staff recommendations on limits."
At this point, the policy is not retroactive and does not require
those non-resident students already enrolled to sign the agreement.
But the board approved the policy with the understanding that
it could be amended.
"We may want to look, at some point, at making it retroactive,"
Hopkins said. "We will have to talk about whether to extend
it to the out-of-district students already enrolled as a contingency
for their staying enrolled."