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 This week's Journal
 This week's Journal


Madison County coach Tim Cook consoles senior basketball star Tawana Moon after she left the court for the final time in a Lady Raider uniform last Wednesday against North Gwinnett.
Photo by Zach Mitcham


New school district lines approved
The Madison County Board of Education has tentatively approved new boundaries for elementary school districts that incorporate the new Hull/Sanford school. The new school will draw students from an area with borders beginning at Hwy. 72 in Hull to the Spratlin Mill Road to Diamond Hill, along the Neese-Diamond Hill Road, then along the Neese-Commerce Road to the Leon Ellis Road to Seagraves Mill Road and on to the Jackson County line.
Lines separating the Ila and Colbert districts will be modified to create approximately equal student populations of 400-plus in each school. The schools at Danielsville and Comer will have only minimal changes.
Copies of the map are available at each elementary school and at the board of education office.
Assistant superintendent Jimmy Minish said that some minor adjustments may be necessary as new attendance figures come in.
All board members expressed approval of the plan and it was unanimously adopted.
In a separate matter Tuesday, BOE member John Mason addressed the question of Student Athlete Codes of Conduct. He was concerned about a statement in a code of conduct for softball players that appears to give the coach the right to discipline students for misconduct on a year-round basis. Mason feared that a multi-sports student might be punished separately by several coaches for the same misconduct. He also expressed his concern that coaches may be taking away the responsibility of parents to discipline their children.
Board attorney Lane Fitzpatrick said he was unable to find any clear legal ruling on the ability of coaches to control their teams. Both the state board and the athletic associations place the responsibility for such decisions on the local board of education.
Superintendent Dennis Moore warned that excessive interference in the prerogatives of a coach can have a negative impact on efforts to recruit and keep good coaches. He reported that the various coaches plan to meet at the end of the school year to discuss a uniform code. And he also pointed out the dangers of changing policy in the middle of a school year.
The board voted to urge the coaches to develop a uniform code and ask for a report at the June meeting.

Baseball field lights to be upgraded
The Madison County Board of Education has received five bids to upgrade the lights on the baseball field. A recent inspection revealed that the lights are below the requirements for a field to host a regional or state playoff.
Several proposals were submitted that range from adding and replacing current lights, to adding more racks or a completely new system. Prices range from $32,600 to $58,000. Superintendent Dennis Moore said the current budget includes approximately half the needed funds. He said that if action were taken in time, those funds could be used for a down payment, with the remainder budgeted in the next fiscal year.
Frank Gilbert of the school system's maintenance staff will review the bids and make a recommendation at the next meeting.
In other action, the board approved a contract with Coca Cola to provide a $7,500 scoreboard at the new school's gymnasium in exchange for an exclusive right to place coke machines in the teachers lounge and in the gym's snack bar.
The group endorsed a call for state legislation requiring parental responsibility for students who bring firearms to school.
The board approved a uniform field trip form, heard reports on the after school programs and school nurse reports.
They received a report on the new night school program for high school students and learned that the school system received a SPLOST check for $115,145 for the month of November.


County planners split over Floyd Road rezoning
County planners split 3 -3 on whether or not to give the go-ahead to a rezoning request on Floyd Road at Tuesday night's public hearing of the planning and zoning commission.
Conrad Westbrook, representing owner James W. Brock Jr., requested permission to rezone a three-acre portion of a 14.87-acre parcel on Floyd Road from A2 (agricultural - five acre minimum) to RR (rural residential - two acre minimum).
Westbrook wants to buy the three acres to build a brick home on it.
The land is part of the James W. Brock Sr. estate and is located near Camp Maranatha, which is operated by Brock's family.
A number of neighboring landowners along Floyd Road spoke to the commission opposing the rezoning. They cited a fear of setting a precedent for smaller parcels in the area. Most currently own property in five-acre or larger portions that are zoned A-2.
"I'm opposed to any change in the neighborhood," Michael Sales told the commission.
Former state representative Louie Clark, another landowner along Floyd Road, said he was opposed to any rezoning in the area of less than five acres.
"This is an historic area," Clark said, citing the proximity of Roger's Mill and the site of an old fort.
Aaron Reynolds, a grandson of Rev. Brock, told the commission that a five-acre parcel was "not feasible" around Westbrook's proposed homesite and that it is the Brock family's desire for Westbrook to purchase the property.
On rebuttal, Westbrook told the commission that three acres was all he could afford at this time.
"They (Brock family) could sell five acres (without a rezoning) and put a cheap trailer there ...I'm wanting to buy three acres and put a nice home there," he said in response to the objections.
"This is not unlike rezoning we have considered over the last few years - to allow a rezoning for an isolated parcel," said Chairman Pat Mahoney, who voted in support of the rezoning. She also said that she felt the rezoning would have "no significant impact" on the area, whereas larger tracts of land in the area that could come up for rezoning at a later time "would make a significant impact." Commissioners Brenda Thompson and Bill Holloway agreed.
Commissioners Roy Gandy, Ralph Power and Jim Beals voted to deny the request.
The commission is currently short one member.
In another matter, the commission voted unanimously to recommend denial of a request by Gerald Parham for an area variance on Parham Dudley Road for the purpose of locating two poultry houses closer than 200 feet of a property line.
Neighboring property owner Jana Sallee expressed concern over odor from the poultry houses blowing toward her home due to the proposed position of the structures.
The commission does not recommend such area variances for approval without the written consent of neighboring property owners who will be affected by such a decision. Sallee said she would provide the written consent if the houses could be shifted to avoid the fans in the rear of the home from blowing odor toward her home.
On rebuttal Parham maintained that the current location for the houses was the only viable one, and that shifting them would cause more expense in grading the land.
In other business, the commission voted to recommend approval for :
·a request by Dale Fleming to rezone 4.71 acres on Hwy. 72 east of Colbert from A1 to RR. Fleming wants to subdivide the land into two 2.4 acre parcels for residences.
·a second request by Dale Fleming to rezone five acres on Hwy. 72 at the intersection of CR 270 from A2 to RR. Fleming wants to subdivide this parcel into two 2.5 acre parcels for residences.
·a request from Winnie Hayden of Rainbow Signs, Inc. for a sign variance for Ingles new superstore on Hwy. 29 at Glenn Carrie Road. The variance will allow the standard package of five lighted signs, covering 325 feet of wall space, to be mounted on the front of the store to advertise the store's new services. The commission also agreed to allow Ingles to go ahead and mount the signs, unlighted, pending the BOC's final approval. If the signs are denied, Ingles will have to remove them. Hayden said there would be no change to the free standing signs in the store's parking lot.
·a request by Kent Sartain, representing his mother, Sally Ruth Sartain, to rezone 5.34 acres on Hwy. 29 north from A2 to RR. The Sartains want to divide the property into two lots containing two separate residences.
·a second request by Kent Sartain, representing Max Sartain, to rezone a .32-acre parcel on Hwy. 29 north from A1 to RR in order to blend it into the larger parcel. Max Sartain is allowing the purchase of the .32 acre tract in order to provide adequate road frontage for a manufactured home.
·a request by Annette Blackmon to rezone 1.84 acres on Hwy. 72 west of Carlton from RR to B2 (business). Blackmon wants to resell the property, which is sandwiched between Hwy. 72 and the railroad, for a business.

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The Madison County Journal - Danielsville, Georgia
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