Place A Classified Ad
Jackson Legal Page
Jackson Opinion Page
Jackson Obituary Page
Send A Letter
List Your Business
Jackson County Stats
Sex Offender Registry
1998 Building Permits
1999 Building Permits
1998 Property Transactions
1999 Property Transactions
Bear Creek Project
Go to Banks County
Go to Madison County
Questions for BOC candidates
The one political race that will be decided this summer is that
for chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.
Mall designed to resemble downtown area
Barbara and I took last Thursday off in honor of our 26th wedding
anniversary, the highlight of which would be a meal at an Atlanta
JCCHS to host Georgia Games wrestling
Jackson County Comprehensive High School will host the 2000 Georgia
JCPRD spring baseball, softball champions crowned
The Jackson County Parks and Recreation Department completed
its end-of-season baseball and softball...
Arrest made in brutal murder of Colbert man
An arrest has been made in the murder of
a Colbert man, who was found Monday encased in cement in Oglethorpe
School budget up 3 percent
Madison County school superintendent Dennis Moore says that no
property tax increase is planned to support the Madison County...
Lula to be tough on water violators
Lula city water customers caught violating outdoor watering restrictions
three times will face disconnection...
Theft of city water on the rise in Alto
Alto leaders have made a move to get tough on people stealing
water from the town following the loss of thousands of gallons
The Jackson Herald
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056
NEWS / ADVERTISING
® Copyright 2000
MainStreet Newspapers, Inc.
All rights reserved.
Terms / Privacy
SNOW IN THE SUMMER?
Youngsters at Vacation Bible School this week at
Hoschton Baptist Church enjoyed a snow fight at "Snowy Mountain
Ridge." The theme for the week is outback games and this
room has been converted into a snow-covered mountain ridge. Similar
activities are under way across the county as area churches hold
Vacation Bible School
sheriff candidates discuss issues at forum
Local Republican candidates for the Board of Commissioners and
Sheriff posts gathered Thursday at the Commerce Civic Center
to answer questions from three panelists and audiences members
during a forum sponsored by the Jackson County Republican Party.
Candidates were drilled by Hoschton civic leader Edna Sell, Jackson
County Chamber of Commerce president Peppy Cummings and The Jackson
Herald editor Mike Buffington on questions ranging from hiring
a county manager to handling growth and greenspace issues.
One of the biggest questions to the candidates concerned the
hiring of a county manager.
Fletcher said he would first study H.B. 190, the bill creating
Jackson County's new form of government, then establish a pay
scale before searching for someone. He also said he would like
to proceed as quickly as possible and that the BOC and the chairman
would have to work together as a team during the interim before
the manager took over.
Once a manager is found, Fletcher said the BOC should establish
objectives and goals for him, set up his job description, empower
him and step out of the way. At the same time, he said, the county
manager should be evaluated regularly.
Drawing on his experience from the private workforce, Grubbs
said he would go to an employment agency to find someone who
isn't "connected" and doesn't "know the right
people." During the interim, he said the BOC chairman would
have to take an extra work load to keep the county government
Grubbs said after a manager is hired, he should be the one to
deal with every day issues. He said the manager should have close
contact with the chairman, which would trickle down to the other
Stephenson told panelists the process should be done expeditiously,
but that the BOC should take enough time to find the right person.
He proposed the BOC form a selection committee of citizens to
screen candidates. He suggested current BOC chairman Jerry Waddell
or David Bohanon could occupy the county manager position while
a permanent manager was being hired.
Stephenson also said the county manager should be the one to
handle the day-to-day operations of the county, while the BOC
should be the policy-setting authority.
BOC DISTRICT 1
The first question for District 1 candidates concerned hiring
a county manger, and the nature of the manager's relationship
with his staff.
Travis Boles Sr. said the county manager should have good experience.
Stacey Britt told the panelist the BOC should do a complete search
of all qualified people, and he said the right person probably
already had a job. He said he believed the county manager should
handle day-to-day operations while the BOC would make policy.
Felton Rainey said the board should search for a good candidate.
Answering Buffington's question on how to keep the board from
splitting into factions, Rainey told him to "get back with
me when I know."
Britt said that even though the board members would be elected
from different districts, they should realize they represent
all the citizens of Jackson County.
Boles told the panelists he would work individually with all
the BOC members for the good of the county.
BOC DISTRICT 2
Don Blalock was the only Republican candidate for BOC District
2 at the forum.
In response to Cummings' question about impact fees, Blalock
said the new BOC should look closely at growth and consider impact
fees to keep Jackson County citizens from bearing the cost of
new developments coming in.
When asked how he would make citizens feel more included in county
government, Blalock told the panel the BOC should publish a quarterly
document outlining the county's expenditures and revenue. He
also said the county needed a board the citizens could talk to.
In his closing, Blalock stressed the importance of a favorable
relationship between Commerce and Jackson County.
BOC DISTRICT 3
Buffington first questioned District 3 candidates on their ideas
for sewage in Jackson County.
Emil Beshara said the county was forced into the sewage business,
but he believed it was good for the county.
"Without infrastructure, industry is moving into the municipalities,"
Beshara also favored adjusting connection and usage fees.
Chip Pritchett told the panel sewage was important for all growth
in the county.
Jerri Smith said she wasn't in agreement with the county takeover
of the sewage. She also said she favored privatization of services
Mark Tolbert told the panelists he wasn't sure if the sewer business
is a "good idea" for Jackson County. He said there
would be a limited amount of money available for sewage projects,
and the county would have to pick and choose what will bring
the most benefit.
BOC DISTRICT 4
District 4 candidates first tackled a question relating to the
establishment of animal control.
"We've needed animal control for years," Tony Beatty
told the panel.
He also said funds for animal control could be included in the
county budgeted, and revenue could come from user fees for the
Kenneth Bridges favored taking unneeded funds from other departments
to run an animal control service.
Responding to sewage growth issues, Bridges said the county need
the infrastructure, even though it will cost the county.
Beatty told the panel sewage was a necessity in high-density
Sell questioned the sheriff candidates first, asking how each
would make better use of patrol cars to lower opportunity costs.
Incumbent Stan Evans said he had given each officer driving responsibilities
and some take their cars home, increasing the cars' longevity
and lowering maintenance costs.
Charles Hayes said he agreed with the current system and would
favor more roadblocks to lower the amount of driving by deputies.
Hayes agreed, adding that more cars and equipment were needed.
See the June 28 edition of The Jackson Herald for the complete
sizes raise questions for BOC member
By Jana Adams
Board of commissioner member Pat Bell was flipping through the
proposed site development plan for Mulberry Plantation Thursday
night at the Jackson County Planning Commission meeting when
she saw some details that raised red flags for her - particularly
the mention of one-eighth acre lots.
But according to Jackson County director of planning and development
David Clabo, the lot sizes are not in violation of planned unit
development (PUD) rules.
The planning commission had tabled the site development plan
for the Mulberry Plantation located at Hwy. 124 and Gum Springs
Church Road per the request of Bluegreen Golf. A letter had been
submitted by R. Thomas Powers of Bluegreen Golf requesting that
the matter be tabled because of "a final (unexpected) environmental
test" that had caused a delay.
Bell spoke at the end of the meeting, but the plan was not reviewed
by the planning commission.
"I've been looking at this from Mulberry Plantation and
I'm dumbfounded to see one-eighth acres (lot sizes mentioned),"
Bell said. "I voted against quarter acre lots and I see
here one-eighth acre lots."
Bell referred to a December 1999 called BOC meeting when zoning
conditions for the Mulberry site were altered.
Clabo told Bell that the condition for a minimum lot size of
one-half acre had been removed from the Mulberry plans in December,
but that no other size requirements had been set.
According to minutes from that December BOC meeting, "Commissioner
(Henry) Robinson made motion that we take condition no. 12 out
of the zoning which says 'No lot in this project shall be less
than 1/2 acre' because he feels we would probably lose if we
go to court because it specifically states in the PUD zoning
that thee can be 8,200 four lots - four dwellings per acre.
Chairman states it also state there can only be four dwellings
"I was told there couldn't be more than four dwellings per
acre," Bell said.
Clabo explained that the plan includes a variety of lot sizes
- one-third acre, one-fourth acre, one-eighth acre - saying "that's
what a PUD ordinance allows."
"That was not the intent of the board of commissioners,
I'm sure," Bell said. "You know it and I do too."
Arcade woman critically
injured in fire
A White Oak Trail, Arcade, woman was badly
burned on her head, face, arms and hands during a fire at her
residence last week. Wednesday afternoon, she was listed in critical
condition in the Joseph M. Steal Jr. burn center at Doctor's
According to a report from the Arcade Police Department, an officer
was on patrol when he was dispatched to 89 White Oak Trail because
of three 911 hang-ups. The officer then learned there was a fire
at the residence and when he arrived, he found two women standing
outside of the house.
One of the women, Edith Tedder, 62, who was in a wheelchair at
the time, had "bad burns" to her head and arms. She
was briefly treated on the scene and then transported to Augusta.
The fire is still under investigation, authorities said.
to consider plan for city to own, maintain sewage pumps
Hoschton's engineer Charles Armentrout brought a new idea and
new hope to Panther Creek residents in a town meeting Monday
when he presented a proposal for solving the subdivision's long-standing
Armentrout's proposal involves creating a contract between the
city and the subdivision residents that gives the city ownership
and maintenance of the grinder pump system already in place.
The city would update the system, getting it "up to standard,"
then be responsible for maintenance. The residents would be responsible
for the electric bill.
The plan would not require that residents' yards be torn up for
installation of a totally new system, a revelation that brought
applause from the audience of 16 or so residents. And completion
of Armentrout's plan could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars
less than the new gravity flow system given funding approval
earlier this year by the city council.
"My idea would be to go in and evaluate each individual
system, replace them if necessary with a good quality pump and
start fresh," Armentrout said.
Panther Creek resident David Jackson said, "This is the
best idea I've heard so far."
Armentrout first broached the idea with the Hoschton City Council
at its May work session and will discuss it in further detail
at a 9 a.m. July 6 work session before the 7 p.m. July 10 regular
But while residents seemed amenable to hearing more about the
plan and wanting to know how the council felt about it, Armentrout
cautioned them that the EPD will also have to give its approval
on the matter. Plans for the new gravity flow system have already
been sent to the EPD in response to an administrative order that
the city clean up the subdivision's sewage system.
"The first thing is to make sure the EPD says it's OK,"
Armentrout said. "The city is under an administrative order
and has proposed gravity flow as a way to fix it. I have talked
to an EPD engineer...and the first question I asked was, are
we too far down this road to go back to another option. He said
possibly not. The EPD's concern is to make sure the problem is
solved and make sure it is agreeable to the city and residents."
Judge orders picketers
A Superior Court judge has ordered two women who had recently
picketed at a West Jackson subdivision to not hold another display
until the county has an ordinance in place requiring a permit
and outlining demonstration regulations.
Judge Bob Adamson ruled at a special hearing in Barrow County
Thursday that Cindy Anderson and Melissa Harrelson not picket
until an ordinance is approved by the county. The two women were
present at the brief hearing and agreed.
Also at the hearing, Sue Campbell and Tom Beck asked that the
two not be allowed to picket on their property. Their attorney,
Wanda David, said that the two women were on her client's property
when they picketed at Clover Mill Subdivision on Hwy. 124. She
added that their action interfered with the sale of property
by Campbell and Beck.
The picketers are reportedly upset about the construction of
their homes, located in Walnut Ridge Subdivision. County director
of planning and development David Clabo said earlier that they
are alleging 16 code violations are in place in the homes. He
said the county building inspector has been to the homes and
there are no code violations. He did add that there were some
violations earlier, but that those had been fixed by the builder.
BOC chairman Jerry Waddell said at an earlier meeting that the
violations they are referring to are actually cosmetic concerns,
such as painting and landscaping.
Go to Jackson
Public Meeting Dates
& Convenience Stores
in the works for future developments
In the future, developers locating commercial and multi-residential
properties in Jackson County may have to make a little more effort
to beautify their finished products with foliage and other landscaping
The Jackson County Planning Commission discussed the draft of
a document that would set such landscaping standards Thursday
night. County director of planning and development David Clabo
explained that the board of commissioners had requested the planning
commission develop such standards for incoming industry and business
sites, as well as for duplexes and apartment complexes.
The zoning ordinance, if approved, would require landscaping
around parking lots, buildings and service areas of new developments.
The draft copy the planners are reviewing comes from Bostwick
via the Rural Development Commission and currently does not address
The RDC draft offers two options for standards: a performance
landscape plan that requires a calculated number of plant units
per square foot and so forth and a prescribed landscape plan
that would allow more freedom in design.
Planning commission chairman Keith Hayes asked whether or not
the draft calls for certified landscapers or surveyors to do
the landscaping work. At this point, Clabo replied, the draft
does not, but that could be something to be examined.
Planning commission member Larry Sailors asked: "If we adopt
it, will it be enforced?" He pointed out that some other
counties with such policies don't levy fines but, rather, allow
the developer to go back and correct the problems.
"That's not so different from how we do building inspections,"
Clabo said. "We give them another chance....But I think
it is the intent of the board of commissioners to enforce it."
Planning commission member Daniel Sailors and Hayes both said
they'd like to have more time to review the document.
Hayes made a move to table the matter, saying he'd like to set
up a work session with the board of commissioners to discuss
the standards again to "fine tune it a little." The
other members agreed.
approves two more cell towers
Two more telecommunication towers have been approved for Jackson
County by the planning commission.
The planning commission approved Thursday night a conditional
use rezoning for two monopole telecommunications towers for American
Tower and Triton PCS. The towers can serve up to five users.
One 180-feet pole is proposed for location on an 80x80-foot leased
area owned by David Strickland off Hwy. 59. A 50x50-foot fenced
area will be screened and landscaped and will have a 15-foot
Paul Scoggins, whose home is across the road from the proposed
site, asked the nature of a conditional use permit and how close
the tower would be to his house.
Carolyn Briggs of American Tower pointed out the location to
Scoggins on a map, saying the tower would be "well over
500 or 600 feet away" and would not be lit.
Clabo responded to Scoggins' question about conditional use,
saying "the reason for conditional use...it sets certain
limits so it can be called back into question if there are problems."
The other proposal was for a 150-foot monopole tower to be located
on a 100x100-foot leased area at the intersection of Hwy. 98
and Wood Bridge Road. The property is owned by Mack Meeks.
The tower will be located on a 60x60-foot fenced area with a
These matters will come before the Jackson County Board of Commissioners
for consideration at its July 11 meeting. A "work session"
will be held at 5 p.m. that night to receive input from citizens
and a voting session will follow at 7 p.m.
$681,500 in construction
permitted by Commerce in May
The city of Commerce issued nine building permits during May
for construction valued at $681,500, according to a report from
the city's Office of Code Enforcement.
The permits included four single-family houses valued at $374,000,
a commercial building valued at $120,000, two mobile homes valued
at $104,000, an addition to a house valued at $50,000 and an
addition to an industrial building valued at $33,500.
Through the first five months of 2000, permits have been issued
for $3.02 million in construction. The value for the first 11
months of the fiscal year was $5.29 million.
Values on the report are based on estimates provided by the contractor
and are not figures used for determining ad valorem taxes.
Also during May, building inspector David Lanphear issued three
electrical permits, one grading permit, one sign permit and one
mechanical permit and conducted an average of 5.9 inspections
Officers of the Commerce Police Department responded to 742 calls
for service during May, filed 129 incident reports, 25 accident
reports and fielded 45 animal complaints. Officers made 141 traffic
cases, 26 criminal cases, logged 19,139 miles of vehicle patrols
and 40 hours of foot patrols.
The traffic cases included eight driving under the influence
(DUI) arrests, nine cases of driving with a suspended license,
13 for driving with no insurance and 36 for speeding. Forty-three
people were cited for failure to wear seat belts.
Of the criminal cases, there were four burglary, theft or robbery
cases, three each of assault or battery, drunk and disorderly,
alcohol-related offenses and obstruction of an officer.
During May, the Commerce Fire Department responded to 13 calls,
four of which were in the city limits, seven of which were in
the fire district and two of which were outside the fire district.
There was but one structural fire, two grass or woods fires,
two gas or electrical incidents, four alarms, three wrecks and
one rescue call.
The Commerce electric department added 13 new residential customers
and two commercial services during May. The gas department added
three new residential customers, while the water and sewer department
added 21 residential water customers, six residential sewer customers,
one non-residential water customer and two non-residential sewer