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July 18 Election Results
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Voters should be ashamed of turnout
Every other week, I sit in front of my computer
and I write a column expressing my views, opinions and thoughts.
I do this because . . .
Why is there no girls' football?
Women can do what ever they want. Times have
rightly changed. Women serve in the military, politics and in
the home. They choose what they want . . .
BCHS starts softball Friday
When the Banks County High School softball
team takes the field Saturday, a lot will be different from last
Gone are the seven players lost to graduation. Moved is the existing
lineup to include one girl in the same position she played last
year. Changed is the area the team will play against.
Commerce Moves To Become A 'City Of Ethics'
If passing a resolution can make it so, the
Commerce government would now be officially a "city of ethics."
County BOE opens doors to city students
Students living inside the cities of Jefferson
and Commerce may once again attend class in the Jackson County
School System if they choose to do so. A new open door policy
was adopted by the Jackson County Board of Education Monday night
that rescinded a 1996 policy which had closed the county school
system to out-of-district students.
Enrollment up to 4,600
Approximately 4,600 students will begin school
in Madison County this Friday, according to superintendent Dennis
Moore. The expected enrollment will likely be up by 140 students.
Jail construction set for November
Construction of the new 60-bed Madison County
jail is scheduled to begin Nov. 1, county commission chairman
Wesley Nash said Monday.
The Banks County News
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Several workers construct a form for a concrete support for a
bridge as part of the Homer bypass project. DOT project engineer
Rob Mabry said the bridge, off McCoy Bridge Road, is the first
the DOT has begun constructing.
Council tables mobile
home park annexation
Wesley Hunt, the new owner of Village Mobile
Home Park, will have to give the Baldwin City Council more assurances
that he plans to do what he says about upgrading the 15-acre
park that is home to 287 people before it annexes the property
into the city.
Last month Baldwin fire chief Joe Roy made a safety inspection
of the property. Roy did so and reportedly found a number of
safety hazards, from exposed and leaking sewage pipes to exposed
Hunt said he has plans to make certain improvements to the property
and would like to provide city sewer service to the residents.
The residents are on septic systems which reportedly leak raw
sewage in some cases.
Baldwin resident Ray Holcomb said the property is "an embarrassment
to the city." He said he does not understand why the city
would even consider annexing the park. He said that "it
shouldn't be up to the city to improve the property."
Another resident, Tom Henderson, who lives just below the park,
agreed with Holcomb.
"I've seen the park go downhill over the years," he
said. "It has devalued my property."
He asked the council to "promise that no expansion would
be allowed" and said that he is worried about a stretch
of land that borders his property.
Hunt tried to reassure Henderson that he could not expand in
that area since he could not be granted a septic permit due to
the community well that lies there.
Henderson also took issue with city attorney David Syfan about
whether or not Baldwin could annex property owned by Habersham
County. Syfan said that he is not aware of such a county regulation.
Henderson also brought up a 1986 city ordinance dealing with
trailers and, when Syfan again said he is not aware of the ordinance,
Henderson showed him a copy of it.
Mayor Mark Reed said that bringing the park into the city limits
would make it subject to city codes. He said the park would be
an asset that would bring more residents into Baldwin, and as
a result, more tax dollars. He added that the park "would
improve quicker if it were a part of the city."
Reed said that the park would be an acceptable applicant for
a block grant since the work seeks to bring about better living
conditions for the tenants. Other upgrades that grant money could
be used for are the installation of sidewalks and repairing streets.
Despite the assurances by Hunt, council members were not convinced
that it would benefit the city. Council members Mitchell Gailey,
Robert Bohannon, and Jeff Bohannon all voiced their own concerns.
They said they want to see a definitive plan of improvement.
To wait, according to Reed, will exclude the park from the next
grant application period, which is Sept. 15. If the park remains
outside the city limits, the next chance for application would
not be until next April.
The council voted to table the matter until a special meeting
could be held that included Hunt, the council, the city engineer
and the Rural Development Council. The council also invited Henderson
to attend the meeting.
8.8 percent budget increase
The City of Homer approved its 2001 budget
of $390,700 Thursday night. The new budget is an 8.8 percent
increase from last year's $359,100 budget.
Administrative salaries, retirement and insurance account for
$61,000 of the budget. Street and sanitation salaries make up
$45,000. The Banks County Library receives the largest funding
in services for $20,500.
In other business, the council:
·voted to extend water service on Lynn Drive, after the
county asked the city if it wants to serve those who wanted water.
·delayed voting on a flood plain resolution, which allows
for residences in the flood plain to seek federal insurance,
until a legal point could be settled by the city's attorney.
·heard about the proposed new fire house from Mack Garrison,
who told the council that nothing could be discussed until the
architects had finished their evaluation.
School starts Friday
It's time for local students to hit the
School bells ring for the first day of the 2000-2001 Banks County
school year this Friday, Aug. 18, at 8 a.m.
Because school begins at the end of the week this year, students
will have an entire weekend to recuperate from back-to-school
shock before getting down to the serious business of reading,
writing and arithmetic Monday morning. All local schools will
host an open house Thursday, Aug. 17, giving students an opportunity
to meet their teachers and calm their jitters before school begins
Official preplanning got under way earlier this week, when teachers
returned to their classrooms Monday.
For more information on Banks County schools, see the special
back-to-school section in this week's edition of The Banks County
Go to Banks
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News plans vacation
Do you have a great photograph from your
vacation? If so, share it with our readers and maybe win some
money in The Banks County News photo contest. The deadline
is 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31.
Amateur photographers who live in Banks County may send in their
favorite travel and vacation photos taken this summer. Winning
photographs will be published in a future issue of the newspaper.
There will be two categories: Scenic views and people. A first
through third place prize will be given in each category. The
monetary awards will be as follows: $50, first place; $35, second
place; and $25, third place.
Photos must have been made during 2000. No more than one entry
per photographer please. The name of the photographer, the date
and location where it was made and the names of everyone in the
photo should be included.
Photos should be mailed to: Photo Contest, The Banks County
News, P.O. Box 920, Homer, Ga., 30547. They may also be dropped
off at The Banks County News office in Homer. Include
a self-addressed, stamped envelope and the photos will be returned.
Photos may also be picked up at The News office in Homer
after the contest ends.
Banks BOE approves
$14 million budget Monday
The Banks County Board of Education approved
a $14 million budget when it met Monday that is up $621,000 over
The budget includes notable increases in the costs of instruction,
business services, maintenance operations and student transportation.
A notable decrease of $220,000 in pupil services and the absence
of school nutrition in the budget are two reasons the increase
is not greater, officials said. Superintendent Deborah White
said that it was decided to budget school nutrition separately
An increase of funds from state sources allowed the board to
approve further expenditures within the estimated revenue for
the upcoming year. Further, the budget will allow Banks BOE to
place $144,000 into the general fund equity to roll over to next
For the rest of this story, see this week's Banks County News.