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Lady Tigers Beat Leopards In Overtime
It took the Lady Tigers an extra period but they were able to
beat Banks County 70-61 on Saturday.
Panther grapplers short by a nose in Avado Brands Invitational
THE JACKSON County wrestling team is taking time off for the
holidays before resuming its season Jan. 3 in a three-team dual
match at North Forsyth. The Panthers continued a season of dramatic
improvement last week with a second-place showing in the Avado
Brands Invitational at Morgan County.
Jefferson thunders over Tallulah Falls
THE STOCKINGS are hung by the chimney, and the shoes are hung
in the locker room. After blasting through region opponenet Tallulah
Falls Friday at home, the Jefferson Dragons are taking some time
off to celebrate Christmas this week.
Christmas celebration delayed, but not canceled
Cold, windy weather didn't stop many of the neighborhood folk
along Booger Hill and Moon's Grove Roads from presenting their
annual gift to the community - a live nativity and luminaria.
'Teachers of the Year' named
Each of Madison County's seven schools has named a "Teacher
of the Year." Those teachers honored were selected by their
Fire destroys Poole Road home Saturday night
A fire Saturday night completely destroyed a home on Poole Road.
Firefighters responded to the home of R.C. Morgan to find it
almost completely involved in flames.
Woman found dead at Banks Crossing motel
A Danielsville woman was found dead in a Guest House Inn room
last week and a Commerce man has been charged with her murder.
The Jackson Herald
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Kids across Jackson County pulled out their sleds Tuesday
morning as an inch of snow blanketed the area. Here 6-year-old
Hu Blackstock of Jefferson gets ready for another sled ride down
the hill in front of Jefferson High School.
rate down 3.99 mills
Thanks to a 42 percent increase in the city's tax digest, Jefferson
residents will see their city property taxes drop nearly 4 mills
this year, a decrease of 19 percent.
A total city tax rate of 16.91 mills was approved last week by
the Jefferson City Council, down from 20.90 last year.
Despite the drop in millage rates, both the school system and
the general city government will take in more tax dollars. The
Jefferson City School System will net an additional $264,900
while the general city government will get an additional $157,400.
"We have rolled it back based on the amount of new assessments
on existing property," said city attorney Ronnie Hopkins,
who pointed out that city residents are benefiting from the growth
in the area.
The millage rate for city operations was set at 5.65 mills, down
from 6.86 last year. The millage rate for the city school system
is 11.26 mills compared to 14.04 last year.
Tax notices cannot be sent out until the county tax digest is
finalized and approved, which is expected Dec. 27 or Dec. 28.
The county digest is so late this year due to the unusually large
number of appeals that followed a major county-wide reassessment.
City residents who would like to pay their taxes this year, can
go by city hall and find out the amount due and pay, leaders
said. However, this can't be done until after the final digest
The council also approved a $2.7 million budget for 2001, up
from this year's budget of $2.3 million. One of the increases
comes under salaries where an additional $9,000 has been allocated.
These goes toward annual raises.
Highlighting the Jefferson budget is the creation of a new city
department of recreation. The city council budgeted $25,000 for
the department and plans to hire a department head in early 2001.
An additional $40,000 has been budgeted for the fire department
over last year, with the largest portion of it going toward a
lease payment. Fire chief Doug Waters asked the council at last
week's meeting for an additional $23,000 to repair a 1973 fire
truck. He said a new truck to replace this one would cost approximately
$186,000. Council members asked the fire department officials
to look for a refurbished truck that would be in the $60,000
to $80,000 range. No action was taken.
The council also approved a $2.09 million budget for the water
and sewer department, which is up from last year's $1.8 million.
City leaders pointed out that the budget doesn't include any
water rate increases.
shuts down Nicholson gov't
There's not a "Gone Fishing" sign on the door of the
Nicholson City Hall, but there might as well be. Nicholson is
The City Hall is closed.
The library is closed.
The city's garbage service is no longer in operation.
City employees didn't receive paychecks Friday.
Fortunately for its residents, Nicholson provides no essential
services, so a shutdown doesn't portend a disaster. But it does
give the embattled town's citizens, who are bitterly split between
pro-zoning and anti-zoning forces, something to argue about.
On one side is newly elected mayor Ronnie Maxwell who is leading
anti-zoning efforts in the small community. With the shutdown,
Maxwell had vowed to pick up garbage in the town and even found
some volunteers ready to help him. But the city hall is closed
and the keys to the garbage truck and maps of the routes are
locked inside city clerk Dana Wilbanks' office, a location to
which Maxwell has no access.
But keys to the garbage truck aren't the only items locked up.
Also shut down is the city's check writing. Wilbanks had written
checks prior to Maxwell's election, but said that the dynamics
changed after he was sworn in Dec. 4.
"I've been doing it (prior to the election) under the blessings
of the city council," she said. "Now we have a mayor
in place. It's not the same situation."
Mrs. Wilbanks said she was advised by the state attorney general's
office not to sign checks. The city auditor gave her the same
City checks are supposed to have the signatures of both the clerk
and the mayor. But since the town council has held no meetings,
Maxwell's name is not on the bank signature card.
"To my knowledge, she has not signed a check since the mayor
was sworn in," said council member Margaret Ward.
ZONING BATTLE THE UNDERLYING ISSUE
Underlying the shutdown of Nicholson is a bitter fight over zoning
in the town. Both Ward and councilman Thomas Gary favor bringing
zoning into the community, which is the only place left in Jackson
County without some kind of zoning codes. But due to various
resignations in recent months, the city council has been without
Maxwell's election as mayor Nov. 28 changed that, but it also
set the stage for a showdown between the two opposing camps.
Ward and Gary attempted to have a council meeting following Maxwell's
swearing-in ceremony Dec. 4, but Maxwell, who is anti-zoning,
left the room, thus forestalling a quorum.
Maxwell also skipped a Dec. 11 meeting, but attempted to call
an emergency meeting last Thursday. This time, however, Gary
boycotted, again preventing a quorum. Maxwell had called Thursday's
meeting under an agenda rule that would not have allowed the
zoning issue to be discussed or voted on. Gary and Ward say they
won't attend any meetings called with such a limited agenda.
But this week's shutdown of the city may have upended Maxwell's
plans to stall a zoning vote until special elections in March.
Saying he had "played that hand as long as I could,"
the mayor indicated he may be ready to deal with Ward and Gary.
"I don't see as I've got a choice," he said. "I
got to get the town back operating. I'm going to have to meet.
I played that hand as long as I could."
Still, Maxwell said he's received "75 to 80" phone
calls about the situation, all of them supporting him and his
But Ward and Gary may have a trump card. The March special elections,
at which Maxwell hopes to elect two other anti-zoning members,
can't be called without a vote of the council. By boycotting
meetings, Ward and Gary could forestall the call of the March
elections, thus keeping pro-zoning votes in control of the city.
Ward says she and Gary would attend a regular city council meeting
that has an open agenda, but not an "emergency" meeting
limited to one or two agenda items.
"I want the agenda set by the process the city should go
through for a regular meeting," she said. "My position
is we have a lot of other business to transact and we need to
be able to conduct that business."
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Public Meeting Dates
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upcoming Christmas events
·Cedar Grove United Methodist Church: Sunday, Dec. 24,
Christmas Program, 6 p.m.
·Charity Baptist Church: Sunday, Dec. 24, the children
of the church will present the manger story with background music
provided by the Charity Choir.
·Dry Pond United Methodist Church: Wednesday, Dec. 20,
Church Christmas Party in Fellowship Hall.
·Ebenezer United Methodist Church: Sunday, Dec. 24, Christmas
Eve Communion Service, 5 p.m.
·Faith Baptist Church: Sunday, Dec. 24, Church Choir will
present a program of Christmas music during the 11 a.m. service.
·First Baptist Church of Commerce: Sunday, Dec. 24, Christmas
Eve Candlelight Service, 11 p.m.
·First United Methodist Church of Commerce: Sunday, Dec.
24, Christmas Eve Service, 5 p.m.
·First United Methodist Church of Jefferson: Sunday, Dec.
24, Candlelight Communion Service, 11 p.m.
·Galilee Christian Church: Sunday, Dec. 24, Christmas
Eve Service in the church auditorium, 5:30 p.m.; and Sunday,
Dec. 31, New Year's Eve Party, 7 p.m.
·Grace Baptist Mission: Sunday, Dec. 24, to hold Candlelight
Christmas Eve Service at the Commerce Civic Center, beginning
at 6 p.m.
·Hoschton United Methodist Church: Wednesday and Thursday,
Dec. 20-21, Live Nativity Scene from 6 to 9 p.m.; Sunday, Dec.
24, Christmas Eve Family Communion Service, 5 p.m.
·Holly Springs United Methodist Church: Sunday, Dec. 24,
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 6 p.m.
·Maranatha Baptist Church: to hold "Watch Night Service"
Sunday, Dec. 31, beginning at 8:30 p.m.
·Nicholson Baptist Church: Thursday through Saturday,
Dec. 21-23, to present Live Nativity Scene from 7 to 9 p.m.
·St. Catherine Labouré Catholic Mission: to hold
Vigil Mass Saturday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 24, Christmas
Vigil Mass will begin at 5 p.m.
·Zion Baptist Church: Thursday and Friday, Dec. 21-22,
Youth group will hold a live nativity scene from 6:30 to 9 p.m.;
Sunday, Dec. 24, Candlelight Service, 5 p.m.
Budget To Be Up By Four Percent
The Maysville City Council's budget for next year's general fund
shows an increase of four percent, but the water and sewer budget
is down 13 percent. Both budgets were approved at the council
meeting Monday night.
Maysville leaders expect more revenue from property taxes and
sales taxes to pay for a seven percent salary increase for policemen
and the city librarian. There will also be a $16,000 increase
in insurance costs. Other increases include: supplies, utilities,
the library and the contingency fund. Decreases are expected
in legal and consultant fees, a shift from $20,000 to $12,000,
and in the fire department, a shift from $24,000 in 2000 to $14,500
in 2001. New additions to the budget are audit and software at
a cost of $10,000, and gas, supplies and a car for the police
department at $40,000.
H.A. "Bud" Dyer, a Maysville citizen who attended the
public hearing on Thursday night, was most concerned with the
purchase of a new car for the police department. He said the
city had just bought a new car two years ago and he didn't see
the need for another one.
"I set it up where we buy a new car every two years,"
said police chief Ricky Armour. "If you don't buy one now,
we'll have to buy two at a time."
Armour explained that his plan reduces repair costs and prevents
the city from being hit with a very large bill for two cars.
"It's a two-payment lease," said Mayor Richard Presley.
"We pay half this year and half next year."
Maysville's water and sewer budget expects to generate $40,000
less in funds than last year's budgeted $308,000.
The town expects decreased costs for returned checks, contract
labor, water testing, utilities, office supplies and the contingency
fund. The biggest decrease is in contract labor, which has been
reduced by more than half from $30,000 to $14,000.
Increases under the water and sewer budget are expected in salaries,
which were increased by seven percent, and purchased water.