News from Banks County...

 January 17, 2001


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OPINION

Phillip Sartain
Fried baloney sandwich

It never happened very often, but when it did, it was always predictable.

Shar Porier
Georgia winter mornings

Something about Georgia winter mornings.


SPORTS
Banks to tackle tough subregion foes

The remainder of the basketball season will be a critical time for Banks County.


Neighborhood News...
JACKSON COUNTY
Tax digest tops $1 billion
For the first time ever, the net tax digest for Jackson County has topped the $1 billion mark. Jackson County's tax digest is $1.076 billion, up 35 percent from the year before.

Sanders named recreation director
Ricky Sanders is once again heading the Jackson County recreation department.


News from
MADISON COUNTY
Well water non-existent for some Madison Countians
The milk jugs brought in with water from Athens are evidence of a hard fact for James Hardman and his family - the well is dry.

Planners approve rezoning
Madison County planners recommended approval of a controversial rezoning request by a vote of four to two at a public hearing on the matter Tuesday night.


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BALDWIN APPROVES AGREEMENT


Baldwin City Council members moved quickly Friday afternoon to approve a resolutions on the agreement with the Banks County Board of Commissioners over a proposed special purpose local option sales tax. At a special called meeting, council members Jeff Bohannon, Mitchell Gailey, and Robert Bohannon formed the quorum. Mayor Mark Reed is shown signing the first resolution as city clerk Stacey Jacobs gets the second one ready.

Baldwin to see SPLOST funds
Baldwin will get 1.5 percent of a proposed special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) if Banks County voters approve a referendum in March.
The Banks County Board of Commissioners had already decided that the sales tax would only be shared with Maysville and Homer. Maysville will get three percent and Homer will get six percent of the proposed SPLOST. The election has been called for March 20 to continue the existing SPLOST for five years with an anticipated revenue of $15 million.
Baldwin Mayor Mark Reed appeared before the BOC in a called meeting Friday morning to ask for a share of the revenue to be used by the city for water lines located in Banks County. He asked for four percent, which he said was based on population. After a lengthy discussion, the BOC agreed to allocate Baldwin 1.5 percent, or $225,000, of the revenue.
Reed pointed out that 638 of Baldwin's water customers, or 40 percent of the system, are Banks County residents.
"It was a surprise to me that this thing was called so quickly," Reed said. "...I really would ask y'all to back up and re-evaluate this. The cities of Maysville and Homer received SPLOST allocations out of the last SPLOST... There are six cities in Banks County and they are not all named Maysville and Homer."
Reed said he understood that the BOC would be meeting the minimum legal requirements by only allocating money to Maysville and Homer, but said surrounding counties share SPLOST with all of its municipalities.
"What is so unique about Banks County is that only two of its cities will benefit," he said. "...We really had some high hopes that...we were at least going to be included in the process...I'm disappointed that we weren't included...It's not fair to include the same two cities each time. We are a part of Banks County."
Commissioner Ernest Rogers said that part of his reason for at first excluding Baldwin from the tax is that he had talked to several people in the town who said they wouldn't support the vote on the SPLOST if Baldwin is included.
"We need all the support we can get," he said.
Baldwin councilman Robert Bohannon pointed out that without the SPLOST funds, it would only lead to an increase in the millage rate for the town.
Mayor Reed also spoke on the difficulty the town has since it is in two counties.
"I never would have drawn the county line down the middle of the city," he said. "We're not an island among ourselves. The northern end of the county is feeling a little left out. I think you can remedy this by giving us a taste of this."
After the BOC agreed to include Baldwin in the SPLOST revenue, the city council held an emergency called meeting to approve the resolution. This meeting was held at 1 p.m. Friday. Council members Mitchell Gailey, Robert Bohannon and Jeff Bohannon formed the quorum necessary to approve the paperwork.
The BOC meeting had ended around noon, but the board reconvened at 3 p.m. Friday and took final action on the SPLOST matter.
On a related matter, BOC chairman Kenneth Brady said that the Development Authority had asked for two percent of the SPLOST revenue to be used to advertise and attract new businesses to the county. County attorney Randall Frost said this would not be a legal use since the SPLOST revenue is only to be used for capital outlay projects.




Citizen complaints aired at BOC meeting
A Banks County man appeared before the Banks County Board of Commissioners Friday morning to discuss their concerns with trash on the roads and debris left in the road after brush was cleared.
Lou Sokowoski said he is concerned about the trash on Hwy. 326, Sims Bridge Road and Duncan Road. The BOC reported that he could call the county marshal when trash is found. The marshal can go through the garbage and make a case against anyone if it can be determined who the trash belongs to.
Sokowoski also said he is concerned with the debris scattered along Duncan Road when the brush was cleared. Other issues he brought to the attention of the BOC included the possibility of a water line extension onto Duncan Road and the moratorium in place on junk cars. OTHER BUSINESS
In other business Friday, the BOC:
·approved the service contract for the billing service for the ambulance department.
·agreed to seek one more bid on leveling two fields and improving the drainage system at the recreation department. The board has already received one bid for this project.
·learned that the new gas line permit is for new line installations only. It is not for permitting gas tanks.
·agreed to look into a proposal for the county to participate in a county web page project.
·learned that Bill Gowder had sent a letter asking for Gowder Road and a portion of Mitchell Road be paved. He also sent a petition with signatures of 200 people supporting the project.


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Subdivision gets go-ahead from Lula council
A subdivision planned by developers David Dunlap and Ken Robinson was given the green light Monday night, thanks to a tie-breaking vote by Mayor Tim Allen.
Dunlap and Robinson presented the Lula City council with a copy of the covenants pertaining to the mobile home section of their development as the council had requested at its last meeting.
After some discussion, council member Mike Ostrander said that area residents opposed the mobile home part of the development in fear of the devaluation of their properties. Council members Buster Autry and Milton Turner moved the subdivision be accepted. When the vote was called, Ostrander and Lamb Griffin voted in opposition.
Allen said, "I am satisfied with what they have done."
He voted in favor of the motion to accept.
The developers said that the city will be proud of the new subdivision.
In other business Monday, the council:
·briefly discussed the Hemlock Springs-Holtzclaw dispute over city right of way. City attorney Brad Patton said that even though the road had been moved from its original location, the city had not given up its right of way.
·approved the second reading of the animal control ordinance. It can be read at city hall by citizens who are interested.
·approved a new $2,600 heating and air conditioning system for the library.
·specified that leave time for part-time employees must be taken as time off or as sick days.


Banks County to receive ARC grant for $300,000
Banks County will receive an Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant for $300,000 to expand water and wastewater services to Banks Crossing.
ARC grants are administered by USDA-Rural Devel-opment.
Expanded services to this retail area are expected to attract new businesses and create economic opportunity.
The grant will make up the difference between the $770,600 contributed by Banks County and the $1,070,600 needed to complete the project.
When completed, the project will increase wastewater treatment capacity from 70,000 to 300,000 gallons per day.
Improvements included in the project are adding an aeration pond, modifying the existing facultative pond and developing five new spray fields.