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Paisley deserving of Opry honor
Brad Paisley will officially join a host of country stars as
a member of the Grand Ole Opry in a special ceremony Saturday
night. It is fitting that this talented singer, songwriter and
musician join other country music greats as a member of the Opry.
Life below the gnatline
Being from North Georgia, I consider any trip below Atlanta to
Leopards going to state!
Call it drive. Call it willpower. Or call it old-fashioned well-played
Opponents Of Sewer Line Get Reprieve From County
Property owners enraged over plans to build county sewer lines
through their property got at least a temporary reprieve Thursday
Jefferson votes to hire city manager
Despite the opposition from one city council member, and to the
obvious dismay of Mayor Byrd Bruce, the Jefferson City Council
voted Monday night to hire a city manager to run the town's government.
BOC makes county complex more accessible
All county complex doors were unlocked for business Tuesday morning
in an effort to make the building more accessible to the public.
Full-time county employees can receive dental coverage
Full-time Madison County employees and their families will now
be offered dental insurance.
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'Mr. BCHS' crowned
Banks County High School senior Drew Reed was crowned Mr.
BCHS at the first annual Mr. BCHS contest Saturday night. Reed
was one of five finalist out of 14 contestants. The finalists
included: Chris Ivey, Duran Belotte, Drew Gowder and Wes Dockery.
The contest was sponsered by the BCHS baseball program and the
Y-Club to help raise money for both organizations.
Probate judge calls
Banks County's new probate judge presented a plan to the board
of commissioners Tuesday night that will ensure that the financial
records from her office are audited each year.
Probate judge Betty Thomas said that she will be turning in the
fees paid in the office each month to the commissioners. She
said she is making this move in an effort for accountability
of these funds and to make sure they are audited each year.
The judge asked that these funds be earmarked by the BOC for
the probate office with a decision to be made later as to how
they will be used. State law allows the probate judge to keep
these fees as personal income. Thomas didn't say whether or not
she would keep the funds herself, but said there are several
options for the money, including purchasing needed items for
"I commend you for tracking the money that comes in,"
commissioner Pat Westmoreland said.
In January, Thomas said the office took in approximately $225
in fees for vital records.
On another matter, Thomas reported that the state legislature
is considering a bill that would require counties to form a board
of elections. At the present, the probate office is in charge
of overseeing elections. She encouraged those present to consider
the proposed legislation and give Banks County's senator and
representative input on the matter.
"It could have a very costly effect to Banks County,"
Westmoreland commented that he doesn't favor any state mandates
that are unfunded.
Lula Area Betterment
Assn. names officers, plans festival
The Lula Area Betterment Association (LABA) has named its new
officers and is making plans for the annual festival.
In January, LABA held its first meeting of the year with the
following new officers presiding: Betty Jo Evans, president;
Mordecai Wilson, vice president; Lou Ella Martin, secretary;
Melissa Martin, treasurer; and Roy Savage, Clyde Moore, Nora
Jones and Talmadge Pless, all directors.
The main fund-raiser is Railroad Days, which will be held May
18-20. This year, Lula will be celebrating the 25th anniversary
of Railroad Days. The railroad director for this year is James
The association is a non-profit civic association that works
toward the improvement, socially and aesthetically, of the Lula
In the year 2000, the LABA gave donations to the East Hall High
School Band, East Hall Middle School Band, Lula Girl Scouts and
Banks County Family Connection and delivered 22 Christmas dinners
to shut-ins in the area.
Membership is open and encouraged to anyone who lives in the
Lula area. All ages are welcome, leaders say. For more information,
write to: LABA, P.O. Box 1192, Lula, Ga. 30554.
Alto Council agrees
to re-open old well
An Alto well that has been closed for some time may be re-opened
Mayor Jack King reported at Tuesday's council meeting that the
cost to open the well is expected to be $7,000 to $8,000.
He also gave a report to the council on the progress made to
re-open the benzene-tainted well. He said a test run had been
done and the water had no odor. He also said he and the engineer
ran it for one and a half hours and both drank a glass of water
"It tasted all right," said King.
Samples of the well water have been sent off to be analyzed for
the benzene content and other chemicals, he said. King said another
test is planned for February 19. This testing period will run
24 hours and have samples taken every 30 minutes.
"If the well looks promising, we will have a meeting with
the environmental protection department to apply for re-opening
the well," King said.
The well is expected to provide 175 to 180 gallons per minute,
he said, and will increase the city's needed reserve capacity.
In other business:
·King gave a report on the status of the proposed well
drilling project. He said he has talked with several drilling
companies trying to find the best price.
·the council approved a new charter of accounts for the
general fund budget and the water fund budget.
·a resident complained of dirty water that is undrinkable
and ruins clothing when laundered. The mayor said the pump is
too powerful and is pulling sediment into the water supply. The
city plans to replace it with a smaller horsepower pump to solve
the problem. If that does not do the job, he said, the city may
be required "to add a sequestering agent to the water."
·another resident asked about the city's ordinance on
livestock raising within the city limits. She said her neighbors
had built chicken coops and are raising chickens. She is concerned
with the runoff polluting the spring on her property.
Go to Banks
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Home and garden
center gets approval
The Banks County Board of Commissioners approved a rezoning request
Tuesday night that will bring a home and garden center to the
The commissioners approved a request from Walt Rowsey to rezone
8.86 acres on the corner of Ridgeway Road and Waterplant Road
from ARR (agricultural, rural-residential) to C-2 (general commercial).
Rowsey said that he plans to sell the property to a company that
will locate the home and garden center at the site.
In other business, the BOC recommended approval of a request
from E.J. and Ella McDonald to relocate a 1985 manufactured home
to Christmas Tree Road. This property is zoned ARR (agricultural,
rural-residential). The approval comes with the stipulation that
repairs be made to the home after it is moved to the county.
These repairs include repairing a broken window, replacing insulation
underneath the structure and repairing wiring.
On another matter, planning commission chairman Harold Ivey reported
that the proposed subdivision ordinance has been prepared and
is at the planning office for review.
Alto looks at raising
The Alto City Council is planning to raise water rates.
At Tuesday's city council meeting, Mayor Jack King gave the council
a rate sheet showing what other cities in Habersham County are
charging for their water. The rise is necessary to help pay for
the upgrades to the water system, including the drilling of at
least one new well, he said.
The council will discuss the increase at a called meeting Feb.
23 at 7 p.m.
Homer to widen
and resurface Evans Street
The Homer Town Council plans to widen and resurface Evans Street
Homer town attorney Gary Freeman told the council that he will
have the title examination report in to the Georgia Deparment
of Transportation by the end of this week. Then, Freeman said
that the town will sign an agreement stating that they have obtained
all rights of way necassary for the road project.
The DOT will enter into a contract with the town pledging to
assist them with the widening and resurfacing. At this point,
Freeman said, the project will open for bids.
Mayor Leon Ray said that the project must be completed during
the school year break this summer.