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Panther grapplers enjoy best finish ever in state tournament
The Jackson County Panther wrestling team recorded its best finish
ever in a state tournament last week, finishing third in the
2001 Class AAA state championship.
5 Tiger Wrestlers Medal At State
While cross-county rival Jefferson won the Class A State Wrestling
Tournament last weekend at Adairsville, the Tigers finished seventh
and had five medal winners.
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.
Probate judge calls for audit
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.
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
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Dragons win state wrestling title
Jefferson head coach Doug Thurmond and assistant
Kendall Love celebrate with Dragon wrestler Jeremy Smith after
Smith's upset win over defending champion and previously undefeated
Sterling Sebek (lower left) of Brookstone in the 152-pound final
of the Class A state tournament Saturday evening in Adairsville.
Jefferson claimed its fifth team championship in the event, one
of the closest in years. see
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
After hearing from about 25 owners of land along Doster Creek
and the Middle Oconee River who were upset about plans to run
a sewer line from the old Texfi treatment plant to Mulberry Plantation,
the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority decided to go
back to the drawing board.
"We should go back and regroup and sit down and re-look
at what we're doing," said member Elton Collins, whose remark
was greeted with applause. "We can't start doing this with
this kind of atmosphere."
The proposed sewer collection system would cross 37 parcels of
land. Twenty-nine of the property owners have signed documents
authorizing representatives of the authority to go on their land
for surveying and doing assessments. But Collins' motion suggests
the authority will consider alternate routes.
Most of the property owners suggested that the authority run
the lines along the road rights of ways instead of along the
creek and the river. That route is feasible, agreed Bob Sutton,
the authority's sewerage consultant, though it would involve
more pump stations, whereas the proposed route is largely based
on gravity flow.
Many of the same people had appeared Monday, Feb. 5, at a board
of commissioners work session to voice their opposition. The
primary spokespersons Thursday were Susan Philips, of Creek Nation
Road, E.R. "Sonny" Pruitt, of Highway 124, and Audrey
Hudson, of Georgia 11, each of whom read a prepared statement.
Pruitt read a petition in opposition to surveying and getting
assessments "until the department can prove to the owners
... that the plan is the most prudent plan available as of this
date." He said conversations with authority personnel were
"misleading, to say the least."
Hudson asked "why should the interest of the developers
of Mulberry Plantation take precedence over the interests of
the landowners who have worked and sacrificed all of their lives
in order to provide homes and good clean places for their families
to live? It is morally and ethically wrong for this authority
to forcibly strip this land from us in order to serve Mulberry
The review of the route could affect the authority's pledge to
have the system installed for Mulberry Plantation by the end
of the year, Sutton said after the meeting.
Indeed, residents seemed to resent the 1,400-home subdivision
almost as much as the sewer line.
The developer has already paid $1 million to the authority for
400 sewer taps. The project would also serve West Jackson Middle
School and eventually sections along Interstate 85.
Chairman Alex Bryan went to great lengths to assure the group
that the authority's concern "is what's best for Jackson
County. We're going to try to do the right thing," he said.
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.
The move has long been discussed by various city leaders, but
had never before come to a vote. It carried 4-1 with only council
member Marcia Moon dissenting.
Rep. Pat Bell will be asked by the council to introduce legislation
to change the city charter. The move would pave the way for a
city manager to be in place Jan. 1, 2002. No specific language
was adopted in the action, however.
Councilman Jim Joiner made the motion for the change, with C.D.
Kidd III, Steve Kinney and Bosie Griffith also voting in favor
of the action.
Moon said she would be in favor of a November referendum asking
voters to choose between a full-time mayor or a city manager.
Mayor Bruce, who votes only when there is a tie, also said he
would also be in favor of placing the issue on the ballot instead
of the council making the change. Bruce has long opposed discussion
of a city manager, saying that a full-time mayor would be better.
But the council disagreed.
"On a day-to-day basis, we need someone here," Kidd
said. "...It's time for it."
City attorney Ronnie Hopkins said a city manager would have authority
and total control over the administration of the city. That's
a distinction from a city administrator, which is currently allowed
by the city charter. An administrator, however, wouldn't have
the authority a manager would have, he said.
City Schools Want
Right To Levy Taxes
The Commerce Board of Education agreed Thursday night to ask
the Commerce City Council to amend city charter provisions relating
to levying of taxes to support the school system.
If the charter is amended to that effect, the board of education
will determine the school system's own millage rate and will
"submit the tax levy to the city council up to the limitation
fixed by law."
According to chairman Steve Perry, there would be no change in
how the millage rate is set and no change in taxes, but the school
board would set its own millage rate and the city would still
have the responsibility of collecting the tax money.
Perry pointed out that the Commerce school system is one of eight
city systems, out of 22 in the state, that do not levy taxes,
but instead receive a budgeted amount from the city.
In recent years, the council has always set a tax rate designed
to bring in exactly the budget amount requested by the board
It remains to be seen whether the Commerce City Council will
go along with the request, says Councilman Bob Sosebee
"If there's a better way than the way we're doing it, we'll
be glad to vote for a better way," he said. "We believe
the way we're doing it is the fairest way possible, but if after
studying it we need to have local legislation done, we'll have
it prepared next fall."
One of the advantages, according to the school board is that
the charter change would enable it to borrow money through low-interest
tax anticipation notes, invest the money at a higher interest
rate through a state pool, and make a profit.
"Once they look at how the tax money comes in, it's not
going to be nearly as attractive as they think," Sosebee
said. "Those funds have to be paid back Dec. 31, and our
county doesn't have a good record of having the taxes on time."
City Can't Find
Ordinance, Has To Draft A New One
The city of Commerce lost its ordinance governing yard sales,
so the city council had to approve a new one Monday night.
By a unanimous vote, the council approved its replacement.
What brought the issue to a head, said city manager Clarence
Bryant, was the city's attempt to enforce its ordinance against
a city resident. When the resident demanded to see a copy of
the ordinance, the city couldn't find one.
"We almost had a fist fight because a guy wanted to put
signs out at Parham's Motel all the way to Oak Street,"
The ordinance requires that residents get a permit to hold a
yard, garage or estate sale. There is no charge for a permit,
but the ordinance allows only two eventsper year at any one address.
It also prohibits the placement of signs advertising the sale
on public property or private property without permission and
requires that all signs be removed within 12 hours of the end
of the sale.
All of those provisions in the missing ordinance have largely
been ignored in the past.
Councilman Donald Wilson proposed that the city charge a deposit,
which it would keep if the signs are not removed.
"The only way to enforce it is going to be to start making
cases against them," said Bryant.
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Plans for trade
office pulled after Jefferson kills Storey Ln. access
A Commerce man seeking a rezoning to locate a major state agribusiness
trade association office in Jefferson withdrew his request Monday
night after a motion was made that would push up the cost of
The Jefferson City Council heard from several area residents
concerned about Gary W. Black's request to rezone six acres at
Storey Lane and Hwy. 129 from R-3 to C-1. The plans called for
locating the Georgia Agribusiness Council on the property. Black
serves as president of the organization, which now has its office
After councilman Jim Joiner made a motion that the request for
access on Storey Lane be denied, Black stood and said he withdrew
it. Joiner then said he regretted his motion.
"You will be sorry," Joiner said to those opposed to
the plans. "I'm sorry I did it (made the motion)."
Residents of Storey Lane asked that the entrance to the facility
be located on Hwy. 129. Storey Porter told the council to consider
who they wanted to be "friends" with all of the
residents on the road opposed to the plans, or the man requesting
the rezoning. He pointed out that the residents of the road do
business with at least two members of the city council.
But Black said that putting the entrance on Hwy. 129 instead
of Storey Lane Road would make the project too expensive for
"That is not within the realm of our possibility,"
Black said that the office wouldn't bring much traffic to the
road, since it has only four employees. He added that members
only hold three meetings a year and that they wouldn't be coming
to the office on a regular basis. He said that the development
would have a low impact and would enhance the community.
Black also spoke on the history of the association, which has
a 32-member board representing agribusiness in the state. It
was formed in 1966.
adopt school calendars
The Jackson County and Jefferson school systems have adopted
identical calendars for the 2001-2002 school year. Both calendars
will begin school for students on Aug. 2 and end the year on
May 24, 2002.
In between those dates will be a number of breaks for some students,
including two new week-long breaks in October and February for
students not needing remediation.
Both systems have also allotted remediation days in June 2002
for students not performing as expected.
The Jefferson Board of Education adopted the calendar last Thursday
during its regular monthly meeting and the Jackson County Board
of Education chose the plan at its meeting Monday night.
"We passed this out throughout the school system, and the
feedback has been overwhelmingly favorable," Jefferson superintendent
Dr. John Jackson said.
Assistant superintendent Dr. Patti Rooks added: "The beauty
of a calendar like this from a training standpoint is it allows
teachers training at points during the school year without pulling
them out of the classroom...and it does allow for (student) remediation
throughout the school year."
Teachers will begin pre-planning on July 30 and finish the year
May 30. Staff development days will be folded into the remediation
days as well.
Student holidays for the school year will be: Sept. 3, Oct. 8,
Nov. 21-23, Dec. 19-Jan. 2, 2002, Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 15,
and April 1-5. Students who are not behind in their work will
also have off Oct. 9-12 and Feb. 19-22. Students who need extra
help will use those days as remediation periods.