News from Madison County...

April 4, 2001


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OPINIONS

Phillip Sartain
Burned out

Without any warning, my pen ran out of ink, my printer used up its cartridge, and my word processors coughed up all the letters of the alphabet onto the floor. All the signs were there, but of course, I was the last to see it coming.
Humor burnout is subtle. In fact, I don't even think I noticed at all.

Ben Munro
The idiot's guide to NASCAR

Just as every southerner flavors their tea with sugar, everyone below the Mason-Dixon line is obligated to know their NASCAR.
Being a good patriot of the South, I attended my first stock car event a couple weeks ago to become oriented to the sport.


SPORTS
Lady Raiders to make first trip to state

The Lady Raider soccer team has clinched the program's first trip to the state tournament.
Madison County, 7-2-1, defeated Loganville 2-1 last Thursday to earn a third seed in the state tournament, which is scheduled to begin Friday, May 4.
"This is the strongest team we've ever had," said head coach Andy Felt. "This is our first year ever in the playoffs and I expect us to do well when we get there."


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
High-speed chase ends in Banks County
A response to a domestic dispute at Holiday Marina in Buford led to a high- speed car chase ending with a van crashing into an embankment on I-85 in Banks County last Wednesday.
Hall County deputies were called to Holiday Marina in Buford for a domestic dispute, according to Captain Ed Barfield of the Hall County Sheriff's Office.

Maysville says 'No' to name on county flag
The Maysville City Council voted unanimously Monday night to request the city's name be taken off the county flag proposed by the Banks County Board of Commissioners.



News from...
JACKSON COUNTY
BOC may decide rezoning for NJ landfill April 16
Opponents pack room, call for denial of permit. North Jackson residents opposed to a proposed construction and demolition (C&D) landfill on Lanier Road packed the Jackson County Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night to speak against the project.

City School Board Prepared To Name
New Second-In-Command On Monday
The Commerce Board of Education expects to name a new second-in-command at its regular meeting Monday night.
The board will meet at 7:00 in the Commerce High School Media Center, where it is expected to vote on a recommendation from Superinten-dent Larry White on someone to fill the role of assistant superintendent.


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RECEIVING A MEDAL


Madison County Middle School's Matt Sisk is congratulated by Joe Tapley after winning a medal at the Madison County Special Olympics at the recreation department Monday.




Guest settles for $10,000, approval of original plat
Developer James Guest will get $10,000 and approval of his original plans for a development on Double Branch Road.
Guest settled a lawsuit with the Madison County commissioners in February and the details of the settlement were released Tuesday.
Guest filed the suit in 1999, claiming the commissioners violated Guest's due process and equal protection rights by illegally thwarting his plans for an 11-home development on 60 acres on Double Branch Road.
Former zoning administrator Lee Sutton had approved plans for the development, but the commissioners voted to overturn Sutton's approval after a number of neighborhood residents complained about Guest's plans.
Opponents of the development maintained that Guest's proposed lots were overly long and narrow. They said the new homes would hurt wetlands in the area, cause overcrowding and traffic problems, while lowering property values for surrounding homes.
The settlement stipulates that "nothing shall excuse plaintiff from current and future compliance with all applicable ordinances, regulations, and laws, including but not limited to the minimum lot width requirements at the building line for issuance of a building permit."


Sewage expansion in Danielsville?
Leaders discuss possibility but voice concerns over costs.
Danielsville leaders are looking at expanding sewer services into the southern section of the city.
But the city council took no action on the matter Monday, voicing concerns over the cost of expanding the sewer services down Hwy. 29, Sam Groves Street and Griffeth Lane.
Mayor Glenn Cross proposed the idea of hiring an engineering firm for $5,000 to study the proposal.
He said the expansion would provide sewage services to over 30 homes and four to five businesses. Cross suggested the city try to get a $375,000 community development grant to help fund the project.
"This is one of the growing ends of town," said Cross of the proposed expansion area.
The mayor said the sewage services would help alleviate septic problems for city residents whose homes would be connected to the system.
Councilman Roger Watson said he wanted an estimate on what the project would cost before he agreed to any engineering fees.
"I'd like a ballpark figure before we spend $5,000," said Watson.
In a separate matter Monday, the council met in closed session with county attorney Mike Pruett for approximately 15 minutes to discuss "potential litigation" before approving a variance request for John Byram for a house on Mosely Drive. Byram had torn down an old house and built a new one too close to the right of way. The house is located 34 feet from the right of way and the city setback requirement is 55 feet. Byram plans to construct a porch which will add another six feet to the home, requiring a 27-foot variance.
The council approved the variance Monday, although two council members said they did so "reluctantly." Pruett was called in to assist the council on the issue because city attorney Victor Johnson also represents Byram.
In other business the council approved a beer and wine license for Owenby and Associates. The council approved new business license fees. The flat business fee will go up from $30 to $50. The $10 fee per full-time employee will remain the same. The $200 practioner fee will increase from $200 to $250 and the insurance fee will increase from $15 to $35.
The first time beer and wine fee will go up from $350 to $450, with the annual renewal fee increasing from $250 to $350. Garbage fees will be increased from $5 to $7 per month per household.
The council agreed to write Stephen Stuchell off the city tax digest since he does not live within the city limits.




Circus coming to town
Chamber of Commerce to sponsor Comer event. The Roberts Brothers Circus will erect its big top around 9 a.m. on Friday, April 6, at the Comer Fairgrounds with a guided tour for school, church or other groups offered at 9:30 a.m.
Show times are set for 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. that evening.
The circus is an annual event sponsored by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
The family-owned circus will feature aerialists, jugglers, daredevil acrobats, trained animals and clowns.
A press release about the event states that this year's 90-minute performance includes the Jenzac Duo's Daredevil Highwire motorcycle act. Monica Alexandria from Mexico City "performs astounding feats while hanging by her hair." The R.B.C. Liberty Horses will perform their precision military drills. There will be a "lightning fast juggling display" from Alan Esgueda and Kevin Earl and "Boo," one of the largest performing elephants in the country.
Advance ticket prices are $5 for children and $7 for adults. Tickets purchased on the day of the circus are $6 for children and $9 for adults.
Discounted advance tickets are now on sale at the following locations: Merchants and Farmers Bank (all locations), Century South Bank (all locations), First American Bank (Hwy. 29 at Hwy. 72 location), Ila Restaurant and the Chamber office.
A chicken barbecue will be served from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., drive-through, pick-up only. Tickets are available at the above locations.



Danielsville man charged with stealing from band boosters
A Danielsville man was arrested last Friday on forgery and theft charges. According to an incident report filed at the sheriff's office, interim school superintendent Allen McCannon presented 11 checks and a statement from the bank to the sheriff's office showing that Gregory Lawton Moore, 49, had taken approximately $28,000 in funds from the Madison County Band Boosters.
Moore was subsequently arrested on one count of theft by conversion and 11 counts of first degree forgery. He was later released on a $36,000 bond.
According to the incident report, the thefts occurred between Jan. 1, 2000, and March 30 of this year.



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Colbert to seek new water sources Colbert will seek new water sources within the city limits, mayor John Waggoner said at Monday's city council meeting.
Waggoner reported that his meeting with county officials seeking to provide water to a wider area was unsuccessful. The mayor said that it is important that water be available for his grandchildren
The city currently has a contract with Piedmont Water to manage the city system and provide an adequate supply of water. Currently, the company is developing water sources outside the city.
The council agreed to allow Piedmont to remove a corner of the well house at a city well near the park. The well suddenly stopped producing after a new pump was installed. The company wants to re-drill the well in an effort to clean out the blockage.
In other action, the council agreed to repair damaged boards on the old depot before it is painted. They voted to install a plaque at the entrance of the city cemetery recognizing the Lions Club, Improvement Club and city council for financing new paving of cemetery streets.
The council approved a resolution to transmit the city-county comprehensive plan for district and state review prior to final adoption.
A public hearing was scheduled for April 16, 2001 at 7 p.m. to consider a variance request from Chris Pinckard that would allow him to enlarge his garage. He will have to extend the garage by 13 feet in order to hold a second car. The addition would extend the structure beyond the 20-foot setback limit.



Citizens
review draft of comprehensive plan

Approximately 75 residents were on hand Thursday night to review a draft of the proposed update of the county's five-year comprehensive plan.
The plan is "a living document" according to the Regional Development Center's Lee Carmen, meant to help county leaders get an idea of how citizens want to see their county grow.
"This is just a general concept of how the county will grow," Carmen told the crowd. She also said the plan comes up for review every five years - or more often if necessary and is designed to give county leaders a tool for better management of citizens' tax dollars.
A number of new faces were in the crowd, many with some of the same concerns already hashed out by those attending the meetings to update the plan, which began last November.
The issue of land use was once again the big issue of the evening, with many still concerned about sprawl, conservation subdivisions and the areas to be designated as "high density."
Carmen said copies of the plan are available for review at the Madison County Library, the county complex, and various other locations.
The RDC also plans to have the draft available for viewing on their website, www.negrdc.org, this week.
The next step is for county leaders to adopt the plan. The RDC and state will then review it, and once approved, the county will remain eligible for certain grants and permits.
Carmen said the plan will need to be re-certified by the state by June 30 and any other concerns or comments on the issue should be directed to county elected officials.