Tues., Nov. 6
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I just cleaned out our garage for the 10th time in the last 10
years. And let's be honest here - it was just as useless an effort
as the first nine times.
A tale of two taxes
It's been rough these past few weeks on the city councils of
Baldwin and Maysville.
Directions to Area Schools
The drought has ended
Leopards come from behind to take second win.
Mix in a few explosive offensive plays, add a pinch of strong
second-half defense, pour in the full moon, and you've got the
Leopards' sweet victory concoction.
Neighboorhood News ..
Jefferson, Braselton get new mayors
Long-time mayors Bruce, Braselton fall to challengers.
Two long-time Jackson County political icons were defeated in
town elections Tuesday.
Maxwell Turns Back Kesler In Nicholson
Incumbents Chaney, Harris And Seabolt Win In Commerce; Jim Joiner
Is New Jefferson Mayor.
Ronnie Maxwell was re-elected mayor in Nicholson, all Commerce
incumbents won easily and Jefferson has a new mayor following
Monday's municipal elections.
Neighboorhood News ..
Comer mayor's race still to be decided William Burroughs will
face Sue Carithers in a runoff in the Comer mayor's race Nov.
Comer faces $30,000 shortfall
Comer faces a $30,000 shortfall in its 2002 budget unless changes
are made, said outgoing mayor Chris NeSmith.
If revenues and expenses remain the same as 2001, the city will
exhaust its reserves and go into negative financing.
The Banks County News
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Flag presented for Sunday's program
Casey Wilson presented an American flag to the "United
We Stand" committee to be used at the ceremony at Veteran's
Park on Sunday, November 11. Committee members Carla Brooks,
Carol Ayers, Mattie Ayers and Janet Galloway accepted the flag
on behalf of the committee.
Alto council seat decided by one vote. City elections were held
in Alto, Homer and Lula on Tuesday with the closest race being
in Alto where a council seat was decided by one vote.
Donald Wade won the Post 1 council seat in Alto with 21 votes,
while James Lomax had 20 votes.
In Homer, those elected to five city council seats were: Doug
Cheek, 90; Betty Borders, 83; Sandra K. Garrison, 75; Larry Whitfield,
72; and Bobby Joe Caudell, 68. The only other candidate in this
race was Ricki E. Blackwell, who received 37 votes.
In Lula, Milton Turner won in the mayor's race, with 103 votes,
over Eddie Withrow, who had 94 votes. In Post 3, Vickie Chambers
won with 133 votes against Greg Smith, who had 56 votes.
CVB adopts articles
Separation from chamber complete. The Banks County Convention
and Visitors Bureau is now a separate entity as the board voted
last week to adopt articles of incorporation.
For the past 10 years, the CVB has been, more or less, a branch
of the Banks County Chamber of Commerce that shared staff and
office space at the historic Courthouse in Homer.
Now that it is an organization in its own right, Alicia Andrews,
CVB co-chairperson, said: "The county has two strong service
organizations, the CVB and the Chamber, working together to get
our message across to bring more industry and tourism into Banks."
The CVB promotes tourism, conventions and trade shows in Banks
County and uses a variety of methods to get the message, "There's
something for everyone in Banks County," out to the public,
said Bonnie Johnson, CVB president. Brochures are placed in all
the motels and hotels and at businesses at Banks Crossing, as
well as at Georgia Welcome Centers, she said. Some are mailed
out to interested callers, said Sherry Ward, executive director.
"We get a number of hits on the web- site," said Johnson.
People look for interesting, historical places to visit as well
as looking for places to stay while they shop at the Tanger Outlet
Malls and the Pottery, she said. There are also billboard, magazine
and radio ads that promote Banks County, she added.
CVB co-chairperson and Holiday Inn manager Carolyn Harvel said:
"This organization is committed to make Banks County the
best place to stay. We try to bring in tour buses for shopping
trips and they stay in our hotels and motels. That brings in
the money to pay for the CVB's projects."
The CVB is funded through a 40 percent share of the hotel/motel
tax collected by the county, said Johnson. County records show
the organization has received $899,952 from the tax since its
inception 10 years ago. So far this year, it has received $112,960.
Andrews said over $280,000 was spent on the renovations of the
historic courthouse in the early 1990s. As a registered historic
site, the restoration was done to bring in visitors, she said.
More recently, the CVB has been contributing to the Banks Crossing
Beautification Project, currently in its second phase, said Andrews.
This $1.150 million project is to install decorative lamp posts,
irrigation, sidewalks, greenery and landscaping along Highway
441 at Banks Crossing. It is funded in part by grants from the
federal government through the department of transportation.
The CVB holds the responsibility for $230,000 of that sum.
"We've paid off the $10,000 due for Phase I, which was the
design and development of the project," said Andrews.
The board says the project will enhance the Banks Crossing area
and make everything more accessible to visitors. It also sees
it as a way to encourage new business to move to the Banks Crossing
"If the area is attractive, we will be able to attract companies
to move here," said Harvel.
One of the first items the board will be working on is to recruit
more board members to comply with the articles of incorporation.
They will be seeking two representatives from hotel, motel, or
other lodging facilities, two representatives from retail industries,
one representative from the restaurant or food service industry,
one representative from the real estate industry, one media representative,
one agribusiness representative and one member at large. The
president and the executive director of the CVB are also included
on the board. The board recently selected area business people
and will be contacting them about serving.
Another important matter is the new budget for the year 2002.
Work sessions have not yet been scheduled, but the board anticipates
completing the budget in time for a meeting early in January.
They are also discussing increasing membership in the organization
and may initiate annual dues.
For more information on the CVB, call (706) 677-5265.
CVB holds open
New office located at Bonnie Johnson's house.
The Banks County Convention and Visitors Bureau Inc. held an
open house last week at its new office.
The CVB board has opened an office in the basement apartment
of the home of Bonnie Johnson, president. The new office is provided
free of charge by Johnson. It will serve as the new headquarters
of the non-profit organization formed 12 years ago to promote
tourism in Banks County.
Johnson explained that the office had just been set up with the
new furniture and computer coming only a few days prior to the
open house. "We just started this October 15," she
Mark Valentine, Tanger 1 manager and CVB board member, had offered
the organization one of the vacant store fronts at the outlet
mall for use as an office free of charge. However, according
to Johnson, the offer would expire after one year. After that,
if a business wanted to lease the space occupied by the CVB,
they would have to vacate.
"We just didn't want to go into a place and have to leave
after one year," said Johnson.
She also cited start-up costs, such as furniture, insurance and
utilities, as other reasons the board chose to accept her offer.
"They figured it would cost us at least $1,000 a month,"
she said. "I was more than happy to offer this for free,
no rent, no utilities, until something permanent can be built."
Board members said they envision building a convention center
and CVB office on land in the Banks Crossing vicinity at some
time in the future. "Right now, we just don't have the money,"
said Johnson. "Since we [CVB] have not been contacted in
12 years at a local location, nobody came to the chamber door
asking about the CVB or did anything to see an office, we decided
we could do this and save the money."
Though the Banks County Chamber of Commerce owns land in Homer
where a civic center was proposed to be built some years ago,
Johnson said that location is too far from Banks Crossing. She
said the office needs to have been where it would receive the
most traffic and the Banks Crossing area would provide higher
visibility. Johnson said she isn't sure how long it would take
to acquire an appropriate location and construct the building.
"Right now, we just don't know," she said. "We
have a commitment to the Banks Crossing Beautification Project.
That takes a lot of our money right now."
Previously, the CVB had shared office space with the Banks County
Chamber of Commerce office in the old historic courthouse in
Homer. Recently, the two groups made the decision to separate
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Day events planned
Banks Countians who are currently serving in the military will
be honored along with veterans at a special "United We Stand"
ceremony to be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 11, at Veterans
Park in Homer.
The program will be as follows:
·flag presentation, Homer American Legion Post.
·National Anthem, Erin Gordon.
·Opening comments and prayer, Robert Hill.
·Commentary on the Pledge of Allegiance, Diane Purcell.
·Pledge of Allegiance led by Leon Ray, mayor of Homer,
and Banks County firefighters.
·"Ragged Old Flag," the Rev. Jim McLendon.
·"America the Beautiful," Jack Banks.
·Remembrance of veterans, Bobby Blackwell.
·Wreath presentation, Kenneth Brady, Banks County Board
of Commission chairman.
·Songs, Jack Banks and Mark Garrison.
·Recognition of troops and families, the Rev. Jim McLendon.
·Prayer for troops, the Rev. Jim McLendon.
·"I Am the Flag," Carla Brooks.
·Closing prayer, Jeff Appling.
·"God Bless the USA," closing song, led by Dennis
Carol Ayers, advisory committee member, said names of service
men and women can still be added to the list. For more information,
call Ayers at 677-3510.
BCHS PLANS PROGRAM
Banks County High School will honor the men and women who served
in the Armed Forces of the United States with an event planned
for 2:30 p.m. Friday, November 9, at the high school auditorium.
"We honor these heroic people for what they sacrificed and
for what they have given of themselves," leaders said. "Members
of our faculty, members of the community and parents of our students
who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States are
cordially invited to attend, along with anyone who would like
to honor these courageous men and women who have risked all to
preserve our freedom."
to again seek bids on gravel project
The Banks County Board of Commissioners has rejected gravel contracts
from two firms following controversy over how bids were taken.
The BOC had earlier awarded the contract to Triple H Transport,
but the board reversed this action Friday and agreed to rebid
the project. Shubert Hauling had also submitted a bid for the
project. The controversy arose over what information the two
firms were given before the bids were taken. One bidder was apparently
given one set of percentages to use, while the other bidder didn't
receive this information.
At Friday's BOC meeting, Todd Hiland and Larry Shubert spoke
on the process. Shubert is upset that figures were submitted
to the county after the bids were opened.
Hiland suggested that the project be split with his company being
given the Homer portion of the contract and Shubert's be given
the other work or the entire project being rebid.
Commissioner Ernest Rogers suggested that a pre-bid conference
be held with those interested in submitting a bid for the project.
BOC chairman Kenneth Brady suggested that all information on
bids go into the paper and no additional information be given.
He also agreed that a pre-bid conference would be a good idea.
"We can't make the rules up after we put it in the paper,"
For the rest of this story see this weeks Banks County News.