Our Time and Place:
A History of
Jackson County, Ga
A complete history of Jackson County, Georgia
from 1796 to the present. Written in narrative style for easy
reading. Includes material not found in other books about Jackson
Order this book online
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1998 Building Permits
1999 Building Permits
1998 Property Transactions
1999 Property Transactions
2000 Building Permits
2000 Property Transactions
Bear Creek Project
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Jackson County opinion page
2001 Class A Playoffs
Commerce Hopes To Out-Flank Georgia Military Friday Night
This is usually the time of year that all eyes are on Commerce.
Dragons, Tigers enter football playoffs Friday
Commerce hosts Georgia Military; Jefferson travels to Lincoln
The Georgia High School Association will begin its 2001 state
football playoffs Friday, and two area teams are eligible to
Lowe resigns as Panther football coach, A.D.
Jackson County head football coach and athletic director Greg
Lowe resigned from both posts Monday, according to high school
principal Dr. Robin Hines.
Neighboorhood News ..
Comer runoff set for Tues.
Sue Carithers will face William Burroughs in a runoff in the
Comer mayor's race, Tuesday, Nov. 27.
Nash recommends merit system compromise
Commission chairman Wesley Nash offered a county merit system
olive branch to disgruntled elected officials at a county budget
work session Monday night.
Arson suspected in Carson-Segars fires
Banks County firefighters were kept busy
Thursday responding to a series of fires possibly set by an arsonist
along Carson-Segars Road.
In the spirit of giving
Maysville Baptist Church celebrates Thanksgiving with its sixth
annual 'Blessing Baskets' outreach.
It started six or seven years ago with church members passing
out a few bags of extra groceries left over from another church's
The Jackson Herald
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Fax: (706) 367-8056
NEWS / ADVERTISING
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arrested in Jefferson bank robbery
Three people were
taken into custody Monday morning following a bank robbery in
Jefferson and an ensuing high-speed chase through West Jackson.
The robbery took place at the Community Bank & Trust branch
on Hwy. 11 west of Jefferson. In the chase that followed, deputies
were reportedly fired on from the car by the suspects.
The chase ended on Hwy. 53 in West Jackson after the suspects
wrecked. A Barrow County law enforcement vehicle reportedly bumped
the suspect's car as it sped along Hwy. 53 near the Jackson-Barrow
Inside the vehicle, automatic weapons and bullet-proof vests
were found. The vehicle used by the suspects was reportedly stolen
from Dekalb County Sunday.
Two men and one woman were taken into custody at the scene. They
are suspected of other crimes in Georgia, police said.
Representing Strickland River
Farms, Mitch Peavey explains to David Kirk and Chairman Bill
Braselton of the Braselton Planning Commission the applicant's
proposed residential and commercial community plan. The property,
which is located on the intersection of Hwy. 211 and Liberty
Church Road, was proposed to develop 499 homes with 12 acres
of commercial development within a six- to eight-year span. The
Braselton Planning Commission unanimously voted to deny Strickland
River Farm's request for annexation and rezoning of the property.
County water rates
to go up in Jan.
Increase is first in 11 years. Water customers of the Jackson
County Water System will see rates go up in January for the first
time in 11 years.
The Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority voted Thursday
night to increase the minimum bill (for the first 2,000 gallons)
from $12.45 to $15 and to increase the cost per 1,000 gallons
thereafter from $3.90 to $5.
In addition, the authority doubled to $1,200 the cost of a water
tap and doubled the fees it charges for new customers and to
reconnect customers who have been cut off to $20.
Those rate increases were passed to finance the $3.4 million
2002 budget the authority also passed on Thursday.
"I could not bring to you a budget that would be in the
red," said Jerry Waddell, manager, who proposed the rate
That budget is up 78 percent in anticipation of 50 percent more
income from water sales, 66 percent more income from Plant Dahlberg
in Center plus more than $750,000 in water and sewer revenue
generated by agreements with Braselton and Hoschton and from
its waste treatment plant.
The biggest change on the expense side is related to the Bear
Creek Reservoir. That will cost the authority $1.34 million during
2002. On the other hand, the authority will make more per gallon
on water sold by having its own source instead of reselling water
bought from Commerce, Athens or Braselton.
If the authority meets its budget, it will have to sign on a
lot of new customers during the new year. Waddell said the authority
sends out 2,200 bills per month at present; he expects to be
sending 2,575 by the end of next year. The budget calls for the
authority collecting $336,000 in connection fees (the 2001 budget
called for $320,940).
"If we don't get back on schedule next year, we won't make
that budget, but I think we will," he said.
Both the rate increases and the budget were approved unanimously.
In other business, the authority:
·authorized Waddell to hire a temp (and later a full-time
person) to do clerical work, in part to provide internal controls
in the handling of money.
·authorized Waddell to request attorney Julius Hulsey,
if necessary, to get court orders to allow surveying and appraisal
work on property along the proposed Doster Creek sewer line.
·heard Waddell report that the authority has changed from
ductile iron pipe to PVC for sewer lines. The PVC is more durable
and less prone to leaks, he said.
·heard that the authority will begin making offers for
sewer easements in December.
·learned from engineer Charlie Armentrout that revised
plans for the widening of U.S. 441 and U.S. 129 may move the
Department of Transportation easements on top of JCW&SA easements,
which could mean water lines will have to be relocated.
·agreed to cancel the regular December board meeting.
The authority will hold a called meeting if required to open
·heard from sewer engineer Mary Kay Jackson that bids
are being advertised this week for construction of the Doster
Creek sewer line. Construction is expected to begin in February.
In addition, she reported on the upgrade of the old Texfi plant
and plans to increase the capacity of the plant.
·heard from sewer manager Gene Samples about the refurbishing
of the Texfi plant which he said "is in the finished stages
of being put back together." He said two aerators have been
rebuilt, the new lab is "paying for itself now" and
that the Mayfield Dairies plant is "working great."
·received from Waddell the final draft of specifications
for water and sewer lines. One component, which is opposed by
the Jackson County Homebuilders Association, requires a one-year
warranty on sewer lines installed by developers and inspection
of those lines after one year by camera. "We reached an
agreement with the homebuilders in every item except camera testing,"
·voted 3-2 to increase the size of two Doster Creek sewer
lines to handle growth in the West Jackson area. Chairman Elton
Collins, Dean Stringer and Keith Ariail supported the vote, while
Tom Crow and Larry Joe Wood voted against it. Wood voiced concern
that development there might cause the Texfi plant to reach its
capacity and render it unable to serve growth along Interstate
85. Waddell responded, predicting that eventually the authority
will have to build another plant in the Walnut Creek area, plus
plants in the south Jackson and east Jackson areas. The authority
is already working with the Jackson County Board of Education
on the possibility of building a treatment plant to handle the
East Jackson schools.
·voted to enter a $140,000 contract with Engineer Management
Associates, Lawrenceville, to do a watershed assessment of Jackson
County. Required by the Environmental Protection Division, the
assessment will determine how streams and rivers are affected
by runoff water, according to Waddell. Jefferson and Maysville
are participating in the study and will bear some of the cost.
·voted to offer retirement benefits identical to what
is offered to county employees. The authority will contribute
an amount equal to four percent of employees' pay and will match
employees' contributions up to seven percent of their salaries.
Amendment Aimed At Removing Grease
Commerce will crack down on businesses that generate grease and
oil next year by amending its sewer ordinance to not only require
grease traps, but to regulate their management.
The ordinance will affect every institution that serves food,
from the schools to fast-food restaurants; it will also affect
industries, car washes and grocery stores with delis.
"I've got a list here of 35 restaurants, schools, the hospital,
nursing homes, grocery stores with delis and other businesses,"
said Bryan Harbin, Commerce's director of water and sewer services.
The city council had its first reading of Article III, Section
78-82 (Grease, Oil and Sand Interceptors) at its Nov. 12 meeting.
It expects to approve the ordinance after the second reading,
presumably at its Dec. 10 meeting.
"This will stipulate penalties for people who violate the
ordinance, set up guidelines for pumping and cleaning grease
traps and set guidelines for places that currently do not have
grease-handling facilities," said Harbin.
The requirements are being handed down by the Environmental Protection
Division. The city's Davis Brothers oxidation pond is currently
under an EPD consent order, largely because of grease problems
from Banks Crossing restaurants. In addition, the city will work
under much more strict limitations on influent when the expansion
of its waste treatment plant is completed.
Although some businesses may be in for major changes to meet
the guidelines, Harbin says the city isn't going to suddenly
demand compliance to a complicated new system.
"We will make site visits, me and my staff, to talk with
business owners and tell them what they will have to do,"
he said. "That will be some time after the first of the
year. We're not going to enact the ordinance and the next day
go out and start fining people.
"Most restaurants have some form of grease trap. It may
not be up to code of the new ordinance. We are also looking at
service stations, car washes, auto dealerships, school cafeterias,
the hospital and nursing home any place that prepares food,
we'll look at."
The problem with the Davis Brothers oxidation pond is a clear
indicator that there are problems at some of the 16 restaurants
on the city sewer system there. But Harbin says the major chain
restaurants already have grease traps and operating procedures
and predicted that those built in the past two or three years
are probably constructed to code.
"Just because they are constructed up to code doesn't mean
they're managed up to code," he pointed out.
The amendment will require affected sewer customers to have a
monitoring point and to keep manifests of maintenance on their
grease traps. It will also require certification that the grease
is pumped and hauled off by a licensed waste dealer.
The ordinance also covers pre-treatment of industrial wastes,
something only a handful of businesses and industries have to
do. The city will send questionnaires to other businesses and
will go over the results with its engineers, Harbin said, to
see if any others need to have their wastes pre-treated.
For a few businesses, the new ordinance will mean major changes.
"Everybody knows we're fixing to do something. It's going
to be a shock for some," Harbin acknowledged.
BOC receives 30
applications for county manager slot
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners has received 30 applications
for the county manager's position.
BOC chairman Harold Fletcher said the majority of the applicants
are from Georgia, but several are from out of state. Seven to
eight applicants live in the North Georgia area, he added.
"We've got some good ones," he said. "We've got
them from Florida to California...one from Washington State...one
from New York..."
Fletcher said the BOC would review the applicants and decide
which ones to interview. The commissioners are expected to begin
interviewing candidates within the next few days.
The BOC agreed in October to seek a county manager to replace
Skip Nalley, who has been serving as interim county manager since
Jan. 1. Fletcher said the new manager will not be hired on an
interim basis as Nalley was.
Nalley was hired in January and given a one-year contract. The
BOC was to review his performance in nine months and decide whether
to offer him another contract. The commissioners have not said
why Nalley isn't being offered another contract. He is the first
county manager Jackson County has had.
Braselton PC nixes
In a meeting room overfilled with concerned citizens, the Braselton
Planning Commission unanimously denied several requests for annexation
and rezoning from development companies which could have potentially
seen more than 1,300 additional homes built in the area within
the next few years.
Citing government systems already stretched to their limits with
overcrowded schools, high traffic hazards and the lack of fire
and police protection near the proposed development properties,
the planning commission decided it would recommend the city council
not approve the applicants' requests when they are presented
to the council Dec. 10.
The planning commission first hears presentations from applicants
and considers public input before making a formal recommendation
to the city council. The city council can then vote whether to
accept the commission's recommendation or take its own course
"I think with the growth in this county, we just need to
step back and evaluate it," said Shirley Cate about the
proposed development of 510 single-family homes on New Liberty
Church Road, along the Mulberry River. Cate, like many other
citizens attending Monday's meeting, expressed concerns about
the town becoming like its adjacent neighbors, Gwinnett and Hall
"We're gonna wind up like Hamilton Mill," said Charles
Mackie. "We're gonna build and build, then we'll be like,
'Oh my God, we've turned into Gwinnett.'"
With five requests for annexation and rezoning from four different
development companies, the Braselton planning commission strictly
stuck to presentation time limits from both the developers and
the more than 60 estimated citizens crowded into the community
center. The meeting, however, still lasted more than four and
a half hours.
Proposals from Strickland River Farms, T&A Management and
2255 Delk Road Partnerships requested annexation and rezoning
for the purpose of building homes ranging from the low $100,000s
to the upper $250,000s among the different properties.
Yet commissioners, along with citizens, expressed numerous concerns
about packing homes with an average size of 2,000 square feet
into lots less than one acre.
Eddie Elder, chairman of the Barrow County Board of Commissioners,
also expressed his opinion as to why one of the proposed developments
was seeking annexation from Braselton and not his county.
"We required them to widen the road to take care of the
traffic problem," Elder said. "I feel like that's why
they want to be in Braselton and not unincorporated Barrow County."
Elder also cited a government review which said developing Strickland
River Farms' requested property was "not in the best interest
of the state."
For each of the proposals, planning officer Aaron Whelchel submitted
his review of the properties concerning potential effects on
county and city resources, such as water, sewage, schools and
In all of his reviews, Whelchel cited overcrowded schools and
heavily increased traffic within the proposed areas.
Also during Monday's meeting, 2255 Delk Road Partnerships proposed
the rezoning of property at the current location of The Oaks
Mobile Home Park. The request was largely seeking to move 33
homes in the park to property on Ednaville Road and include an
additional 110 mobile homes to the area.
With a dangerous curve along Ednaville Road, the cost of relocating
residents and two grave sites dating back more than 150 years
at the proposed property site all discussed among the citizens
and commissioners, several people said they were dissatisfied
with the lack of communication between the current residents
and 2255 Delk Road Partnerships.
Representing the development company, David Joiner expressed
his client's willingness to work with the town and residents,
but didn't appreciate the personal attacks.
"Disrespect would be giving them a 60-day notice to vacate
and not helping them relocate," he explained.
The planning commission denied the applicant's request, but suggested
Joiner return to his client to work out a plan better suited
to the residents' needs and with greater longevity for such a
The final request for annexation and rezoning from Ruby-Forrest
was also denied.
The property, which is a development community of 197 homes in
Gwinnett and Hall counties, has already been approved by those
counties for construction. By requesting annexation and rezoning
from Braselton, the development company was seeking to use the
town's water and sewage quicker than could be approved by Gwinnett
and Hall counties.
Commissioners denied the request since they could not see a benefit
for the town in fast-tracking the development's water and sewage
kids' pictures extended to Nov. 28
The annual children's Christmas section will be published in
The Jackson Herald, The Commerce News and The Banks County News
on Wednesday, December 19. The newspapers have extended the photograph
deadline to Wednesday, November 28.
Photos of infants up to children 8 years old from these counties
will be accepted for inclusion in the section.
Black and white or color photos can be used, but no Polaroids
or photographs printed out from a computer onto laser paper will
be accepted, as they do not reprint well.
Please submit the following information along with the child's
photo: the first and last name and age of the child, as well
as the parents' names, their city of residence and phone number.
The photos may be dropped off at or mailed to any of the newspaper
offices by the November 28 deadline and may be picked up there
after the publication runs in the paper.
Go to Jackson
Public Meeting Dates
Auto Parts &
Retail Stores & Outlets
Galilee Preschool Flyer
Police, Fire Taxes Rile
MAYSVILLE -- Several Maysville citizens questioned last week
the city council's proposal to raise the tax millage rate from
1.5 to three mills.
The center of the majority of the citizens' concern at the public
hearing Thursday was the city's police department.
"We have an increase in police officers but no one is patrolling
my subdivision," Lori Toney said. "I'm lucky if I see
one squad car driving through our subdivision so fast they can
only see a blur. Extra police coverage is fine if they are actually
there. But I don't know where they are. They're not in my neighborhood.
You're not going to increase my taxes for services you're not
But police chief Ricky Armour said the citizens were paying only
a small fraction of the cost to operate the department.
"For the police department to operate in 2000, it only cost
the town $28,000 out of pocket for everything," Armour said.
Armour explained that the city would have to spend a little more
than $30,000 in 2001 because a grant the city receives was reduced.
Armour also listed the call volume the department has handled
over the past several years. He said officers had answered 1,986
so far this year.
However, Toney said lots of those calls were frivolous.
"We've had one violent crime and one drug bust this year,"
she said. "The rest so-and-so said words to somebody."
But Armour said his officers had to answer the calls.
"If it goes through a dispatcher, there's a liability risk
if we don't answer it," he said.
Another citizen questioned the number of police cars the city
"Why do we need five police cars when only one person is
on duty?" Bud Dyer asked.
Armour told Dyer that the city used more than one car to keep
from running the cars down too quickly.
"If you put one police officer in one car, you will put
so many miles on the car you'll have to buy a new one every year,"
Armour said. "As small as Maysville is, it can't afford
to buy two cars in one year."
Several citizens on the Banks County side of Maysville also took
issue with paying taxes for fire protection to both the city
and the county.
"Double services and double taxation does not provide me
with double coverage," Toney said.
City attorney Gary Freeman said the citizens of Maysville are
paying taxes for Banks County's fire budget but that the county
wasn't covering the town's citizens.
"The city council has asked Banks County to give back to
the city of Maysville the amount the citizens of Maysville pay
to the fire budget," Freeman said. "They have refused
to do so."
He added that Maysville citizens in Banks County are probably
paying close to $6,000 total.
Several citizens said the city should bill Banks County for calls
answered on that side of the city.
"People in Banks County are paying double," Gayle Bramlett
said. "Why is Banks County not being charged back for it?"
Mayor Richard Presley said the services the city got from the
county evened out.
"We use their 911 center, we use the jail, we get back-up,"
Presley said. "It all washes out."
Councilman Scott Harper told the citizens the city had tried
to get the money back from Banks County.
"They did everything but throw us out," Harper said.
"The citizens should go over there."
BOC denies two
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners decided not to take
the recommendations of the planning commission and zoning staff
Monday when it denied two rezoning requests.
The requests from Ron Bond and Robert E. Wright had been recommended
for approval by the planning commission and staff.
Bond had asked to rezone 5.884 acres at 324 Whitney Road from
A-2 to M-H to locate five manufactured homes.
Wright had asked for a conditional use permit for 1.5 acres at
29 Caleb Lane and Lewis Sailors Road to locate a caretaker/employee
The commissioners didn't comment on their action or give reasons
for denying the requests.
In other action, the BOC postponed action on several other zoning
matters until its Dec. 3 meeting. A hearing will be held prior
to that meeting with the BOC considering placing a moratorium
on zoning requests.
At Monday's BOC meeting, the council tabled a request from Wanda
David to rezone 50 acres on Highway 441 from A-2 to I-2 for the
purpose of industrial uses. David represents property owners
Tim Brooks and Randall Kersey.
The council also delayed action on a request from Thomas Seay
to rezone 1.76 acres at 8837 Highway 124 from A-2 to B-2 for
general commercial uses.
In other business, the BOC:
·approved a request from Ted Gibson to rezone 7.510 acres
on Highway 441 from A-2 to B-1 in order to conforming the zoning
to the existing use.
·approved a request from Clarence and Leola Wages to rezone
21.72 acres at 299 Roquemore Road from A-2 to A-R to locate five
single-family, site-built homes.
·approved a request from Tina McDaniel to rezone 11.73
acres on Jackson Trail Road from A-2 to R-1 to locate 11 single-family,
pricing on county history books
The Jackson Herald is offering a special Christmas price on its
history book. The special holiday pricing, which will be offered
for a limited time only, will be $23.50 for one to two books;
$17.95 for three to four books; and $14.95 for five or more books.
millage rate hike
A bad economy, a budget increase and a decrease in sales tax
revenue are all reasons the Maysville City Council is giving
for its proposed millage rate hike.
"We just didn't throw these numbers down," Mayor Richard
Presley said. "We tried to cut everywhere we could. We put
stuff in people said they wanted. This is the first tax increase
in the city of Maysville in 10 to 12 years."
City attorney Gary Freeman reiterated Presley's statement.
"The population of Maysville has doubled in the last 10
years," Freeman said. "It requires more of everything.
The council adopted ordinances to address some of the problems
But one citizen said the city needs to make some sacrifices.
"When I have a shortfall in my budget, I have to sacrifice,"
Lori Toney said. "I'm asking nothing more or nothing less
than what I have to do. There are senior citizens in this town
who can't afford to pay more taxes."
Toney added that she had considered not paying her taxes if they
Kathryn Landua, another citizen, argued that the taxes were necessary.
"Everytime I come to a meeting people are asking for more
services but don't want to give more," she said. "You
can't get something for nothing. If they don't raise taxes, they
have to cut out something."
Toney responded, saying her taxes had been raised enough.
Another citizen added that the city's meetings on the proposed
millage rate hike had taken place in secret.
Presley responded that notice of all the city's meetings had
been posted in the newspaper.
He also tried to explain that the majority of the increase in
the city's budget came from raises for city employees, higher
insurance costs, the formation of a downtown development authority
and an $8,000 contingency fund for emergencies. He also said
the city's revenue from fines, license fees and a police grant
"If there is a surplus at the end of the year, I'll be the
first to roll back the millage rate," Presley said. "I
know it's hard for everybody. It's hard for me. I've got to pay
Councilman Scott Harper added that rate increase was necessary.
"I don't want a tax increase any more than anyone here,"
Harper said. "I just don't see no way around it."