News from Banks County...

January 09, 2002


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OPINIONS

Shar Porier
De-bugging
Thanks to the snow and being stuck at home for a few days, I was able to get some things done around the house.
Not that I particularly like being Òdomestic,Ó but what other choice have you got? You can only play in the snow for so long. So, I figured I would tackle sorting the piles of paperwork that buried my desk.

Editorial

Register livestock with 911 center
Dear Editor:
I am asking once again that all livestock owners in Banks County register where their animals are located and emergency contact numbers with the 911 center.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Hoops teams dive into subregion
Leopards to host Dawson, travel to Towns. Last weekÕs snow may have frozen the Lady LeopardsÕ basketball plans, but they are hoping for a quick thaw.ÒIf history repeats itself, anytime we have a long layoff, we look awful in the next game,Ó Lady Leopards head coach Mike Gordon said. ÒHopefully, we can get tuned back up and focused in the right direction.Ó


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY

Hoschton moves forward with city planning board
But action will take time to jump through legal hoops
Like several other Jackson County municipalities, Hoschton officials have decided to begin the legal procedure to form the town¹s own planning commission.

Child injured in accidental shooting
A child was injured in an accidental shooting Tuesday afternoon at a Harold Phillips Road, Jefferson, residence.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON
COUNTY

Freeze put on apartment planning
Danielsville issues temporary ban on multi-family developments. No apartment complexes will be planned in Danielsville anytime soon.
The Danielsville City Council approved a 60-day ban on conditional permits for multi-family developments Monday.

Industrial park planned
The Madison County Industrial Authority (IDA) has purchased approximately 80 acres off Hwy. 72 to establish a Òcommercial/ light industry park.Ó


 

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Snow Day in Banks County

Judd Roberts, 2, the son of Keith and Robin Roberts of Homer, shows off his snowman. Banks County was blanketed with up to six inches of snow last week, which gave area youngsters and adults plenty of the white stuff to build a snowman with. Judd is shown with his dog, Zeke.


Winter storm creates havoc on county roads
Though the snow and cold temperatures moved quietly into Northeast Georgia and Banks County early Wednesday morning, what soon transpired on county roads was anything but quiet.
For Banks County emergency personnel and road crews, it was the beginning of a long 48 hours as they braved snowy, icy roads and cold winds to rescue stranded drivers and clear roads.
Banks County received four- to six- inches of snow, officials say.
A meeting of the emergency services department heads was convened Wednesday afternoon to devise a plan of attack on county roads and keep emergency crews running during the storm, according to Milinda Dalton, Banks County Emergency Management Agency director.
Diedra Moore, E-911 director, said they had to decide whether or not to close down Highway 51 North Wednesday.
³There were a couple of accidents and it was decided to shut the road down until DOT crews could scrape and salt the highway,² she said.
It was the only road officially closed, she said.
Most residents were still able to navigate the roads into late Wednesday afternoon. However, after the sun went down and the snow continued to fall along with the temperature, travel became hazardous.
Banks County road crews were out until 1 a.m. Thursday morning working on the main roads, said board of commission chairman Kenneth Brady.
³I called them in and then we got back on it at 6 a.m.,² he said. ³The whole thing went like clockwork. Everything clicked like it should have. If a call came in, we were on it. I have to commend the dispatchers, fire, EMTs and EMS personnel. They did a great job. I couldn¹t have asked for anything better.²
The E-911 office received the first of the 482 storm-related calls at 3:40 a.m. on Thursday, said Moore, when a call came in about an accident with injuries on I-85 South just north of Highway 441.
³Our EMTs transported five people to the hospital in the worst weather conditions,² she said.
She said the center received calls on 13 accidents. Most of the calls concerned weather updates and road conditions, she said.
E-911 personnel stayed at the center, said Dalton.
³Two of our dispatchers, Diedra and I stayed through the emergency,² she said.
She also said due to the volume of calls the office received, dispatchers reported early and left late.
³Everyone handled their jobs very well,² she said.
Fire department staff and volunteers responded to calls and assisted drivers who lost control on the ice-slick roads, according to fire chief, Perry Dalton.
³It seemed to me that most of the accidents occurred from young drivers not knowing what to do,² he said.
In one instance, he said, a rescue team had to use one of the new service trucks to transport a patient from an inaccessible location to the ambulance.
³I¹m sure glad we had those trucks,² he said. ³We had to set up a med unit at the Grady Station when 51 North was closed to traffic. Otherwise, we would have had no way to get to anyone up that way. We kept three of our stations open and manned with paid personnel throughout the event. All the crews did an outstanding job in difficult circumstances.²
Captain Kyle Bryant, Banks County Sheriff¹s Office, said: ³It was hard to keep up with it all. But, when DOT came in, we started making some real headway. They cleared and salted some of the state roads which was a big help. Banks County¹s road department did a great job.²
Crews scraped Yonah-Homer Road and Rock Springs Road Thursday morning after a number of accidents, said Brady, along with Browns Bridge and Sims Bridge Roads.
³When the sun came out and things started to warm, we were back to normal in no time,² he said. ³We had the worst snow storm since 1993, according to the weather service,²
Dalton added,:²I especially want to thank everyone that donated their time and the businesses that donated food and drinks for the emergency workers. It was a great help and very appreciated. It is so nice to know our community supports the efforts of the emergency services workers of our county.²


Rec. board named by BOC Mon.
To review director¹s applications next. The Banks County Board of Commissioners named six members to a new recreation board Monday night.
The members and their terms of office are as follows: George Mathis, Sam McDuffie and Rob Boswell, three-year terms; Willie Bell Rucker, Tom Nicholson and Ronnie Gardiner, two-year terms; and Jan Parks, Kim White and Charles Turpin, one-year terms.
A meeting schedule for the new recreation board has not been released yet.
One of the first duties of the board will be to review the 16 applications for the vacant director¹s position and interview the top candidates. The board would then make a recommendation to the BOC on who should fill the position. The commissioners would take final action on hiring a director.
The recreation board will serve in an advisory capacity only and make recommendations to the BOC on other matters. It will serve as a ³go-between² for the BOC and citizens, according to the commissioners.
There has been a recreation board in Banks County in the past, but it has not been active. The terms of all of those serving last expired in 1996.


Maysville to reapportion council districts
The Maysville City Council has taken the first steps toward reapportioning its council districts.
The council decided Monday night to allow the state to begin a study on reapportionment. Mayor Richard Presley said the state would give the city recommended guidelines to follow on the reapportionment. However, he said the city did not have to accept the guidelines.
³It¹s been some time since we reapportioned our districts,² councilmember Marion Jarrett said. ³We need to start doing this now because if we don¹t, we¹ll have to do it down the road at the last minute.²
OTHER BUSINESS
In other business, the council:
€learned that electrical repairs at the city hall were finished.
€agreed to proceed with repairs to the roof at the city hall. The city received one bid from Martin Roofing of nearly $2,100 to complete the work.
€accepted a $200 check from the Maysville Beautification Committee to go into the Downtown Development Authority budget. The council agreed to earmark the funds for park renovation.
€agreed with the beautification committee¹s recommendation to donate the old city hall building to the Heritage Village at Hurricane Shoals contingent upon the original donor¹s approval. The building was originally planned to go to the city park, but the committee said it didn¹t fit into the plans for the park¹s renovation.
€heard J.R. Boswell¹s intent to file for an application to rezone nearly two acres on College Street from R-1 to R-2. Boswell was unsure of his proposed use for the property.


Chamber to meet Thursday
The Banks County Chamber of Commerce will meet at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Garrison Civic Center in Homer.
The breakfast meeting will be hosted by Jackson Electric Membership Corporation. Representatives of the company will discuss security system options.



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Homer council mulls over year¹s projects
City hall, dog ordinance among plans. Shortly after being sworn into office Tuesday, the Homer City Council began the new year by addressing several ongoing and upcoming projects throughout the community, especially the town¹s effort to locate a permanent city hall and the establishment of a possible dog ordinance.
Highlighting the projects that the council will focus on during the year, Mayor Leon Ray said finding a city hall for the town is at the top of the council¹s agenda.
³Right now, the way things look, we¹re only going to look at the town hall,² said Ray, while emphasizing council members should explore every possible avenue in reaching a solution for locating the city hall.
Among those solutions discussed during Tuesday¹s hour-long city council meeting was the possibility of temporarily moving the city hall to a double-wide trailer within the city¹s limits, since funding for the project may not be seen for up to two to four years. Council members also discussed the likelihood of leasing space for the time being, as well.
In the end, Mayor Ray asked the council members to continue to investigate their options and to present their findings at another city council meeting.
Another item council members discussed extensively was the possibility of establishing a dog ordinance for the city of Homer. But before the council could make any decisions on the matter, it had to consider how such an ordinance could be enforced.
³I¹m not in favor of putting it down there just to put it down there,² Ray said. ³The city of Homer can¹t afford to hire someone to catch animals.²
Council member Bobby Caudell then described a recent incident in which a child was attacked by wandering dogs. The incident, he said, ³made me take a different look² at the issue.
³I know it is a problem and I know we need to address it in some way,² Ray said.
The council agreed to further investigate how other municipalities, such as Maysville, handle their animal control problems and then discuss the issue at a later meeting.
OTHER BUSINESS
In other business items addressed at Tuesday¹s Homer City Council meeting, the council:
€unanimously voted to appoint Swayne Faulkner to the planning committee. Faulkner will replace Betty Borders, a council member.
€unanimously voted to appoint council member Sandra Garrison to the Georgia Mountains Regional Development Commission. Garrison will replace Roy Broome.
€heard that the delivery of the town¹s new fire truck will be shortly delayed since the shop that is providing the truck has been closed and the emergency vehicle has been moved to another location.
€considered the possibility of asking the county to use the courthouse in the next city election for easier accessibility.
€heard a report from Mayor Ray about an engineering firm that will help the city of Homer look into obtaining water grants.
€heard a report from Ray about his meeting with two Georgia Department of Transportation officials who promised the mayor that Thompson Street would be repaved, once construction of the bypass is complete.
€heard a report from city attorney Gary Freeman that the latest round of SPLOST funding could be seen by the city around August.