News from Jackson County...

JULY 31, 2002


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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 County.

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OPINIONS
Jackson County opinion page

Shar Porier
Purses keep eating my 'stuff'
I've been having this problem. It seems my handbags have taken to eating my "stuff."

Frank Gillespiie
‘Redneck Games’ more than just country hicks
A number of TV programs and supermarket tabloids have recently reported the existence of the Redneck Games, taking place around the South this summer.

Jana Adams
On the party line
Short-short, long-long or short-long — did you have your own ring on the party line?
That’s a thing of the past, right?


SPORTS

Tigers Put On Armor This Week
The Commerce Tiger football team donned pads and helmets this past Monday to start the second phase of their summer workouts.
Though the team will continue easing into their transition to the gridiron this week according to head coach Steve Savage, they’ll also begin looking at filling spots on both sides of the ball.

Break out the pads, bring on the heat
A week removed from the first practice day allowed by the Georgia High School Association, area teams turned the intensity up a notch Monday as they took to the field in full pads for the first time this preseason.


Neighboorhood News ..
MADISON COUNTY
And the drum roll please....
New director hopes to put a spark in MCHS band program.
When the Red Raider band takes to the field for the season’s first football game, Aug. 30, they will be marching to the commands of a new director.

Hudgens can run for senate District 47 post
State representative Ralph Hudgens can run for the District 47 senate seat, a judge ruled Friday.
The senate hopeful faced a challenge from Robert Johnson of Hartwell, who contended that Hudgens is not actually a resident of the district he is seeking to represent.

Suspects nabbed for Clover Farm robbery
Two men who allegedly robbed a local grocery store at gunpoint last week didn’t get very far before they were captured by law enforcement.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
County planning commission to meet Tuesday evening
The Banks County Planning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at the courthouse in Homer.
Baldwin council says garbage service stinks
For some time, Baldwin residents and the city council have been complaining of the service received from Waste Management Inc., the company that handles sanitation.

Two local races to be on Aug. 20 ballot
Two local races will be on the ballot in the Aug. 20 primaries.
In the Banks County Board of Commission Post 2 race, incumbent Ernest Rogers and Sara Yarber Cross both qualified as Democrats.

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FUN FOR THE KIDS

More than 100 kids took to the arena Sunday at the Château Élan Rodeo Classic for this game. They were trying to catch the calves to pull tags off of their ear.

County agrees to Hwy. 53 road cuts for project
But DOT will have final say on the number of entrances allowed to planned retail center. The Jackson County Board of Commissioners tentatively agreed in a called meeting Monday night to assist with road improvements on Hwy. 53 in Braselton for a major retail center.
The large project, which was announced in March, calls for a mix of industrial and commercial projects. The part discussed Monday night dealt with three entrances off Hwy. 53 for commercial development and for a cu-off off Hwy. 53 for Braselton Parkway, the new major road connecting to Jessie Cronic Rd. The location is north of I-85 in Braselton.
The BOC will give final approval to the request when it gets the costs for the project.
Project director Steve Gaultney is asking for three curb cuts, or store entrance drives, to access the “strip” lots that front directly on Hwy. 53. He is also asking for the curb cut, or entrance drive, for the new Braselton Parkway.
The county was asked to provide the acceleration and deceleration lanes and the curbing within the Hwy. 53 right of way. The developers would be responsible for everything else, including the road through the development. Once built, the county has agreed to maintain the road.
The Georgia Department of Transportation will have to give the final approval as to the number of entrances allowed on Hwy. 53. Some members of the BOC questioned whether the DOT would approve the three Gaultney is requesting.
Commissioner Emil Beshara, whose district includes the project area, said the county should “bend over backwards” to assist the development because of the tax revenue it would bring the county.
Commissioner Sammy Thomason agreed.
“By losing Wal-Mart (in Commerce) to Banks County, we lost $1 million a year in sales tax,” Thomason said. “...If we can gain a retail area out there, I’m absolutely 100 percent in favor of it.”
There is no guarantee that Gaultney will get Wal-Mart to locate at the site, but he has met with the company and is competing for the development.
The first phase of the project, which is planned for this year, is two retail buildings, 115,441 square feet and 203,626 square feet, and the 450,000 square foot “spec” building.
The project also includes eight other buildings ranging in size from 128,000 square feet to 575,000 square feet.


Water pressure jump will ‘blow’ systems without special valve
A lot of customers of the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority will get a surprise next Wednesday.
They’ll come home from work to find water spewing from their water heaters, drenching carpets, ruining floors and creating a huge mess.
And they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.
These impending mini-disasters will occur as the Jackson County water system increases the pressure on its water lines to 200 pounds per square inch to pressure test its transmission lines. And for customers who failed to install pressure reducing valves – as required by the contract they signed when they connected to the system – the sight of flooded basements and ruined furnishings is quite likely.
“I’m sure we’re going to get some calls,” said Jerry Waddell, manager of the water system.
He speaks from experience. Although the county system has not had pressure near 200 psi yet, a number of customers’ systems have broken down under the up to 154 psi created when the pumps at the Bear Creek Reservoir come on.
The situation hasn’t been helped by some suppliers, who have told customers that the pressure reducing valves are not needed.
The devices cost $25 to $35 and should be installed on the customer’s side of the meter – just after the back-flow preventer, which the county system installed. The part, plus a service call from a plumber, represents an expense of about $100.
The water authority has received more than 250 calls complaining about having to install the devices, but the requirement is in Article 9 of the water service contract customers sign.
“We’ve warned people repeatedly. I’ve done everything I know,” Waddell added. “If you have friends or neighbors on the system, tell them about it.”
Those who fail to heed the warning need not call the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority when disaster strikes. At that point, the best bet is a call to a plumber, followed by a call to your homeowner’s insurance agent.


New subdivision, shopping center planned for WJ
The Jackson County Planning Commission recommended approval of two rezoning requests Thursday night that would bring a large subdivision and shopping center to the West Jackson area.
The planners unanimously approved requests from John Buchanan to rezone 14.85 acres on Hwy. 124 and Hwy. 332 from A-2 to B-2 to locate a shopping center and to rezone 101.41 acres on Hwy. 332 from A-2 to R-1 to locate a 92-home subdivision.
The BOC will address the recommendations of the planning commission at a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 5, at the Administrative Building. The voting session of the BOC will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, August 19.
At Thursday’s planning commission meeting, Buchanan said the “neighborhood shopping center” would be suitable for a large grocery store and several smaller stores. He said such a development is needed because of the subdivisions located in the area.
“This is a natural location for a neighborhood shopping center,” he said. “It would certainly be done in very good taste. We will hold the standards very high...The area is going to require a shopping center. When you have people, you have to provide services...It is something the community will be very proud of.”
Several nearby property owners spoke out against the project.
Lisa Haynes said the traffic problem in the area is “already ridiculous” and the shopping center would make it worse.
“Most people are there because they want to be in the country, not because they want the city to come to them,” she said.
As for the subdivision plans, several nearby property owners spoke on their concerns that it would impact their property values.
“We moved there to be in the country,” Haynes said. “We want it to still have a country atmosphere even though it is growing...and not be a cluster type of atmosphere.”
Buchanan said the average price of the homes would be in the mid to low $250,000 range. He said the development would be similar to other projects of his, including Liberty Crest Subdivision in Braselton and The Preserve in Jefferson.
“It will be a nice addition to the neighborhood,” he said. “...The property is an ideal location. The development will be an attribute to the community.”


‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ to show Aug. 1-4
The Renegade Players, Peace Place co-partner event
“A Streetcar Named Desire” will be presented at the Commerce Cultural Center Thursday through Sunday, August 1-4. All performances, with the exception of the Sunday matinee, will be at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday showing will be at 2 p.m.
Tickets are available at Commerce radio station WJJC.
The show is being produced by The Renegade Players, with Peace Place, the area shelter for battered women, as a co-partner. Peace Place will host two fund-raising receptions prior to the August 1 and 2 shows, with proceeds from those receptions going to Peace Place. Patrons may attend both the reception and the play for $25 or attend just the play for $8.
In addition to the fund-raising receptions, Peace Place will sell concessions at both intermissions. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about Peace Place and displays throughout the Cultural Center will heighten awareness for theatre-goers.
For more information, contact James Dumas at WJJC, 335-3155.


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See Galilee Preschool Flyer


Nicholson Water Authority files lawsuit against county
The Nicholson Water Authority filed suit July 16 to protect its service area from alleged encroachment by the Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority.
The NWA seeks an injunction by the Superior Court of Jackson County preventing the JCW&SA from installing water lines on Hoods Mill Road, Old Kings Bridge Road, Antioch Church Road and other areas it considers its “exclusive” service territory.
The civil action is the result of a long-standing disagreement between the two water authorities. NWA’s position is that the General Assembly gave it exclusive rights to service a 32-square-mile area centered in Nicholson when it created the NWA in 1972. JCW&SA believes that NWA’s charter does not give NWA exclusive rights to that territory.
The dispute dates back to at least the construction of East Jackson Middle School on Waterworks Road at Hoods Mill Road in 1994. The Jackson County Board of Education chose JCW&SA to provide water service instead of NWA, even though the area falls within NWA’s chartered territory. A major factor in selecting JCW&SA at the time was its ability – and NWA’s alleged inability – to provide sufficient water for fire protection.
More recently, JCW&SA announced plans to run major lines along Hoods Mill Road, Lord’s Cemetery Road, Old Kings Bridge Road and Antioch Church Road, all of which fall into Nicholson’s charter territory.
Those lines, the complaint says would result in “the loss of customers and future customers, and lost revenue, thereby putting financial strain on the Nicholson Water Authority.”
NWA also alleges that the JCW&SA project will violate the “service delivery strategy for Jackson County,” a reference to an agreement signed by all county governments under House Bill 489, which was designed to prevent duplication of infrastructure.
The JCW&SA position, said Chairman Elton Collins, is that the service delivery agreement limits NWA’s territory to the city limits of Nicholson.
NWA’s complaint asks that the court prohibit JCW&SA from installing any water or sewer lines in its territory without permission of NWA.
That territory, set forth in the legislation creating NWA, extends four miles north, four miles south, two miles east and two miles west from the intersection of U.S. 441 and Georgia 335 in the heart of Nicholson.