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SEPTEMBER 11, 2002


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OPINIONS

Frank Gillespie
We must control our borders
It has been one year since the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. We as a nation have had one year to figure out how the attack was carried out, and how we can prevent future attacks. Have we solved the problem? I don’t think so.

Margie Richards
Another way to remember
This paper carries an unfortunate date on it’s cover, for Sept. 11 will never be seen as “just another day” of the year.


SPORTS

Directions to Area Schools

Raiders battle past Hancock Central, pick up first win
Madison County took its longest bus ride of the football season Friday, then downed a mistake-prone Hancock Central team 16-8 in Sparta.


Neighboorhood News ..
JACKSON COUNTY
‘A day of reflection’
More than 100 people gathered at the Jackson County Airport Wednesday morning to remember those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.
A close race
At press time Wednesday, the Republican lieutenant governor’s race was close with both candidates having 50 percent of the vote.

County BOE plans 2-mill tax increase
The Jackson County Board of Education plans to increase its tax rate two mills next year.

City Boosts Tax Rate And City Salaries
The two issues are actually unrelated, but the Commerce City Council voted Monday night to raise taxes by 7.38 percent and to increase salaries of city workers by 5.5 to six percent.


Neighborhood News...
BANKS COUNTY
Pond raising mosquito concerns in Homer
Robin Templeton wants her two-year-old and infant child to play on a playground in their backyard.

Home destroyed by fire
The home of Tony and Shannon Nation on Highway 323 was destroyed Monday night in a ravaging fire that lit up the sky for miles around.

Who will fix Buckeye Trails?
A group of Banks County homeowners isn’t too happy about the situation at Buckeye Trails subdivision.

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The Madison County Journal
Danielsville, Georgia
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A SONG OF REMEMBRANCE

Madison County chorus teacher Shirley Dillard leads members of her chorus in a patriotic song to commemorate the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terroristic attacks. The ceremony was held in the Madison County Park in Danielsville this morning (Sept. 11).

County reflects on Sept. 11 tragedy
It's been a year since the United States suffered several homeland terrorist attacks, and Madison County held its own ceremony (today) Wednesday to mark the day.
Local Woodmen of the World president Hewatt Fleming told the crowd gathered for the Patriot Day ceremony at the Madison County Park in Danielsville that there were no "shortage of heroes" to remember and honor on the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks.
Danielsville was one of more than 600 sites around the country to host Patriot Day ceremonies. These local ceremonies were sponsored by Woodmen of the World Insurance Society.
Representatives of all 11 volunteer fire departments, EMS workers, law enforcement personnel from the sheriff's office and from the Georgia State Patrol were on hand to hoist a United States flag to the top of the new flag pole at the start of the ceremony.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 328 and Girl Scouts 3025 lowered the flag to half-staff immediately thereafter to honor those who perished one year ago.
Local singer Erica Brooke sang the National Anthem. The Red Raider Band and Madison County chorus played and sang patriotic music. Bruce Scogin spoke representing the firemen. Wesley Nash spoke as a Southern Baptist Disaster volunteer. Representative Ralph Hudgens spoke, as well as other local dignitaries.


Contracts approved for road projects
County commissioners approved $381,000 in road-widening contracts Monday with ER Snell Contractor Inc. for Neese-Commerce and Nowhere Roads.
The contracts cover the first phase of the widening of both roads.
Neese-Commerce Road will be widened by one foot on each side of the road for 4.86 miles from Adams-Clarke Road to Hwy. 106. That project will cost $301,554.
Nowhere Road will also be widened by one foot on each side of the road for 1.18 miles from Neese-Commerce Road to Loyd Nelms Road at a cost of $80,231.
The projects are expected to begin immediately.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is contributing approximately $230,000 to the first phase of the widening project, while the county’s portion of the cost is approximately $150,000.
The roads have long been cited as unsafe because of their narrowness and the projects are seen as a way to reduce the potential for traffic accidents.
LOST FUNDS
TO REMAIN THE SAME
In other matters, county commissioners and local municipal officials have agreed to leave the division of local option sales tax funds (LOST) between the county and cities the same as it has been for the past 10 years. The county will receive 74 percent, which has totaled $1,105,420 annually. Comer will receive eight percent of total LOST funds, Danielsville, six percent; Colbert, 5.5 percent; Carlton, 2.5 percent; Ila, 2.5 percent; and Hull, 1.5 percent.
WELL-INJECTION
SYSTEMS APPROVED
The county commissioners agreed to buy two chlorine injection systems at $450 apiece from Fortson Well Drilling, one for Diamond Hill Park and one for Mize Park. The systems are needed due to high levels of chloroform in the wells at the parks. The commissioners considered purchasing ultra-violet light filtration systems for the parks but decided that the chlorine systems would be easier to monitor.
RIVERBEND PLANS APPROVED
The board approved final plans for Riverbend Subdivision, a 12-home development on 65.9 acres off Hwy. 72 just before the bridge over the Broad River.
NO ACTION TAKEN ON COLBERT PARK
AGREEMENT
The commissioners postponed an agreement with the city of Colbert on the county taking over operation of the Colbert Park. Commissioner Bruce Scogin said that a public hearing is being planned by a Colbert councilman to discuss the proposed takeover. And the board tabled the matter until after the hearing. However, the city of Colbert agreed Monday not to hold a public hearing on the matter.


Developers sue Danielsville council over permit denial
Two local developers who want to place apartments behind the Huddle House on Hwy. 29 have filed suit against the Danielsville City Council for denying their plans.
Gerry Burdette and Phil Munro seek a conditional use permit for multi-family development on 8.66 acres behind the Huddle House on Hwy. 29.
The developers, who purchased the property in 1998, maintain that the city council has acted improperly in road blocking their plans and they ask that a judge reverse the ruling against them.
The conflict between the council and developers has been a year-long ordeal. Burdette and Munro planned to request a permit for the development at the city council’s Jan. 7 meeting. But moments before their application was considered, the council instituted a moratorium on multi-family developments, which led the developers to withdraw their request. The council said the moratorium was needed while engineers conducted a study of the city’s water and sewer capabilities and the effect that more developments might have on city systems.
The next month, the council passed an amendment to its zoning ordinance, requiring that multi-family developments in the city have at least two acres per family dwelling. Some complained that the requirement effectively wiped out any apartment growth in Danielsville. The council eventually softened its hard-line stance on apartments, reducing the minimum lot size requirement on multi-family dwellings from two to one acre per family in August.
But the group still frowned on the proposal by Burdette and Munro. The developers re-submitted their conditional use permit request and were accompanied by two Athens lawyers to the June 3 council meeting. But the council voted against them, maintaining that the city sewage system is nearing capacity and that future city sewage projects, such as the addition of the county jail, will nearly max out the system’s capabilities.
The developers, represented by Gordon, Brown and Eberhardt, answered with a lawsuit, filed in Madison County Superior Court on July 30.
They maintain that the council “illegally attempted” to apply amendments to its zoning ordinance, “overreaching exercise of police power” in violation of state and federal constitutions.
And they say that they were singled out and treated differently than others with similar proposals.
“In denying plaintiffs’ application, defendants have treated plaintiffs differently from the manner other property owners have been treated on applications for multi-family housing developments that were significantly denser per lot than plaintiff’s plan,” the complaint read.
The city’s response to the complaint was filed in Superior Court on Sept. 4.
“These defendants show that at all times they acted by exercising the appropriate discretionary judgment as members of the city council of Danielsville...” the city’s response stated. “All defendants move to dismiss plaintiff’s complaint based upon the failure of the plaintiffs to show or allege that the zoning classification is a significant detriment and is unrelated to public interest and welfare.”

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To read more about the local events in Madison County, including births, weddings, sports news and school news, see this week's Madison County Journal.


8% of county voters hit polls in runoffs
Just over eight percent of Madison County voters turned out Tuesday to take part in the primary runoff election. County voters were presented with only three races, two Republican and one Democrat.
Republican Lt. Governor candidate Mike Beatty was the leading candidate in Madison County, receiving 703 votes to Steve Stancil’s 77. Statewide, Stancil held a tiny vote margin over Beatty for the right to challenge Democratic incumbent Mark Taylor.
Charlie Bailey easily defeated Vernadetta Broyles in Madison County and state wide for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State. Bailey received 509 votes to Broyles 196 in Madison County.
The only Democratic race on the runoff ballot saw Barbara Christmas take 159 votes to Joe Martin’s 77. Christmas easily carried the state as well.
Low voter turnout was recorded across the county with all precincts having nine percent or less voting. Madison County’s smallest precinct, Paoli, recorded only nine votes out of 141 registered voters. The nine votes included poll workers.
The Sept. 10 runoff election featured the last use of the old lever machines to tally votes in Madison County. The new touch screen machines will be used statewide in the November general election.


Hull to get new subdivision
Hull will soon have a new subdivision of site built homes.
The city council voted to accept a proposed plat for Hidden Falls, a 31 lot subdivision to be located on Glenn Carrie Road.
The 22 acre property is owned by Jim Henderson and Ed Walker and was originally slated for rental duplexes.
According to the plan submitted, the homes will be valued at $130,000 to $150,000 and will have city water.
The lot sizes average one-half to three-quarters of an acre.
In other business, the council heard from Hull Baptist Church deacons that the church membership voted to accept the purchase of Hull city hall for $51,000.
City attorney Pat Graham said the closing is expected to take place by the end of September.
In a separate matter, the council heard that a woman who qualified to fill the council seat vacated by Mark Cronic in January may not live inside the city limits.
Graham said he and city clerk Janice Seagraves will determine if the woman is or is not a resident of Hull.
“If the candidate can serve, you (council) won’t have an election because only one qualified and if she can’t serve, you can’t have an election because no one qualified to fill the post,” Graham said, adding that he would provide the council the information about holding another special election at the next appropriate date.
Mayor B.W. Hutchins advised Seagraves to send her a letter thanking the candidate for her interest, explaining that she must live inside the city limits and to return her fee to her if she is not able to serve on the council.