News from Banks County...

APRIL 30, 2003

Banks County


Banks County

Banks County

among all
Georgia weekly newspapers
by the Georgia Press Association

June 29, 2001

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Angela Gary

Would trade curls for straight hair
Why is it that you always want what you don’t have. Women, and even some men, spend lots of money each year having smelly chemicals put on their hair just so it will be bouncy, curly and full of body. Not me, I have what I refer to as “natural fuzz.”

Adam Fouche
Move over Steve Irwin, her comes Fouche
Most of you have no doubt heard of Steve Irwin, AKA the Crocodile Hunter.


Leopard golfers win region tourney
By the end of regular play at the region golf tournament Tuesday, the Leopards knew they had earned a spot at the state tourney.
Banks was tied with GAC at 318. And since the top two schools get to go to state, the Leopards knew they’d be there.

Neighboorhood News ..
Industrial park rezoning gets OK from planners
Plans for a 254-acre industrial park near the Pendergrass bypass passed the first hurdle Thursday night when the Jackson County Planning Commission recommended approval for a rezoning request.

County to pursue lease financing for courthouse
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners is moving forward with financing a new courthouse through a lease/purchase agreement with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

Nicholson Daisy Festival this weekend
The annual Nicholson Daisy Festival will be held Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3.

Too Hot!Lacking AC, Planning Panel Postpones Action
A lack of electricity – and of air conditioning in particular – caused the Commerce Planning Commission to delay action on two rezoning requests for a week.

Chamber Pays Tribute To Individuals, Companies
Close to 400 members of the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce recognized and awarded individuals and companies for their contributions to the chamber and the county Thursday night at the chamber's annual banquet.

Neighboorhood News ..
Relay set for this weekend
The fifth annual American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life gets under way in Madison County this Friday, with opening ceremonies beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Recreation Department track field.

Animal control discussed at Mon. meeting
County commissioners heard from Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter director Sara Mathews Monday, who urged the commissioners to consider implementing animal control in the county.

Chairman wants residents to get tour of new Madison County jail
One day soon — leaders won’t say exactly when — Madison County residents will be able to take a weekend tour of the new county jail.

Continuance granted in murder trial
The murder trial of Hope Buie, who is accused of killing her infant son, has been postponed.

Earthquake tremors felt in Madison Co.
Light sleepers and those already awake in Madison County felt a sharp jolt Tuesday morning at 5 a.m. as an earthquake rattled the southeast. Many others slept through the quake and were surprised to learn of the event.

James pleads guilty to theft by receiving
Prominent local businessman Tommy James pleaded guilty recently in Madison County Superior Court to three counts of theft by receiving.
The Banks County News
Homer, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233
Fax: (706) 367-8056


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Made big-eared jug

Banks County High School freshman Abby Turpin, 14, created what she calls “big-eared” jugs. The miniatures are based on folk potters face jugs. Turpin is making pottery for an upcoming potter’s show to be held at Banks County High School on Saturday, June 21.

New Hwy. 441 rezoning request brings concerns
A landowner seeking a rezoning change along the new Hwy. 441 bypass could open the door for more industrial sites, Homer Planning Commission members said Thursday.
James Brooks told the planners he needed to rezone his property on McCoy Bridge Road to allow him to seek a business permit for a grading company. Already, Brooks said he has been keeping the heavy equipment needed for his business at the property, but now needs the land zoned restrictive industrial.
But rezoning the 1.6-acre tract for industrial use was a concern for some at last week’s meeting.
“You don’t want to do something that might change that community 20 years from now,” said planning commission member Mack Garrison.
Beverly McCallister, Brooks’ neighbor, said while she doesn’t oppose the rezoning request she is concerned the “spot zoning” could allow other landowners to seek industrial uses along the new roadway.
“I don’t care as long as Jim is there,” she said. “He’ll do just as he says he’ll do.”
McCallister also pointed out that if current landowners were worried industrial sites could begin popping up along the new bypass, they would have been at the planning commission meeting. She was the only person to speak publicly about the request.
Brooks, who operates a similar business in Gwinnett County, said when he applied for a business license from the Town of Homer, he was told the property would need to be rezoned from agricultural to limited industrial use. He said that up until that point he wasn’t doing anything different with his property than before zoning laws became effective in the town in April 2001.
The town planning commission members then wondered if Brooks really needed to rezone his property or if the existing use was grandfathered.
“All you’re looking to do is to be able to apply for a business license,” Garrison said. “If it takes zoning to do that, when he was doing that before, why create a situation with rezoning that might haunt you down the road?”
Garrison added that town attorney Gary Freeman needed to clarify exactly why Brooks needed to rezone his property. An attempt to contact Freeman during the meeting was unsuccessful.
After recommending approval for rezoning, Garrison added that he felt that there was some way Brooks’ request could be granted without changing the zoning.
Also during last week’s meeting, the Homer Planning Commission recommended approval for a duplex on Oscar Rucker Road near Yonah-Homer Road.
William Burnette asked for two acres to be rezoned from agricultural to R-2 for the duplex. A “tri-plex” is already located at the site. The town planners said the request met all zoning guidelines and recommended approval of the request.
The Homer City Council will consider these requests during its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 13, at 6 p.m.

DA looks at private-public sewage system for Martin Bridge
The Martin Bridge Road/I-85 interchange gets more attractive by the day.
The intersection already has water availability, and natural gas service is only one large customer away from reality.
And after a meeting the development authority had Monday morning with the representative of a group of investors, the possibility of a wastewater treatment facility isn’t far out of reach either.
Dr. John Cirello, an engineer and environmental scientist, told the authority about a consortium based in Forsyth County that seeks a public-private partnership on wastewater treatment.
“The local entities control it,” Cirello said. “All the investors want is a return on their investment.”
Cirello explained that the group, which hasn’t built any facilities in Georgia, would go into a community and enter an agreement with a public entity on wastewater treatment. In Banks County, that public entity would be either the board of commissioners or the development authority.
He said the group would finance the land purchase, design of the treatment plant, permit fees and handle all the construction and operation costs, without any use of public, taxpayer money. In return, the investors would make money off the sale of capacity at the treatment plant.
However, he said the county would retain complete control over how the facility gives out capacity to potential developers.
“You control where, you control when and you control whom,” said Paul Kreager, an economic development consultant with the University of Georgia. “That’s a partnership. You’re not relinquishing anything except debt.”
Cirello explained several scenarios around which to design the partnership.
He said the group could sell the capacity at a discounted rate to the county and the county then sell that to developers, retaining control of who got sewage capacity.
The agreement could also be arranged to allow the group to sell the capacity, but only to developers that had been certified by the county to purchase a specified amount.
In either case, Cirello said the county retains control of who gets to purchase sewage capacity, thus regulating development.
Authority member Jerry Boling said the county was not wanting to attract large residential developments that would purchase capacity.
“We not talking so much about homes as we are industry and commerce,” Boling said. “Our tax base is one sided right now.”
Cirello said partnerships were becoming more common across the country as federal money to build wastewater treatment plants was dwindling.
He added that the county and the investment group could enter an agreement to build a plant in the future. Then, the development authority and other county entities could show potential industrial customers that it has plans to build a wastewater treatment plant at Martin Bridge Road if the customer chose to locate a facility there.
Cirello also said the group could build a plant with a capacity as small as 100,000 gallons per day. Since it is a private company, the group would then be able to expand the plant quickly when more development arrives without having to fight through government red tape associated with public financing.
He added that the group wouldn’t need a commitment from one customer large enough to take the entire 100,000 gallon capacity before building the plant. If a customer that only wanted 20,000 gallons was interested in building a facility, the investment group would be willing to construct the wastewater plant and would exercise financing options in order to pay off the construction costs slowly as more customers hooked up to the plant.
In most circumstances, he said, once the plant is built to service one customer, the area becomes attractive to other potential developments, bringing in more customers.
Cirello also said that treatment costs to customers in a private-public system compared to a public system are very similar. He said the private companies can charge the same amount per gallon for wastewater treatment and end of making a profit because private business has the ability to run more effectively and efficiently than public treatment plants do.
As for the disposal of the treated wastewater, Cirello said it could be done with sprayfields, direct discharge into the river system or through the sale of re-use quality water.
Re-use water has become popular in Florida for landscape irrigation.
“Today, we can guarantee the re-use product,” Cirello said. “There’s not a risk factor with it. We just have to get people past the concept.”
The county currently does not have any ability to treat wastewater in the Martin Bridge area. To do so, the county would either have to construct a pumping station and pipeline to Banks Crossing, build a plant financed through a bond referendum or enter an agreement with a private company for service there.
The development authority members said they would use the information from Cirello in future county planning meetings the authority hopes to have with other county groups.

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Chamber picnic set for May 8
The Banks County Chamber of Commerce will hold its second annual picnic on the courthouse lawn at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 8.
It will be held on the lawn of the “old courthouse” in Homer. Dinner will be served at approximately 6:30 p.m. The menu will include chips pork steaks, french fries, slaw, rolls, fruit, cookies, homemade ice cream, muscadine grape juice and sweet tea.
Entertainment will be provided by Anne Green and Ricky Fitzpatrick and an art exhibit by Brenda Mulligan and Sara Nelms will be presented.
Pre-paid reservations are required and will be taken through May 5. The price is $15 per person.
For more information, call 677-2108.

State DOT gives update on bridges
The Georgia Department of Transportation gave an update on its road projects in Banks County at a meeting last week. Two bridge replacement projects are under way.
The preliminary engineering to replace the bridge at Hwy. 51 at Grove Creek, seven miles west of Homer has started. Right-of-way acquisition and construction will start in 2004.
This will be 0.34 of a mile and the total cost for the construction will be $946,542. Federal funds will total $757,234 and state funds will be $189,308. The right-of-way acquisition is projected to cost $37,900 with $30,320 being federal funds and $7,580 being state funds.
The second project is to replace the bridge at Hwy. 105 at Middle Fork Broad River, 9.6 miles north of Homer. Preliminary engineering has begun and right-of-way acquisition and construction is slated for 2004.
This will be 0.22 of a mile and the total cost for the construction is expected to be $1.3 million. Federal funds will be $1.05 million and state funds will be $262,000. The right-of-way acquisition is expected to cost $115,875 with $92,700 being federal funds and $23,175 being state funds.
No county funds will be spent on either project.

Rabies clinics planned May 10
Rabies clinics will be held at seven different locations in Banks County on Saturday, May 10, with vaccinations available for $7.
Beginning at 1 p.m., clinics will be held in 30-minute increments at the following locations: Irvin’s Store (Davis Academy), Boling’s Store, Irvin’s Store (Hollingsworth), the old courthouse, Mt. Carmel Church, Lula City Hall, New Town.
For more information, call the Banks County Health Department at 677-5009 or Commerce Veterinary Hospital at 335-5111.