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The Banks County News
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NEW JAIL...The new Banks County Jail has come along
quickly in the past few months. The middle section above will
serve as the entrance for the facility. The two-story portion
on the right will be the cell blocks while the left side of the
building will house administrative offices.
Photo by Adam Fouche
Jail designed as more secure
BY ADAM FOUCHE
Architects designed the new Banks County Jail around one major
principal - security.
And when the jail opens next year, the public, jailers and inmates
alike will find a facility tailored to keeping everyone safe.
"Everything in this new jail is designed for security,"
Sheriff Charles Chapman said. "Security is foremost in the
way this thing is built."
Construction officials hope to have the new jail completely enclosed
by cold weather time. And the facility should open next spring,
at which time the county will hold an open house for the public
to view the new jail.
County jail overcrowding becoming
BY ADAM FOUCHE
After looking at state incarceration rates, the problems with
jail overcrowding become all too evident.
Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman said that one out of every
15 adults in Georgia is either in a county jail, in prison, in
a detention center, on parole or on probation.
"That number is staggering, yet it's true," Chapman
Banks County has had its bouts with jail overcrowding. During
Chapman's first few years in office, the jail maxed out in capacity.
The facility's main cell block, used for male prisoners, can
hold 30 inmates. Another additional women's pod holds eight.
Chapman said he's seen times when he averaged a full house 90
percent of the year and has had as many as 50 prisoners in the
jail at one time.
And though the past few months the Banks County Jail has had
a below average population, the problem of overcrowding only
stands to worsen.
The Department of Corrections has proposed closing several state
prisons and detention centers by July 1, 2004, in order to ease
budget problems. The closings are not set in stone, but could
"If this does happen, the counties are going to expect jails
to become crowded and stay crowded," Chapman said.
If the state does close facilities, the county jail will be forced
to house inmates longer before sending them into the state system.
In addition, the jail must continue to house those sentenced
there by the courts and also those arrested who can't make bail.
Not everyone arrested gets bailed out before a court appearance.
"Some people get in that can't get out real quick or don't
need to get out," Chapman said.
"Banks County is growing everyday,"
Chapman said. "It won't be long until that jail will not
be big enough."
Maysville looking at child curfew
BY ADAM FOUCHE
Concerns about children on skateboards and bicycles at night
on city streets has sparked the Maysville City Council's interest
in a curfew ordinance.
The council plans to meet on Monday, October 27, at 7 p.m. to
review and possibly vote on the ordinance.
Under the ordinance, children under 18 would be under a curfew
and banned from playing on city streets after 9 p.m. in the winter
and 10 p.m. in the summer.
The ordinance also regulates the use of toy vehicles such as
skateboards and bikes on Maysville's city streets.
Council members hope the ordinance will curb problems that have
arisen with children playing in the streets after dark, posing
the risk of injury to the kids and those driving through town.
The town asks citizens to give input on the ordinance and curfew
by contacting city attorney Gary Freeman.
The council also looked Monday night at plans to supply water
to the new feed mill site along Hwy. 98 at Pritchett Road.
City engineer Jerry Hood explained in a letter to the council
that the construction of a water tank to serve the facility could
not be completed in time.
He suggested installing a 12-inch water main along Hwy. 98 to
supply adequate water. The project would take 12 to 18 months.
Hood also suggests the city do work to its oxidation pond to
meet new EPD requirements. The work includes upgrades to the
disinfection system at the pond.
In addition, Hood said the city needs to find two buried water
valves along Main Street. He said work needed to be done on the
valves to improve pressure for a planned residential development
along Deadwyler Road.
The total cost of the three projects is estimated at $522,000.
Funding could come from a low-interest state loan and grants.
The town voted to proceed with upgrades to the water valves,
a $31,625 project.
Planners approve three poultry-related
BY ADAM FOUCHE
Three landowners looking to do poultry work on their land got
approval from the planning commission Tuesday night.
Banks County planners gave approval to Michael and Debbie Poole
for a conditional use permit to build two poultry houses on 30
acres of their land on Silver Shoals Road.
The planners also approved a rezoning for Benny Brock to change
30.98 acres on Antioch Road from ARR to commercial agriculture
district (CAD). Brock said the rezoning is for two chicken house
on a portion of his land there.
In addition, the planners gave approval to Terry Crocker for
a conditional use permit to build a litter stack house to store
chicken litter in during wet weather.
All three applications will come before the board of commissioners
Tuesday night for a final vote.
Auto Parts &
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Electricity going into historic
The Gillsville City Council voted Tuesday to approve a bid of
$9,600 to wire the three historic buildings in the town.
Councilman Richard Ferguson said: "The power problem is
holding everything up. We have this one bid, the only bid.
Let's get on with this thing and get it done."
The bid includes installing three commercial meters with breakers,
connection boxes for heat/air system, wiring for ceiling fans,
lights, wall outlets and front and rear on-off switches.
Wiring for the wall outlets will be placed in conduit and may
eventually be boxed in with molding.
Councilman Ronnie Whiting said he was working on getting bids
from three interested contractors who would repair and replace
all the windows and doors of the buildings.
Jeffrey Thornberry, the same contractor who worked on the Banks
County historic courthouse renovation, is putting a bid together,
said Whiting, and would have it to him by the end of the week.
Whiting also said bids were coming in for the heating and air
conditioning system. Each building will have its own independent
The council will talk more about the renovation at the work session
to be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 23.