News from Madison County...

NOVEMBER 19, 2003


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OPINIONS

Farnk Gillespie
HOPE, another example of free-ride society
I have told my readers all along that the state lottery was a mistake. Now we are finding out that we are not being well served by the programs financed by the lottery. Specifically, the HOPE Scholarship Program is in trouble.

Zach Mitcham
Water issue highlights city’s growth dilemma
While there’s no moat circling city hall, there is definitely a barricade of sorts in the town of Danielsville.

SPORTS
HOOPS 2003-2004 Four years of hard work
Raiders hoping experience of large senior class will pay dividends in ‘03-’04
They came in with head coach Steve Crouse as freshmen. Now they’ll try to make their impact felt as they leave.


News from
BANKS COUNTY
Building a foundation
“When they catch on to it, it’s amazing and wonderful. It lets me know that I’ve done my job.”
—Banks County teacher of the year Amy Pardue, on children learning to read

Scam alert
Sheriff warns residents about con-artists
Recent scams have Banks County Sheriff Charles Chapman warning county residents about potential con-artists.

News from
JACKSON COUNTY
Huge distribution center picks another site
Walgreens to locate $150 million building in S.C.. One of the largest planned distribution centers in the United States won’t be coming to Jackson County, officials announced Tuesday.

New school, JHS work to be topics for Jefferson BOE
Group to meet in Atlanta next month
Next month, the Jefferson Board of Education is planning to discuss two important projects that have the potential to change the school system in a profound way.

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Honoring those who Sacrificed

Nicholas Waldrop salutes as he looks up at the American flag at a Veterans ceremony in Danielsville Saturday morning.

Decision delayed
Lem Edwards Road rezoning vote postponed by planners
Neighbors who showed up at Tuesday night’s planning and zoning public hearings in opposition to a proposed 45-lot major subdivision on Lem Edwards Road will have a chance to speak their minds again at December’s public hearings.
After a lengthy hearing on the matter, the planning and zoning commission voted to postpone making a recommendation on the proposed rezoning due to some confusion as to how much road frontage the land actually has.
A number of neighbors showed up to protest the rezoning of the 53-acre parcel, owned by Dorothy McGuffy, from A-1 (agricultural) to R-1 (single family residential).
Civil engineer Phil Munro presented the request to the planning commission on behalf of developers Randy Vick and Brenda Jung.
The developers want to divide the land, located about a mile off of Hwy. 72, into 45, three-quarter-acre minimum lots to be served by a community water system.
Six neighbors spoke against the development, with most saying they did not object to a subdivision, so much as to the smaller lot sizes and homes proposed for the development.
Others cited traffic, road conditions, noise and water problems as reasons for their objections.
The planning commission will hold another public hearing on the matter at its next regularly scheduled public hearing meeting on Dec. 16, beginning at 6 p.m.
After a recommendation is made, the board of commissioners will have the final say on the matter.


Hull water line purchase still on track for Dec.
It probably feels like an early Christmas present to Industrial Development Authority members, but they may finally be on the verge of completing their purchase of the Hull water line loop from Athens-Clarke County (ACC).
IDA chairman Tom Joiner told other board members at Monday night’s meeting that plans are still on track for a December 1 closing date.
“And fellas, there ain’t going to be no more of these,” Joiner told the board, referring to delays that have pushed the purchase back several times since the original closing date of June 1, 2002.
Joiner said water line installation and well house construction are all being completed and that the lines are almost ready to be “back-flushed,” a procedure that must take place before the closing date.
The final purchase price at closing will be $506,819, which includes several thousand dollars in interest and other charges accumulated from the delays.
After the closing is complete, ACC will have 20 days to disconnect from the system, leaving the IDA on it’s own with two wells on line.
The 201 customers on the line will most likely receive their first water bill from Madison County in February, IDA secretary and Chamber of Commerce president Marvin White said.
White also said that the IDA is working with Merchant’s and Farmer’s Bank to allow those customers to pay their bills at any of the bank’s branches, including the one located in the Ingle’s grocery store, which stays open later than their other offices.
In other business the IDA board:
•discussed, but made no decision, on holding a work session to decide on how to accommodate residential developments that want to tie on to the county water system.
•voted to purchase a 2004 four wheel-drive Ford F-150 XLT pickup at a cost of $22,973 from low bidder Johnson Ford Sales in Crawford. The board voted to pay for the vehicle in three annual payments of $8,089 each.
•voted to advertise for bids for someone to perform water taps and meter installation for the water system.
•postponed requesting bids for water line repairs and maintenance to give chairman Joiner time to review regulations further in order to compile specifications for the bid.
•heard from White that the SMI company should open soon in their new building in Madico Park. The company recently purchased land in the park for its business operations.
•heard that Gary West Shutters, which employs 25 to 30 employees, has relocated from Commerce Road in Clarke County to the former Warren Featherbone building in Comer.
•heard that Trus Joist in Colbert has expanded it’s product line, adding 25 individuals to it’s employee roster.
•discussed using several downstairs rooms adjacent to the Chamber of Commerce offices as an IDA office for water department employees.
•agreed to hire Charlotte Kesler as a temporary employee to help set up the billing list for water customers. Kesler will work up to ten hours per week and will be paid $15 per hour.


Eggs and Issues Breakfast set for December 3
The Madison County Chamber of Commerce will host an “Eggs and Issues Breakfast” at 7 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Ila Restaurant.
The buffet breakfast will be hosted by Jackson Electric Membership Corporation. There is a $10 charge for non-Chamber members.
Reservations will be accepted for the first 75 that call the Chamber at 795-3473. The deadline is Wednesday, Nov. 26.

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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.


Early deadlines set for next issue
The Madison County Journal will have early deadlines for next week’s issue due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
The deadline for classified advertisements will be at noon on Friday, Nov. 21. The display ad deadline will be 3 p.m., Friday, while the deadline for news, including church and social announcements, will be at 5 p.m., Friday.
The Thanksgiving issue will be on the news stands Tuesday, Nov. 25. Mailed subscriptions will also be sent to the post office one day ahead of the regular schedule.
The Journal office will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 27, for Thanksgiving Day.


IDA chooses new name for county water system
It’s not the “Hull-Sanford water system,” or the “Hull water line” or even the “Dogsboro water system” anymore.
That’s right, the county’s water system has a new name.
Industrial Authority board members agreed Monday night to name the IDA operated water system the South Madison Water System in an effort to reflect what the system is and where it’s targeted to expand over the next few years.
IDA member and county board of commission chairman Wesley Nash made the suggestion during the group’s regular meeting, saying that he believes it’s time to establish a new name for the system itself, as well as for the different phases of its growth and development.
Following his suggestion, the board also voted to divide the system’s development to this point into four phases, as follows: Phase I - the installation of the Hull-Sanford water tank and chemical feed tank and water lines; Phase II - Hwy. 72 corridor development; Phase III - Hull water line purchase from Athens-Clarke County and Phase IV - Hwy. 29 water line extension from the Golden Pantry at Hwy. 29 and Fortson Store Road north to Piedmont Road.
“This will give us all a better understanding of what we’ve accomplished and what we’re working toward,” Nash said. The board also hopes it will lessen confusion by not referring to the water system as the “Dogsboro” and “Hull” water lines.