News from Madison County...

MAY 19, 2004


Madison County
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OPINIONS
Frank Gillispie
County needs to develop communication system
It is becoming more and more important that the various governing agencies in Madison County find a better way to communicate.

Zach Mitcham
Upcoming Olympics brings back memories of ‘96
No, this wasn't a dream.
I sat in the bus driver's seat, nervously gripping the steering wheel, looking into the rearview mirror as SWAT team members approached the parked vehicle from behind, slowly, silently, as if there was a baby's crib they had to sneak by, but they cradled machine guns and had the intent of taking me down.


SPORTS
Two and through
Top-seeded diamond Raiders swept by
East Paulding first round of state tournament
Even the best teams are entitled to a bad afternoon.


News from
BANKS COUNTY
NHRA Southern Nationals bring 100,000 to Banks Crossing Sun.
McClenathan, Bazemore, Anderson and Savoie earn series victories
Cory McClenathan snapped a two-year winless streak Sunday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals presented by Pontiac at Atlanta Dragway.

Lula proceeds with sewer plans
The Lula City Council plans to expand its sewer system, build a new treatment plant and increase its sewer system delivery system to 400,000 gallons per day. The council has received environmental protection division approval for the expansion.


News from
JACKSON COUNTY
Mayors to ask BOC for tax equity study
The mayors of Jackson County’s nine municipalities want to find out if their citizens are getting a fair share of county services for the tax dollars they pay.

Britt to get $4,300 bill
JCWSA seeks payment for 663,090 gallons of water, tampering fee, illegal meter fine
Jackson County Commis-sioner Stacey Britt will be billed approximately $4,300 to cover water he allegedly stole from the county water and sewerage authority, a penalty for tampering with the line and a charge for replacing the illicit meter.

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Head of the Class

Valedictorian Nicole Temple (L) and Salutatorian Casey Allen are two members of the MCHS Class of 2004 who will speak at Friday night's graduation ceremonies at the Classic Center in Athens. Both Temple and Allen plan to continue their education at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville in the fall. Temple says she plans on a career in the medical field and Allen will pursue athletic training and then plans to go on to medical school. Allen will also play softball for the college.

For MCHS seniors...A day to celebrate
About 250 Madison County seniors will turn their tassels Friday night in Athens.
The class of 2004 Madison County High School graduation ceremony is set for 7 p.m. in the Classic Center in Athens. Scheduled speakers include valedictorian Nicole Temple, salutatorian Casey Allen, Sara Jones, Lauren Sapp and Kevin Cash.
Tickets are required for admission, with eight tickets allotted per student.
This year's honor graduates include: Margie Nicole Temple, Casey Nicole Allen, Sara Elizabeth Jones, Joshua Andrew Collins, Kristen Michelle Johnson, Rene Erin Lautenschlager, Mallori Elise Berry, Cierra Nicole Lukers, Lauren Elizabeth Sapp, Candace Nicole Hathcock, Erin Alisha Moon, Megan Kate McNeil, Brittani Shea Meadow, Catherine Leigh Morris, Tegan Elizabeth Tonge, Shiree Teresa Phillips, Diana Adair Duncan, Mandy Marie Kutch, Joshua Houston Booker, Lindsay Gayle Godfrey, Jessica Rhea Bentle, Megan Charlotte Turpin, Justin Michael Sales, Benjamin Michael Willis, Bonnie Holland Marcotte, Emilee Clara Lord, Carrie Leanne Burroughs, Stacey Elizabeth McElroy, Abraham Jacob Duncan, Abby Ann Swaim.
Honor graduates also include: Sarah Elmore Gaskin, Bryan Patrick Bird, Marina Zenobia Edwards, Christina Dawn Proctor, Hillyer Michael Royston, Matthew David Seawright, Kevin Lee Cash, Whitney Paige Daniel, Brittany Nicole Dalton, Myra Lynn Ash, Candace Lauren Shubert, Jamie Rebecca Rice, Bonnie Lorraine Westbrook, Brittany Nicole Beard, Lacie Danielle Constance, Rebekah Leigh Faulkner, Taylor Ann Sapp, Jennifer Michelle Chandler, Patricia Lynn Maxwell, Christopher Corey Boswell, Melissa Beth Hollis, Hannah Alysia Jones, Candace Lynn Williams, Jennifer Nicole Wood, Cory Edward Jordan, Spencer Thad Pruett, Joseph Gregory Bleakley, Kimberly Sue Edins, Anthony David Tilton and Caroline Gail Barnes.


Hwy. 29 to be widened?
Talk of such a project revived
Will Hwy. 29 south of Danielsville be widened from two to four lanes?
Perhaps, maybe even as early as 2011, but those wanting a definitive “yes” or “no” may continue to be frustrated for some time.
What is clear is that the issue of widening the highway is alive again after being dropped by the state Department of Transportation (DOT) for nearly five years.
The matter of widening Hwy. 29 was revived most recently, not by the DOT, but by MACORTS — a committee composed of representatives from three counties that studies the Athens metro area and determines, among other things, which roads are candidates for federal urban transportation funding.
The MACORTS committee is in the process of developing a long-range plan for road improvements in the metro Athens area, which includes the southern tip of Madison County, Athens-Clarke County and the northern half of Oconee County. MACORTS provides the state with a priority list of urban roads needing attention and no federal funding for Athens metro-area roads can be appropriated to the state without going through MACORTS (the Madison Athens-Clarke Oconee Regional Transportation Study.)
Several Madison County road improvements are included in the proposed long-range plan, with the most notable project being a two-phase widening of Hwy. 29. The first phase would widen Hwy. 29 from two to four lanes from the intersection with Hwy. 106 in Dogsboro to Diamond Hill-Colbert Road. The second phase would widen the highway from Diamond Hill-Colbert Road to Irwin Kirk Road, north of Danielsville.
According to MACORTS transportation planner Sherry Moore, the tentative timeframe for the widening project includes securing rights of way in 2008, with construction beginning in 2011 or 2012. The estimated total cost of the project is $37 million, with $33 million for construction and $4 million for securing rights of way.
There is no answer now on a crucial question: would the Hwy. 29 widening include an east or west bypass around Danielsville?
“Nothing addresses how this (the widening of Hwy. 29) would get through Danielsville,” Moore said.
Moore added that none of the MACORT-recommended projects, including the planned Hwy. 29 widening, are certain.
“These projects are not going to be done tomorrow and they may never be done,” said Moore. “These are just suggestions on what needs to be done.”
DOT district spokeswoman Teri Pope said the state is a long way from even considering the Hwy. 29 widening, noting that the proposed project has been tagged “inactive.”
“When it’s beyond three years, it’s considered long range and inactive,” she said.
MACORTS will hold a public hearing at 7 p.m., Monday, June 7, in the public meeting room of the county government complex to discuss proposed road improvements in the southern portion of Madison County. For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal..


Rezonings Monday could bring 100 new homes to county
More than 100 new homesites may soon be in the works for Hwy. 29 South between Danielsville and the Madison-Clarke County line if the board of commissioners follow the recommendation to approve four rezoning requests heard by county planners Tuesday night.
Phil Munro, of Munro Engineering, brought three separate requests to rezone approximately 83 acres on Garnett Ward Road to R-1 (single family residential) for a major 78-home maximum subdivision with lots as small as .75 of an acre.
In the first two requests, Munro represented Mike and Lee Moon on a five-acre parcel and a 35.49-acre parcel now zoned A-2 (agricultural, five-acre minimum lot size).
In the third request, Munro represented Fortson Store Properties on a 42.81-acre parcel currently zoned A-1 (intensive agriculture).
Munro said the homes will be site-built, 1,400-acre minimum square foot homes in the $150,000 price range and that water will be provided by the county’s water system.
Responding to concerns about traffic congestion, Munro pointed out that the Department of Transportation plans to upgrade the road sometime in the future and that traffic and growth patterns will influence those plans.
In another matter, planners also approved a request by Mark Brown of Dearing Development, representing owner Melba Bryant, to rezone a 29.59-acre parcel on Hwy. 29 South near Joe Graham Road from A-2 to R-1 for a major subdivision of 24 three-quarter-acre lots for new homes.
Brown said the subdivision will be served by a community water system since it is not located close enough to the county’s developing water system at this time.
Brown conditioned his request, stating that the homes will be site-built “starter homes,” 1,400 to 1,800 square feet with hardi-plank or some similar type of siding.
The BOC will consider these and other zoning requests during a second round of public hearings at their regular business meeting Monday night, May 24.
BUSINESS REZONING
The commission also voted unanimously to approve a request by assistant school superintendent Mitch McGee, representing the board of education, to rezone a 25.18-acre portion of a 55.62-acre parcel on Fortson Store Road from A-1 to B-2.
The BOE wants to sell the property, which is located in front of Hull-Sanford Elementary School, for business use in order to purchase more suitable property for a future middle school. McGhee said the BOE will use the remaining property for a baseball field and may sell another portion to the county for a future EMS station.

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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.


Loan approved for water project
The county industrial development authority signed a $775,000 loan Monday to cover its share of funding for a $1.7 million water expansion project.
The IDA recently approved a deal with Colonial Pipeline for approximately $947,000 for water service to the Colbert Grove Church Road area off Hwy. 29, which the petroleum company contaminated with oil spills. Deep well water in the area still tests positive for benzene — a contaminant known to cause leukemia and other health problems — some 25 years after the last reported oil spill.
While the money is tagged for providing water to the contaminated zone, the authority plans to use the Colonial money for more than just supplying water to the Colbert Grove Church Road area.
The broader plan is for an estimated $1.7 million water system, with 10 miles of 12-inch lines and two miles of six-inch lines. The new system would essentially link Madico Park, Colbert, Danielsville and South Madison water systems — with Danielsville and Colbert systems serving as backup sources if their town councils approve hooking on.
For the rest of this story see this weeks Madison County Journal..