| FRONT PAGE - AUGUST 18,
1999 - COMMERCE, GA
(41) breaks away from defenders during a Commerce Tiger scrimmage
this week. Fans and family are invited to come to this Friday's
practice session and to attend a watermelon cutting at its conclusion.
Rezoning Requests For Industry,
Subdivision And Mobile Home Park Likely To Spark Controversy
Before Planning Commission
There should be no shortage of controversy
when the Commerce Planning Commission meets Monday night at 7:00
at the Commerce Civic Center.
The agenda includes three proposals that all have citizen opposition.
The first is a request by Bobby J. and R. Frank Caudell to have
rezoned from R-1 (single-family residential) to M-1 (manufacturing)
about 60 acres at Wilbanks Way and the Maysville Road. The land
is surrounded by R-1 zoning, according to David Lanphear, city
code enforcement officer.
Neighbors are opposed, says Lanphear.
The second item on the agenda includes a request by Cochran Properties
Inc. for land on the Mount Olive Road to be rezoned from AR to
R-2 PUD. A previous attempt to get an AR-PUD (planned unit development)
were shot down by the Commerce City Council on the grounds that
Cochran's plan violated the city's ordinance relating to PUDs.
The proposal also generated public outcry, largely related to
population density and possible traffic congestion.
But the developer, Broughton Cochran, following a recent "work
session" with the planning commission, reduced the number
of houses planned from 150 to about 80, according to Lanphear,
and eliminated a six-acre commercial tract. The plan still contains
approximately 50 townhouse units.
Also, the developer seeks approval of the site plan for the property.
Larry Bramlett will ask the planning commission to rezone more
than 100 acres off old U.S. 441 across from Ashworth Mobile Home
Park from AR to AR-5, so he can build a mobile home park.
This issue involves a threat of a lawsuit. Bramlett bought the
property when it was zoned R-4, but in 1995 the city re-wrote
its zoning ordinance, changing the land to AR in the process.
Bramlett is threatening to sue on the grounds that the city did
not properly advertise its intent to change the zoning.
The Commerce Planning Commission makes recommendations to the
Commerce City Council, which makes the final decisions. Recommendations
made Monday night will go before the city council for final action
at the council's Sept. 13 meeting.
Two new members of the panel will assume their responsibilities
Greg Perry will replace Allen Lacey, and Doug Newcomer succeeds
Henry Slocum. Neither Lacey nor Slocum wished to be reappointed.
Nursing Home Files
Its 'Plan Of Correction' With State Panel
Without admitting that a scathing state
inspection accurately described conditions at BJC Nursing Home,
the facility has submitted to the Department of Health and Human
Services a "plan of correction" that purports to address
all of the allegations made last month.
In fact, the nursing home plans to present its defense in a face-to-face
meeting next Wednesday with state officials.
Medical center officials were embarrassed two weeks ago when a
report from the Office of Regulatory Services not only ripped
the cleanliness and care offered at the nursing home, but also
recommended that it be fined as much as $3,000 a day since mid-June
for the violations. The report listed numerous allegations of
failure to respond to medical needs, doctors not being notified
when patient conditions worsened, chronic staff shortages, inattention
to incontinent residents, foul odors and unsanitary conditions.
BJC officials say they will release their answer to the report
in the near future, but do not want it to compromise their meeting
with the inspection team, says Oscar Weinmeister, a public relations
"We view the face-to-face meeting as a very positive thing
for us. We don't want the state to accuse us (if the defense is
vigorous) of bad faith," Weinmeister stated.
In essence, the first step in response to the report is to assure
the state that BJC Medical Center is providing good care. Once
that is done, an effort will be made to convince the inspection
team that there were mitigating factors to the situations cited
in the team's report.
And while nurses and certified nurses' assistants have been fired
or hired since the report, Weinmeister says he has no indication
that any of the personnel moves were in response to the report.
"We have nearly 400 positions. We virtually hire and fire
every day," he stated.
According to the plan of action, the facility began working on
responses to the alleged deficiencies immediately, doing in-service
training, reviewing or improving protocol, creating new methods
of documentation and cleaning up areas the inspection team found
Part of the plan represents new activity, while part is the protocol
already in place when the team visited.
Reading the report, however, one gets a glimpse of what may be
the facility's defense. The team reported numerous housekeeping-related
deficiencies when it visited. The plan of correction notes that
three additional housekeeping staff have been hired since the
survey, and two others who were ill at the time are back on the
The plan details improvements or maintenance of the environment
("The facility is free of urine odors"), point by point
with the report, indicating where obstacles have been removed,
unsafe items repaired or removed, dirt and grime cleaned and safety
items installed. It indicates a new "weekly environmental
round" to be conducted by a housekeeping supervisor to assure
that compliance is maintained and efforts to get resident input
on reducing the noise.
Responding to specific care complaints, the report stated that
one resident in the report is being "closely monitored by
the nursing staff and physician" and all changes "noted
in the medical record and 24-hour report." The plan of correction
notes the condition of and care given to patients cited in the
Regarding one patient who died, the plan says, "Nursing notes
and the ADL record for the resident revealed that this medically
compromised 93 year old resident ate poorly from the time she
was admitted to the nursing home following a total hip replacement.
The physician was aware of her fluid and nutritional intake based
on the progress notes."
In another case, where the team found an open wound on a patient's
heel, the nursing home's plan of action notes that the resident
"frequently removes the dressing, shoes and socks."
But in a third case, the document reveals that a LPN involved
in the resident's care "was terminated for failing to contact
the resident's physician in accordance with facility policy and
procedure," while the "administrative member was counseled
regarding the failure to provide assistance to the charge nurse."
The report indicated that the medical center called in consultants.
One, from Marriot Environmental Services, provided recommendations
on a clean environment. Two nursing consultants were hired following
the survey to help implement corrections for each deficiency.
The nursing home agreed to hire an additional full-time staff
member to the care plan coordinator's office, and the facility
has hired five new nursing staff members since the survey, the
plan notes, and the facility meets and exceeds the required number
of nursing hours per patient.
The action plan also includes new forms generated to document
the following of policy and procedure.
Sales Tax Decision Set For Friday
By ANGELA GARY
JEFFERSON -- The Jackson County Board
of Commissioners is expected to set the formula for a November
vote on a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax when it meets
at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 20, in the Administrative Building in
"I've thought long and hard about these decisions,"
commissioner Pat Bell said. "I know what I want. As for the
formula, we aren't there yet."
The board of commissioners met with representatives from city
councils and other interested citizens Thursday morning to receive
input. Water and sewer, roads, recreation and a fire training
facility are among the areas being considered to receive a portion
of the sales tax revenue. It appears that the courthouse issue
won't be a part of the SPLOST vote. The courthouse committee has
sent the board of commissioners a letter asking that it be funded
through other sources.
At the SPLOST meeting, Commerce Mayor Charles Hardy said water
and sewer are the biggest needs for his constituents. He also
asked that the funds be used to purchase equipment for capital
Hoschton city clerk Cindy Edge attended the meeting but didn't
comment. There were no representatives from Arcade, Braselton,
Jefferson, Maysville, Nicholson, Pendergrass and Talmo.
Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce chairman Richard Cathey
spoke on his disappointment that more officials didn't attend
and said it is a "disservice to their voters" that they
Cathey also said $12,500 in private funds has already been collected
to help market and advertise the sales tax referendum in November.
News - Commerce, Georgia
Telephone: (706) 367-5233 Fax: (706) 367-8056
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