Plainview fireman Scott Sanders
puts water under the eaves of the Robert Turpin residence on
Unity Church Road Monday afternoon. Firemen from Maysville and
Plainview responded to the blaze, which was caused when a small
child set fire to a mattress on the front porch of the house.
No one was injured, and Turpin said damage to the house was minor.
So Far, No Competition
Qualifying For Mayor, 3 Council Seats And 3 School
Board Seats Ends Friday
With qualifying for the Nov. 2 Commerce city
elections closing Friday at 4:30, it appears that the incumbents
may be the only candidates.
To be filled in November are the positions of mayor, and the
at-large post 1, Ward 3 and Ward 4 seats on the city council,
plus the District three, four and five seats on the Commerce
Board of Education.
Mayor Charles L. Hardy Jr. qualified for his fourth term in office,
as did at-large post 1 councilman Richard Massey and Ward 3 Councilman
Sam Brown. Ward 4 councilman Bob Sosebee qualified for his third
four-year term and fifth term overall.
All of the incumbents on the board of education also qualified.
They are Steve Perry, chairman, from District 4, and Bill Davis,
District 3 and Lanny Pope, District 5.
Endorses Sales Tax
The Commerce City Council officially went on the record Monday
night as endorsing passage of the Nov. 2 referendum on a special
purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) for Jackson County.
Mayor Charles L. Hardy Jr. initiated the discussion, reporting
on the breakdown of funds to be distributed if the county-wide
vote is favorable. If it passes, officials estimate the five-year,
one percent sales tax would generate upward of $35 million to
be used for water and sewer work, roads, bridges and sidewalks,
recreation and a fire training facility.
Except for the $1.5 million allocated to a county fire training
facility, Commerce stands to gain 14 percent of whatever is collected.
Seventy percent of that must be used for water and sewerage projects,
23 percent for roads, bridges and sidewalks, and 5.5 percent
for recreation (including buying park land).
"This is real good. We need to get out and promote it to
all of our citizens," the mayor stated. "You asked
how we would finance the water plant expansion. This is how."
Hardy said City Manager Clarence Bryant will bring to the October
meeting figures on "what it will cost us" if the tax
does not pass.
Councilman Donald Wilson suggested that the city create "posters"
encouraging people to support the tax, but the mayor pointed
out that city funds cannot be spent to promote it. He added,
however, that the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce has
formed a committee that is raising money for just that purpose.
"Somebody's going to have to pick up the tax bills if we
don't pass it," Wilson warned.
Bryant pointed out that the sales tax in Jackson County is now
six percent, compared to seven percent in Athens-Clarke and Banks
counties, where a SPLOST is in effect.
Planning Panel Sets Called Meeting To Revisit
Items From Previous Meeting
The Commerce Planning Commission will revisit a pair of rezoning
requests that have generated controversy when it holds a called
meeting Monday night at 7:00 at the Commerce Civic Center.
The meeting was necessary because both issues were left unresolved
from the regular August meeting.
At that time, a request from Bobby J. and R. Frank Caudell to
rezone 51 acres on Georgia 98 at Wilbanks Way stalemated when
motions to approve and deny it died for lack of seconds. Under
the city's ordinance, the planning commission must make a recommendation
of some kind to the city council, so that issue will be considered
Neighbors of the tract had appeared before the planning commission
to ask that the request be denied.
The other issue concerns the request of Broughton Cochran to
rezone a tract on the Mount Olive Road from AR (agriculture)
to PUD (planned unit development). At the Aug. 23 meeting, the
planning commission voted to recommend approval of the request
to the Commerce City Council. However, the city ordinance requires
that the developer have a site plan completed, and Cochran did
not, so the issue will go back before the planning panel Monday
Neighbors of the development have expressed concern over housing
density and traffic flow, which led Cochran to make substantial
changes in the proposed "Kensington Park" development,
which includes 137 homes and 29 condominium units.