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FRONT PAGE - SEPTEMBER 22, 1999 - HOMER, GA

SOAPY SERVANTS

Kody and Kyle Garrison and other members of "Kids for Christ" washed the Banks County ambulance last weekend as a community service project. KFC is a children's program offered through Homer United Methodist Church to teach ways to serve God, family and the community, according to program director Melissa Wendt.

EDUCATION

Sisk resigns as school superintendent
BY DREW BRANTLEY
Banks County school system superintendent Dock Sisk delivered a "bombshell" Monday when he resigned after serving the county for more than 27 years.
In Sisk's brief letter of resignation, he said that he felt the board did not support his leadership.
"After careful consideration, I have decided that it is evident that the board has lost confidence in my ability to lead this school system," reads the letter. "I certainly regret that this is the case since I have spent my adult life working in the Banks County school system and previous years attending the system.
"Since I believe it is impossible to be an effective leader under these circumstances, I hereby tender my resignation and ask the board to accept it effective immediately."
The board received Sisk's letter Monday, but took no action. A BOE meeting has been called for 5:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss the resignation.
Sisk said Tuesday BOE chairman Don Shubert told him the board would like him to stay on until they come up with a plan. Sisk's contract runs through December.
Shubert was out of town this week at a school board convention. Assistant chairman Len Dalton said the board wanted some time to make a better transition.
"Since this was such a bombshell, at least for me it was, we didn't want to make a snap decision," Dalton said. "We'll meet again on Thursday to come up with what our plan will be."
Sisk has served the Banks County school system for nearly 28 years and has been the superintendent since 1984. He held that position as an elected official until state law made superintendent an appointed position. He has been appointed each year since his last elected term expired in December 1996.
Prior to being superintendent, Sisk was the principal at the Banks County Primary School for five and a half years. Before being principal, Sisk taught seven years at the Banks County High School.
"I'm not angry at anybody," Sisk said. "I'm not trying to put anybody in a bad spot. It's just time."


Multi-family housing under BOC consideration
At least two Banks County commissioners are looking favorably at allowing a multi-family housing development to locate in the county.
On Wednesday, BOC chairman James Dumas and commissioner Pat Westmoreland met with members of Ninth District Opportunity as they unveiled their plans to put an apartment complex on Hwy. 59.
Bobby Parks, of Ninth District, and Steve Simpson, of Ninth District's housing opportunities division, are still negotiating options with the land owner, but they hope to purchase 15 acres. The first phase of the project would include a total of 30 to 40 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and use up to five to six acres. If the additional acreage is purchased, a phase 2 will be considered, according to Simpson.
Westmoreland pointed out that so many people are commuting from other counties to work at Banks Crossing.
"The need is immediate and it will be so much more so by 2001," he said. "By the time they build the 30-40 units, I believe there will be a need for another one."
Ninth District will file a pre-development application with the Georgia Department of Community Affair's Affordable Homes Program at the end of the month. In February, the organization will file a pre-application followed by an application. Funding should be announced in August 2000, and Simpson projects the apartment construction would begin in October 2000 and be complete within 10 months.
Simpson said DCA will look more positively at the application with government support and water and sewer service must be available. Dumas said water would be available and a sewer line could probably be put in if capacity is available.
"Government support will be critical to this project," said Simpson.
While BOC member Ernest Rogers was at work and could not attend the meeting, members said they believed that he would also support the project.
While affordable housing has met with opposition from some citizens up to now, Dumas said this project is very upscale. He has met with Alabama consultant Tom Wood and saw some similar apartments and is very complimentary of their work.
"These are not low-income housing units but affordable housing," Dumas said. "They look like $800-a -month apartments. This will be a half-mile from my house and I'm not at all opposed to it. These are nice apartments and people will be proud to live there."
Simpson echoed his comments: "That's exactly what they are. They are $800 apartments but the people are not being charged that much."
The rate charged will be determined according to income and the number of children in the home, Simpson said. A divorced school teacher making $30,000 with two children would most likely qualify for the apartments, he said.
Simpson said Ninth District will manage the complex and offer support services to residents. Just a few of the possible services include employment counseling, family resource development, injury prevention, a community building and a first-time home buyers workshop.
Westmoreland said this could be an alternative to buying a mobile home.
"If you get the affordable housing costs comparable to a mobile home payment, people may go with affordable housing and later build a home," said Westmoreland.
Simpson said that was a goal of the program.
"That's the whole idea," he said. "We want to do more than just offer people a place to live. We want this to be a step toward home ownership."
Dumas agreed: "Right now, there is an explosion of mobile homes in the county. I'd say there are as many mobile home permits as building permits."
Currently, Ninth District operates many multi-family complexes including apartments in Hall, Franklin and Hart counties.


Developer seeks annexation for Lula subdivision
BY SHERRY LEWIS
A new subdivision may be coming to the City of Lula.
At the council meeting on Monday, Doug Calvert asked that a 38-acre piece of property on Old Cornelia Hwy. be annexed into the city for a subdivision.
Calvert said the subdivision will contain stick-built homes that are approximately 1,400 square feet, on one-acre lots.
While the idea seemed attractive to members, council member Milton Turner said he believed the annexation would be the final piece of property needed to completely surround a mobile home in the area.
"Before we get too deep, we need to find out if that trailer is in the city," Turner said. "We can't create an island if it is not in the city."
The council agreed to investigate that matter and, if the annexation is legal, to start the proceedings. The council will have to hold a public hearing before voting to annex the property.
To this point, Calvert has not asked for any city services, although Mayor Tim Allen said water would be available from the city or from a White County line.
In other business, the city council:
·approved a bid from David Saxon to install a culvert pipe on Carter Street at a cost of $6,300.
·approved an agreement drafted by attorney Brad Patton to purchase a new well on County Line Road at a cost of $30,000. The sale is contingent on water quality and the well producing 60 gallons per minute.
·heard a request about a lot size variance from Mere Barbee. She wants to put a home on a 50-foot- wide lot on Seventh Street. The city ordinance calls for lots to be 80 feet wide in R-2.
·appointed city clerk Suzanne Martindale as absentee ballot clerk and Ed Harris as chief registrar for the November election.
·discussed possible water restrictions, but the council decided not to impose them at this time.
·reviewed employment applications for the water department and set a salary for the position.
·voted to update the electrical system at the Belton Bridge well at a cost of no more than $4,975.
·asked Patton to send a letter to Sam Roberts to ask him to board up windows and doors and cut the grass at an old house in the alley.



The Banks County News - Homer, Georgia
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