Braselton mayor Henry Edward
Braselton's granddaughter, Lydia Miller, Suwanee, is shown riding
the carousel at the holiday celebration Saturday. The festivities
included carnival rides, a parade hosted by grand marshal TV
weatherman Ken Cook and a visit from Santa Claus. A street dance
and the lighting of the Christmas tree were also part of the
by Travis Hatfield
Three Jackson fire district rates
increased for next year
Three fire districts in Jackson County have increased their millage
rate for next year, while one reduced the tax rate.
West Jackson, South Jackson and East Jackson all have millage
rate increases next year, while only Nicholson decreased its
fire tax rate. All other fire districts are holding their tax
rates the same as 1998.
Fire district rates were approved by the Jackson County Board
of Commissioners Thursday. All districts are required to submit
a proposed rate and budget to the BOC, which has final authority
to set the rates. All of the districts did submit a recommended
millage rate but only four of the 10 turned in a budget by the
county deadline. The county received budgets from the Arcade,
Harrisburg, Plainview and Jackson Trail fire departments.
| West Jackson
| South Jackson
| Jackson Trail
| North Jackson
| East Jackson
Jackson BOC credits SPLOST with keeping millage
BY ANGELA GARY
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners credit approval of
a one-cent special purpose local option sales tax as the reason
they were able to leave the millage rate the same again for the
third year in a row.
In a called meeting Thursday morning, the BOC set the millage
rate for the unincorportaed areas of the county at 7.58, which
is the same it has been since 1996. The rate for the incorporated
areas of the county will be 9.0, which is up only slightly over
8.98 last year.
The BOC was able to take $400,000 out of the road budget which
had been put in place to fund projects already planned. A percentage
of the SPLOST revenue will now be used to fund these road projects.
Rankings' Put 3 City Schools In Top Half
According to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation
rankings of public schools released last week, the three schools
in Commerce all rank in the upper half or better among the state's
Christian School To Fight Commerce Zoning Order
Providence Academy has been ordered to move "immediately"
its portable classroom, but director Ray Morris has no plans
to contact a mobile home moving company just yet...
EJMS parents fume
over dress code
But one teacher tells parents to 'quit making excuses'
BY ADAM FOUCHE
A stricter dress code at East Jackson Middle School had some
parents fuming Tuesday night at the monthly meeting of the Local
School Advisory Council. But one veteran teacher told parents
to quit making excuses for kids who won't take responsibility
for their appearance.
"It doesn't matter if the kids are A students, or B students,
or C students, you people have got to quit making excuses for
the kids," said teacher Tommy Benton. "We have rules
here at the school and the kids need to follow the rules. That
is as clear as you can make it right there."
EJMS principal Andy Goodman said the need for a stricter dress
code is obvious when public schools are compared to private schools.
"There is no question in anybody's mind or in my mind that
parochial schools, religious schools, private schools outperform
us," said Goodman. "It's a proven fact."
According to Goodman, the fact public schools are unable to demand
self-discipline causes them to be outperformed. He added that
the dress code helps the faculty regulate discipline.
Some parents had complained about the newly implemented dress
code, especially about a requirement that students wear belts
with pants and that shirts be tucked in.
"This is more than a private school," one parent said.
"This is control."
A common argument was against the school's policy requiring a
belt be worn with all pants or shorts that have belt loops.
"They are just sixth graders and my child is scared to death
that if he forgets his belt or something else he will be in so
much trouble when he gets to school," said a parent.
Some parents also argued the belt policy, along with the policy
requiring shirts be tucked in, unfairly caused embarrassment
to overweight children.
But Benton pointed out the need for students to take some responsibility
"You want them to grow up but you won't let them take responsibility,"
he said. "They have responsibility to come to school dressed
appropriately. You can't go into an institution and dress contrary
to their rules. It's that simple. There shouldn't be any argument
Not all parents opposed the dress code.
"I think the belts look nice," said Kim David. "I
really like the dress code. My older son is setting an example
for my younger son."
Some parents said that inconsistencies between teachers' interpretations
and enforcements of the rules was unjust. Minor alterations in
the dress code since the beginning of school also came under
"No one should be opposed to a dress code," said Kelley
Lomonof. "I think there were minor changes from the beginning
of school to now and those changes and wardrobe modifications
are the biggest reason for concern."
I-85 exits to be
Directions to Jackson County will soon
change. The Georgia Department of Transportation is slated to
begin renumbering interstate exits throughout Georgia to a mile
log system from the current exit number system. The project is
set to begin in January and be completed by July 2000, according
to Todd Long, a DOT engineer.
In a talk before the Jefferson Rotary Club last week, Long outlined
a number of road projects in Jackson County, including the exit
renumbering. The I-85 exits will be renumbered as follows: Exit
49 to Exit 129; Exit 50 to Exit 137; Exit 51 to Exit 140; Exit
52 to exit 147; and Exit 53 (Banks Crossing) to Exit 149.
In addition to the new exit numbers, Long said the DOT would
soon begin design plans to widen I-85 from Gwinnett County to
the South Carolina border, a stretch that includes Jackson County.
That project will also entail replacing a number of bridges in
the county, including a new bridge at Hwy. 53 and I-85 and Hwy.
82 and I-85. State Route 98 will get new ramps, but not a new
The other DOT project along I-85 will be the building of a rest
area north of Hwy. 332. The existing Gwinnett County rest area
will be closed when the Jackson County site is opened, said Long.
In addition to the pending interstate projects, two bypass projects
in Jackson County are slated to begin in March. Both the Hwy.
129 Pendergrass bypass and the Jefferson bypass are scheduled
to have contracts let in March. The Jefferson bypass will be
a $29 million concrete highway due to the volume of large trucks,
said Long. The Pendergrass project is a $9 million bypass.
Jackson County's two main north-south routes are also slated
to be widened in the near future. Both Hwy. 441 south of Commerce
and Hwy. 129 south of Jefferson are undergoing final design plans
to be widened. A DOT hearing was held Monday night on the Hwy.
Long said the DOT was continuing to consider alternatives for
the Curry Creek Bridge in Jefferson. Earlier plans to replace
the historic bridge were met with a lot of opposition.
The DOT is also watching the planned Mulberry Creek Plantation
project to see what impact it will have on the western side of
Jackson County, said Long. Although there has been some talk
of creating an exit at Hwy. 60 and I-85, no plans are currently
Long said the state would also like to widen the Hwy. 53 corridor
if a way could be found to bypass the historic buildings in Braselton
In a related matter, property owners got a chance Monday night
to see the proposed route of Hwy. 129 after it is widened from
Lavender Road in Clarke County to the Jefferson bypass. DOT officials
met with landowners at South Jackson Elementary School to solicit
comments on the project.
Comments on the project may be sent to: David Studstill, Georgia
DOT, 3993 Aviation Circle, Atlanta, Ga., 30336.
The displays may be viewed at the DOT Area Engineer Office located
at 450 Old Hull Road in Athens. The displays will be available
until Nov. 29.
over lack of sewerage
Company leaders won't rule out moving plant out of Braselton
BY ANGELA GARY
The lack of available sewerage in Braselton has one of the town's
premiere businesses in a lurch. Mayfield Dairy is running only
at partial capacity because Braselton can't take any additional
sewage. Mayfield already uses 50,000 gallons per day of the town's
200,000 gallon capacity. Officials with the company say another
50,000 gallons is needed as soon as possible. Braselton engineer
Jerry Hood said the town has several projects lined up that will
increase the sewage capacity, but it may not be quick enough
Mayfield president Scottie Mayfield said Wednesday that his company
has been hurt by the lack of sewer capacity in the town and didn't
rule out a possible closure of the plant.
"Braselton's sewer system is challenged with the growth
in that area," Mayfield said. "It's behind and we have
missed some opportunities and are in a point right now that we
can not be as aggressive as we would like to be as far as taking
He said Mayfield's Tennessee plant can produce the extra products
needed for a short time.
"It is an economic burden on us," he said. "When
I first visited all of the communities in that area to talk about
locating there, our sewer needs were a main topic of conversation...I
don't want to be too critical of the community because I know
they are strapped with certain challenges, but we need to do
something and we are going to have to do something."
Mayfield said leaving the county would be a last option for the
"Anything is an option, but we don't want to do that,"
he said. "We want to stay there. We want to grow and be
a part of the community. We want to double our employment there.
We are disappointed in these short-term problems and we hope
the city might give us some priority over adding a new business.
I hope they will be fair about that type of thing."
Hood said the town will soon have more capacity, but he's not
sure how it will be allocated.
"They are putting in two new drip fields right now,"
Hood said. "They should be online this week or next week.
That would add 40,000 gallons a day. That could do it (for Mayfield);
of course, everyone wants the sewer. The town has a waiting list
of about one million gallons a day. It will be up to the city
as far as how they divvy it up."
Hood says the town has also been busy correcting problems with
the sewage system.
"We've certainly had some challenges over the last year,
but I think they're very quickly getting into pretty good shape,"
he said. "The town had some infiltration problems with groundwater
getting into the sewer system during the rains. They worked all
summer on getting all of that corrected. That should help a lot."
Braselton is also working on the existing spray fields to give
the town an additional 40,000 gallons per day of capacity.
"They also have a project which was funded through a grant
and loan," Hood said. "That is down at Environmental
Protection Division now with the final plans being reviewed.
We hope to bid that project in December and have it online in
June 2000. That would add 90,000 gallons per day."
The next project is a planned re-use quality treatment and land
application system which would provide one million gallons per
day. It is expected to be in place by fall.