The home of Kenneth and
Jenet Meeks on Creekview Drive in Stone Creek Subdivision near
Hwy. 332 was destroyed by a fire Thursday afternoon. Several
area fire departments worked to battle the flames. Photo by Travis Hatfield
County ready for
Y2K, say leaders
BY ANGELA GARY
Doomsayers have been predicting for years that Jan. 1, 2000,
will bring power failures, bank crises and all sorts of problems.
When the clock strikes midnight, no one is sure what will happen,
but Jackson County officials say they are prepared for the arrival
of the year 2000.
New computer systems that are Y2K-compatible have been put in
place in all county offices in preparation for the rollover to
a new year.
"Most of our major systems have been replaced in the past
two years," said county executive assistant David Bohanan.
"The central office was done this year and the tax office
was done last year. The software for the courts and things like
that are state-owned, but the state has been working on that."
He said some departments may have stand-alone computers that
might not be Y2K-compatible, but they don't contain any records
that are time-sensitive.
911 director David Murphy said the computers in his department
have been upgraded and tested and are ready for the new year.
"The 911 department is ready," he said. "We did
all of the testing of the computers and we are compatible and
ready to go. We had to upgrade our dispatch and our E-911 computer
system, which cost the county roughly $20,000."
Murphy said extra people would be on duty Dec. 31 and Jan. 1
to handle calls and all off-duty personnel would be on-call during
that time period. Murphy will be in charge of the night-time
operations and Lou Ann David, his assistant, will be in charge
of the day-time operations.
Sheriff Stan Evans said new computer equipment is being installed
now at his department and it should be in place by the end of
the year. He added that the sheriff's office has already been
supplying off-duty officers to work security at area banks.
"They are providing extra security now," he said. "What
everybody is trying to anticipate is people coming in and withdrawing
their money, which would make them susceptible to a robbery or
a sudden snatch."
Jackson County Water and Sewerage Authority superintendent Paul
Mims said work has been under way for some time to replace some
of the computers and upgrade the control system
"Hopefully, we'll be ready," he said. "All this
Y2K stuff, nobody really knows for certain. Everybody can do
all these tests, but when it actually rolls over is when we will
Public relations director Pat Kerley said Jackson Electric Membership
Corporation is well-prepared for the transition into 2000. She
said the cooperative took a system-by-system approach in preparing
for the change-over.
"Jackson EMC has completed a Y2K compliance inventory and
assessment of all distribution, telecommunication, computing
hardware and software systems," she said. "All key
systems related to the delivery of electrical energy are Y2K
Director of engineering services Greg Broussard said that Jackson
EMC throughout the transition period, just as at any other time,
employees in key positions will be available on a 24-hour-a-day
"Jackson EMC is confident that its customers can look forward
to the coming of 2000 with a sense of security and celebration,"
Swayne Cochran of the Georgia Power office in Jefferson said
they are also ready for the change over to the new year. He said
all of the computers are in compliance and have been tested.
"We are ready to go," he said. "We have done our
trial runs and everything is perfect. We had no problems."
He said staff members would man the different facilities on Dec.
31 to make sure everything runs smoothly.
According to a report released by the state, all hospitals and
health systems have met the necessary preparatory requirements
for the anticipated Y2K-related computer bug. BJC Medical Center
spokesman Henry Slocum said the hospital officials have checked
out the generators to make sure that everything is ready for
the new year.
"If the city has gas and electricity, we will be in good
shape," he said. "But, of course, our generators would
take over if there were any problems. We have been meeting for
over a year working on this. Everything is ready today. We have
been ready for more than six months."
Slocum said that all of the equipment has been tested and upgrades
have been made in the X-ray and laboratory departments, as well
as a state-of-the-art fetal monitor system to enhance the obstetrician
care. Back-up supplies have also been stored. He added that the
hospital has a well which could be used as a back up supply for
"We've had our water tested," he said. "It is
Slocum said the hospital is always prepared for emergencies.
"We have to be ready for a disaster at any time," he
Request for another
board of equalization on agenda
BY ANGELA GARY
The grand jury will likely be asked later this month to name
an additional board of equalization for Jackson County.
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners will take action next
week on a request from board of equalization chairman Willie
Hughey to create an additional board to handle the expected increase
in tax appeals next year due to a property re-evaluation. The
meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Administrative
Building in Jefferson.
The BOC must formally ask the grand jury to name another board,
which would act independently from the three-person board already
in place. County officials will give the grand jury nominations
of people who have agreed to serve. The grand jury will also
name alternatives to this board.
The state law allows one three-member board per 10,000 parcels
of property in the county. Jackson County has 18,392 parcels.
In other business, the BOC will:
·fill a vacancy on the Jackson County Industrial Development
Authority for the term of Jackie Tolbert which expires on Dec.
31 and is for a five-year period.
·fill a vacancy on the Jackson County Airport Authority
for the term of Paul Christensen which expires on Dec. 31 and
is for a five-year period.
·fill a vacancy on the Northeast Georgia Aging Services
Advisory Council for the term of Lucille Law which expires on
Dec. 31 and is a one-year term.
·fill a vacancy on the Jackson County Board of Health
for the term of Dr. Keith Zimmerman which expires on Dec. 31.
·consider a resolution naming the county public safety
weapons range in honor of commissioner Henry Robinson. Warden
Joe Dalton asked the BOC to consider this to recognize Robinson,
who worked to locate the range in the county in 1990. Dalton
said the shooting range has been used by various law enforcement
agencies, from the secret service on down, to get qualified for
their posts. Robinson said the action isn't necessary, but BOC
chairman Jerry Waddell said it is a good suggestion.
A Christmas Tour of Homes, breakfast with
Santa and a town celebration are among the holiday events coming
up in Jackson County this weekend.
The Tour of Homes will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, December
11, in Maysville. Tickets will be available from any Community
Improvement Club member or at the Maysville Golden Pantry or
the Short Stop Convenience Store. They are $3 each.
Local children will also have a chance to have breakfast with
Santa Claus in Jefferson Saturday, December 11. The Optimist
Club of Jackson County will hold its third annual Breakfast with
Santa from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at Jackson Electric Membership Corporation's
auditorium. In addition to receiving a framed photograph of themselves
with Santa, the children will have opportunities to participate
in face painting, crafts and cookie decorating activities. Pokemon
door prizes will be awarded.
The charge is a $5 donation per child, and adults who want to
have breakfast will pay $3.
Santa Claus will be at the Hoschton gazebo from 10:30 a.m. to
1:30 p.m. Saturday, December 11. Children will be able to have
a free photograph taken with Santa and will receive a surprise
It is sponsored by the Hoschton Women's Civic Club.