Mayor Jody Blackmon informed the Comer City Council Monday that Michael Poole will be the next member of the council.
He was the only qualifier for the special election to fill an open seat. State law allows the city to rule that he would vote for himself, and that no election is necessary. Poole will be sworn in after the March 17 scheduled date for the election.
In other matters, city clerk Steve Sorrells reported to the city council that the effort to collect back taxes is underway and $10,500 was collected last month.
A short-term loan from First Madison Bank to cover city expenses has been repaid. He also reported that the city audit is underway and the auditor has picked up necessary documents from city hall.
Public Works Superintendent Willis Gabriel reported that work on “Well #4” is awaiting an electrician to complete the wiring and it will be back on line. The well will not require new testing before being used.
The short-term work program was discussed by the mayor. The major work will be the evaluation and repair of the sewer system to eliminate storm water infiltration. This effort is underway and should be completed in 2017. The city will also establish a crossing across the creek downtown and pave the unpaved portion of Hill Street. This project is also scheduled for completion in 2017.
The city has approved a plan by the Lions Club to build a gazebo over the creek for use by festivals. The city will determine the required elevation of the structure to make sure it is above the flood level of the creek. Harry Cannon of the Comer Lions Club is heading up this project.
Blackmon asked and received permission to demolish the old pole barn next to the red barn in the farmers’ market area. Electrical wiring from the pole barn will be rerouted to the red barn and external connections will be provided for the use of festival booths. The new gazebo will be also connected to this wiring system.
The Comer Police Department reported that they responded to 61 calls in February. The wrote five incident reports, two domestic violence reports, two juvenile complaints and two accident reports. They made one DUI arrest, issued 38 citations and 36 written warnings.
Blackmon will take part in a meeting of all county mayors along with county chairman Anthony Dove to discuss the upcoming SPLOST vote. The meeting will be held March 11. An election to approve the renewal of the tax will be scheduled for November. If approved, the tax will go into effect in 2014.
The council also met in closed session Monday to discuss “personnel.” The group voted in open session to dismiss city Gary Aston from Elberton as the city court judge and to seek someone else for the position.