The City of Danielsville will shine a little brighter in the coming months with the addition of 25 new streetlights.
The council voted March 11 to approve an agreement with Georgia Power to revamp the city’s existing lights and add 25 more throughout the town.
Since two council members, mayor Todd Higdon and councilman Jon Hendrix, live in Long Estates where five of the new lights will be located, they recused themselves from the vote. The remaining three council members voted unanimously to add the lights. Mayor pro tem Tim Stamps said he feels the extra lighting will make the city feel safer.
Higdon explained that the city and Georgia Power had taken an inventory of existing lights and their current wattage, finding lights that had the incorrect wattage for the area and other areas that needed lights added.
For example, Higdon pointed out that the old jail building, located behind city hall, still has a 400-watt bulb in it and that that light alone costs the city $48 per month. Higdon said 34 lights, including that one, would be changed to standard 100-watt bulbs, which would save enough in energy to add the 25 new lights. There will be an installation fee of $3,635, which Higdon pointed out can be offset by the city’s first franchise check from Windstream Communications.
The council also discussed the upcoming SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) renewal vote, set for November. Higdon told the council that he had attended a meeting with the mayors and that another is to be planned. He said he would like to see Danielsville broaden its proposed use of SPLOST funds this time around. In 2008, the city committed to use the funds for sewer and water improvements, which limited the town’s ability to make improvements in other areas. He said he would like to see the funds be set aside for maintenance, sidewalks, roads and construction, in addition to water/sewer improvements. “I don’t want us to ‘pigeonhole’ the city this time,” he said.
Of course, Higdon pointed out, all of this is contingent on voters approving another one-cent sales tax for an additional six years.
“I urge citizens to remember that sales tax is the only fair tax that all consumers participate in and vote ‘yes’ (on SPLOST),” he said.
Higdon said he would also like to see Danielsville receive a greater portion of the SPLOST, since it is somewhat at a disadvantage with all the non-taxable government property located within the city limits. Danielsville’s projected total revenue from the 2008 SPLOST is $252,208.
The council postponed a vote until April on a contractor for fence and entrance repair at Memorial Gardens. Only one bid has been received so far.
In a related matter, Higdon said items placed on graves in the cemetery have been removed by the maintenance department and are being held in the city’s maintenance shop. He said the items violate the cemetery’s clearly marked rules, which allow for only a flower vase at the gravesite.
“Some of these items are sentimental and we have collected it and not thrown it away,” he said.
City residents can call city hall at 706-795-2189 for more information or to pick up an item that has been removed.