Danielsville’s long-awaited roundabout project, which is set to replace the town’s lone red light, is expected to get under way by midsummer.
Danielsville mayor Todd Higdon told the council March 10 that as of that day they had obtained verbal agreements for property acquisitions on all four properties that will be affected by the construction. Contracts are being drawn up now for property owner signatures.
“This is a huge milestone for me, personally,” Higdon said. “It has been a long year.”
The project had originally been slated to start last summer, but was delayed by utility issues and property negotiations.
Also Monday night, Higdon told the council that the south water tower project needs to be completed by the opening of school in August. The new tower is set to be placed behind the high school on Colbert-Danielsville Road. The council will receive official word on March 18 on whether or not they have been approved for the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) grant for the project, though it is expected to be approved. The council scheduled a special called meeting on Thursday, March 20, at 7 p.m. to present the GEFA award to the chosen contractor so work can begin.
The council is awaiting final water testing on the back up well for the water tower. Higdon pointed out that the project for the new tower will go forward regardless of whether or not the back up well is approved by the EPD.
Police chief Brenan Baird reported that his department has had more than 300 encounters (calls for service, traffic stops, etc.) with the public since Jan. 1 and that of those, there have only been four complaints. He added that once the video of those encounters was reviewed, those involved seemed satisfied that they had been treated appropriately and professionally.
Baird said he feels having the video cameras on board patrol cars has helped “tremendously.”
“I’m pretty proud of those stats as well,” Baird told the council. The police chief said officers are working to be more proactive and visible in the city, both during the day and at night.
He reported that there were 39 calls for service during February and of those, 25 were speeding violations.
The police department recently received a safety grant to pay for new bullet-proof vests, radios and a video camera.
Baird said he is pursuing additional grants for the department.
In a related matter, the board approved a number of new city ordinances and amendments to current ordinances, mostly pertaining to law enforcement issues.
In other business, Higdon told the council that the city cemetery on Sunset Drive may need to be re-surveyed since it has been discovered that some graves in are not marked off correctly. He said some of the graves are offset by six inches or so, which can add up to several feet in an entire row.
The board approved a request by the chamber of commerce for the annual Ag Day Parade, which will be held on April 12 beginning at 11 a.m.
They also approved a benefit yard sale on March 28 and 29 for Relay for Life’s Team Hope.
The council and chief Baird discussed the fact that state Adult Protective Services has been called to intervene on behalf of a family, who live in rundown conditions in a home located behind BB&T Bank and beside the 9-1-1 center. Baird said the family, which consists of three adult siblings, currently has no running water and no heat. He described the inside and outside of the home as “a disaster.” Baird said an APS worker told him the family does not currently qualify for government-subsidized housing.
Mayor Higdon said he and council are not willing for the city to condemn the home and forcibly remove them, which would effectively leave the family homeless, though the police chief will honor and enforce any warrant that is issued through the state.
“This council or the city police department will not act without direction from the state,” Higdon said.
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