The Gillsville City Council is concerned about how to deal with residents discharging firearms within the city limits.
During a meeting held February 4, the council discussed a recent incident in which a vehicle was struck by a stray bullet. Councilman Wade Dale said his vehicle received minor damage after someone fired a weapon in his neighborhood. Dale said the incident is being investigated by the Banks County Sheriff’s Office, but no suspects have been found at this time.
Following the incident, Mayor Roy Turpin began researching nuisance ordinances, but found most regulations to be too restrictive and inclusive. Turpin said he also found an ordinance that would prohibit the discharge of firearms within the city.
Councilman Jeff Perry said he has on occasion shot at a rabid animal on his property. Perry said with a firearm ordinance he would be prohibited from taking action to protect his property in this manner.
Councilman Todd Dale noted several residents hunt on their property during deer season. If the council decides to regulate the firing of weapons within the city, any form of discharging a firearm would be prohibited, included target practice which, according to numerous reports by the council, occurs throughout the city on a regular basis. Hunting inside the city would also be banned.
The council decided this was not something they want to regulate at this time and agreed not to move forward with adoption of regulations that would prohibit discharge of firearms inside the city limits.
In other business, the council is looking to construct restrooms for use at the city park and a building behind city hall that will include a restroom and a storage room. Upgrades to the historic Reo Frankum building will be made at the same time, which will require consideration of the historical integrity and character of the building. Electrical wiring will need to be replaced and a HVAC system will be installed. Lighting will be attached to the exterior of the building to display a new sign recently placed on the building. Turpin said he is continually searching for grants to assist with restoration of the building. Once restored, the building could possibly serve as the city hall, library and a meeting hall. In order to create a uniform bidding package, the council is working on a draft design of the proposed projects.
The council also approved annexation of property along Bryant Quarter Road, owned by Kent and Janice Morgan. This annexation, along with other recent annexations, will be added to the city map in order to be included in the 2020 census report.
Installation of two security lights at the park was approved by the council and the city is continuing to seek bids for construction of fencing and a gate at the park entrance.