The Hoschton City Council called a special meeting April 27 to reactivate its police department, activate a new Downtown Development Authority and vote on several other items.

The council approved reactivation of its police department, which was included in the city’s 2021 budget to provide funds for one officer and one car beginning in the third quarter of 2021.

The city abolished its police department in 2010 due to funding problems, however the council determined a need to reactivate on a small scale due to the city’s anticipated growth coupled with the county sheriff’s office inability to provide the response times residents expect.

In addition to a considerable amount of documentation to be filed with the state, the city must reinstate its municipal court, appoint judges and public defenders and set up probation.

The city aims to have the police department in operation by Aug. 1.

The council also determined a need for a Downtown Development Authority. The DDA will act to promote the city’s efforts to revitalize and redevelop the city’s central business district by creating a business friendly climate open to new development, trade and commerce, officials said.

The designated DDA area is “pretty much what used to be the overlay district,” according to city administrator Gary Fesperman. The district will span from West Jackson Fire Station to Peachtree Road on Hwy. 53.

The council is reviewing applications for DDA directors and will make appointments at its regular council meeting May 10.

In other business, the council:

● heard a proposal from the Appalachian Regional Commission to build a 500,000 gallon elevated water tank to better provide for the city’s rising water usage. The project will cost $1.5 million. The city has been approved for a $600,000 grant from the ARC to help fund the project. The proposed funding for the remaining $900,000 would come local funds and connection fees. If approved by the council, this will be the third grant given to the city by ARC. A public hearing was held on the proposal and the council will vote on the measure at its regular meeting May 10.

● approved an ordinance to allow for drive-thru windows in a licensed retail dealer of distilled spirits and malt beverages.

● amended agenda and approved motion to clarify the eight rezoning conditions approved in its April 19 meeting for property on Peachtree Road.

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