A1 A1
Citizens express concerns on proposed residential developments in Lula

Traffic issues seemed to be the big concern when citizens spoke out about two proposed developments in Lula. Although citizens did cite other issues, including parking an additional 70-100 cars, the increase enrollment at Lula Elementary, and type of tenants who would move into the dwellings.

Citizens spoke on the number of that vehicles drive through Athens Street which is used to access Hwy.51.

“Access would be a nightmare,” according to William Meeks, who presented his comments of opposition via email. He also pointed out that Moon Drive is not equipped for so many vehicles.

During a planning commission public hearing on April 6, Frank Norton Jr., The Norton Agency, Gainesville, explained the plan is to build 36 residential dwellings on 4.08 acres at 5980 Moon Drive (Hwy. 51). The first phase would include 20 to 25 homes.

He compared the development to a village and says they are not planning to open retail shops so tenants can patronize small businesses in the area. Norton explained that potential tenants would be teachers, healthcare workers and engineers coming to work at Kubota.

Norton presented the plans which he said would retain the historic character and tree cover already in place in Lula. Right now, the plan is to build two bedroom/two bathroom homes, but Norton explained it could be modified according to tenant demand which would occur if families seek an interest.

Nearby resident, Ben Gunter, expressed concern about the property turning into a “low income” development.

Norton explained the rent would be $1,100 a month which is just above the current rental average in town. He also encouraged people to visit the other free standing communities that have been developed in the area.

“This is not a low-income property," Norton said. "This is for the average person. There are no subsidies.”

Next, Holly Owens, Owens Property Management, Gainesville, discussed her plans to develop two two-bedroom, two bathroom duplexes and a one bedroom/one bathroom studio at 5277 and 5252 Old Cornelia Hwy. There is an existing concrete building that used to be a store, a residence and a laundromat.

Donna McCall, who lives across from the property, cited the number of accidents that have already occurred in the areas. She also asked about the rental rates.

“I’m concerned about property values,” she said.

Owens said that the rent would be comparable to the Norton project, and the studio would be less. When asked about tenants, Owens explained that her company does background checks noting that the company has other properties as well.

Becky Jarrard, another nearby resident, is concerned about the flood water that already comes into her yard.

Owens said that they will use the current structure, so it should not cause any additional issues.

Planning committee members voted to table these request until next Tuesday, April 13.

In other business the planning committee heard a request from Ryals Brothers Paving to annex the property at 6467 County Line Road into the city of Lula and rezone it to light industrial. There is a cement building on the property which serves as the shop for the company. The planning commission will vote on this request next Tuesday as well.

Nine new cases of COVID-19 reported since last week

Only nine new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the past week, according to the report from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

The total number of cases of the virus reported in Banks County since March 2020 is 1,602 — up from 1,593 reported for the same period last week.

In Banks County, 33 people (same as last week) have died from COVID-19 in the past year and 183 (up one from last week) have been hospitalized.

This week, the Banks County School System reports there are three students with a current positive COVID-19 status among the 2,717-student population. There are 55 students quarantined due to possible exposure.

Of the 405 employees, one has a current positive COVID-19 status and six are quarantined due to possible exposure.


Eligible residents who want to make an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine can do so by calling 1-888-426-5073 or registering online at www.phdistrict2.org.

To register for an appointment at one of the four state-operated mass vaccination sites, do so online at myvaccinegeorgia.com. One of the mass sites is located in Habersham County.

The state has expanded the list of eligible people to those individuals who are age 16 and up. Pfizer is the only COVID vaccine approved for teens 16 and 17 years old. Schedule an appointment at CVS or Walgreens or at one of the GEMA mass vaccination sites to ensure Pfizer vaccine is available.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

Banks County High School sophomore Madison Adams is shown competing in the long jump at a recent track meet in Jefferson. See page 12A for more track coverage.

Reece and Gracie Emerson are shown visiting with the Easter Bunny at the Maysville Public Library. Children visiting with the Easter Bunny on April 1 received a treat bag. The next program planned at the library is at 11 a.m. on June 8 when Magician Keith Karnok will be featured. The Summer Reading Program will officially kick off on June 1.

Maysville approves improvements for city park

The Maysville City Council took action at its April 1 meeting to make improvements at the city park.

The council approved a $1,435 bid from R&F Feed for 330 feet of galvanized wire on wood post to be installed at the upper gate at the Maysville City Park.

The council also received a bid from Seth Cape for $2,805.


In other business at the April 1 meeting, the city council:

•approved a resolution to amend and modify the loan agreement to GEFA for $1.9 million.

•approved an agreement from Oliver Electric to provide preventative maintenance and testing on the generator and transfer switch. The annual cost is $945.

•approved an agreement from Oliver Electric to do preventative maintenance service and testing on the pump station and transfer switches. The cost to do this annually is $795.

•discussed an estimate from EMI to replace the three-inch line in Oak Drive to a six-inch line. The estimated cost is $265,000.

•approved an estimate from Dale Construction of $ 1,200 to bore under the concrete slab and install PVC Sleeve at the Maysville City Park.

•reviewed an estimate to purchase a G2 Series 1300-pound capacity liftgate for $3,100 to haul the chemicals over to the wells and pond.

Pinwheels for Prevention Ceremony planned April 15 in Homer

The Piedmont's Pinwheels for Prevention Ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 15, in downtown Homer, at 943 Historic Homer Highway.

This annual event is held during Child Abuse Prevention Month to bring awareness on the number of cases reported in the county during the past month. A pinwheel representing each case reported will be placed in the park in downtown Homer.

LifeSouth to host blood drive in Maysville on April 17

LifeSouth plans a blood drive in the Maysville community on Saturday, April 17.

The drive will be held at Maysville Baptist Church, located at 8875 Hwy. 82 Spur between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. All blood donors will receive a recognition item and a free COVID-19 antibody screening.

"Just a little of your time can save up to three lives in local hospitals," organizers said. "Blood transfusions are needed for trauma patients, cancer patients, transplant recipients, surgical patients and patients with blood diseases. These patients are counting on you to ensure blood is there when they need it. Give local, save local. Please give blood."

To maintain social distancing, all donors will be spaced apart while waiting and donating blood. Donor temperature will be checked at the door prior to entering the blood drive.

Blood donors must be at least 17 (16 with parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also required.

For more information on donating blood or to schedule an appointment to donate, call toll-free 888-795-2707 or visit lifesouth.org.