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Maximum Powersports owner to seek conditional use permit to offer dirt bike training

The owner of Maximum Powersports is going to have to get approval of a conditional use permit in order to offer dirt bike training on his property.

The Banks County Board of Commissioners held a hearing on Tuesday, June 15, to discuss a code violation of the current conditional use permint that Zachary Lurie has to operate the business at Columbus Drive.

County officials said the current conditional use permit that Lurie has that was issued in 2018 was for repairs to be made inside a shop on the property — not for any outside activity.

Lurie was instructed to apply for an additional conditional use permit to offer dirt bike training to youth. This will have to go before the planning commission for a recommendation and then to the BOC for a vote; a process that can take up to six weeks. In the meantime, he was instructed that he does not have authority under his current permit to offer training outside on the property.

At the code violation hearing on Tuesday, Lurie’s attorney, Dave McDonald, said his client “does not take the concerns lightly.” He said Lurie does not want to offer any racing on the site and only wants to offer training to youth.

He said that his client would address concerns from the neighbors about noise from the outside training by installing a sound barrier or buffer.

Lurie also spoke and said he would only offer the training from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

“I want to work together so I can be successful for myself and my wife,” he said.

BOC chairman Charles Turk pointed out that he and code enforcement officer Paul Ruark had gone out to the property to tell Lurie to stop the racing. He asked why the activity continued after this visit. Lurie said that he was offering training, not racing, which is why he thought it was OK to continue.

The attorney said his client would immediately begin the process to seek a conditional use permit to operate outside training, under the agreed upon mid-week hours.

Commissioner Keith Gardiner said, “We don’t want to pull your license. We just want peace with everyone around you.”

Rope Roberts of Georgia Power spoke Tuesday night at a joint meeting of members of the Banks County board of commissioners, planning commission and development authority.

Softball coaches Kim Carithers and Dylan Charles hosted a softball camp this past week. The camp had 24 participants ranging in ages six to 11. Coach Carithers is showing Coley Kate Evans the fundamentasl of pitching.

Restaurant, assembly plant to locate in Grove River Business Park

Following an approximately 20-minute closes session, the Development Authority of Banks County, on Tuesday, June 15, approved two contracts on property in the Grove River Business Park.

A contract with NWF Acquisitions for 1.83 acres on Grove Creek Pt., next to Pritchett Tire, was approved for $1.35 million. A restaurant, which was not named, is planned for this piece of property.

A second contract with BSP, LP for 23 acres off Grove Creek Pt., across from Selit, was approved for $1.46 million. An assembly plant that uses the foam underlayment made by Selit is planned for this property.


In other business at the Tuesday meeting:

•the authority approved $500 for renewal of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce membership.

•executive director Richard Brooks presented his May/June update that included: attending the Georgia Economic Development (GED) Association conference; finishing preparations for and holding an ExportON: 1st Annual Georgia High-Tech I-85 Corridor B2B Partnership Summit, drafting a press release about the summit and setting up multiple meetings between High-Tech Canadian companies and GED; finalizing contracts for two economic development authority properties; kicking off preparations for the Banks Business Minute; creating a rough draft for the economic development website; attending grant webinar for trails and broadband; and setting up educational meetings for the Banks County Board of Commissioners (BOC), Banks County Planning Commission and public with Rope Roberts and the county’s bond attorney.

•chairman Scott Ledford told the board he wanted to clear up some allegations that were brought out during a previous BOC meeting that he was in possession of some county bonds for title property. Ledford said that in 2018 he was in possession of the bond for title property only long enough to receive Environmental Protection Division (EPD) approval for the recycling center on Industrial Blvd. next to the county’s wastewater treatment plant. Ledford said when EPD approval was given he paid the county in full for the property.

•Ledford also told the board that an allegation was made that the BOC and development authority are allowing a board member to serve who does not live in Banks County. Ledford said in the information that he has been able to locate the requirement is a member’s "domicile" – where they call home and pay taxes – has to be in the county, not their residence.

BOE discusses possible uses of $5.4 million in federal funds

The Banks County Board of Education discussed at a Monday meeting afternoon possible uses of the $5.4 million in CARES money the school system will receive.

The money is the school system's allocation of federal funds given during the pandemic. The state board of education must approve all expenses.

Superintendent Dr. Ann Hopkins presented possible uses for the funds, including an after-school program, utilities, technology, sewer, additional IEP teachers, software and janitorial services.

The after-school program is one area that Hopkins said has been a need listed in the community. The proposed cost is $815,000 for three years, which would cover two teachers, two paraprofessionals and transportation.


Following the discussion of the CARES funding at a called meeting, the regular monthly meeting of the BOE was held Monday, June 14, and the BOE approved the following personnel items:

•accepting the resignations of Katie Barrett, Alexis Scott and Lauren Calloway, all teachers, and Josh Rider, assistant principal.

•hiring Whitney Culpepper, Kayla Purvis, Bonnie Waldrip and Tiffany Noel Ventrice, all teachers; Andrew "Kent" Rathbun, psychologist; Dodra Eschenfelder, speech therapist; and Brady Reid, assistant principal.

•accepting the resignations of Gina Polkinghorn, paraprofessional, and Gay Lynne Wright, bus driver.

•hiring Alisha Ankerich, paraprofessional; Heather Greenway, bookkeeper; Kaylee Whitfield, technology specialist; and Whitney Marchbanks and Haley Trimble, both paraprofessionals.


In other business at the meeting, the BOE:

•agreed to purchase 840 iPad protective cases for student use at a cost of $57,960.

•approved the purchase of chromebooks for high school students at cost of $351,230.

•agreed to again be the fiscal agent for the Family Connections program.

•approved a request from the Banks County Public Library to utilize the primary school Gymnasium to hold summer reading programs.

•agreed for the middle school cheerleaders to sponsor a fundraiser July 14-Aug. 9.

•agreed for the middle school FFA, band and chorus to hold a 50/50 raffle Sept. 1-Oct. 8.

•agreed for the middle school FFA to sponsor a Christmas toy drive to donate to Family Connections.

•agreed for the middle school FFA to sell T-shirts and sweatshirts Nov. 1-May 1.

•agreed tor the middle school FFA to sell plants in the greenhouse April 1-May 28 and Vidalia onions April 1-May 1.

•agreed for the high school HOSA to sponsor Mr. BCHS homecoming Aug. 20-Sept. 9.

•agreed for the high school media center to sponsor a Thirty-One fundraiser and a book fair.

•agreed for the high school HOSA to sponsor a Haunted Hospital Oct. 26, 28 and 29, a Fun Run Nov. 13 and a. Miss Leopard Pageant Feb. 19.

Maysville home destroyed in fire

A vacant home on Mitchell Street was completely destroyed in a fire on June 11.

The Banks County Fire/EMS responded to 963 Mitchell Street on a reported structure fire. Firefighters found a vacant, single-family residence completely destroyed by fire. The fire had occurred the night before and was reported to the 911 Center at 9:30 a.m. on June 11. The remainder of the home was extinguished and fire investigations was summoned to the scene.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Banks County Fire Department and the Georgia State Fire Marshall's Office.

No injuries were reported.

BOC to hold budget hearing June 22

The Banks County Board of Commissioners will hold a budget hearing at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 22, in the board room of the County Annex in Homer.

The hearing is being held to give citizens the opportunity to express any concerns about the proposed $19.7 million budget. The budget is available for review in the BOC office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Adoption of the budget will be held at at BOC meeting set for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 30.

Maysville Planning Board to meet June 28 on zoning request

The Maysville Planning Board will hold a public hearing on Monday, June 28, at 7 p.m. at 4 Homer Street to receive public comment on the application of Peter McCaffrey.

McCaffrey is asking to rezone one acre at 38 North Main Street from Agriculture to RR3.

A copy of the application is available for public inspection at Maysville City Hall.

A second public hearing will be held by the Maysville City Council on Monday, July 14, at 6 p.m. at which time the adoption of the request will be considered.