The Gillsville City Council voted Tuesday, Nov. 5, to implement a moratorium on vaping establishment licenses. Following the lead of other local cities, the council unanimously approved a 90-day moratorium on the issuance of any business licenses for vaping shops in order to determine how to regulate such businesses.

The council approved six requests for annexation Tuesday night, growing the city by over one hundred acres. The majority of the property annexed into the city is located on Bell Road. Wayne and Helen Hewell will bring 60 plus acres into the city with Todd Parks and Thomas Parks bringing in four acres each. Requests from Elaine Reece and Matt and Heather Greenway on Bennett Circle will bring an additional 20 acres into the city plus 13 acres along Diamond Hill Road owned by Rebekah Atkins.

In other business, the council is considering installation of a fence and gate at the entrance to the city park. Due to a recent incident, the council would like to implement measures to deter overnight parking at the park. The council unanimously approved installation of signs noting overnight parking is not permitted or vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense. Signs indicating park hours will also be installed.

Councilman Larry Poole reported the new Coca Cola sign should soon be placed on the downtown building.

The council continues to debate the feasibility of dividing the city into wards. With the potential for residential growth, the council is concerned about the possibility of several council members coming from the same section of the city. If a decision is made to divide the city into districts, or wards, the council is looking to have the new districts designated and approved before the next general election in two years.

The council is considering construction of a restroom at the park. Mayor Roy Turpin noted, if Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) eight is approved and a bike trail is installed from Clermont to Gillsville, the park could be a resting point along the trail and facilities would be needed.

The council is reviewing current lease agreements with tenants in the downtown city-owned buildings and will be considering changes to the rental fees associated with each unit.

The council will soon be setting the business license fees for the upcoming year. The current charge for a city business license is $24 per year.

The council approved a yearly retainer fee in the amount of $5,000 for city attorney David Syfan.

The council unanimously agreed to roll back the city ad valorem tax to zero.

Newly-elected councilmembers will be attending training in February.

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