As the state roundabout project in Danielsville proceeds, and utilities are moved, city officials have also used the disruption to address the town’s water flow. Danielsville’s Marc Perry was hired to replace four-inch lines near the intersection of Hwy. 98 and Hwy. 29 with eight inch-lines. Mayor Todd Higdon explained at Monday’s brief council meeting that the project will improve water flow, because the town has four-inch lines connected to eight-inch lines. Perry’s work is to make all of the intersection area eight-inch lines, so water won’t be slowed down by narrow lines. Higdon said the project should help the city improve its fire insurance rating (Insurance Service Office — or ISO rating), which is done on a 10-to-1 scale, with 10 being the worst and one the best.
“We hope this improves the ISO rating with better water pressure and volume,” said Higdon, who noted that the lines are being paid for with sales tax money.
The mayor also said utility companies are moving forward with their work at the planned roundabout. He said Atlanta Light and Gas is “about 99 percent complete.” Water and sewer line work is almost done. Georgia Power is almost finished with its work. He said it’s not clear when Windstream will complete its relocation work.
The roundabout project is a state project and not a county or city endeavor. However, both county and city officials know the impact of the project extends beyond state considerations. For instance, Higdon said he is concerned that Sunset Drive is too narrow to safely handle increased traffic that will likely come when the current roadway at the intersection is torn up. He said he would like to see the county and city work together to address this issue. He said he expects the roundabout to be graded after the school year. However, there is no clear timetable on exactly when the road will be torn up. It could potentially happen before the end of the school year if utility work proceeds rapidly enough. Another potential complication in the project is this: the state has not planned a detour route, though city officials say one is needed. Town leaders say the DOT is talking about directing traffic around the outside of the roundabout construction, essentially a temporary roundabout around the roundabout, which could be a tight squeeze as log trucks and other big vehicles move through town past construction workers. Town leaders will meet with officials from the DOT in early to mid December and they hope to have more of their questions answered then.
In other matters Monday, Danielsville Police Chief Brenan Baird told council members of the city’s special training session Friday for law enforcement officers to learn proper use of tourniquets. With numerous recent shootings in the U.S., local law officials recognized the need to have as many responders as possible proficient in applying immediate first aid. Baird said there will also be training on dealing with chest wounds.
In a separate matter, Baird talked about the rise of methamphetamine and pill problems in the city. He said there are about 600 residents in the town and that he could probably name about 200 who are using those substances. He said the shock factor of people using the drugs has gone way down as drug abuse has become more commonplace.
Also Monday, the Danielsville council officially approved an intergovernmental agreement with the county elections office to handle city elections, starting in 2018. The city will reimburse the county for the cost of its elections.
“It will be a good thing for the county to handle it,” he said.
City council member Libby Loftis urged Danielsville residents to consider paying their bills with the city online. Town officials say this saves money by cutting down on postage and employee time, while also providing more convenience to residents.
Higdon said the town need to remedy a water runoff problem in the parking lot by city hall. He also noted that Subway was in the process of moving Monday from its long-time location across from the old county courthouse to a new building in front of the Town Center. And he praised the play of Madison County High School’s softball and football teams this fall.
The council also approved several minor revisions to city ordinances and established a new ordinance that brings its codes in line with the county health department. This means that the city can have help from the county on enforcement matters, like issues with septic tanks or other problems.