Danielsville Police Chief Jonathan Burnette has resigned and officer Cleve Williams is serving as the town’s interim chief.
Williams spoke at Monday’s city council meeting about some of his plans for the police department, including establishing activity logs for each officer that would log mileage and areas of patrol during a shift. He said this could be done through log books at the police department or by logging it through the county 911 center.
He said he would also like to add some part-time officers in the near future. It was unclear if a full-time officer will be hired to replace Burnette.
Williams also recommended “walking shifts” during officers’ shifts, saying it would be good for citizens to see officers out of their cars.
He noted that the city police will not direct traffic at the high school this year. Wideman had instructed him to tell Superintendent Michael Williams that due to a shortage in staff, the police department would be unable to do this, but the police chief said that the superintendent told him that the board of education had already agreed to cut that service this year, due to budget constraints.
Danielsville officials are holding in-person meetings, though they will continue to offer the meetings via Zoom for those who are uncomfortable attending in person.
Council members noted Monday that while they plan to continue public in-person council meetings going forward, they will continue to keep city hall office closed to general foot traffic for time being to protect the staff.
“I’m just not sure it’s safe to re-open (the office) and I think we should leave it as it is,” Mayor Michael Wideman said.
Wideman said he thinks things have been working well with the staff handling most situations by phone or through limited in-person contact with citizens.
In a related matter, the council voted to approve a cleaning service for city hall at a cost of $300 per week. The job was awarded to Prestige Cleaning Service. Wideman noted that while the staff works to keep their work spaces clean, the office needs to be thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis.
Also Monday night, Danielsville city council members continued a discussion about traffic problems near Edgewood Drive. Payne told the council that the Department of Transportation (DOT) is willing to facilitate making the road a one-way street, with the entrance being off of Hwy. 98 and the exit being off of Crawford W. Long Street. She said there are eight to ten houses on the street.
The city would then install several speed bumps on the road to slow traffic.
The council discussed sending a letter to residents along the road to let them know these measures are being considered.
In other business, the council heard from Chamber of Commerce Director Anna Strickland, who spoke about the Chamber’s activities, memberships and plans for the future to help businesses and cities. Strickland stressed that the Chamber is working hard to establish intergovernmental collaboration within the county.
“We want to work with you; we want to partner with you,” Strickland said.
Strickland said the Chamber has enrolled 60 new members since January and now has 132 members who have developed eight committees, including a committee to work on downtown development.
She also spoke about the importance of the Census, praising Danielsville for its efforts in getting their citizens to participate. She said the Chamber is also encouraging all towns to place a note on their water bills to remind their residents to participate.
The council discussed the sidewalk repair project. Wideman said the project would have to be scaled back for the time being, since they have one maintenance worker out recovering from surgery and numerous water leaks and other issues to deal with at this time. After some discussion, the council agreed to look into hiring someone to go ahead with repairs on Madison Street. Wideman expressed concern about school children using this sidewalk in its current state. The funds can be taken from the state’s LMEG fund. City clerk Susan Payne said they have about $27,000 in that account at this time.
Also Monday night, the council discussed the needed upgrades at the town’s three sewer lift stations. Wideman said the cost for repairs and upgrades is estimated at $11,000 per station, but said they need a detailed estimate to proceed. Those repairs will come from SPLOST funds.