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Austell mayor proposes to pay employees $5 for hour of exercise
Mayor Joe Jerkins hopes to save money by incentivizing city employees to spend an hour at the city’s 24-hour gym.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Norcross and Buford getting $148,000 from ARC for connectivity planning
The Atlanta Regional Commission is giving two Gwinnett County cities a combined $148,000 in grant funding to plan for trail and connectivity improvements in their communities.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Marietta City Council debates jails and trolleys: 2009 parks bond refinanced
Marietta City Council members met Wednesday despite the winter weather to further discuss a route for a city trolley proposed by Mayor Steve Tumlin. Members also discussed a proposal to use an additional municipal jail to house prisoners and approved refinancing the city’s 2009 parks bond.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

City To Consider Tourist Accommodations
The Monticello City Council, on March 10, will consider a change to the text of its zoning ordinance to allow tourist accommodations and educational events, including commercial kitchen and gardens to be added as a conditional use in the R-20 residential zoning district.
Source: Monticello News

Study: Jesup can support new 25-room quality hotel
A small business-class hotel could survive in Jesup, according to a study released last week.
Source: Jesup Press-Sentinel

Folkston keeping it in the family
There will be a new face with a familiar name in the city attorney’s seat at the Folkston city council meeting next month. The council members voted unanimously Monday evening to appoint Patrick Brooks the new city attorney, effective March 1.
Source: Charlton County Herald

Public Square could see 3-hour parking
Downtown motorists could find themselves on-the-clock when pulling into the south side of the Public Square if a proposed enforcement program is approved by the Dahlonega City Council.
Source: Dahlonega Nugget

Tybee officials consider slate of environmental issues
Members of the Tybee City Council on Thursday hashed out their ideas for cutting back on the volume of trash accumulating on the island’s beaches and in its salt marshes. The proposals ranged from starting a new recycling initiative for plastic bags to enhanced police patrols and smoking restrictions.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City proposal allows adults, 18 and up, into Savannah bars with live entertainment
Adults too young to drink may soon be able to see their favorite bands perform at Savannah’s bars along with their fellow music fans of legal age.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City of Cedartown's new street sweeper goes into operation
The City of Cedartown Public Works Department received a special delivery last Friday afternoon – a new TYMCO 600 Regenerative Air Sweeper.
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

Atlanta City Council pondering fate of contested school deed
The Atlanta City Council is considering an ordinance that could determine the fate of a school property deed that Atlanta Public Schools wants, but Mayor Kasim Reed has refused to turn over.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

House Bill would let St. Marys voters decide election years and whether to require majorities for wins
Voters will have the chance to change election years and methods in Kingsland under bills introduced Wednesday by Reps. Jason Spencer and John Corbett.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Macon-Bibb gets power rebate
Macon-Bibb County will get a rebate of more than $25,000 Friday for energy efficiency.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Alpharetta finalizes downtown master plan
The Alpharetta City Council this week gave final approval to a new downtown master plan, after almost a year of work.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

City looking at roundabout sizes, costs
The verdict is in on the Lexington-Wingate subdivision roundabout: It does the job it was supposed to do. But the Wellington community up the road is due for one at its entrance, and the City Council is hearing they would like it to be a little bigger.
Source: NorthFulton.com

Study: City of Greenhaven is viable
The proposed city of Greenhaven in South DeKalb would be financially solid, according to a study by the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Senate votes to bar local bans on plastic bags
The Georgia Senate on Thursday voted to prohibit cities and counties from banning plastic bags, saying it would be too expensive and “confusing” for local retailers to worry about.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Canton City Council to create Historic Preservation Commission
Canton Council members were split when it came to moving forward to establish a Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday, but the ordinance finally passed.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

City expects to increase fund balance; Rome's 2014 statements show tax collections up, spending down
The city of Rome could possibly have more than $500,000 added to its general fund balance once the final audit is done on its 2014 budget.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Residents hear county and city plans at town hall meeting
Residents packed the room at the Merle Manders Conference Center as city and county representatives spoke to residents about the state of the local economy.
Source: Henry Daily Herald

Residents voice opinions for new park
The first of two public meetings was held Feb. 19 to determine what should go in the city’s new parkland along the Chattahoochee River.
Source: NorthFulton.com

City celebrates Arbor Day with tree planting
City officials joined Blessed Sacrament Catholic School teachers and students for an Arbor Day celebration and tree-planting ceremony Wednesday afternoon.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Richmond Hill council OK's Caesarstone expansion
Manufacturing and creating 130 jobs took center stage Feb. 17 when the Richmond Hill City Council put its official stamp of approval on “Project Honey,” the expansion of Caesarstone in the Belfast Commerce Centre.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Newnan Police getting body cameras
Newnan City Council approved new body cameras for Newnan Police Department officers, to help capture and preserve evidence.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Cedartown Employee Spotlight: Kyle Watters
When he’s not busy putting out flames, Cedartown Fire Captain Kyle Watters passes the time on his farm, looking after a herd of 34 cows and one somewhat stubborn bull.
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

LaGrange leaders meet with consulting firm
The LaGrange City Council met with a community marketing firm at City Hall during a work session Tuesday to begin hashing out a strategy to improve the city’s ability to attract new businesses and residents.
Source: LaGrange Daily News

Albany City Commission OKs child care facility ordinance
The Albany City Commission opened the door for group child care facilities in residential neighborhoods Tuesday by passing an ordinance that clearly defines such facilities and establishes zoning districts where they will be allowed by right or with conditions.
Source: Albany Herald

Utility initiatives adding to Albany's bottom line
Three programs created in the last year to bring in additional revenue for the Albany Utility Board are already paying big dividends.
Source: Albany Herald

Rockmart approves urban redevelopment area
The City of Rockmart is set to move forward with redevelopment plans following the approval of a resoluition during their monthly meeting approving of a urban redevelopment area plan.
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

West Point celebrates Black History Month, announces return of Smart Bus
The city of West Point held its eighth annual Black History Month celebration Tuesday evening at the West Point Gymnasium.
Source: LaGrange Daily News

Mayor proposes paying Austell employees to use city gym
Austell Mayor Joe Jerkins is proposing a plan to pay city employees and city council members to use the city’s new round-the-clock gym as a way to decrease the city’s health care costs.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Milton gets special needs designation
The city of Milton said it’s become the first city in the country to become special needs certified, a designation conferred by Georgia-based Special Needs Certified.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Villa Rica mayor takes veto pen to budget
Villa Rica Mayor J. Collins has vetoed several items on the city’s 2015 budget this month, including pay raises for the police department and city employees.
Source: Carrollton Times-Georgian

Council approves Claflin School project
Columbus Council unanimously approved leasing the historic Claflin School complex to a group of Columbus residents who are determined to restore the site of the first public school for African-American children in Columbus.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Black educators give advice to youth, honored by Rome City Commission
The men and women who helped shape the young minds in Rome’s black community during the final years of segregation want today’s children to reach high and stand tall.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Planning retreat still set for Rome City Commission; topics include redevelopment, SPLOST projects
Rome officials said Tuesday they still plan to go forward with a scheduled City Commission planning retreat Thursday, but they are monitoring the weather.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Suwanee OKs site for golf academy
Suwanee golfers won’t have far to go to hone their skills, thanks to action by the City Council on Tuesday night.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

City launching new water bill feature
A new computer program, expected to debut soon, aims at helping both the city and water customers who may have difficulty paying their bills on time.
Source: Milledgeville Union Recorder

Gateway property may get tax breaks
The St. Marys Intracoastal Gateway property may become the city’s first tax allocation district.
Source: Brunswick News

Covington Police Explorers enjoy national success
The Covington Police Explorers recently participated in a national competition designed to showcase their law enforcement skills and placed third in one category.
Source: Covington News

Planning Commission recommends full access 2nd entrance at Soleil Laurel Canyon
A crowd of more than 50 people cheered at Monday’s meeting as the Canton Planning Commission made several motions to address changes to the Soleil Laurel Canyon master plan conditions.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

Hiram city clerk given statewide certification
Hiram City Clerk Cynthia Geyer Tressel recently attained certification under the Georgia Certificate Program for City Clerks.
Source: Neighbor News

Social Circle Main Street annual report shows growth
The Social Circle Main Street program published its 2014 annual report last week, illustrating numerous accomplishments on behalf of board members and volunteers alike.
Source: Walton Tribune

New chief of police introduced at meeting
Grantville’s newest chief of police introduced himself and shared his vision to the public during the city’s council meeting on Monday.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Old public housing torn down in Warner Robins
The old Oscar Thomie Homes public housing neighborhood is getting turned into rubble. Demolition began Tuesday and will continue until about June, said Sheryl Frazier, executive director of the Warner Robins Public Housing Authority.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Macon-Bibb hears objections to Bloomfield senior center site
Several senior citizens protested to Macon-Bibb County commissioners Tuesday about the plan to turn the current Bloomfield recreation center into the new senior center.
Source: Macon Telegraph

James Morgan confirmed as Jackson police chief
James Morgan on Thursday was unanimously confirmed by the Jackson City Council as the city’s new chief of police.
Source: Jackson Progress-Argus

Open Roads defines restaurateur B.J. Fletcher professionally
B.J. Fletcher’s been a city commissioner for only a couple of years. She’s worked in the food service industry most of her adult life.
Source: Albany Herald

Initiatives aim to boost downtown retail sector
A couple of stakeholders in downtown’s business community want to take the reins on turning what they see as untapped potential into reality.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Davis pitches 'strong mayor' plan in south Augusta
Mayor Hardie Davis continued discourse Tuesday promoting a change to a strong mayor form of government before a receptive south Augusta audience.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Suwanee City Council approves electric vehicle charging station, other business
The Suwanee City Council has given the green light to install a vehicle charging station on Savannah Square Street, just outside City Hall.
Source: Access North Georgia

Who's ready for Atlanta's traffic lights to be synced?
As part of its upcoming $250 million infrastructure bond package, Atlanta currently plans to spend more than $35 million to sync traffic signals and replace others across the city.
Source: Creative Loafing

Williams St. in Aragon to become a two-way
The City of Aragon is set to make big changes in March to their spending process, but first city council members decided to change a few other items during their February meeting.
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

Macon-Bibb mulls tax hikes, layoffs, retirement incentives to cut budget
Facing a shortfall of perhaps $10 million in the upcoming annual budget, Macon-Bibb County commissioners heard several options Tuesday for making the numbers work.
Source: Macon Telegraph

City, Calumet community plant Arbor Day tree
The City of LaGrange hosted its annual Arbor Day celebration on Friday at Calumet Park.
Source: LaGrange Daily News

Partners for Smart Growth hosts program on government consolidation
The group Partners for Smart Growth on Thursday invited an expert on the consolidation of city and county governments to speak during its quarterly meeting in Jackson.
Source: Jackson Progress-Argus

Oakwood planning board delays action on parking ordinance amendment
The Oakwood Planning Commission delayed action Monday night on a proposal to limit the number of vehicles that can be legally parked in front of a residence.
Source: Access North Georgia

Johns Creek approves sidewalk, bridge projects
The Johns Creek City Council is moving ahead with a possible bridge restoration project that would connect it with its neighbor to the north.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Auditor says Woodstock’s financial health better
An independent auditor’s report on the fiscal year that ended June 30 shows the city of Woodstock’s financial status has improved.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Emerson mulls $2.4M wastewater improvements
After the packed house that attended the PolerCoaster debate, the turnout for Monday’s Emerson City Council meeting seemed downright miniscule. The first item on the agenda was the first reading of a special events ordinance presented by City Manager Kevin McBurnett.
Source: Cartersville Daily Tribune News

New artwork coming to Snellville City Hall
New art will be displayed at City Hall in March and April. Georgia artists Donna Biggee and Diana Thurmon are celebrating their works’ temporary home with a reception, presented by the Snellville Arts Commission, will take place from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on March 8, according to a news release.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Carrollton's downtown parks get additions
Carrollton’s newest park has yet to be officially named, though it’s often referred to as the “Courthouse Park” or “Stallings Park” as it nears its completion.
Source: Carrollton Times-Georgian

Snellville officials honor retiring police dog
After more than a decade on the force, Chris is hanging up his badge.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Citizens gather at city hall for answers on police chief hiring
A group of residents gathered at City Hall Monday to talk with city officials about the hiring process and qualification requirements of the city’s next police chief.
Source: Brunswick News

City Commission tables food truck rules
Mobile food vendors in Rome will have more chances to give input into a set of regulations designed to oversee their operations inside the city limits.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Officials talk extension of Silver Comet Trail from Cedartown to Cave Spring
More than two dozen public officials turned out Monday for the first of two workshops this week to consider a possible extension of the Silver Comet Trail from Cedartown to Cave Spring.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Governor, secretary of state recognizes Riverdale mayor for achievements
State Sen. Keisha Waites presented Mayor Evelyn Wynn-Dixon with an award from the governor and the secretary of state at Tuesday’s meeting.
Source: Clayton News Daily

Powder Springs police to get chaplain for force, community
Powder Springs residents and police officers will have access to more resources during periods of grief and trauma. The Powder Springs Police Department has announced the formation of a city chaplaincy program with the help of volunteer chaplain Mike Cronin, a pastor at East West Church in Marietta.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Kingsland gives police raises to halt losses to other departments
The City Council voted Monday to bump the starting pay for entry level police officers to stop losses to other departments.
Source: Florida Times-Union

No Milton land conserved in 2014
In the past year, 350 acres of land in Milton were developed while no land was set aside for conservation, Milton’s head of conservation told the City Council work session Feb. 9.
Source: NorthFulton.com

Yellow House events limited to 150 people
The Milton City Council voted to approve Jeff Runner’s request for a pavilion on his Yellow House Farm property, but denied his request to increase the number of guests allowed at special events from 150 to 250 at its Feb. 18 meeting.
Source: NorthFulton.com

Oakwood delays action on residential parking ordinance
A proposal to limit parking in the front of houses in Oakwood will get further study from the city’s planning commission.
Source: Gainesville Times

Climax Police Chief to move to DCSO, work part time in Climax
Near the end of the regular Climax City Council meeting on Monday, Feb. 9, the council voted to close the regular meeting and enter into an executive meeting due to personnel issues.
Source: Bainbridge Post-Searchlight

Empty Schools Could Become Future Public Parks
Council member Julian Bond says he wants the city of Atlanta to turn unused school properties – to which the city holds the deeds – into public parks.
Source: WABE

Bill blocks Tybee, Athens, other cities from banning plastic bags
Legislation blocking cities and counties from enacting local bans on plastic bags passed the Senate Agriculture Committee on Monday and is headed toward a vote in the full Senate.
Source: Savannah Morning News

City considering de-annexation of 30 acres
Griffin will consider de-annexing 30 acres of land on Williamson Road at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Source: Griffin Daily News

Officials: SPLOST projects will protect the public
More than one-third of the money that would be raised by a proposed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) in Whitfield County is targeted towards public safety.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

Working together: Dalton schools, city hold joint session to discuss projects
To accomplish a pair of projects administrators with Dalton Public Schools say are necessary for students’ well-being, the district will need a partner in the city of Dalton.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

Committee backs public sessions on stormwater fee
An Augusta Commission committee agreed Monday to hold “informational sessions” with the public on a draft stormwater fee program, then “establish the fee concrete” afterward.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Senate OKs Payne City abolition
By a vote of 49-2, the Georgia Senate agreed Monday to merge Payne City into Macon-Bibb County.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Ludowici mayor: Timber trucks are damaging roads
Ludowici Mayor James Fuller said timber trucks are damaging several roads in Ludowici. “These timber trucks are coming through here, tearing up the roads, and it’s got to stop,” he said.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Bill removes exemption for Georgia speed traps
Legislation to remove an exemption that further enables speed traps has gained enough cosponsors to easily pass the Georgia Senate.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Milton hires new police chief
A 22-year law enforcement veteran from upstate New York has been tabbed to lead Milton’s police department, the city announced Monday.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Military and Liberty County ‘one big family’
Walthourville Mayor Daisy Pray said her father, John Shaw, was 57 years old when she was born, the youngest of 10 children. He died while she was young, but she remembers him fondly.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Canton approves deal on new fire station
After months of back-and-forth, the Canton City Council has approved an intergovernmental agreement with Cherokee County on the building and operation of the northwest Canton fire station.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Residents get their say on town plan
Tyrone might be near the middle of its state-required 20-year Comprehensive Plan, but changes in the local economy have led to a need to re-evaluate the plan and develop a new document.
Source: Fayette Citizen

Mayor makes surprise visit to primary school classroom
Madison Mayor Fred Perriman popped into Morgan County Primary School this week to give young students some insight about all the responsibilities of the mayor and to encourage kids to stay in school and study hard for their futures.
Source: Morgan County Citizen

No place to call home?
The creation of affordable housing in Madison has moved to the forefront of the City of Madison’s long-term goals. Affordable housing has been identified as one of the top priorities by city leaders. A new city commission will receive key training next week to further the goal of bringing more affordable housing to Madison.
Source: Morgan County Citizen

West Georgia citizens, officials get lesson in government transparency
About 60 citizens, government watchdogs and elected officials from around west Georgia gathered in the Douglasville Police Department’s Community Room Friday afternoon for a three-hour training session and discussion about open government.
Source: Douglas County Sentinel

Robinson named city’s new code enforcement officer
Fancy G. Robinson has been hired as Milledgeville’s new code enforcement officer.
Source: Milledgeville Union Recorder

Ringgold to hold public hearings on zoning, discuss streaming of meetings tonight
The city of Ringgold is scheduled to hold five public hearings this evening at the council meeting pertaining to rezoning requests, subdivide requests, and the reading of an ordinance.
Source: Catoosa County News

Design team coming to Cave Spring for Silver Comet Trail study
Meetings this week will likely determine if a link between Cave Spring and the Silver Comet Trail in Polk County is a possibility.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Food truck regulations on City Commission’s menu
Regulations for food trucks and food truck parks in Rome are slated to be added for the first time to the Unified Land Development Code.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Search for a new city police chief could go back to the drawing board
Brunswick Mayor Cornell Harvey says the city will likely start its search for a new city police chief from scratch.
Source: Brunswick News

Aggressive city commission stepping up for a better Brunswick
Mayor Cornell Harvey says he and the current city commission have a new fire and are ready to get to work on building a better Brunswick.
Source: Brunswick News

Jonesboro City Council special election candidates talk about issues
Voters will begin casting their ballots next week to help decide who should fill the remainder of Jonesboro City Councilman Randy Segner’s unexpired term.
Source: Clayton News Daily

Duluth announces 2015 season of music, festivals and food trucks
Music, art, festivals and food trucks will return to Town Green this Spring as Duluth kicks off its “Sub-URBAN Cool” themed event season.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Council to vote on Friends of Historic Claflin proposal
Columbus Council will be asked to vote Tuesday on whether to accept a proposal from the Friends of Historic Claflin (FHC) to lease and restore the buildings on the historic site of the first school for African American children in Columbus, opened just after the Civil War by the Freedmen’s Bureau.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Canton City Council at odds over architectural plans for fire station
In a four-hour meeting Thursday, Canton Council members failed to see eye-to-eye on several items, including a decision on the construction of the northwest Canton fire station.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

Rebranding campaign for Atlanta jobs assistance agency with troubled past
A City of Atlanta employment assistance agency with a troubled past is working to rebrand itself following a restructuring. Among the first steps – a new logo.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Roswell Considers Legalizing Public Drinking Downtown
In the state of Georgia, it’s illegal to openly drink alcohol in public places. That’s unless local laws say otherwise. The city of Roswell is looking to amend its city ordinance to allow the public to drink outside in its downtown district.
Source: WABE

Projected Savannah arts center costs 25 percent over budget
The city of Savannah is going to have to scale back the design of a long-planned Cultural Arts Center due to cost constraints.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Vape shops seek change to Pooler smoking ban
Staff at the Vapor Trails vapor shop on U.S. 80 in Pooler have added something to the sales counter.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Tunnel Hill seeks federal grant to help renovate depot
Built some 165 years ago, the Western & Atlantic railroad depot was once a hub of activity in Tunnel Hill.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

Commission to hear retirees' request for monthly increase to pensions
Though he’s been rebuffed before, retired Richmond County Com­mission Clerk Lester Newsome continues to pursue an increase in the pension payment for 15 retirees or survivors left in the city’s 1945 pension plan who didn’t obtain an “enhanced” retirement package just after consolidation.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Ice storm prompts Athens-Clarke government to ease leaf-and-limb regulations
As a result of the ice storm that toppled trees and snapped tree limbs across Athens-Clarke County last week, the county government’s Solid Waste Department is temporarily lifting curbside collection limits and set-out time restrictions for leaf-and-limb storm debris, according to a notification to constituents sent out Sunday by Athens-Clarke County District 8 Commissioner Andy Herod.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Social Circle made Tree City USA for 13th year
Social Circle has been named a 2014 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for the thirteenth consecutive year for its commitment to urban forest management.
Source: Walton Tribune

DDA Seeks Solution For Downtown Parking
Newnan’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is working to find a solution to the growing parking needs in downtown Newnan’s Central Business District (CBD).
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Grovetown preparing for growth
The Grovetown of Mayor George James’ childhood was one of the cliche, sleepy Southern town, where everybody knew everybody and a trip to Augusta felt like visiting New York City.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Athens-Clarke police officer buys groceries for family down on its luck
At the request of a family member, Athens-Clarke County Police Officer Gary “Lee” Crosby on Thursday went to a home in east Athens to check on the welfare of people who had been living in a home without any heat or running water for about a week.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Infrastructure bond referendum a quiet, but likely sell
Mayor Kasim Reed predicts Atlanta’s notoriously troubled traffic woes will prompt locals, anxious for any ounce of gridlock relief, to approve spending $250 million on infrastructure fixes next month.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Griffin recognized as a 'Tree City USA'
The City of Griffin was one of the Georgia cities recognized for their commitment to caring for and managing their public trees at the 2015 State Arbor Day celebration at Wesleyan College.
Source: Griffin Daily News

Schools, City Council hold work session Monday: Bond issue to repair Dalton High sought
Administrators with Dalton Public Schools are expected to ask the city for a bond issue to help fund extensive upgrades at Dalton High School that simply cannot wait, a school official said Friday.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

Davis seeks veto, hiring and firing, budgeting and other functions added to mayoral powers
Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis wants to increase the authority of the mayor’s office to include a veto of commission actions, hiring and firing of city department heads, budgeting and other functions currently overseen by the 10-member commission.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Gainesville modifies debris pickup rules after storm, gives Public Works a $50K boost
The Gainesville City Council has given approval to two motions designed to help the city cleanup after the ice storm brought down trees and power lines across the region.
Source: Access North Georgia

New cities could further split Atlanta region
Metro Atlanta is fracturing along invisible walls surrounding its young suburban cities.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Senate OKs Atlanta Beltline bill
The Georgia Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation Friday that would give the Atlanta Beltline access to an additional source of revenue.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Annexation mood softens during debate
If a majority of Avondale Estates’ five mayoral candidates once favored annexation, that mood was tempered during a two-hour debate Thursday before a jammed city hall of roughly 200.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Canton Mayor notes progress in annual address
In his annual State of the City address, Canton Mayor Gene Hobgood said the city forged ahead in both the economic well-being and quality of life areas in 2014.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Merrifield takes oath as Canton assistant police chief
A new era of leadership has started in the Canton Police Department as the new assistant chief joins recently-named Chief Mark Mitchell on the force.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

Unification legislation now headed for Gov. Deal’s signature
Now that local unification legislation has cleared both the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate, its fate rests with Gov. Nathan Deal.
Source: Milledgeville Union Recorder

Kennesaw mayor addresses growth, SunTrust Park, city manager
At a town hall meeting Thursday, Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews answered questions about the city’s development, the search for a new city manager and the effect of SunTrust Park, the new Atlanta Braves stadium in Cumberland, on the city.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

BoC adopts land-leasing agreement with Holly Springs
A decision by Cherokee commissioners Tuesday locked the county into a land-lease agreement for 50 years with the city of Holly Springs in order to replace the county’s Fire Station No. 3 on Highway 140.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

City to review modifications to fire station master plan
The city of Canton’s Planning Commission will review a request from Laurel Canyon’s asset manager Jason Garmon to amend conditions of the neighborhood’s master plan Monday.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

City working on improving sewer service
Businesses in the area of Lee, Gordon, Center and Church streets should soon start seeing improved sewer service after the Thomaston City Council approved spending up to $40,000 removing and replacing sewer line in the Lee Street parking lot area.
Source: Thomaston Times

City Employees Given Raise, Public Library Awarded Additional Funds
Employees of the City of Trenton and the Dade County Public Library got some good news at the Trenton City Commission meeting.
Source: Dade County Sentinel

City of Ellijay gets $253,000 to continue Streetscape renovation work
Mayor Al Hoyle announced recently that Phase 5 of Ellijay’s Streetscape project will be continued with a Georgia Department of Transportation enhancement grant, also known as a ‘T’ grant.
Source: Ellijay Times-Courier

Poll: Majority of Atlantans support $250 million bond package, but when mayor's 'agenda' is considered...
On March 17, Atlantans will be asked to vote on the city's $250 million infrastructure bond package. If passed, the funding would help build new bridges, pave roads, repair sidewalks, and chip away at the city's more than $1 billion backlog. That's just a few weeks away.
Source: Creative Loafing

Interest in Tybee plastic bag ban spreads
A proposal to restrict the distribution of single-use plastic bags on Tybee Island has captured the attention of more than just islanders in recent months.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Proposed tax would help Flowery Branch redevelopment
A visit to downtown Flowery Branch will often provide a view of a city employee crossing Main Street, going from one government office to another on opposite sides of the street.
Source: Gainesville Times

City to ask attorney general whether ex-chief Lovett's pension can be cancelled
The Savannah City Council is seeking a second opinion after being told by staff that state and federal law prohibits them from stripping former Savannah-Chatham Police Chief Willie Lovett of his pension.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Chamblee official recognized
Chamblee Mayor Pro Tem Dan Zanger was recently re-elected and on Jan. 25 awarded a certificate of achievement by the Georgia Municipal Training Institute at the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) annual mayors’ day conference.
Source: Champion Newspaper

Yatesville looking for well sites
The City of Yatesville may soon be getting a new well for its water system. At their February 9 meeting, the Yatesville City Council voted 4-0 to enter a contract with Ground Water Services of Kennesaw to search for the location of a new well.
Source: Thomaston Times

Former assistant city manager decides to not leave position in Tallahassee
Interim Albany City Manager Tom Berry confirmed Thursday afternoon that Lonnie Ballard has withdrawn his name from consideration for a newly created deputy city manager position with the Albany government.
Source: Albany Herald

Cedartown commission approves zoning change
The City of Cedartown are helping to bring a new industry to the area soon in the form of a nutraceuticals manufacturer to a downtown property.
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

Another city-county merger in the offing
The news that Milledgeville and Baldwin County are seeking to merge as eight other city-counties in the state, including Macon-Bibb County, have done should not surprise anyone. And while the proposal, House Bill 67, will soon sit on the governor’s desk for signing, the people of Baldwin County will ultimately decide the issue.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Fountain to return at Tattnall Square Park
The sound of flowing water will return to Tattnall Square Park later this year when a fountain will again be built at the park’s center.
Source: Macon Telegraph

County looking to city for IT help
Spalding County is in talks with the City of Griffin to work on “state of the art” IT phone and data network “to bring the county into the 21st century.”
Source: Griffin Daily News

Poole angles for new businesses to locate in Peachtree City
Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA) Business Retention and Expansion Manager Emily Poole recently reported to the Peachtree City Council on FCDA efforts involving a number of business prospects and recruitment inquiries focusing on Peachtree City.
Source: Fayette Citizen

Improvements planned for Crawford Street
After a hiatus of several years, the city of Dalton plans to resume its Streetscape program, expanding it down Crawford Street.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

Fort Gordon pilot bus service attracting fewer riders than expected in first months
After years of city leaders pushing for bus service to Fort Gordon, few riders are taking advantage of the route that’s running as a pilot program.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Magnet school students learn basics of firefighting
Shaw Williams turns on his radio during his “Firefighting Fundamentals” class, giving the 16 ninth-graders from Richmond County Technical Career Magnet School a glimpse into the world of emergency response.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

West Augusta residents meet with Mayor Hardie Davis, staff and interim Commissioner Harris for 'office hours' at Jason's deli
A handful of west Augusta residents dropped by Mayor Hardie Davis’ Thursday “office hours” event held at a new Washington Road deli.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Athens-Clarke commissioners considering changing name of auditor's office
Athens-Clarke County commissioners will decide formally next month whether to change the title of one of the county’s charter officers — positions named specifically in the 1991 charter for the unified Athens and Clarke County governments — and the office overseen by that official.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Flowery Branch City Council changes outdoor regulatory fees, hears update on FY '14 budget
Any organization looking to hold an outdoor event in Flowery Branch won't have as many hoops to jump through, thanks to an update to how those fees are collected approved by the Flowery Branch City Council.
Source: Access North Georgia

Brunswick city manager nominates new chief, but commissioners stall on confirmation vote
City Manager Bill Weeks nominated Brunswick police Capt. Kevin Jones to the vacant chief’s post but the City Commission deferred confirmation to a future meeting.
Source: Florida Times-Union

Statesboro City Council rejects Fair Road zoning change
Probably surprising nobody, Statesboro City Council has denied a zoning change and a height variance needed for a gas station and a four-story hotel to be built between Georgia Southern University's Garden of the Coastal Plain and First Presbyterian Church.
Source: Statesboro Herald

City departments working together on in-house jobs to save taxpayers money
Washington city workers are now working together to tackle repair projects that have been on hold for years, solving problems without calling outside contractors and thereby saving money, city leaders say.
Source: Washington News-Reporter

Briggs, Savannah water tower to come down
The City of Valdosta will dismantle the old water tower on the corner of South Briggs Street and West Savannah Avenue next week.
Source: Valdosta Daily Times

Block grant, historic renovation top city agenda
Valdosta City Council will focus tonight on an amendment to the Community Development Block Grant and a renovation of a historic house.
Source: Valdosta Daily Times

Homerville police chief dies
The Homerville Police Department is mourning the loss of its police chief who died Tuesday, losing his battle with cancer.
Source: Valdosta Daily Times

Bowman to seek arts/education grant for downtown renovation
Bowman council member Scott Harpold has received permission from the council to pursue an art and education grant that would allow the city to renovate one of the city’s focal points at festival time - the celebrated Bowman cake walk.
Source: Elberton Star & Examiner

City Council approves transfer of L&N 2132 for $5000
Tuesday evening the Bainbridge City Council voted 4-1 to amend and approve a transfer agreement from the City of Corbin, Kentucky.
Source: Bainbridge Post-Searchlight

Historic Preservation Commission OKs garage doors, decks for 2 buildings
The Rome Historic Preservation Commission approved the installation of two carriage-style garage doors on the back of 225 Broad St. on Wednesday, in spite of the fact that the project doesn’t fit local, state or federal historic guidelines.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Columbus looks comparatively good in transportation report
A national transportation research group’s report on transportation problems facing Georgia and its largest cities portrays Columbus in a comparatively good light.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

City manager nominates new police chief
Brunswick city commissioners say they will review City Manager Bill Weeks’ nomination for police chief and are replacing the two judges in Municipal Court.
Source: Brunswick News

Canton Council mulls using panels in chambers
A decision on how to address acoustic problems at the city of Canton’s meeting room will be taken by council at tonight’s 6 p.m. meeting where Mayor Gene Hobgood is set to give his State of the City address.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

City unveils downtown plans
The city’s plans for the future of downtown Alpharetta were unveiled to the public Feb. 16, in an open house.
Source: NorthFulton.com

The journey begins: Residents look at shaping The District
The process for developing a Downtown Central Business District – The District for short – began last week as a group of experts and consultants headed by Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates began to hold meetings with community focus groups to gather ideas and input about what such a district should contain.
Source: NorthFulton.com

Why inmates are boarding up Atlanta’s abandoned and vacant homes
Jail officials say new ‘Clean and Close’ program curbs blight, saves cash, helps inmates.
Source: Creative Loafing

Grantville hires interim city manager
During its third emergency meeting of February, the Grantville City Council unanimously elected Michael Stewart as its interim city manager.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Hotel tax could go up to 8 percent
Griffin and Spalding County are considering asking to raise the local tax on hotel stays to 8 percent.
Source: Griffin Daily News

Peachtree City Council to decide who should pay to refurbish subdivision entrance signs
The council will consider a subdivision sign policy that relates to the installation, repair and replacement of entry signs. A portion of the policy relates to subdivision signs and replacement walls not under the jurisdiction of an established homeowner’s association.
Source: Fayette Citizen

Activist to speak to commissioners about policing of handicapped parking
A community activist said he will challenge the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office’s lax enforcement of handicapped parking violations before Augusta Commission members next week to ensure people with disabilities get the “fair and equal” treatment they’re guaranteed in state and federal law.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Athens-Clarke commissioners take step toward development coordinator post
Athens-Clarke County commissioners have taken a step toward creating a new county government position aimed at helping businesses negotiate the county government’s permitting and inspection processes, and assisting them in developing an understanding of applicable codes, design requirements and other technical aspects of bringing a business to the county and developing it here.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Baldwin County-Milledgeville merger issue set for voters
A plan to unify Baldwin County and the city of Milledgeville has passed its final vote in the state Legislature and gets a step closer to city and county ballot boxes.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Limits on government charge cards advance in Ga. House
Georgia lawmakers backed off a ban on elected officials using government charge cards Wednesday, but they want to require local leaders to set limits on purchasing cards before they can be issued.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Commissioners OK fire station agreement
The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night approved a 50-year land-lease agreement with the city of Holly Springs enabling the county to build a new fire station within its city limits.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Helen proceeding with sewer line rehabilitation
The City of Helen will proceed with cleaning up aging wastewater collection infrastructure.
Source: Access North Georgia

Powder Springs police form chaplaincy program
The Powder Springs Police Department is forming a chaplaincy program with the help of the volunteer chaplain from the Cobb Police Department.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Alpharetta takes stance on state bills
In two unanimous votes, the Alpharetta City Council decided to support one piece of state legislation while opposing another at their Feb. 16 meeting.
Source: NorthFulton.com

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The News Line Update is sent each day at 10:30 am when new stories have been added.

ALBANY     64
ALTO     3
ARAGON     14
ATLANTA     170
AUBURN     9
AUGUSTA     151
AUSTELL     10
BAXLEY     4
BLYTHE     1
BOWDON     2
BOWMAN     1
BREMEN     10
BUFORD     7
BYRON     6
CAIRO     1
CANTON     83
CARL     1
CLIMAX     1
COMER     2
CONYERS     27
DACULA     6
DALLAS     3
DALTON     67
DARIEN     2
DAWSON     2
DECATUR     34
DULUTH     18
GRAY     5
GRAYSON     12
GRIFFIN     30
GUYTON     3
HAHIRA     6
HARLEM     4
HELEN     9
HELENA     1
HIRAM     9
HOMER     1
JACKSON     30
JESUP     7
LILBURN     17
LOVEJOY     10
LULA     13
LYERLY     6
MADISON     24
MCRAE     1
MENLO     1
METTER     3
MIDWAY     2
MILTON     22
MONROE     5
MORROW     18
NELSON     2
NEWNAN     52
NEWTON     1
OAKWOOD     19
OXFORD     7
PERRY     17
POOLER     15
PORTAL     2
RINCON     14
ROME     115
ROSWELL     30
SAVANNAH     172
SENOIA     22
SMYRNA     28
ST MARYS     23
STATHAM     12
SUWANEE     20
TEMPLE     5
TIFTON     3
TOCCOA     8
TYRONE     3
WACO     5
WALESKA     11
WHITE     1
WINDER     8
WRENS     2
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