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Covington's finances in 'good, good shape'
With the fiscal year winding down, the city of Covington got word that it is “in good, good financial shape,” according to Miller Edwards of Mauldin and Jenkins CPAs, LLC, which presented its audit to the council Monday. “The general fund is quite healthy and there is about a two-year reserve,” Edwards said.
Source: Covington News

Cartersville council considers 2016 budget
The Cartersville City Council met in a called session Monday to discuss the fiscal year 2016 city budget.
Source: Cartersville Daily Tribune News

Public parking banners coming to downtown LaFayette
LaFayette soon will install banners to signify locations of public parking lots.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

New restrictions, fees approved for Hampton splash pad
City officials came to an agreement Tuesday on how to handle the increasing demand for large groups using the city’s splash pad.
Source: Henry Daily Herald

One resident qualifies for vacant Locust Grove council seat
Only one resident qualified to fill the city council seat vacated after the death of Councilman James Rosser April 13.
Source: Henry Daily Herald

Former Stockbridge mayor Rudy Kelley dies
Former mayor Rudy Kelley has died overnight after recently undergoing quadruple bypass surgery, according to the city’s website.
Source: Henry Daily Herald

Lawrenceville makes change to hotel-motel ordinance
The Lawrenceville City Council approved Monday night an amendment to its hotel-motel ordinance, changing a section related to the occupancy tax.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Porterdale City Hall making termite repairs
There’s nothing a termite likes more than a damp, dark place rich.
Source: Covington News

College Ave. moves up in water main project
Water pressure issues along College Avenue have caused the Covington City Council to move the area ahead of schedule in the city’s water main replacement project.
Source: Covington News

Kennesaw Councilwoman Eaton-Welsh to ask for vote on term limits, benefits
Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh intends to ask the City Council to vote May 18 whether to place a binding question on the 2016 ballot allowing voters to impose term limits on the mayor and council.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Hopeful signs mixed with decay in struggling Meigs
The downtown area of Meigs offers a stark contrast between the decay of most of its buildings and the little points of hope and determination cropping up here and there.
Source: Thomasville Times-Enterprise

Auburn honors lifelong resident Miriam Wood
Her passion for reading brought a library to Auburn.
Source: Barrow County News

Gainesville council increasing per diem meeting pay
The Gainesville City Council is increasing its per diem meeting attendance pay to $150 from $125, and increasing the number of meetings elected officials can be paid for each month to 12 from 10.
Source: Gainesville Times

Atlanta City Council OKs infrastructure bond projects
The Atlanta City Council is on board with the list of projects the Department of Public Works plans to undertake with funding from a $250 million infrastructure bond voters approved in March.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta Officials Lay Out 2016 City Budget Plan
City of Atlanta officials Monday painted a more optimistic picture of the city’s finances during a briefing about next year’s proposed budget.
Source: WABE

Perry seeks to build identity through branding effort
This Houston County city is unlikely to go through an identity crisis. But by the end of the year, consultants said Monday, the city’s government and supporting organizations should have a better grasp on how to build up the city’s identity to draw visitors and newcomers.
Source: Macon Telegraph

LCPC updates Walthourville land-use map
Walthourville residents met with Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission planners in March to provide input to update their community’s land-use map as part of Liberty County’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Council approves plan for federal money
Reducing homelessness and increasing access to affordable housing are some of the priorities for city of Dalton officials when spending the city’s federal community development block grant (CDBG) money this year.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

Another Augusta restaurant seeks later hours through alcohol ordinance change
Late-night dining could return to the city after the Augusta Commission hears today from another restaurant wanting to serve food into the early-morning hours.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Commission committee discusses closing block of Newton Street at Prince Avenue
The Grit, along with restaurants in the adjacent Bottleworks complex on Prince Avenue, could be getting some outdoor dining space, as a committee of Athens-Clarke County commissioners works to develop recommendations for implementing a 15-year master plan for downtown Athens.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Macon-Bibb commissioners set to challenge Reichert’s veto
One of the biggest questions heading into Tuesday night’s Macon-Bibb County Commission meeting is whether commissioners are able to override the mayor’s veto of an effort to rebid the investment consultant job for the city-county pension plan.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Cleveland police move into new location
Cleveland Police Department is operating from its new office location at 133 W. Kytle St.
Source: Access North Georgia

Cumming council moves to fill vacancy
The Cumming City Council Friday voted to hold a special election on June 16 to fill the Post 1 council seat left vacant by longtime council member Rupert Sexton’s retirement effective May 1.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Douglasville city manager announces retirement
Douglasville City Manager Bill Osborne has publicly announced that he plans to retire by the end of the year.
Source: Douglas County Sentinel

Woodstock City Council prioritizes more parking spaces at Olde Rope Mill Park
The Woodstock City Council will expedite plans to add more parking for Olde Rope Mill Park as issues with parking continued to arise over the weekend.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

Elizabeth Porter Park construction in Marietta still stalled by lawsuit
The expansion of Elizabeth Porter Park, a project approved nearly five years ago by the Marietta City Council, has yet to break ground after a lawsuit over land stalled the project.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Custer Park renovation set to open in September
Marietta residents will have a revamped fitness and recreation center this fall, but there may be membership fees to offset some of the operational costs.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Buckhead Council hears concerns over speed bumps
At a past meeting, the Buckhead Town Council voted to approve the installation of three speed bumps on different roads in the town that were known to be especially dangerous due to drivers’ high speeds and the amount of blind driveways in the area.
Source: Morgan County Citizen

City considers more oversight in pawn sales
A new Madison city ordinance aiming to increase law enforcement’s oversight of pawn shops and dealers of precious metals and gems was proposed to the city council at their Friday, April 24 work session.
Source: Morgan County Citizen

Budget to drop by $3 million
Finance Officer Karen Stapp presented the preliminary budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year, which requests a total budget of $15,104,750 for the year, almost $3.4 million less than last year’s budget.
Source: Morgan County Citizen

Spring Luncheon Concerts Series to feature diverse bands
Warmer, sunnier weather is arriving right on time for the time-honored Spring Luncheon Concerts on The Square.
Source: Newton Citizen

Brunswick police seeks new officers
The Brunswick Police Department is looking to add some new officers to its ranks and will even provide the necessary training for job prospects who need it.
Source: Brunswick News

Atlanta City Council To Vote On Infrastructure Project List
The city of Atlanta is moving one step closer to starting work on $250 million list of road and bridge projects.
Source: WABE

Loose pavers at intown intersections are state problem, Athens-Clarke official says
They may look like bricks, but they’re made of special plastic designed to adhere to asphalt. And that’s the problem with the pavers at some of the intersections in Athens-Clarke County — they’re not sticking to the road as they should.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Survey says Suwanee residents happier with their city than most
The results of the National Citizen Survey suggest that residents of Suwanee are happier with their city overall than most others people across the country are with their residence.
Source: Access North Georgia

Milton mayor not worried about city’s tax base
Johns Creek officials worry their heavy reliance on residential property – nearly 75 percent of the city’s property tax base is residential – could undermine the city’s financial position over time. But the mayor of a nearby city with a similar tax base isn’t worried.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Six ways to fix blight in Macon
The surest way to fix Macon’s urban blight problem would be to rapidly increase population, grow the economy and reduce crime. That’s a tall order.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Macon-Bibb delegation selected for FEMA training this summer
In the heat of the summer, Macon-Bibb County leaders will train to keep their cool and be more effective during disasters.
Source: Macon Telegraph

City not unified on saving history
A push to tear down two historic buildings on the city government campus and brush off the city’s Historic Preservation Commission has divided the troops in Georgia’s second-oldest city.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Buckhead investor could face jail over blighted property
A Buckhead investor who bought up much of an impoverished west Atlanta neighborhood faces possible jail time when he stands trial Monday. Rick Warren is charged with three counts of violating city housing code because of conditions at a burnt-out, debris-covered property near the English Avenue neighborhood.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Johns Creek may develop massive downtown
Cities across metro Atlanta are creating “town centers” to boost commercial property development and create a sense of place out of humdrum strip malls and office parks. But Johns Creek’s vision of a massive new downtown may outdo them all.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Contest could pave way for dog park
LaGrange has a chance to win a grant to build a dog park. The LaGrange City Council voted to endorse Petsafe’s “Bark for Your Park” contest at a work session meeting on Tuesday
Source: LaGrange Daily News

Two reasons recent legislation makes it hard to get grocery store in downtown Athens
There are two reasons — one obvious, one less so — that legislation signed recently by Gov. Nathan Deal will make it difficult to bring a grocery store to downtown Athens, according to a local real estate professional.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Fort Valley receives improved ISO rating of 3
Fort Valley has received an improved ISO rating of 3 following a review of its structural fire suppression delivery system.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Future of Fort Gordon bus route awaits Augusta Commission review
The bus route to Fort Gordon will continue until the Augusta Commission makes a decision on its future, said Augusta Administrator Janice Allen Jackson.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

City plans advance to make over James Brown statue site
The Augusta Commission was brimming with ideas Friday to increase downtown tourism, starting with a makeover for the bronze James Brown statue.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Atlanta budget hits $590 million
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed is proposing a fiscal 2016 general fund budget of $590.5 million, a 4 percent increase over the city’s current spending plan.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Forest Park updates its emergency notification system
The City of Forest Park has upgraded its emergency notification system. The new system, Code Red, is an ultra high-speed telephone communication service for the distribution of important information.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Statesboro has shot at $3 million
With its efforts to revitalize South Main Street and maintain a lively downtown, Statesboro has become one of 50 America’s Best Communities
Source: Statesboro Herald

‘Logistics’ of moving train cause delays for Corbin
The City of Bainbridge is developing a plan to revamp the park area at the Earle May Boat Basin.
Source: Bainbridge Post-Searchlight

Bicycle committee members chastised by City Council
Members of a city-appointed bicycle committee found out Tuesday night that it’s not always good to wait until the 11th hour before trying to get approval from city elected officials.
Source: Milledgeville Union Recorder

Ringgold holds public hearings on several properties, accepts award from area church
The city of Ringgold held six public hearings during its most recent council meeting on Monday night, April 27, which included the rezoning and subdivision of multiple properties.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Rome to crack down on handicapped parking violations
Between May 4 and May 18, the Rome Police Department will be increasing enforcement of handicap parking violations throughout the City of Rome.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Proposed Marietta budget has staff raises, no tax hikes
City Manager Bill Bruton gave the city council on Wednesday a first glimpse at his proposed fiscal 2016 budget, which included no tax increases or power rate hikes.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon: I stand for revitalization
Longtime Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon was asked at a town hall meeting Wednesday night what he stood for, and the mayor responded “exactly what you see” in the city’s downtown area: revitalization.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Negotiations green-lighted for parking deck near Marietta Square
Spurred by Mayor Steve Tumlin, a new parking deck near Marietta Square is back on the city’s agenda to address downtown’s longstanding parking problems.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Ultimate block party scheduled for Friday in downtown Douglasville
More than 500 visitors are expected to be in downtown Douglasville on Friday for two family-friendly events.
Source: Douglas County Sentinel

Stockbridge anti-litter campaign starts Saturday
The second annual “Don’t Trash Stockbridge” campaign is Saturday with a goal to spread awareness about litter.
Source: Henry Daily Herald

Sixth annual Trailfest set for weekend
The sixth annual Trailfest event is set for Saturday in Woodstock, and the community is invited to celebrate the city’s outdoor attractions with live music, food and fun.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

Kennesaw councilwoman calls for term limits, cutting health benefits
Kennesaw Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh said Thursday she won’t run for re-election, but she has three policy changes she wants to see before leaving at the end of the year.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

City council hears proposed changes for downtown area
Changes have been proposed for the downtown area as part of the Blue Ridge City Council’s development master plan.
Source: Blue Ridge News Observer

Alpharetta downtown under scrutiny
The public and the Alpharetta Planning Commission were able to see and make comments on designs for the new City Center development around City Hall in a meeting with the project development team April 23.
Source: NorthFulton.com

Council approves change in cemetery ordinance
Families wanting to have loved ones cremated and placed at Southview Cemetery can now place two family members in one lot in the cremation portion of the cemetery.
Source: Thomaston Times

Council could approve final list of $250 million infrastructure projects on Monday
City Council staff last night passed along the legislation that runs down what projects would be funded under the infrastructure package. Councilmembers will vet — and possibly reject or approve — the legislation on Monday.
Source: Creative Loafing

Savannah council opposes offshore drilling
The Savannah City Council on Thursday unanimously approved a resolution opposing offshore oil drilling and seismic testing, making Savannah the largest city to do so.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah eastside residents plead to council for safer streets
Representatives of a grassroots community organization comprised of eastside residents pleaded on Thursday with the Savannah City Council to address crime in their neighborhoods.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Rockmart Fire faces various new challenges
Todd Queen, chief of Rockmart’s Fire and Emergency Services, considers specialized training and certification a priority for his department.
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

LaGrange receives national accreditation
LaGrange received national accreditation from the National Main Street Center (NMSC).
Source: LaGrange Daily News

Still Branch recognized as plant of the year
The City of Griffin’s Still Branch Water Treatment Plant was recognized as “Plant of the Year” by the Georgia Association of Water Professionals.
Source: Griffin Daily News

Proposed Pleasant Home apartments draw opposition
An 80-unit apartment community proposed for Pleasant Home Road in Augusta is drawing opposition from surrounding homeowners.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Stormwater utility fee set for Commission approval May 19
Augusta commissioners are set to approve implementation of a new stormwater utility fee May 19 if they agree with plans presented Thursday.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Atlanta Mayor commits up to $12 million for public art
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced a major commitment to the arts during the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau’s annual meeting on April 30.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Albany city manager plans to promote from within to fill police chief job
Interim City Manager Tom Berry said this morning the Albany Police Department chieff of police position, which will open with the May 29 retirement of Chief John Proctor, is being advertised internally starting today.
Source: Albany Herald

Survey to help develop plan for Lexington Road
Athens-Clarke County officials are once again calling on the Urban Land Institute, an Atlanta-based nonprofit education and research organization, to help map out the future of a local road corridor.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Proposed Gainesville budget includes no tax increase
The Gainesville City Council is prepared to adopt its fiscal year 2016 budget of $30.7 million and will hold a public hearing on the spending plan when it meets Tuesday night.
Source: Gainesville Times

Forest Park updates its emergency notification system
The City of Forest Park has upgraded its emergency notification system. The new system, Code Red, is an ultra high-speed telephone communication service for the distribution of important information.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Gainesville pushing ahead with “rain tax”
Gainesville officials are pushing forward with a plan to create a stormwater utility and implement a “rain tax” to pay for upgrades and replacements to aging drainage infrastructure.
Source: Gainesville Times

Reed: Future Turner Field deal won’t require council, county approval
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says the city is poised to move quickly on a deal to reshape Turner Field once the Braves give notice of an exit date, a plan that he says won’t need approval from the Atlanta City Council or the Fulton County Commission.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

City refinances city hall bonds, expecting savings
Board members of the Liberty County Public Facilities Authority and city Chief Financial Officer Kim Ryon met Tuesday morning in Mayor Jim Thomas’ office to work on refinancing.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Turin Council approves higher-density subdivision
The Turin Town Council voted 3-1 last week to approve the rezoning of property that will be part of a medium density subdivision with a main entrance in Sharpsburg.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

City alcohol officer proposed
Statesboro officials propose to employ an alcoholic beverage control officer, a certified police officer assigned duties such as enforcement of the minimum drinking age of 21, in the new fiscal year.
Source: Statesboro Herald

6 enter race for 2 open Flowery Branch council seats
Qualifying closed Wednesday for two open seats on the Flowery Branch City Council.
Source: Gainesville Times

Former Stockbridge administrator could land Villa Rica job
A former Stockbridge city manager could be named to Villa Rica’s top administrative job as soon as next week.
Source: Carrollton Times-Georgian

City gets federal grant for historic survey
The city of Carrollton has received a federal grant to help update its 26-year-old survey of historic resources.
Source: Carrollton Times-Georgian

Rome selected to receive Historic Preservation Grant for the Fairview School
The City of Rome will receive $9,000 for a preservation plan for the historic African-American Fairview School, located in Cave Spring, Floyd County from the FFY 2015 Historic Preservation Fund.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Uptown Columbus stakeholders look to future of downtown
Meeting in the heart of a downtown Columbus that is vastly different than it was a decade ago, a hand-selected group of about 50 people spent Tuesday trying to envision what the area will look like in 2025.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Woodstock City Council prioritizes more parking spaces at Olde Rope Mill Park
The Woodstock City Council will expedite plans to add more parking for Olde Rope Mill Park as issues with parking continued to arise over the weekend.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

Council approves Pam Hodge as new deputy city manager
Columbus Council unanimously approved the promotion Tuesday of Finance Director Pam Hodge as its deputy city manager to replace David Arrington, who retired March 31.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Lovejoy council OKs plans for growth
City Attorney L’Erin Barnes has presented an amended and restated Downtown Urban Redevelopment Plan to city council.
Source: Clayton News Daily

Locust Grove Days rescheduled for May 2
The city’s annual Locust Grove Days celebration is Saturday. Mallory Andrews, Locust Grove Mainstreet director, said the day serves as both an opportunity for residents to get together and celebrate spring, but also as a fundraiser.
Source: Henry Daily Herald

Milledgeville City Council tables rezoning and special use request
Car Mart wants its new home to be in Milledgeville, where the old Choo-Choo Building Supply business used to be at 125 Roberson Mill Road.
Source: Milledgeville Union Recorder

Suwanee joins Gwinnett effort against drug overdoses
The Suwanee Police Department has received approval to join a Gwinnett County-led effort against so-called opioid overdoses.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Cumberland tourism impacts local ecomony
The 61,402 people who visited Cumberland Island in 2014 did more to impact the economy than ride a ferry and take a motorized tour of the national seashore.
Source: Brunswick News

DDA approves insurance to protect members from future lawsuits
At a called meeting Monday, the Downtown Development Authority voted to amend its by-laws to allow for the purchase of insurance for the DDA.
Source: Henry Daily Herald

Jefferson approves ‘action items’
The Jefferson City Council agreed Monday night to a list of “action items” city manager Jason Tinsley compiled from input received at a recent retreat.
Source: Jackson County News

One Albany city manager finalist withdraws from consideration
And then there were four.
Source: Albany Herald

City Chooses Architectural Firm To Design Fire Station
Newnan City Council awarded a contract to Goodwyn Mills & Caywood for architectural design services for fire station No. 4 at its regular meeting on Tuesday evening.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Fort Valley could help build Crawford County industrial park
The pitch goes something like this: Crawford County has some great potential industrial park sites, and Fort Valley has the utilities that could serve the new businesses.
Source: Macon Telegraph

New video will promote all things Rockmart
Members of the Rockmart Business Alliance are gearing up for a new marketing campaign that will spread the word about all that the city has to offer.
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

Macon Action Plan continues to move forward
Those charged with developing the Macon Action Plan are taking its name quite literally. Though the plan -- designed to improve downtown economically, socially and environmentally -- is still in the late draft stages and probably won’t be finalized for another couple of months, some small parts of the plan already are taking effect.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Richmond Hill design standards established
The Richmond Hill City Council adopted an ordinance that puts stringent design requirements on some exterior renovations and all new construction in two “overlay” zones in the city during their April 22 meeting.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Avondale wants more greenspace in Euramex plan
Avondale Estates commissioners recently met with Euramex Management and reviewed what new Mayor Jonathan Elmore described as a “rough draft” of plans for developing 17 downtown acres. The commissioners agreed the project needs more green space.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Twiggs Circle homes show promise for blighted neighborhoods, but some waiting on follow-through
Hope for the historic Laney-Walker and Bethlehem neighborhoods is embodied in two new single-family homes on Twiggs Street, which have manicured lawns and front porches begging for a rocking chair.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Atlanta Aims To Reduce Big Buildings' Energy Use
Owners of big buildings in Atlanta are going to have to start reporting how much energy and water they use. Atlanta has a goal to reduce commercial energy consumption 20 percent by the year 2020.
Source: WABE

Augusta commissioners try hands at economic development
A new subcommittee of commissioners is trying its hand at increasing economic development and tourism in Augusta.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

LHA seeks partnership with city
The LaGrange Housing Authority on Tuesday presented development plans to LaGrange City Council during a work session at the authority’s Ben Hill Community Building on Chatham Street.
Source: Jesup Press-Sentinel

Athens-Clarke police to closely monitor, evaluate Taser use
Athens-Clarke County Police Department officials will closely monitor and evaluate officers’ use of Tasers when the weapons, which administer a temporarily incapacitating electrical charge, are placed into service, a department administrator said Wednesday.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Committee focuses on making safer neighborhoods
It has been said that it takes an entire village to raise a child. In the case of LaGrange Public Safety Chief Lou Dekmar’s new organization, it will take an entire city to take back some of the community’s more problematic areas.
Source: LaGrange Daily News

2 qualify to run for Flowery Branch City Council open seats
Two people qualified Monday to run for one of two open seats on the Flowery Branch City Council.
Source: Gainesville Times

Albany Code Enforcement transitions to Planning Services
With the city of Albany on the verge of finally signing off on a new sign ordinance (the City Commission was to have taken a final vote on the matter at Tuesday night’s business meeting), the ultimate enforcement of that ordinance now falls with the city/county Planning Services department.
Source: Albany Herald

Bond issue to pay for school debt, drainage
The city of Savannah plans to issue $20 million in bonds to pay a debt owed to the Savannah-Chatham County school board and increase stormwater drainage to the Savannah River.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Effingham and Springfield may join fire forces
Effingham County and the City of Springfield are close to merging their fire departments and moving from 18 to 27 full-time, paid firefighters.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Nearly 300 attend Springfield town hall meeting
A two-hour town hall meeting in Springfield on police and community relations drew nearly 300 people and was hailed by organizers as a good start.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Social Circle approves pathway to new city manager
At their meeting last Tuesday, Social Circle City Council members approved Interim City Manager Ross Hubbard’s proposed recruitment process for city manager, which will begin as early as May 6.
Source: Walton Tribune

Loganville officials to use SPLOST, state loan to fund expansion of sewage plant
City officials plan to use both Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds as well as a loan from the state for expansion of sewage treatment plant.
Source: Walton Tribune

City of Cedartown awarded GMA safety and liability management grant
The Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) has announced that the City of Cedartown recently received a Safety Grant check in the amount of $3,911.47
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

South Augusta to get new businesses
A flurry of new business is slated for south Augusta. Augusta’s Planning and Development Department has received site plans for new fast-food restaurants and a retail center, confirmed Deputy Director Paul DeCamp.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Suwanee City Council approves $25K sidewalk project
Residents in Suwanee can expect to see new sidewalk projects along Smithtown Road and gaps along Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road following a vote taken by the Suwanee City Council Tuesday night.
Source: Access North Georgia

Architect envisions a school in future East Decatur development
Plans for a mixed-use development on East College Avenue received their first public unveiling last week, but this is only part of Decatur’s long-term plans for its underdeveloped east side.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

UWG to close on new Newnan campus Thursday
The opening of the new University of West Georgia (UWG) campus in Newnan is one step closer, as UWG will close on the property on Thursday. City of Newnan officials say they are also excited about the new campus being completed, and the city is holding a private ribbon cutting ceremony on May 12.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

County, city agree to property swap
Local government officials in Henry County and McDonough have agreed to a property swap.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Kennesaw council approves weapons sales at new gun club
The Kennesaw City Council voted 5-0 recently to allow weapons sales at the new gun club on six of 32 acres at Kennesaw Due West Road and U.S. 41.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Warner Robins police dog to get protective vest
A city police dog is expected to benefit from a $950 bullet-and-stab-protective vest, thanks to a nonprofit group that has a working dog’s back.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Museum is proposed as effort to save former Jewish temple in downtown Augusta
A museum of Jewish history might breathe new life into two historic city-owned buildings slated for demolition on the government campus. Jack Steinberg and his wife, Carol, waited through four commission committee meetings Tuesday to announce an effort they started since learning last week of the city’s plans to tear down the Telfair Street Temple.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Warner Robins group hopes to plan city’s future
Community activists want Warner Robins to have one plan that can tie together all existing plans to help guide the community’s future for the next 35 years.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Madison top town of culture
The City of Madison earned a spot on The Culture Trip’s Top Ten Most Beautiful Town in Georgia list this week. T
Source: Morgan County Citizen

Emerson council approves wake park well
In the same amount of time it took to pledge allegiance to the flag and seek direction from the Almighty, Emerson City Council approved Wake Park Atlanta’s application to drill a private well.
Source: Cartersville Daily Tribune News

Canton weighs action on chemical smell
After receiving new complaints about a hazardous material smell emitting from a Cherokee County facility, Canton officials are considering taking action.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

2 qualify Monday to run for open seat on Flowery Branch council
Two people qualified Monday to run for one of two open seats on the Flowery Branch City Council.
Source: Gainesville Times

Local, state leaders reflect on legislative session
Transportation and education dominated much of the debate and media coverage coming out of this year’s state legislative session, which ended April 2, but what about those rabid raccoons populating Hall County?
Source: Gainesville Times

Tom Berry: Albany city manager vetting process just begun
Interim Albany City Manager Tom Berry said Monday he’s aware of negative reports being circulated about three of the five finalists for the city manager’s position that he currently holds, but that the vetting process for the position has “just begun.”
Source: Albany Herald

Milton considering impact fees
The city of Milton is looking into implementing impact fees to help pay for the infrastructure costs associated with new development.
Source: NorthFulton.com

Clarkston, Ga., Is Small In Stature But Big On Diversity
Though the size of Clarkston, Georgia, is just a little over a mile, the city boasts one of the most diverse communities in metro Atlanta.
Source: WABE

Weather siren being repaired in Flovilla
With the season for severe weather bearing down, the Flovilla City Council recently discovered the city’s weather siren has not been sounding during weekly tests.
Source: Jackson Progress-Argus

Officials plot the return of SPLOST
Getting the SPLOST back was an important discussion topic during the county-wide planning workshop held Wednesday and Thursday on St. Simons Island. City and county officials brainstormed on ways they could promote SPLOST to residents.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

How Atlanta Was Kept Out Of Cobb County By A 10-Foot-Wide City
You might have noticed these green signs in East Cobb. They’re around Johnson Ferry Road, near the border of the Chattahoochee River. In white lettering, they read, "Former City Limits Chattahoochee Plantation (1961-1995)."
Source: WABE

Officials unveil plans for new municipal complex, historic Pooler
It may not be immediately apparent to motorists driving past on U.S. 80, but Pooler officials say the excavator at work behind City Hall this week is doing more than ripping down an old shopping center.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Hiram nears opening of dog park next to Silver Comet Trail
The city of Hiram is set to open its newest amenity, the Hiram Hounds Dog Park, May 9 at 9 a.m.
Source: Neighbor News

Seeking answers to Macon-Bibb's commercial blight
It’s an all-too-familiar story playing out all across the country. Once-thriving retail districts closer to the urban core are no longer the shiny new thing. Tastes change. Wealthier people move to the edge of town. Retail follows them. And empty buildings are left behind.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Jenkinsburg leaders continue work on Memorial Park
Jenkinsburg’s Memorial Park is continuing to take shape. Grills, benches and playground equipment will soon join the park’s pavilion, walking track and children’s model train car.
Source: Jackson Progress-Argus

Commission committee to hear demolition recommendations for 19th-century buildings
Recommendations that the city demolish two 19th-century buildings on the municipal government campus and be able to bypass the Historic Preservation Com­mis­sion’s certificate of appropriateness process go before an Augusta Commission committee today.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Hall Co. municipalities briefed on Ga. legislative session
The various municipalities in Hall County (Braselton, Buford, Clermont, Flowery Branch, Gainesville, Lula, and Oakwood) got their briefing on how various pieces of legislation passed in the Georgia General Assembly in 2015 will affect them.
Source: Access North Georgia

Downtown street could be renamed for Ted Turner
Ted Turner might lose a stadium bearing his name, but the billionaire philanthropist could soon gain a street.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

City Commission to have budget hearing
The City Commission will have its first public hearing about its fiscal year 2016 operating budget at its regularly scheduled meeting Monday.
Source: Anderson Independent Mail

Zoning, ideas for future discussed at Stockbridge city retreat
City council and staff held a retreat Thursday at the Ted Strickland Community Center to hear updates and plans for the city departments.
Source: Henry Daily Herald

Suwanee launches annual Art on a Limb program
The city of Suwanee’s annual Art on a Limb program begins this week as artwork is placed around Suwanee parks and people who find it, can keep it.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Rome City Commission to vote on recreation changes tonight
The two-year journey of working out a new joint city-county recreation agreement will reach a conclusion for the Rome City Commission tonight.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

City Council closes alley, approves bids
An alley between Williams and Slater streets has been closed, a lease supplement was approved and four bids were accepted Thursday evening at the Valdosta City Council meeting.
Source: Valdosta Daily Times

Valdosta welcomes welcome sign
Valdosta city officials held a ceremony to dedicate Valdosta’s first welcome sign on North Valdosta Road Friday.
Source: Valdosta Daily Times

City alcohol law drafts would limit under-21 entry
Statesboro City Council received two versions of a draft of a new Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance from its attorney Tuesday night and released them to the public.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Police Department to get body cameras
Statesboro's proposed city budget earmarks $42,063 to buy body-worn video cameras for use by all Police Department patrol officers.
Source: Statesboro Herald

Albany names city manager finalists
Assistant County Administrator Mike McCoy was named Friday afternoon as one of five finalists to become Albany’s next city manager.
Source: Albany Herald

City Commissioner Jon Howard's comments focus spotlight on chamber, EDC
Ward I Albany City Commissioner Jon Howard’s comments at a commission work session Tuesday appear to have been the spark that set off a powder keg of concern and conjecture on the work of local agencies charged with business recruitment and retention in the community.
Source: Albany Herald

Helicopters, electric bikes among soaring Savannah tour options
Savannah has become special enough that a growing number of people are willing to pay to hear its story and witness its charm. Keeping Savannah’s charm intact, while accommodating the industry’s growth, is no easy task.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Eisenhower decline at center of commercial blight
As Macon-Bibb officials have tried to fight blight in recent years, much of the emphasis has been on dilapidated houses that attract crime and trash just steps from where families live. But much more visually apparent from the major thoroughfares is commercial blight -- including stretches of vacant or near-vacant shopping centers.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Pinewood project to be eyed Tues. by Fayetteville planners
The biggest development that could alter the landscape in the heart of Fayette County will get another once-over by the Fayetteville Planning Commission April 28. The first phase of Pinewood Forrest would bring 55 acres of assorted housing, retail and a boutique hotel along Veterans Parkway across from Pinewood Atlanta Studios.
Source: Fayette Citizen

Two Savannah-Chatham police officers among Army Reservists deploying to Middle East
Two Savannah-Chatham police officers were among the 100 Army Reserve soldiers preparing to deploy to the Middle East.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah-Chatham police working to rebuild trust, stop attrition
When Joseph Lumpkin was sworn in as chief of the combined city-county police force Nov. 10, he inherited a department that was hemorrhaging officers and under scrutiny after public revelations of corruption and the controversial shooting of a handcuffed man who had tried to escape custody.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Social Circle officials want more information on Hightower Trail project
Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Kent Adams went before the mayor and council Tuesday to discuss a request to divide property.
Source: Walton Tribune

Regional leaders taking fresh look at TSPLOST
Robert Hiett, director of government services for the Three Rivers Regional Commission, talked about the new transportation law when Three Rivers Regional Council met Thursday at Walter B. Hill Community Center in Turin.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Commercial blight: The epidemic’s next chapter
Charles Morseman has seen firsthand how blight can take over a commercial property. Before the recent recession, a large animal feed mill next door to his equipment company “was a real thriving business” until the owner retired and sold it, he said.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Augusta, Aiken boast different benefits for water park
Developer Benjamin Bell could have his choice between more commercial property or fewer government regulations and fees if he decides to build a $20 million water park in Augusta or Aiken County.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Rezoning request for West Broad commercial center likely to be withdrawn
Faced with the possibility that Athens-Clarke County commissioners could deny a rezoning request for the corner of a West Broad Street commercial center, the owner of the property and the engineering firm working with him are poised to withdraw that request, according to information from Tuesday’s commission work session.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Bill signed by Gov. Deal could hinder effort to bring grocery store to downtown Athens
Five words in a piece of legislation recently signed by Gov. Nathan Deal could hinder local efforts to bring a grocery store into downtown Athens.
Source: Athens Banner-Herald

Perry-Fort McPherson closing in sight
The long-delayed sale of Fort McPherson land to Tyler Perry could be just weeks away, according to Mayor Kasim Reed, bringing to a close months of high-level negotiations and ushering in what could be the largest investment the southside of Atlanta has seen in decades.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

City preparing to extend riverwalk to Savannah River Landing
For years there has been a gap between the Savannah Riverwalk’s eastern end at Morrell Park and the extension further east that was built five years ago to serve the failed Savannah River Landing development.
Source: Savannah Morning News

2nd mural coming to square
Barnesville is already noted for its downtown murals by artist Shannon Lake. Thomaston may soon be noted for them as well, as Lake is returning to town to paint his second mural around the square.
Source: Thomaston Times

City of Aragon releases draft budget
The City of Aragon is still working to get its financial feet firmly back on the ground, and with a new city budget in the works city officials hope to see the city moving toward stability in the coming year.
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

Reichert vetoes attempt to rebid pension job
Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert has vetoed an attempt to rebid the job of investment consultant for the Macon-Bibb pension plan, his first veto since the January 2014 creation of the joint city-county government.
Source: Macon Telegraph

County commission, Savannah City Council to see proposed police merger agreement next week
Chatham County Manager Lee Smith said Friday he will introduce a new proposal for a combined Savannah-Chatham police department to the county commission when it gathers for a workshop next week.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Hogansville invites residents for ‘vision’ meeting
Hogansville will soon hold a meeting for residents to provide input on solutions to the city’s issues. Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz hopes that the discussion will provide talking points for an eight-person steering committee he selected to provide insight and suggestions to issues brought up in the meeting.
Source: LaGrange Daily News

LaVista Hills and Tucker envision distinct governments
The proposed cities of LaVista Hills and Tucker may be neighbors, but they’d have significantly different forms of government.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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

ALBANY     53
ALTO     1
ARAGON     10
ATLANTA     168
AUBURN     11
AUGUSTA     146
AUSTELL     11
BAXLEY     3
BOWDON     1
BOWMAN     1
BREMEN     6
BUFORD     7
BYRON     6
CAIRO     1
CANTON     63
CARL     1
CLIMAX     1
CONYERS     22
DACULA     4
DALLAS     2
DALTON     43
DARIEN     2
DECATUR     31
DUBLIN     1
DULUTH     16
GRAY     4
GRAYSON     10
GRIFFIN     27
GUYTON     6
HAHIRA     3
HARLEM     10
HELEN     6
HELENA     1
HIRAM     7
HOMER     1
JACKSON     31
JESUP     3
LILBURN     14
LULA     10
LYERLY     5
MADISON     20
MCRAE     1
MEIGS     2
METTER     4
MIDWAY     2
MILTON     25
MONROE     7
MORROW     14
NEWNAN     30
OAKWOOD     15
OXFORD     6
PAVO     1
PERRY     15
POOLER     24
RANGER     1
RINCON     18
ROME     104
ROSWELL     27
SASSER     1
SAVANNAH     123
SENOIA     12
SMYRNA     19
ST MARYS     27
SUWANEE     17
TEMPLE     2
TIFTON     3
TOCCOA     7
TRION     1
TURIN     2
TYRONE     3
WACO     1
WHITE     2
WINDER     10
WRENS     2
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