News Line

Local governmental merger proposed
Combining the Stephens County government with the City of Toccoa has been explored numerous times in the past, but is it time for one more try?
Source: Toccoa Record

Monticello Council Discusses Street Department
The Monticello City Council met and discussed the future of the street department during a called meeting Friday afternoon, deciding to table the issue until October.
Source: Monticello News

Demorest council considers application from Piedmont for proposed housing villa
The Demorest City Council will decide at its regular meeting Sept. 2, whether to accept or reject an application from Piedmont College for a proposed villa-type student housing community.
Source: Northeast Georgian

Clayton OK'd for water, sewer loans
The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority approved Clayton for up to $2.75 million in low-interest loans for water and energy conservation projects Tuesday, closing a year-long application process.
Source: Clayton Tribune

Legislator Gives DeKalb Cityhood Groups Deadline to Draw Map
The groups working to establish new cities in central DeKalb County now have a deadline to agree on boundaries for the proposed cities.
Source: WABE

City's affordable housing strategy slowed by Fulton development authority
It’s hard to develop Atlanta’s parking lots and vacant spaces into soaring high-rises where students, young professional, and families can live. The process is rife with red tape, expensive, and risky.
Source: Creative Loafing

Main Street Newnan recognized by Gov. Deal
Main Street Newnan has received two Georgia Downtown Conference Awards of Excellence, highlighting the city department’s work in economic development and promotions.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Milledgeville recognized for downtown development
The city of Milledgeville and the Milledgeville Main Street/Downtown Development Authority have been recognized for excellence in downtown development.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Augusta transit committee convenes for first time, expresses hopes
Enthusiastic members of the first Augusta Public Transit Citizens’ Advisory Committee expressed hopes for the beleaguered service and elected officers at a first full meeting Thursday.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Gainesville Council continues to disagree on water prices
Sometimes water can cause a fire to flare-up; that is, when water is the topic of a city council discussion.
Source: Access North Georgia

The Dalton mayor’s race is on as Jones, Mock face off
Two candidates will face off to finish the unexpired one-year mayoral term of David Pennington as qualifying for the vacant office closed Wednesday.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

Douglasville ranked 19th 'most exciting place' in Georgia
A recent survey ranked Douglasville 19th out of 50 cities in a list of “Most Exciting Places in Georgia.” The survey was conducted by Movoto Real Estate. The rankings were created using multiple criteria such as night life, live music venues and percent of young residents ages 18 to 34.
Source: Douglas County Sentinel

Conyers City Council gets look at proposed plans for new City Hall complex
The Conyers City Council got a first look at proposed plans for a new City Hall complex during its midyear retreat last weekend.
Source: Rockdale Citizen

Road work to add bike lane along Clark Street to Turner Lake Park
Road crews have been working along Clark Street near the Clark’s Grove development in Covington installing a bicycle lane and other improvements.
Source: Newton Citizen

Riley uncontested for mayor of Mansfield
Qualifying ended Friday for a special election in Mansfield, and Mayor Jefferson Riley was the only candidate for mayor, eliminating the need for a special election.
Source: Newton Citizen

Suwanee votes to keep same millage rate
The Suwanee City Council has kept its millage rate unchanged for fiscal year 2015. But its revenue situation finally has reached the point it was before the real-estate crash of several years ago.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

No turnout for public hearings on Ringgold millage rate increase
The city of Ringgold held two public hearings on Monday, Aug. 25, regarding the raising of its property tax (millage) rate. But no citizens showed up to comment on the matter one way or the other.
Source: Catoosa County News

Two gaps in RiverWalk will finally be spanned
Since the Chattahoochee RiverWalk was built back in the mid-1990s, there have been two gaps in the 22-mile linear park that stretches from the City Marina at its north end to Fort Benning at its south.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Zip line over the river could open as early as Sept. 12
If Dan Gilbert, owner of Whitewater Express Co., has his way, customers could be zipping across the Chattahoochee River on Sept. 12.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Housing authority moving forward on demolition plans at Willingham Village
Maple Street and Brook wood Avenue will get a partial facelift if federal funding pulls through.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Deal: Rome, Cartersville and 11 other cities awarded for outstanding achievement
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Rome, Cartersville and 11 other Georgia cities were recently awarded for outstanding achievement in urban design, economic development, organizational projects and downtown promotions at the annual Georgia Downtown Conference Awards of Excellence ceremony.
Source: Rome News-Tribune

Judge: Mayor Kelly Kautz’s request for attorney fees must go through city
Legal grappling between Snellville Mayor Kelly Kautz and members of the city council will drag on for at least a little while longer.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Three Canton officers receive life-saving award
Three Canton Police officers who risked their own lives to save a disabled man from a burning home were honored last week for their selflessness.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

Woodstock council lowers taxes
The Woodstock City Council approved a millage rate below the revenue neutral rollback number, decreasing taxes for homeowners in the city.
Source: Cherokee Tribune

Marietta committee quietly OKs same-sex benefits for city workers
The Personnel and Insurance Committee voted 3-0 yesterday to approve a change in the city’s retirement benefits that would allow married same-sex couples who work for the city to receive retirement benefits.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

City eyeing options for $5M from parks bond
The City Council is eyeing three parks and the Elizabeth Porter Recreation Center as options to spend $5 million that remains from the $25 million bond issuance voters approved in 2009.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

City commission eyes attitude shift on litter
While each of the five Brunswick commissioners has ideas for improving the city, all require the same ingredient to make their ideas successful, Mayor Cornell Harvey said this week.
Source: Brunswick News

One person qualifies for Clermont council seat
Eric Thomas is the lone candidate in Clermont Town Council’s special election set for Nov. 4.
Source: Gainesville Times

Amusement machines cause nuisance in Clarkston
Clarkston has a bit of a problem.
Source: Champion Newspaper

Jefferson debates recreation fee increase
As part of the budget process, the Jefferson City Council is looking into the possibility of increasing recreation fees to help offset the cost of providing these services.
Source: Jackson County News

Miss Georgia receives two keys to her cities
It really was a day of celebration for the 2014 Miss Georgia, Maggie Bridges, on Thursday, July 17. Her hometown city of Brinson and Bainbridge and Decatur County did it up right as kin, friends, and sponsors met first in Brinson to welcome Maggie Bridges home officially.
Source: Miller County Liberal

City adopts mixed drink ordinance
The Blakely City Council adopted a consumption by the drink ordinance at the Aug. 5 council meeting at City Hall. The referendum providing for the sale of alcohol by the drink in the city was approved by voters May 20.
Source: Early County News

Johnny Cooks joins race for mayor
City Council Member Johnny Cooks has joined the race for the next mayor of Grantville.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Chief seeks fresh image for department
Javier Garcia is on a mission to restore credibility to the Grantville Police Department.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Mayor Reed: Braves missed deadline to extend Turner lease
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says the Atlanta Braves missed a deadline on Monday to alert the city if the team will renew its lease at Turner Field.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Moses Jackson Community Center improvements set
When residents clamored for the city to open the Moses Jackson Community Center in 1999, naysayers didn’t think west Savannah gathering spot would last, says supervisor Rebecca Johnson-Middleton.
Source: Savannah Morning News

New sidewalks coming to Richmond Hill
If all comes together as planned many residents of Richmond Hill will soon have sidewalks on which they can use to access both shopping and recreation in the city without having to use a vehicle.
Source: Savannah Morning News

EDITORIAL: Local governments can’t lower costs while the state shifts responsibility
Every Georgia resident should stand up and salute their representatives in Atlanta. Those representatives, while talking about lowering the cost of government, are constantly figuring out ways not to lower government’s cost but shift those costs to local taxpayers.
Source: Macon Telegraph

City considers de-annexing site for support facility
To qualify as rural development, a proposed transitional support facility for female veterans has to be de-annexed by the city of Griffin.
Source: Griffin Daily News

Peachtree City Council: ‘No’ to major westside changes
Peachtree City’s biggest residential development in years is coming under intense scrutiny from the City Council.
Source: Fayette Citizen

Fayetteville gives final approval to junior college
The vote to approve the upcoming construction of the Georgia Military College campus on Veterans Parkway in West Fayetteville came with a unanimous vote by the Fayetteville City Council at the Aug. 21 meeting.
Source: Fayette Citizen

Changing of the guard for Fayetteville’s finances
Fayetteville’s longtime finance director Lynn Robinson has retired and gone from City Hall. Filling her position is former auditor and Henry County finance director Mike Bush.
Source: Fayette Citizen

Fayetteville OKs rule changes to allow golf carts on many city sidewalks
Fayetteville’s ordinance on motorized carts is now in line with those of Fayette County’s other jurisdictions. The amendment passed by unanimous vote of the City Council at the Aug. 21 meeting.
Source: Fayette Citizen

City Council to take up Walnut Avenue rezoning Tuesday
The Dalton City Council is expected to decide at its Tuesday, Sept. 2, meeting whether 2.04 acres of vacant land along West Walnut Avenue will be rezoned for commercial use, City Administrator Ty Ross said.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

Two qualify to run for mayor of Dalton
Dalton will have a race for mayor. Qualifying today were Miller Jones, 39, who works at Laughter & Jones Financial Management in downtown Dalton, and Dennis Mock, 60, who works in sales for Whitco.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

Clerk of Commission space issues discussed in tense meeting
City officials moved closer to finalizing plans to change recently completed renovations at Augusta Municipal Building during a tense Wednesday meeting.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Only one candidate qualifies for special Clermont city election
Only one person qualified for the special city council election in Clermont in November.
Source: Access North Georgia

State commission denies Brookhaven charter school proposal
The mayor and city council of Brookhaven earlier this year signed onto the founding board of Brookhaven Innovation Academy, which was to serve students within the city limits in a traditional school setting as well as students statewide in an online program.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Citizens to decide on Sunday alcohol
In two narrow 3-2 votes, Metter City Council put the question of Sunday alcohol sales -- one for on-premise and one for off-premise consumption -- before the voters.
Source: Metter Advertiser

Aragon officials look to "save our city"
Aragon officials exhibit a new determination to “save our city” and make hard financial decisions – even after learning there would be no “straw vote” for city residents during the November election.
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

Group proposes park at historic school site
A group is looking to establish a historical park in West Point in commemoration of an historic African-American school.
Source: LaGrange Daily News

Council approves rezoning of Country Club Road property
The LaGrange City Council voted to approve the rezoning of an undeveloped area on Country Club Road under special conditions.
Source: LaGrange Daily News

Pastor defies Ga. town's rules, puts up large sign
A pastor is standing by his decision to light up a 19,000-bulb sign in an east Georgia town in defiance of a city ordinance banning such message boards.
Source: Access North Georgia

Park planned for Covington Mills area
Neighbors called it the “Kudzu House.” Abandoned and with a massive hole in the roof, the house at 6110 Sorrell Street in the Covington Mills neighborhood north of U.S. 278 was overgrown, run down and dangerous.
Source: Covington News

Two running for Canton council seat; Ball Ground incumbents qualify to defend spots
Two running for Canton council seat; Ball Ground incumbents qualify to defend spots
Source: Cherokee Tribune

Marietta Walk: City’s ‘PVC farm’ prepares for 76 homes
A 10-acre site near Marietta Square that has been sitting vacant for the last eight years will finally become the neighborhood it was meant to be in plans first drawn up in 2006.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal

Loan to boost Oakwood sewer plans
Braselton received a state loan Tuesday that will enable Oakwood to tap into a long-anticipated sewer project involving the two cities.
Source: Gainesville Times

City of Bainbridge budget draft gives insight to future plans
Friday, Aug. 22, the City of Bainbridge released a draft of its proposed 2014-2015 fiscal year operating budget. The final version of the budget is scheduled to be adopted Sept. 16 by the Bainbridge City Council.
Source: Bainbridge Post-Searchlight

City taxes will remain the same
At a called meeting last Thursday, the Thomaston City Council assured the community that they do listen; by voting 4-0 to keep the millage rate at 3.84 mills, the same as last year.
Source: Thomaston Times

Atlanta PD to rethink approach, tactics to stop urban dirt bike and A.T.V. riders
The Atlanta Police Department is looking for new ways to step up efforts to respond to packs of dirt bike and A.T.V. riders cruising through the city's streets, neighborhoods, and public parks.
Source: Creative Loafing

Code Blue puts more uniformed Savannah-Chatham police on streets
In an effort to boost officer/resident interactions and make a show of force, the Savannah-Chatham police department has launched an initiative called Operation Code Blue.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Historic Savannah Foundation drops suit to block Ben Carter's Broughton building demolition
The Historic Savannah Foundation is dropping its legal challenge against the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals over the demolition of 240 W. Broughton St., clearing the way for a new four-story structure to house clothing retailer H&M.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Vacation rental ordinance recommended for Savannah
The Metropolitan Planning Commission has taken the first step toward increasing regulation of vacation rentals, recommending the creation of a short-term residential rental definition in the zoning ordinance.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Social Circle to clarify workers’ right to carry gun
With the enforcement of HB 60 in full force, the Social Circle council discussed their concerns and considerations on a Weapons in the Workplace policy at their monthly meeting last Tuesday.
Source: Walton Tribune

Social Circle police chief among 50 attendees of meeting with FBI chief
Social Circle Police Department Chief Terry Sosebee was among a group of law enforcement officials who recently met with FBI Director James Comey at the agency’s office in Atlanta.
Source: Walton Tribune

Aragon reverses decision to vote on city charter in November
Aragon will not hold a non-binding referendum in November, according to Mayor Ken Suffridge.
Source: Polk County Standard Journal

Macon-Bibb could turn annex building into apartments
The Macon-Bibb County government annex building, named for former City Councilman Willie C. Hill, could become loft apartments or mixed-use retail and residential space.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Tattnall Square Park upgrades continue
The Friends of Tattnall Square Park have money in hand to make most of the changes to put the historic park back in top condition, group chairman Andrew Silver told Macon-Bibb County commissioners Tuesday evening.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Commission ends gridlock, moves forward on bonds without IFS securities
The Augusta Commission ended just under three months of gridlock over a plan to issue some $160 million of refunding water and sewer bonds and $30 million in bonds for system improvements Monday, rejecting overtures from a firm touting its minority ownership that twice delayed the plan’s approval.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Police veteran is Morrow’s new police chief
The city of Morrow has a new police chief. Melvin Douglas Jr., a 30-year law enforcement veteran, was slated to be sworn in as police chief at Tuesday’s council meeting.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Proposed DeKalb cities instructed to decide borders
Georgia representatives are giving three DeKalb cityhood movements until Nov. 15 to agree on boundaries. If they don’t, state lawmakers will do it for them.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Buchanan approves millage, budget
Buchanan citizens who may be upset over recent turmoil within the city police department were told to “suck it up” and to “act like people, instead of children” during the Aug. 12 city council meeting, at which the main business was approving a new budget and voting to maintain the millage rate.
Source: Tallapoosa-Journal

Lanes close as city prepares for intersection renovation
Lanes are closed along Bankhead Avenue and Newnan Street in Carrollton as preliminary work gets underway for a $500,000 renovation of the Newnan Road-Newnan Street/Bankhead intersection.
Source: Carrollton Times-Georgian

Ringgold council to discuss pedestrian bridge progress, renaming of park at tonight’s meeting
The city of Ringgold will discuss the status of its pedestrian bridge project and the possible renaming of the Ringgold Recreational Complex during tonight’s (Monday, Aug. 25) council meeting.
Source: Catoosa County News

Council to choose tunnel or bridge at Buena Vista 'spider web'
Columbus Council is scheduled to decide Tuesday afternoon whether to go forward with a recommended proposal to tunnel beneath the rail crossing at the notorious Buena Vista Road “spider web” intersection, rather than building a bridge over it.
Source: Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

Richmond Hill approves funding for sidewalks
A citywide network of sidewalks took a big step closer to reality Tuesday when Richmond Hill City Council voted unanimously to commit $400,000 to fund their construction.
Source: Bryan County News

Recent Scenic Highway rezoning in Snellville stands
The Aug. 11 rezoning of the .644 acre property located next to Grace Baptist Church will stand, despite Mayor Kelly Kautz’s addition of an item on Monday’s council agenda to rescind the action.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Duluth discusses joint transportation project
Duluth’s City Council discussed a proposed intergovernmental agreement with Gwinnett County for two joint transportation projects.
Source: Gwinnett Daily Post

Springfield opts to bump up its millage rate
The millage rate is increasing in Springfield, after city council members approved a hike last Tuesday night.
Source: Effingham Herald

Rincon council OKs changes to nuisance enforcement
Rincon City Council has approved changes to how it will handle violations and enforcement of its nuisance ordinance.
Source: Effingham Herald

Statesboro's open meetings investigation has called on 30-plus people
The investigation into whether former City Manager Frank Parker and members of Statesboro City Council sometimes met privately in violation of the Open Meetings Act involved interviews and phone calls with more than 30 local people by the end of July.
Source: Statesboro Herald

No one qualifies yet for vacant Town Council seat
There are no candidates yet for Clermont Town Council’s special election set for Nov. 4.
Source: Gainesville Times

Atlanta jobs agency gets full-time boss, will immediately start reforms recommended by scathing repor
On the same day that a scathing city-commissioned report was released, Mayor Kasim Reed named AWDA’s interim director, Michael Sterling, as the agency’s full-time executive direct
Source: Creative Loafing

Police: New Quick Reaction Force lowering Savannah crime
A Savannah-Chatham police department initiative to address the recent rash of shootings and violent crimes in Savannah has led to more than 30 arrests and the seizure of weapons and illegal drugs since it began July 26.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Savannah reviewing flood response procedures
The recent flooding of some of Savannah’s neighborhoods, and subsequent complaints, has prompted a review of city response procedures and stormwater systems to see whether improvements can be made.
Source: Savannah Morning News

A first look at Savannah's 100 worst properties
To their credit, Savannah city officials have amped up the fight with the Blight to Bright campaign and recently published a list of the 100 Worst Properties.
Source: Savannah Morning News

Forsyth County citizens want second city study funded
Last summer a group of south Forsyth residents met to discuss the future of the county. By November, a group called the Sharon Springs Alliance formed and in January of this year, they announced they would study the possibility of forming a new city in the county.
Source: NorthFulton.com

Grantville mayor to seek re-election
Grantville Mayor Jim Sells qualified on Monday morning to run for a second term as mayor of Grantville. His officially qualifying comes less than one month following his announcing a decision to not seek re-election.
Source: Newnan Times-Herald

Macon-Bibb animal shelter, Tattnall park may get more money
Shuffling sales tax money from one project to another would allow the new Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare Center to open fully equipped and on schedule, the manager of sales tax projects said Monday.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Plans for liquor store in Macon dropped after neighbors object
Plans for a liquor store on Moseley Dixon Road at Pineworth Road have been dropped by the owner after learning neighbors were against it.
Source: Macon Telegraph

Mayor makes plea for SPEA comments
Mayor Jim Thomas talked Thursday about the importance of everyone in Hinesville and Liberty County relaying their thoughts on the potential loss of troops from Fort Stewart.
Source: Hinesville Coastal Courier

Residents fight against W. Walnut Ave. rezoning
Siding with staff and dozens of outspoken community members, the Dalton-Whitfield Planning Commission unanimously decided Monday to recommend against rezoning 2.04 acres on West Walnut Avenue for commercial use.
Source: Dalton Daily Citizen

Mayor breaks tie to raise property taxes
In a stunning reversal, Mayor Deke Co­pen­haver broke a 5-5 tie by the Augusta Commission on Monday to approve Augusta’s first property tax increase in seven years.
Source: Augusta Chronicle

Fire department seeks Augusta Commission's approval for ladder-truck refurbishment
The Augusta Fire Department is hoping to resurrect one of its aerial ladder trucks within a year, and all that’s needed is an Augusta Commission stamp of approval.
Source: Augusta Chronicle