Blairsville City Council has Moment of Silence for Martha Cone; approves UCEHD enforcement of food service inspections at non-profit events

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Councilwoman Martha Cone

Blairsville, GA – The Blairsville City Council convened on May 9, 2017 at 6 p.m. for their regular May Meeting. The May Meeting had been postponed the previous week because of the passing of Council Member Martha Cone. Pastor Marty Duncan gave the invocation and Police Chief Johnny Carroll led the Pledge. Mayor Jim Conley, City Attorney David Barrett, City Clerk Kaye McCann and all Council Members were present, with the exception of Councilwoman Martha Cone.

Conley asked for a Moment of Silence to honor Ms. Cone at the beginning of the Meeting. Her absence was nearly tangible as everyone in the room stood with heads bowed. Later, after some discussion on balloting, the Council agreed to wait until the November election for voters to select a replacement for the vacancy left by the passing of Ms. Cone.

Mark Jarrett of the Union County Environmental Health Department (UCEHD) sent a letter to the City of Blairsville, said Conley, and requested that they direct the City to allow the UCEHD to enforce a law that is already in existence. The letter stated: “Under Georgia Law O.C.G.A. 26-2-391, a county or municipality is authorized to issue permits for the operation of non-profit food service at events that last 120 hours or less if sponsored by the county, municipality or a non-profit organization. The law specifies the food safety standards that must be met to protect the public’s health. The county or municipality may delegate the authority to issue such permits to the County Board of Health.” This means that food vendors engaged for a non-profit event in Blairsville would be required to undergo an inspection by the UCEHD (at no charge) to get permitted. The Council unanimously approved a motion to allow UCEHD to enforce this law. UCEHD is a separate entity from Union County Health Department.

Conley recited a Proclamation that the week of May 7 – 13, 2017 be named Municipal Clerk’s Week. The Proclamation was warmly received by McCann, who said she appreciated the opportunity to serve the Council, the Mayor and the City of Blairsville.

Blairsville Mayor Jim Conley (L), Blairsville City Clerk Kaye McCann (R)

Conley recited Resolution R2017-03 adopting the 2017 Comprehensive Plan for Union County and the City of Blairsville as of May 9, 2017. This is something that the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) requires every year, said Conley. The Resolution was approved.

Blairsville Mayor Jim Conley

An Agreement between the City of Blairsville and Notla Water Authority was signed by all Members of the Council. The Agreement is to accommodate the City of Blairsville in furnishing water and sewer to a commercial property on Pat Haralson Dr. The Agreement sets the rate the City of Blairsville will pay Notla Water Authority for the water they will supply.

Conley recited Resolution R2017-02 to adopt an amended Alcohol License Fee Schedule, which, as was addressed in last month’s Council Meeting, will align with the Union County License Fee Schedule. A motion for the adoption of this Resolution was unanimously approved by the Council.

The Council unanimously approved:

• A motion to accept the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Contract AP017-9031-33(291) Union for avigation and land acquisition service and obstruction removal design for the Blairsville Airport.

• A request by the Youngstown Baptist Church for sewer service to their new location on Par Haralson Dr. It would involve running a two inch graywater sewer line to a location on City property. Water would be provided under the Agreement with Notla Water Authority approved earlier in the Meeting.

• Tentative approval of Payroll Direct Deposit contingent upon the amount of fees charged to the City of Blairsville for this service.

Department Head Reports were as follows:

• Police Chief Johnny Carroll reported there were a total of 129 calls logged in April, a total of 5426 patrol miles driven in April and a total of 391 calls logged year-to-date. The majority of those calls were Courtesy Escorts, Funeral Escorts, Miscellaneous Traffic calls and Warrants served. Carroll received approval from the Council to hire Andrew Glass for the position of Part-time Police Officer at the rate of $14/Hr.

• City Water Department Head Ottis Franklin reported nothing out of the ordinary; routine maintenance. He said that 53 of 73 water meters had been set at the new subsidized housing complex behind Butternut Creek Shopping Center.

• Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Larry Stephens reported that they were going to clean out the raw water intakes and that bids were coming in to replace the valve actuators. He said the auto dialer and the ACT-PAC, both of which were hit by lightning would be replaced very soon.

• Downtown Development Authority Head Darren Harper reported that he would be attending a training class next week at Lake Lanier Islands. He said the next DDA Board Meeting will be Tuesday, June 13. He said they have been heavily promoting the upcoming Arts and Crafts Festival that will take place on Memorial Day Weekend; he said as of this Meeting, there were 59 vendors signed up and he expects to have about 68 by the kickoff of the event. Harper said there is an offer for a section of the Haralson property across from the Foodland store. He said three businesses are scheduled to open this month and he observed that the old cinema across from City Hall has been leased. Movie Night and Concert on the Square, he said, will begin in June.

• Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Jody Cook reported that an actuator that regulates discharge into a creek needs to be repaired, but in order to do that they are going to have to purchase a new one because they cannot operate while the broken equipment is sent off for repair. He said the cost will be about $3,800, but they will then have a spare so this won’t happen again. He said, also, that there is a relief flow pipe that has corroded and needs to be replaced for a second time. He said they are going to use stainless steel pipe this time so it won’t corrode so easily again. Cook requested that the Council address the Goforth Williamson Inc. (GWI) three-year maintenance contract. It was unanimously approved.

• Airport Manager John Hamler reported that the previous week had been busy with five jets and two (Beechcraft) King Airs using the facility along with seven car rentals. He said they had sold out of Jet “A” fuel from April 3 – April 30. He said the grounds and building maintenance was keeping them busy. He said that a sign at the new entrance should be considered by the Council that would be in compliance with GADOT. He said there are now 26 names on the hangar waiting list. David Brown Transportation will be taking over maintenance of the AWOS system. Hamler said that every fuel or oil sale at the Terminal is taxed through the Terminal POS system.

Approved Sign Permit Applications:

• Beil Chiropractic, 428 Pat Haralson Dr., Floyd Beil, Owner
• Blue Mountain Vapor, 63 Plott St., Unit C, David and Roger Craig, Owners

Approved Occupational Tax Certificate Applications:

• Crawford Collections, 35-A Blue Ridge St., Candace C. Youngberg, Owner

Approved Occupational Tax Certificate and Sign Permit Applications:

• Britt & Capri, 80 Town Square B, Debbie Wickersham, Owner
• Winslow Real Estate Services, Inc., 211 Cleveland St. #A, Faron King, Owner
• Granny’s House Restored Furniture & Home Décor, 40 Town Square, Melissa Mashburn & Tammy Tanner, Owners
• Blairsville Antiques and Treasures, 49B Blue Ridge St., Suite B, Joshua Durst & Gary Steverson, Owners

With no Executive Session called for and no further business to conduct, the Meeting was adjourned.

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