Blairsville City Council approves employee auto-deposit, continues to tackle Downtown improvements

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Blairsville, GA – The Blairsville City Council convened for their July Meeting on July 11, 2017 at 6 p.m.; a week later in the month this time due to the July 4th Holiday. Mayor Jim Conley, City Attorney David Barrett, City Clerk Kaye McCann and all Council Members were present. The invocation was led by Pastor Bill Schakat, the Pledge by Buddy Moore.

McCann informed the Council that she had been advised there are, in fact, fees associated with having a direct deposit arrangement with their bank. That fee, she said, is $25 per month. She asked that the Council to revisit the issue in light of this new information, given that about 60% of Blairsville City employees want the service. The Council voted unanimously to approve.

Darren Harper, Downtown Development Authority Program Manager, in his department head report, said they were considering making the Memorial Day and/or the July Fourth Arts and Crafts Festival a three day event; which, he said, would be beneficial for the City and vendors alike. However, he said, proximate businesses that are open on the third day would need to be taken into consideration. Harper also mentioned that parking, sidewalks and crosswalks are a major concern with respect to pedestrian safety in the downtown area. The Council agreed.

John Hamler, Airport Manager, said the airport has been busy. He said a Cessna Citation Sovereign came in last week. Hamler said that NetJets, a private air charter company, utilizes the Blairsville Airport regularly. He said a NetJet plane purchased 1,100 gallons of Jet-A fuel last week at a cost of almost $5,000. He said a Gulfstream V landed last week and wanted 2,000 gallons of fuel, but the aircraft was too big to get to the fueling area; he said it will be a boon for Blairsville when we take delivery of the fuel truck the City purchased recently. He said there has been a lot of activity and that he’s had lots of positive feedback on the removal of trees at the west end of the runway (Runway 8). Later in the Meeting, the Council unanimously approved additional money for furniture for the new terminal building. However, because some of the furniture is on back-order, the grand opening of the terminal has been rescheduled for Thursday August 17, 2017.

Larry Stephens, Superintendent of the Water Treatment Plant,

Darren Harper (foreground), John Hamler (background).

reported that the new building was completed satisfactorily by Laney Construction. He then deferred to Conley regarding tank cleaning: Conley said Liquid Engineering would use a diver to clean the tanks and that they had the best price for the job. He recommended that the Council approve their bid, which they did unanimously.

Jody Cook, Superintendent of the Waste Water Treatment Plant, asked that the Council approve the repair of one pump by Goforth Williamson, Inc. Cook said that the damage to the pump was caused by grit and that the facility would need reengineering to install a grit chamber to alleviate the problem. The Council unanimously approved two invoices from Goforth Williamson, Inc. ($13,755.26 and $3,620.00) for the repair of one pump.

Shawn Dyer of the Blairsville Police Department reported that they had recovered a stolen Cadillac from Murphy, NC. He then said the vehicle that the tag reader had been installed on had finally given out. Conley informed the Council that he had directed Dyer to investigate the pricing of a Chevrolet Tahoe. After some discussion on the merits of the Tahoe compared to similar vehicles and the cost of keeping another vehicle in the fleet that has had numerous problems, the Council unanimously approved the purchase of the Tahoe.

Conley pointed out to the Council that ASC Paving Division, Inc., owned by Jody Cook, submitted the low bid of $9,438 for the paving of Kimsey Street up to the city limit. That, he said, does not include the asphalt. He said the City would purchase the asphalt because the City can get a better price. The Mayor figured the total cost of the project would be $40,137.24. The council unanimously approved the Mayor’s recommendation to accept the ASC Paving Division, Inc. bid.

The Council approved the following sign permit applications:
• Huddle House, 29 Golf course Road, Betty Brothers, Applicant
• Rustic Mountain Décor, 294 HWY 515, Suite A, June McEldowney, Applicant
• Pat’s Hallmark, 23-C Murphy Highway, Becky Dyer, Applicant

The Council repaired to Executive Session, after which there were no announcements. The Meeting then adjourned.

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