The Georgia Department of Transportation has announced that there will be no lane closures on North Broad Street this week for the ongoing replacement of the roadway. Single-lane closures will resume July 8.
The Winder City Council will meet both two nights this week for its regular monthly meetings at the Winder Community Center. At the 6 p.m. work session Monday, the mayor and council will discuss items for which they plan to take action at the voting session at 6 p.m. Tuesday. On the agenda are 14 items, including the appointment of Rebecca Bowen as interim city clerk. Gloria Andrews has stepped down from the post and is taking a temporary leave from her employment due to personal reasons. City administrator Don Toms told the Barrow Journal that when Andrews returns to city hall, she will work in a different position.
The town of Braselton is hosting this community's only large, public celebration of America's independence on the national holiday.
The town's annual 4th of July Festival and Parade event will be from 4-9 p.m. July 4. The festival will be in Braselton Park and feature music, children’s activities, food and craft vendors, and information booths by local businesses and organizations. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. parade, travel along Highway 53 and loop through the park. The fireworks show will be at 9:15. Spectator parking is available at Town Hall, at Northeast Georgia Bank, at W.J. Primary School and at the Braselton Library. Check out the Development Authority's special events page at http://www.downtownbraselton.com/special-events.html .
The Barrow County Board of Commissioners has scheduled both a work session and a voting session Tuesday night. The work session starts at 6 and includes three issues — to authorize the county manager to extend, as needed, the consulting agreement with retired operations and development manager Bob Hohe; to approve a $118,500 contract with Bob Sheldon Inc. for the operation of the Barber Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility; and approval of an on-demand agreement for wastewater engineering services with Precision Planning Inc.
Immediately after the work session the BOC will move into the voting session to, among other things, take action on wholesale water contracts with Auburn, Braselton and Statham. The meeting is on the second floor of the county government building at 233 E. Broad St. north of downtown Winder.
In a creative twist to its free outdoor showing of the family-friendly movie, “Zookeeper,” at the Jug Tavern Park on June 21, the Winder Downtown Development Authority is planning a “pooch party.”
The fun starts at 6 with free inflatables for kids, music and food vendors at the park, which is off East Athens Street. Doggie registration for the pet parade, contests — “longest tongue” and “best singer” among them — is $5 per dog. Pet owners also are asked to bring a bag of dry dog or cat food to donate to Pup & Cat Co.
The free movie will start at dusk after the pooch party. Bring blankets and lawn chairs. For details, go to winderdowntown.com.
The Winder City Council will have a called meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, to take action on three items: a $6,246 agreement with Keck & Wood Inc. for design services for pedestrian street lighting associated with the ongoing street scape project downtown; a request by the Winder Downtown Development Authority to ease banner limits for downtown businesses affected by the ongoing street scape work; and a $3,600 annual agreement with eGIS Associates Inc. for geographic information services support.
Barrow County manager Jock Connell on Tuesday night will recommend the appointment of Gwinnett County's assistant water resource director as this county's public works director. Lynn Smarr has worked for Gwinnett County for 26 years and currently serves as its assistant director of water resources. She has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Louisiana State University.
Connell told a Barrow Journal reporter Friday that Smarr is "top notch."
The Barrow County Board of Commissioners will vote on the appointment June 11. Smarr's recommended salary is $83,000.
Facing a possible $3.4 million funding gap for the fiscal year that starts in October, Barrow County’s manager said last week that it is time to “fundamentally rethink” the role of local government. Jock Connell on May 30 sat down with a Barrow Journal reporter to talk about the budget’s significant challenges. Expenses are expected to be $1.4 million higher, but property tax revenues $1.8 million lower.
“I’m convinced this will be the most difficult budget process they have seen in many a year,” Connell said. “We don’t need to fool ourselves. There is no magic bullet. There is no revenue stream that somebody just thought of, no sack of money that some account has got money in, that we can pull money out of.”
For the full story, read the June 5 edition of the Barrow Journal.
The Barrow County Board of Commissioners on May 28 appointed the county’s former planning director to the key post of director of economic and community development. Guy Herring starts work June 3. It will be the fourth time that he has worked in the county’s planning department since graduating from college in 2000. The county hired him right out of college in June 2000 as a senior planner, but he left after 10 months. He returned as the senior planner in November 2003 and stayed six months. Then he returned in April 2005 as the director of planning and zoning but left that post weeks after Danny Yearwood began his four-year term as BOC chairman in early 2009. Herring’s new salary is $92,000. That is about $22,000 or 31 percent more than he was earning at the time of his 2009 resignation.
As expected, the Barrow County Board of Commissioners on May 28 voted to raise what it charges cities to purchase the county’s treated water from the Bear Creek Reservoir. On July 1 the wholesale water rate will increase from the current rate of $1.60 per 1,000 gallons to $2.22 per 1,000 gallons for municipalities that agree to a minimum daily purchase of 300,000 gallons per day. Cities that do not make that commitment will pay $2.80 per 1,000 gallons.
For the full story, read the May 29 edition of the Barrow Journal.