November 18, 2019

City of Franklin approves rezoning request for Heard BOE

Proposed location of the new Heard County Board of Education Office across from Heard County High School

(Franklin/Times-Journal) — The Mayor and Council of the City of Franklin, Georgia, met in regular session Thursday, March 7, 2019 at City Hall at 6:30 PM.

All council members were in attendance except Councilmember Jiles. Attorney Samson Newsome stood in for City Attorney David Mecklin.

Mayor Rogers began the meeting by welcoming everyone in attendance. Attorney Samson Newsome gave the invocation. Councilmember Almond lead the pledge to the flag.

The meeting began with a public hearing to rezone the following addresses from Single Family Residential (R2) to General Commercial (C): 350 College Drive, 360 College Drive, 370 College Drive, 401 Main Street, 439 Main Street, 459 Main Street, 481 Main Street, 1459 Franklin Parkway, 1467 Franklin Parkway, and 32 Skyview Drive.

Heard County Board of Education had applied for the rezoning, for the purpose of building a new Board of Education Central office on the Franklin Parkway and Skyview Drive locations and to build a new Gym and Preforming Arts Center at the College Street and Main Street locations. There were no public comments and the public hearing was closed.

The council approved the rezoning from residential to commercial with the stipulation that if the Board of Education does not build the property would rezone back to residential and that a wall be put in place to prevent traffic from going in and out of the City cemetery.

The council approved the minutes from the February 7 meeting as written.

City Clerk Karen Boyd gave the Financial report through February, 2019 by stating, “All accounts have been reconciled to the bank. General fund revenues exceeded expenses by $98,512 and $107,087 for the year. This increased revenue was due to the Georgia Power franchise check that the City receives each February.

Sales tax decreased $8,711 from last month and $20,284 from last year. SPLOST increased $3,365 last month and $13,660 from last year, making it the highest January to date.”

Chief Hannah discussed his concerns with the council members on putting an ordinance in place to protect minors from purchasing E-cigarettes and fine businesses for under age sales. Hannah and the city attorney will work on the ordinance and have it ready for the Mayor and Council at the next meeting.

Council members approved new police issue Taser’s for Franklin Police Officers. Each Taser will cost $3458.75 and will be paid for by SPLOST. Each comes with a 5-year warranty plan, plus training for each officer.

Mayor Rogers updated council members on fire department maintenance progress. Rogers stated, “We are waiting on the garage doors to be installed so that we can begin with the painting and the heating will be all that we lack with the maintenance.”

Council members approved a bid from RP Paving Solutions LLC out of Villa Rica, Georgia for the paving and striping of the square in the amount of $120,471.00. This project will begin as soon as the weather permits and temperatures stay in the 80’s for a few weeks.

Council members discussed a Blight Ordinance for the city. Blight has been defined under several state statutes, but basically a blighted property is one that has been declared a public nuisance in accordance with a local housing, building, plumbing, fire, or other related code or ordinance. It is a local ordinance, similar to a public nuisance.

The precise definition varies by local areas, but examples may include change in land use without a permit, lack of exterior property maintenance, or trash accumulation.

This ordinance will allow the City to send out letters to property owners in the city to update their property and to keep it properly maintained or would be in violation of the Blight Ordinance and could be fined.

 The Council will look over the Blight Ordinance and vote at a later date.

There were no public comments and the meeting was adjourned.

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