Council commits to water meter upgrade; abolishes $6 user fee on bills

by | February 23, 2005 12:00 am

By JACQUIE BRASHER

By JACQUIE BRASHER

Swainsboro city council agreed to upgrade its water meter system and to commit to a new program within 90 days. In agreeing to this motion, council also agreed to abolish the $6 user fee on city water bills on the premise that whatever new system the city installs will be more cost efficient.

Mayor Ricky Stevens recommended that council study different possibilities to be presented in the next 90 days by council members Douglas Overstreet and Cleve Edenfield concerning the change of system. The representative from Johnson Controls will also return to make her presentation to council after that time period. Mayor Stevens said the new system would be able to accurately determine where the city’s water is going. Currently, the city is losing about 40 percent of its water to unknown sources.

In other business, Swainsboro-Emanuel County Chamber of Commerce members John Neighbors and Bobby Reeves approached council about contributing its hotel/motel tax funds to advertising Swainsboro and Emanuel County on the bypass. Mayor Stevens said the funds had originally been earmarked at the onset of establishing the tax, but because opening of the Bypass had been delayed there had also been a delay in the dispensing of the funds for advertising. He recommended that council approve $25,000 to the Chamber of Commerce for its advertising purposes and also told council that he would like to see eventually earmarking 100 percent of the hotel/motel tax to the Chamber of Commerce for its members to decide its distribution. Council approved the $25,000 in hotel/motel tax funds to the Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Stevens informed the public that the city of Swainsboro is currently “not looking to annex anything into the city.” He said he had received several calls from concerned residents about the issue. He said the council has only talked briefly about annexing the raw land between the Bypass and the city of Swainsboro, but not any existing location.

Also in other business:

• Council approved the request of Kiwanis Club for the closure of Roger Shaw Street on Friday, May 6 (after 5:30 p.m.) and all day Saturday, May 7 for the 2005 Pine Tree Festival; and Green Street from Moring Street to Hwy. 80 West on May 7.

• Council approved the advertisement of the alcoholic beverage license application for beer and wine for the Wal-Mart Supercenter. The store is scheduled to open in April.

• On the subject of concrete bids, council approved the motion to use the low bid on each individual product submitted by Buddy’s Redimix and Swainsboro Concrete. Mayor Stevens also suggested that council include in the motion that the concrete businesses must contact city hall if they cannot produce their product at the price listed.

• Mayor Stevens announced that Building Inspector Alton Lawson is retiring and July and that a candidate for the position will have to be found soon. Council voted to advertise the position in various publications for 45 days beginning March 1.

• Mayor Stevens re-appointed the following members to their respective committees: Betty Gambrell and Shari Watt to Animal Control; council members Sandra Stroud and Johnny Ray Stafford to the Recreation Oversight Committee; council members Douglas Overstreet and Cleve Edenfield to the Airport Committee; Charles Schwabe and Homer “Chip” Durden to the Swainsboro Planning Commission; and council agreed to reappoint Charles Schwabe and Bobby Sasser to the Joint Development Authorities.

• Council voted to go with the low bid of $2,300 from Custom Furniture for furniture for Swainsboro Fire Department. Other bids were from Farmer’s Furniture, $2,393; and Badcock, $2,686.09.

• The first reading of the appointment of Emanuel County Voter Registrar to conduct elections in Swainsboro was approved. The issue will be brought to a public hearing on March 7.

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