Around Town News – January 10, 2019

Hello Ball Ground and Welcome to 2019.

Our monthly meeting of Mayor and Council will be on Thursday, January 10th, 2019 at 7:00 pm here at City Hall. We have a lengthy agenda which is typically the case for the first meeting of the New Year. We have the standard housekeeping type items on the agenda such as committee appointments, board appointments, check signers, zoning map updates etc., The non-housekeeping type items on the agenda will include granting an easement to Georgia Power to install a new power line, final adoption of our new Comprehensive Plan (many of you attended our public hearings on this document), Adoption of an upgraded roadway development standard, ratify an agreement with ECS Southeast, LLP to perform the materials testing on the Valley Streetscapes Project, and finally consider a request by Diamond Head Development for a Special Use Permit to allow for a Solid Waste Transfer Station in Light Industrial Zoning. Also at this meeting, Mayor Roberts and the City Council will receive a report from our auditors regarding the results of the annual audit of the City. We are proud to say that once again the City will receive an excellent financial report.

Next week the silt fence is scheduled for installation on the Valley Streetscapes Project. This project will provide for sidewalks, curb and gutter from Depot Street south to Howell Bridge Extension as well as along Beck Street from Valley Street to Old Canton Road. Once the silt fence is installed the State will have 7 days to inspect the silt fencing before we can start construction of the project.

We are in the process of applying for a new grant that would pay to install ADA ramps on a number of our sidewalks that are not currently equipped with the ramps.

The Georgia Department of Transportation tells us that the signal improvements at 372 and SR Business 5 near Regions Bank will be completed by February 15th, 2019. We certainly hope this will be the case.

We received an email last week from the Department of Transportation District Engineer that he will be meeting this week with GDOT Maintenance Staff to formulate a plan for SR 372 thru downtown to improve existing conditions. We look forward to hearing from them, and especially hearing a timeline.

We have received our first report from the engineering team studying the possible “372 Spur” or truck route around downtown. The initial report cites ten perennial streams, four wetlands, two open waters, five ephemeral drainage features and potential habitat for ten protected species – all in the potential pathway of the road. In addition, they identified 10 properties that would likely be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It certainly is not unusual for any new road project to face these obstacles, and they are all very important considerations, however; they will certainly add time and cost to any proposed road project.

On a positive note, Mayor Roberts and City Council have directed staff to take the initial steps in planning for our new Community Center. We will start this week talking with architects and by next month should make a selection on the design team that will lead this project.

Have a great day.

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