Ball Ground Welcomes The Tour of the Southern Highland Bicycle Race this Saturday and Sunday!
Please keep a close eye out for bicycle riders in the community. We have a number of folks here practicing up for the race this weekend.

Here is a summary of the weekend and affected roadways.

FRIDAY: We will likely see a lot of cyclists inside and near the city taking practice runs, but the Friday event itself will take place in the County out on Mineral Springs Road beginning and ending near the I-575 bridge over Mineral Springs. Just stay alert for cyclists.

SATURDAY: Valley Street will be closed from Coy M. Holcomb Street north to Depot Street.

Race headquarters will be in front of City Hall on Valley Street.

The race route will be from City Hall, north on Valley Street, west on Depot Street, North on Old Canton Road to Commerce Lane. West on Commerce, then south on Canton Highway down to Howell Bridge Road. East on Howell Bridge to Valley Street, back to City Hall and then repeat. Racing of various groups will take place beginning at 8:00 am and ending at approximately 5:00 pm.

SUNDAY: Valley Street will be closed from Coy M. Holcomb Street north to Depot Street

Race headquarters will be in front of City Hall on Valley Street

The race route will be from City Hall, north on Valley Street, West on Depot Street, North on Old Canton Road then west on A. W. Roberts Drive (372), north on Canton Highway and immediately west on Mineral Springs Road. The race will then run approximately 20 miles thru Cherokee County, coming back into the City on Howell Bridge Road and back to Valley Street. Racers will then repeat the course.

Again we are looking at 8:00 am until 5:00 pm

This event continues to bring racers from across the Country, many of whom patronize our local businesses and help jump-start our local economy for the spring/summer months.

Come on out, enjoy the fun, and see if you can spot a famous racer or Olympic team. Best viewing options include City Hall and the plaza area downtown near 4-way stop.

Have a great weekend – and remain alert.

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.

Around Town News-December 2018

Hello Ball Ground:

Chief Reeves and the Ball Ground Police Department would like to extend their appreciation to the many residents who have donated food, clothing, and toys that will go to help several families in our community. Your support has been wonderful.

The department would also like to remind everyone that while this is certainly a wonderful time of the year, it is also a time when thieves make their presence known. Please make sure we are locking our homes and vehicles. Packages left in vehicles should be securely locked out of sight in the trunk, and to the extent possible, conceal your gift boxes when placed at the curbside for removal. Nothing like a 72” TV box sitting at curbside to alert passing opportunists as to what is inside the home. Break those boxes down and put them in trash bags before setting out.

Still, a few shopping days left before Christmas – so remember our local merchants this weekend as you are finishing up your list.

Mayor Roberts and the Ball Ground City Council have identified the acquisition of additional green space and parkland as a top priority for the City. They have identified this goal in the Comprehensive Plan, the Capital Improvement Plan, the Livable Centers Initiative, and the Parks Master Plan. Working towards accomplishing those goals we have made significant progress in our efforts to add two additional 50-acre tracts of permanent green space to the City Parks inventory. We have verbal agreements on both pieces, and attorneys are working on the contracts at this time. We will find out at the end of January if we have been awarded a $100,000 grant that will be used to assist in the purchase of one of these properties, and we have applied for a special green space low-interest loan as well. Both properties border beautiful streams and both will have nature trails installed, but no other development. Survey work will begin in January on one of the parcels, and we are very determined to close at least one of these deals in 2019.

Work on the Valley Streetscapes project will begin on January 14th, 2019. Again, this project will install curb, gutter, sidewalks and some landscape from Depot Street south to Howell Bridge East along Valley Street. Once the project is finished we will hire Georgia Power to install streetlights from Coy M. Holcomb Street north to Beck Street. These lights will be the post top style lights that closely match the lamp posts currently in front of the pharmacy on Valley Street.

Mayor Roberts and City Council will meet on January 10th, 2019 at 7:00 pm here at City Hall. January is typically a very long agenda as there are a lot of annual housekeeping type items on the agenda such as committee and board appointments, recertification of zoning maps etc., In addition to these housekeeping items Mayor and Council will consider the 1st reading of an updated zoning ordinance, entertain a request for a developer to accept the streets in the Heritage Woods Subdivision, Adopt new roadway design standards, Consider an easement request from Georgia Power, and consider an agreement with ECS to provide materials testing services on the Valley Streetscapes Project.

City Hall will be closed on December 24th and 25th as well as January 1st and 21st.

For everyone celebrating Christmas, we wish you a wonderful holiday and a Happy New Year!

Certified Police Officer Position Available

Certified Police Officer
Full-time Law Enforcement position. Must be 21yoa, must be POST certified and current on training. Must be able to pass an extensive background investigation, polygraph, psychological and physical. Must be able to work nights, weekends and Holidays. The position is full time starting at $17.89 an hr based on 43 hour work week. Benefits include health, dental and vision insurance, paid vacation and holidays and Short and Long Term Disability Insurance and retirement plan. Email resumes to kmurphy@cityofballground.com. Position will be posted until 12/30/2018.

Around Town News – December 3, 2018

Good Afternoon Ball Ground:

The Cherokee Tribune/Ledger News has received a press release from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) that they have awarded State and Federal tax credits for a 60 unit workforce housing complex to be constructed on a 20-acre tract in the City of Ball Ground off Northridge Road. The City of Ball Ground has not received any type of notification from DCA.

We at the City, along with our legal counsel, have sent correspondence to the Commissioner of DCA, Mr. Christopher Nunn outlining our position, and urging them to relook a number of items, that in our opinion, warrant a re-examination of the application that was submitted by Rea Ventures. We also in this correspondence made DCA aware that the City of Ball Ground would not invest any dollars in infrastructure improvements to support the development of this site. Construction of roads to access the property, construction of sewer to service the property as well as upgrades in the water system to support fire protection for a multi-family development would be at the expense of the developer, not the City of Ball Ground.

A second application for workforce housing was reviewed by DCA, that was submitted by TISHCO, for a 78 unit complex on Old Canton Road. We were notified by the applicant that this particular application was denied.

We are requesting a face to face meeting with the Commissioner of DCA to resolve the issues we have identified.

In the coming weeks, there will be a lot of information in the community concerning this proposed development. As always, some will be accurate, some will not. We will do our best to keep the community informed of the facts.

In Other matters:

The next monthly meeting of Mayor and Council will take place on January 10th, 2019 at 7:00 pm. Items on the agenda so far include the 2nd reading of a grease control ordinance and an appointment to fill a vacancy on the Downtown Development Authority Board. Mayor and Council will also take action on a host of annual appointments to boards and committees as well as re-adopt the City of Ball Ground Zoning Map and Zoning Ordinance.

Eric


Around Town October

Hello Ball Ground!

Bids for the Valley Streetscapes project were opened at the October 11, 2018, City Council Meeting.
The apparent low bidder was Excellere Construction, LLC. The City Council voted to approve the bid.

The Valley Streetscapes project will establish a full sidewalk connection from Howell Bridge Road to downtown along Valley Street. It will also provide for the installation of curb, gutter and storm drain. Additionally, the area will be landscaped, and a pedestrian shade structure will be constructed at the intersection of Valley Street and Beck Street. The City has been awarded a federal transportation grant in the amount of $560,000 to accomplish this project. The anticipated start date of this project is early 2019.

The Groover Street railroad crossing is now 100% complete. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we had the road closed much longer than anticipated

We have also been awarded some safety grant dollars to plan for guardrail installation at two locations in the City. The first would be on Old Dawsonville Road in the vicinity of Calvin Farmer Park, the second would be on Old Canton Road at the intersection of Old Canton and Commerce Lane. CNC Fencing will be making assessment early next week to determine if guardrails are viable in these areas. One of the challenges for installation is the number of underground utilities in the area that will make setting the guardrail posts a challenge. Items underground include gas, water, sewer, and fiber, but we are hoping for a positive outcome.

Mayor Roberts and members of council have authorized submission of a grant application to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources in the amount of $100,000 to acquire permanent green space.

Please put the following dates on your calendars for upcoming City Events:

October 11th Meeting of Mayor and Council (7:00 PM)
October 20th 5K Road race along Groover Street and Old Canton Road to support victims of domestic violence (Roads closed to thru traffic 7:30 AM – 10:00 AM)
October 26th Spooktacular (Community Building Area) (Starts at 4:00 PM)
November 30th March of the Toys for Toys for Tots Parade downtown

Have a great weekend!

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