Loganville City Council

Loganville City Council Meeting Summary – 3/11/2021

On 3/11/2021, the Loganville City Council convened for a monthly meeting and work session over Zoom. The meeting initiated with a prayer as well as the Pledge of Allegiance, and the first motion was to approve last month’s Minutes, which was approved with a 5-0 vote.

Mayor Rey Martinez also recognized the ASEZ WAO(World Mission Society Church of God), a youth volunteer group, for assisting with planting trees at the O’Kelly Memorial Library.

Afterwards, last month’s financial report was approved 5-0.

Moving on to Planning & Development, reported by Chairwoman Lisa Newberry, a contract for Eagle Eye Arial Flights which would involve measuring properties and buildings using lidar technology was discussed. The agreement was approved 5-0.

Numbers for fee schedules were discussed but did not appear on the agenda. The numbers were updated to be more accurate, as they had not been updated for a couple of years. The motion was approved 5-0. This concludes Lisa Newberry’s report on Planning & Development.

Moving on to Finance / Economic Development, reported by Chairwoman Anne Huntsinger, the council discussed the Loganville Development Authority’s desire to use the track outside of the Loganville City Hall on May 1st 2021 at 12 PM. This is a partnership with the LDA and costs will be split. It is planned for judges to determine the winner, who will be playing at the Pavilion for Autumnfest. There are plans for food vendors to attend, there is no admission cost, and people are encouraged to bring a lawn chair and come out! The motion was approved 5-0.

Band contracts were discussed by the council. A1A was originally set to begin the concert series, but a scheduling conflict resulted in Band X taking that place instead. The band Departure will also be playing. The motion was approved 5-0. 

Anne Huntsinger then requested all members of the public to take a survey regarding the future development of Loganville. The survey was shared by the Loganville City Facebook page. She has advised that if you want to make your voice heard, then this is a wonderful opportunity.

Moving on to Public Utilities / Transportation, reported by Chairman Bill DuVall, a $109,593.00 contract award was discussed. This contract is funded with an LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) from GDOT. A citizen was curious regarding the priority of maintenance of roads, Chairman DuVall responded by noting there were 57 miles of road the city was responsible, and the roads are ranked (on what qualities were not mentioned). The motion was approved 5-0.

A variance request was also made for The Cottages, a local apartment development. Kevin Hess (Jim Chapman Communities) was available to speak on behalf of The Cottages. A request was made for roughly 9 ft of encroachment into an impervious setback for 2 units out of the total 326 that were being built. Chairwoman Anne Huntsinger brought up a concern that one of the units (unit 68) was being built upon existing wetland area. Mr. Hess noted that it has already been accounted for in their core permit, which has been approved by the court. Chairwoman Lisa Newberry proceeded to ask if the two buildings were an afterthought of trying to fit more buildings into the little space that was available, but only through acquiring approval upon the variance request. Mr. Hess responded that it was not an afterthought, as Jim Chapman Communities had to apply at least sixty days ago for approval, and Mr. Hess noted that this is a small area that they are requesting. Water/Wastewater Superintendent Brandon Phillips recommended against passing the motion, arguing that doing so would set the precedent for future developments to build on this setback, and that we need to protect waterways from pollutants, as well as adhering to Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning Districts’ ordinances with buffer and setback requirements. Johnathan Jones (Elite Land Management) noted there was an intent to enhance the buffer with plants, and that was typical procedure as a trade-back between the environment and the community. He also noted he imagined there would not be any polluting from the patios. Chairwoman Anne Huntsinger asked why Jim Chapman Communities was requesting 25 ft. of adjustment when only 10-15 ft. was intended to be used. Jonathan explained that the process typically involved taking the setback to the county buffer (Ergo 25 ft.), though would likely be fine from an engineering standpoint If the council only approved 10 ft. for the encroachment. Two citizens called in with concerns for wildlife, the latter citizen requesting to delay the council’s decision until more research could be done. The motion was denied 5-0.

A contract was discussed regarding traffic studies. Danny Roberts noted the data would assist in deciding where to spend grant money on roads not only in the next year but also the next 5-10 years. He also noted the data may be used to help with bicycle paths/traffic. Chairman Bill DuVall was cautious in passing the motion, requesting the first task to be approved and for Chairwoman Robyn Webb to iron out the contract with KCI (contract company). The motion for the first task passed 5-0.

Chairman DuVall also discussed new traffic lights in Loganville which have been unveiled.

Moving on to Public Works / Facilities, Linda Dodd spoke regarding cleanup and food distribution efforts. 54 volunteers participated in the cleanup, and around 400 families were fed in the local community.

Moving on to the City Attorney’s Updates, Chairwoman Robyn Webb discussed an amendment to an ordinance limiting sale of alcohol during special events. The amendment’s effects now make the alcohol ordinance apply solely to restaurants seeking to have special events serving alcohol contiguous to their building, and changes the area affected to be the main street district. The motion was approved 5-0.

To conclude, the council voted 5-0 to adjourn and moved on for comments from citizens.

Walton County Board of Education

Walton County Board of Education Meeting Summary – 3/9/2021

On March 9th, 2021 at 5:30 PM the Walton Board of Education convened at the Board of Education office for a monthly meeting.

The board mentioned success in providing both in-person and remote learning, noting they were one of two schools in a “very wide area/range” to do so.

Moving on to the Superintendent’s report, the superintendent recognized local students’ involvement and success in extracurricular activities, ranging from various students’ accomplishments in local sports, to recognition of local high schools as AP Honor schools, to Young Georgia authors from every grade. 

The board also made note of a fundraising effort which reached $134,000. The money will be used to help students and citizens of Walton County.

The board also mentioned teachers are receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. The first doses were already being administered and all staff were expected to have the first dose administered in five days. The second dose was to be administered after Spring Break. 

The council took a small break before continuing. As a result of a scheduling conflict, Walton Tomorrow was unable to continue attending the meeting. We recommend readers to refer to the respective Meeting Minutes and Agenda for further details.

Monroe City Council

Monroe City Council Meeting Summary – 3/9/2021

On 3/9/2021 at 6 PM, the Monroe City Council convened for a monthly meeting.

The meeting began with an invitation for local youth groups and other citizens to take part in city beautification (Great American Cleanup Week).

A presentation was held in promotion of a new YMCA facility near the Loganville High School. Focused on the health and well-being of the community, the facility will have 38 acres and will require $15,000,000 in funding ($5.3m already acquired). The facility will provide 8 full-time jobs and 75-100 part-time jobs and will be a great addition to the community. The project does not need 100% funding to begin, and details are sparse regarding how the 38 acres will be used until architects can draft their plans. Citizens are encouraged to assist in fundraising efforts, and the hope is to “break the ground” by Q1 2022.

An application for a local business to sell spirits was approved by the council.

An amendment was made to Chapter 62, Article 1, Section 62-3 of the municipal code to include an entire section and repeal all conflicting parts and ordinances as it relates to the possession of marijuana. The amendment passed.

An agreement was made to modify water lines for a contract with MAB American. The agreement was passed.

A supplemental capital improvement was discussed regarding fiber funding to install fiber. The project is estimated to take around 24-30 months and those within city limits are prioritized. There is decent demand for broadband/fiber and the ROI exists. A council member requested monthly updates on the project. It was also noted that material will not be pulled from other city projects to meet the needs of this one. The motion to pass was approved.

An extension of a parking lot deal at West Highland over five years was discussed. The extension was approved.

A motion to adjourn was then passed 8-0, concluding the meeting.