Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
February 20, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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February 20, 2019

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February 2019 Page 5A , orter ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN by Don Daniel e Every Friday, The Street Journal has a sec- tion rifled Mansion. The section is usually 14 pages and as the title suggests has a listing of mansions all over the country with a lot of home and condominium listings. The cheapest, oops, should say the least expensive, home was out in Utah for $690,000 with two bedrooms, two baths, compa- rable to a stick-built in River Forest. There was one listed in Detroit with three bedrooms and two baths for $325,000 and at that price must be in the "in the hood". The section also lists a lot of condos in downtown cities such as Miami, others on the coast with ocean views and on golf courses that start at prices way above $1 million. Florida has a lot of those type listings. There are many mansions and condomini- ums listed in the $5 million-plus prices. Makes you wonder where the people got the money to build the houses and who has enough money to purchase one. And then there are the real estate advertisers in this newspaper listing a lot of homes and dirt which ain't cheap. With over 300 to be hired at Five Below and the possibility of other "industrial/warehouse" companies eyeing the po- tenrial of Monroe County, I the real estate agents are mining for gold. We have two county commission- ers that have their and house-selling business licenses and they are very aware of the attractiveness of Monroe County for growth and investment. I remember when selling a house was easy: you just listed in the classified ads. Last week there was only one house for sale listed in the dassflied and it was for a school bus converted into a tiny house. There was only one house for rent. The reason I bring this up, it is often discussed at county commission and Forsyth City Council meet- ings that there is no affordable housing in Monroe County. We have several upscale subdivisions such as River Forest. We don't have any condominiums but several HUD-subsidized apartment complexes. And we (the county commission) are being sued by a developer wanting to build an apartment complex down in Bolingbroke that the county turned down. I'm getting to where I am going, just hang on. The other day I decided to try to find out what "afford- able housing" was/is in Monroe County. I met with County Commissioner and The Brokery owner George Emami and later with Connie Ham, owner of Middle Georgia Realty. I asked both the same ques- tion: define affordable housing as it applies to Monro County. More simply asked, what is affordable? I was just looking for a dollar figure. As both wanted to get "in the weeds" with a bunch of justification, I just wanted a simple dollar amount of what hous'mg costs in Monroe County. The answers were just about the same. Connie an affordable house in Monroe County would be in the $150,000 price range. George's price range was a little broader, $100,000 to $130,000. Both agents agreed an affordable house could be on an acre or less of land, two bedrooms, two baths, kitchen, den, the possibility of a one car garage and of course, flout in the county, septic tank and well and would sell in a hurry! Both agreed there are people looking and a demand for affordable housing in Monroe County. Monroe County is a "hot property!" OOPSl ANOTHER computer crash lost the responses to last week's question and the oldest busi- ness in Monroe County is Trio Manufacturing. So, here's The Question for this week: what is the theme of the art show to be held at T.G. Scott on Monday, March 25 from 5-7 in the TGS Cafeteria. First correct answer after 12 noon on Thursday gets a certificate for a Dairy Queen Blizzard, dozen Dunkin Donuts, slice of Shoney's strawberry pie, Whistle Stop fried green tomato appetizer, dessert at Sweet Tea in Bolingbroke, slice of Jonah's On John- ston pizza, sandwich, drink and chips at The Pickled Okra, Forsyth Main Street t-shirt. I'M GONNA get in trouble for re-posting this from the Vent bring it on! 'American with Indian DNA is an American Indian. However, an American with African DNA is an African American? Sounds back- wards. Should be American with an African heritage be an American African. One more from The Vent: "Dr. Doster definitely didn't get her doctorate in Economics or math" HERE'S A teaser for next week's On The Outside Looking In from the Georgia First Amendment Foundation: The decision to prosecute in the City of Atlanta case sends a clear message that public officials in Georgia who violate the open record laws at their peril. These are the people's records and the public deserves access to them ---even if those records are embarrassing to public officials". THANK YOU for reading this column and listen- ing to The Reporter On The Radio on Majic 100 on Sunday mornings at seven or anytime by clicking on the radio tab at and watch us on Forsyth Cablevision. Been trying to get into on when the Show is aired on Forsyth Cable. Will keep trying and letyou know. Donald Daniel is the founder and former publisher of The Monroe County Reporter. Contact him at tullay- bear@ bellsouth, net. LETTERS TO THE e To the Editor: Shame on those commission- ers that voted nay on the rodeo arena! Those same commission- ers who tout ,themselves to be for Monroe Countys growth. They in effect managed to shut down a very large future economic impact with the help of the 'Not in my backyard' crowd. Let's look at it by the numbers: Commercial property is generally taxed higher than agricultur al land according to the use-value assessment (UVA)--This would bring additional income for the county. Hotel/Motel weekend stays would increase during those few times a year the rodeo was here, bringing with it more money in the form of our 'bed tax" Visitors eating out, buying fuel and visiting our local shops spending their money. Consider the 30 full-time and 80-100 part-time employment opportunities that would be lost. This could help families pay electric bills to our local EMC, buy food for their families at our local markets, buy fuel at our local stations all while paying additional taxes and adding to our economy. Every concern that was addressed, i.e lights, parking, entrances/exits, roadwork, would be taken care of or paid for by the Tafollas. They want to make this a fun, family-friendly envi- ronment that everyone will enjoy. How can the commissioners say they support our schools but in turn deny countless youth opportunities, includ- ing Future Business Leaders of Ameri- ca (FBLA), Future Farmers of America (FFA), internships and a special needs equine assisted hippotherapy? According to the 2014 Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Equine the industry is anything but a pony show--it has a $2.5 billion an- nual impact of the state's economy. Just having a small part of that in Monroe County would hold untold benefits. Further, horses are the No. 9 com- modity in the state with a value of more than $333 million, or about $279.8 million more than our famous Georgia peaches. That's according to the 2014 Farm Gate Value Report from University of Georgia.There are more than 74,000 horses in Georgia and more than $750 million is gener- ated in their breeding and care accord- hag to Atlanta Business Chronicle. Property taxes and land costs are causing breeders and competitors to move south of Atlanta. With all those high quality horses, trainers, grooms and equine facilities it bodes well for us to welcome them and their money. Monroe County should embrace the change and move forward on support- hag a local agricultural business. Our family has been involved in horses and the equine industry for more than 45 years. We would be so happy to see a REAL arena in our area and would be more than willing to buy tickets to the numerous events. I also know several able-bodied individuals with horse sense that would love to work there! No offense but our county arena at the rec center is a joke. No one, maintains it on a regular basis. The only parking is ALL overflow (on the grass). There are no equine facilities available, short of tying your horse to your trailer. The arena itself is not regulation size for a major event. The only events we have seen there are goat shows, high school rodeos and a de- spooking clinic. To quote Danny Letson, "The Tafol- las' property improvements are the best thing that's happened to the area in 50 years." I genuinely hope the com- missioners reconsider this endeavor and give the rodeo a "yeah" vote and move Monroe County forward! Linda Thomson Monroe County To the Editor: n a recent trip to Macon I heard a well-known and highly successful Macon business person exclaim "Forsyth is booming!" Though some might say her opinion is slightly ahead of reality, it's evident that both Forsyth and Monroe County are expe- riencing and managing a very positive future. Many of our advantages are well known: proximity to ex- cellent transportation, an excellent school system, forward thinking development agencies, and a location in the center of a growing state. A sometimes-overlooked factor in business decisions re- garding location is quality of life. One advantage of Forsyth and Monroe County is our ability to successfully manage the futJre while at the same time respecting the past. The constriction of the new Five Below is a result of selective and erergetic efforts to attract business and will serve as an example to others that we're a good place tb locate. The Department of Corrections' preservation and respect for the Tiff College Campus as well as the new County Com- mission offices which integrate a modern structure with the old location are visible indications of community pride. The Macon business person was clearly aware of the many visible examples of preservarion and adaptive reuse in For- syth's historic downtown but less obvious is the repair and restoration of many olderhouses. We now have an oppor- tunity to let the world beyond Monroe County see another facet of our quality of life. In early June a group of 200 or more members of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation will be visiting Forsyth to get a feel for the community and our respect for our history; both our commercial and residential areas are asked to show positive examples of preservation with modernization. Those who volunteer their homes incur no obligation other than hospitality. It's an important opportthaity to send a message of who we are and why businesses and their employees are welcome. I urge all who have beenasked to volunteer their homes or businesses to send the message of welcome from Forsyth and Monroe County. Let's get the word out! Vince Williams Forsyth To the Editor: Afew weeks ago you put in the Reporter the obituaries of the notable people that passed this past year. Yes, they were probably notables. I have no problem with that. My problem is that in God's eyes we are all notables. Therefore, when my son Wade and others were left out I was very hurt. I feel that I am probably not the only one that feels this wa) If you had attended Wades service you could have seen how many people were there. That says a lot about some- one. To his family and friends he was very notable. I write this with hurtful feelings, not only for my family but for others that feel this way also. By the way, when mother turned 104 two years ago, her birthday artide was on the back of the sports page. It should have been a front page article, to me, instead of a banana pudding recipe. I'm sorry if this offends that person. It wasn't their fault. Pat Redd Aonroe County e To the Editor: S loan Oliver went furthbr than just talking about a problem. He went out and did something about it by doing a roadside dean-up on Pate Road. This shamed me into realizing that I had not picked up the trash lately on the northern two-thirds of New Forsyth Road and I went out this morning to get a start on it. Yes,I played hooky from church, but I think the Lord will give me a pass this time. I started out at Pate Road and went southward, because this half-mile has historically been the worst stretch. After two hours, I had 9 of the mulch bags that I save for this purpose completely full. I will be back out there on Monday and should be able to get a full mile picked up because the lit- ter is not as bad as the area closest to Pate Road was. I can only guess, but it seems, from the concentration ofli- quor bottles, beer cans, and those little Fireball bottles, that people drink on the way home in the afternoon and get rid of the evidence as they are slowing down in a wooded area where they can't be easily seen. A big 'Thank You" needs to go to another litter warrior that quietly goes about his work on the southern end of New Forsyth Road. Gary is out there, rain or shine, every Sunday morning. He picks up litter from Cross Creek all the way past the fire station in Bibb County. Yes, he literally goes the extra mile to insure that this area does not look like a third-world country. I won't say his last name because he does not do this for recognition, he does it out of concern for this area and civic pride. Everyone in this area knows who he is and is very appreciative of his tireless efforts. Sloan, thank you for reminding us all that we are responsible for our own well-being and if we want to improve our lot in life, we can get offofour tails and get moving. So, everybody save their mulch bags after sprucing up around your yard this Spring and put them to good use by taking just a little bit of the road near your home as your own little contribution to the common good. John Ricketson South Monroe County Small other out To the Editor: eave it to us to travel all the way to Big Sky, Montana only to meet fellow Forsythians on lift! As we were riding up the Swiffcurrent lift, we began chatting with our fellow passengers. To all of our surprise we were all from Forsyth! We met Dr. Hickman's office manager and a couple who live on Lassiter Road. I jokingly said, "We will prob- ably never see you again!" Wendy Shurlsck Forsyth