Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
August 15, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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August 15, 2018

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Page 2C August 15, 2018 Forsyth to annex Monroe Co. Recreation Dept, Justice Center By Diane Glidewell news’“ Forsyth is annexing Monroe County Jus- tice Center and Mon- roe County Recreation Department into the city. Both parcels are not part of any other city and are next to the Forsyth city limits; so they are eligible for annexation. Board of Commissioners, as owner of the properties, voted to petition for annexation, and Forsyth city council accepted the petition at the One Monroe joint meeting of local governments and leadership organizations on July 31. The city had asked the county to initiate the petie tion for annexation. The district attorney asked for the Justice Center to become part of the city so that certain trials that have to be held in the county seat (Forsyth) could be held at the Justice Center courtroom near the jail instead of having to bring defendants to Monroe County courthouse. The elections board asked if the Recreation Department, which is a polling site for the county, could be annexed into the city so that city elec- tions could be held there at the same time. As it is now, city residents must go to a poll inside the city to vote even when state and county elections are held on the same day at a county poll. Annexing now will make it possible for city voters to cast ballots at the Recreation Department in the November general election. Commissioner John Ambrose said that he was in favor of petitioning for annexation of the Justice Center but wanted to wait on the Recreation Depart- ment. His concern was that the city has different fire and zoning regulations that would affect the Recreation Department. Commis— With all being reported about Facebook spying on us... We don’t track your every move! We don't tap your phone! We don’t know any of your Google searches! We’re iust your neighbor. All we want to do is inform you! eporter Trust on old friend for your news, not the giant spy conglomerates. mmvwmeymwy sioner Larry Evans said he thinks the city and county can work through any differing regulations and that the voting need was important enough to move forward. Evans said that one advantage in annexa- tion will be a more active role of the city police at the Recreation Department. Ambrose asked county attorney Ben Vaughn to comment on differences in city and county regula-' tions, such as the building and zoning regulations, but Vaughn said it was hard to respond without specific questions. City manager Janice Hall said that the county does building inspections for the city and that she thinks the city uses county regulations in fire inspections. When Ambrose asked why the rush, Mayor Eric Wilson said that the elec- tions board had called the city again that day and that it cost taxpayer money to set up two separate places for voting. BOC voted to waive the notification pro- cess and the 30-day waiting period to make sure the annexation could be com- pleted by November. Additional land that Monroe County bought to add to the Recreation Department is already in the city limits. Also at the One Mon- roe meeting on July 31, Monroe County, Forsyth and Culloden govern- ments voted to approve the intergovernmental agree- ment to distribute Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes (SPLOST).The county’s agreement called for the county to distribute funds within 21 days of receipt, and the city asked that the agreement specify 10 days. At the suggestion of BOC chairman Greg Tapley, the three govern— ments agreed on 14 days. “We need to work togeth- er to pass SPLOST,” said Evans. “Monroe County can’t function without it.” Stewart Barr, right, presents a check to Nancy Patten and David Herndon of Forsyth Fire Department on behalf of the 2015 Leadership Monroe Class. The check represented un- spent tuncls raised for the class project. (Photo by Diane Glidewell) local cil leaders By Diane Glidewell news©mymcnnet The “One Monroe” meeting on July 31 brought updates of what is going on throughout Monroe County. Sponsored by Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce, One Monroe invites com— missioners, Forsyth city council, Culloden city coun- cil, Monroe County Board of Education, Chamber directors, Development Authority, Hospital Author— ity and Forsyth Downtown Development Authority to come together every fifth Tuesday. “One Monroe was formed to communicate,” said Steve Coleman, chairman of the Forsyth—Monroe County Chamber board. “The best thing in the world is to get everybody in one room.” Opening the meeting, Chris Hewett introduced Dale Washburn, newly elected representative of District 141 who will take office in January. “Thank you as a commu- nity for your confidence in electing me. I want to work hard to represent you well, and 1 want to be visible in the community. Monroe County has a bright future,” said Washburn. “I want to be part of the exciting things going on in Monroe County.” Stewart Barr, president of the Leadership Monroe Class of 2015, presented a check for $1,631.25 to Chief David Herndon and Nancy Patten of the Forsyth Fire Department. The check represented the remaining and county V hold ioint meeting funds raised for the Class of 2015 project. Barr explained that part of the 2015 class project was to acquire a Fire Safety House to be used to teach fire safety to children. It is a small scale house that can sirnulate a fire starting. Barr said the 2015 Leader— ship Class worked with DJ. Hurm’s construction class at Mary Persons to build . the Fire Safety House and saved money while obtain- ing a quality product that students took pride in creat- ing. Barr said the Fire Safety House is valued at $31,000. Forsyth Mayor Eric Wilson said that when he mentioned the One Monroe meeting at the regional . mayors lunch earlier that day, many of the mayors were shocked that Monroe County is able to get groups from throughout the county together. He said the cities of Culloden and Forsyth are getting together for a lip sync battle. Wilson said he is proud of Forsyth’s latest streetscape and that with this one fin— ished, the city plans to apply for another streetscape grant. In other updates from Forsyth, he congratu- lated the fire department on maintaining a Class 2 designation and reported the city signed a manage- ment agreement with the Forsyth Golf Course for the next 36 months. The city, which already owned ‘ the front nine holes of the course, purchased the back nine holes. Wilson said that plans to annex the Monroe County Justice Center and Recre— ation Department into the city will be positive for both city and cgunty residents. Monroe County Commis- sion Chairman Greg Tapley said there are good things happening in the county, but he can’t talk about a lot of them. He saidthe interim county administrator and finance director are doing a good job and the county ex- pects to announce selecting a new finance director soon. He commended the Devel— opment Authority, Hospital Authority, how well the city and county fire departments and EMS work together and how well the sheriff ’3 office and police department work together. Development Authority chairman Tom Baugh said construction for the Five Below distribution center in the Monroe County Indus- trial Park is the largest con- struction job in the county since Plant Scherer, with 33,000 yards of concrete. He said delivery is expected to begin out of the building in March, and the yearly economic impact inside the county is estimated at $11 million. Plus a second stage is planned in about five years. Baugh said the county is in the final five for another substantial project and is seeing some interest in the Indian Springs Indus- trial Park. A concrete plant estimates bringing 50 jobs to town. “We can’t do it without everyone in town, from the newspaper to the city and county governments,” said Baugh. _~ See lEADERS o Page 3C