Wednesday, July 11, 2012
The Chickamauga City Council meeting for July marked a return to normal.
No contentious matters were on agenda and none were raised during the meeting.
Members of the public were outnumbered by elected officials and city employees.
After being called to order at 7:30 p.m., the city’s business was tended to within 12 minutes.
During that brief period the city awarded a lease on city-owned property and adopted an intergovernmental agreement concerning radio communications. The council also approved an appointment to the Recreation Association board and dealt with a financial housekeeping issue.
The propriety of an arrangement between the city and a downtown retailer had been raised during last month’s council meeting. To comply with state law, the council during its June meeting voided a lease with Oh!Fiddle Dee Shoppe for the alleyway between that business and the Depot and advertised the property’s availability.
Last week, the one sealed bid submitted for rental of the alleyway was opened and Angie Davis, owner of Oh! Fiddle Dee, was awarded the lease at an annual fee of $75. The new lease is for five years and can be automatically renewed for another five-year period before it must be rebid.
Davis was credited for the $25 already paid under the terms of the lease that was recently cancelled.
The council also approved an agreement between the city and county regarding the city’s police sharing the county’s Federal Communications Commission license regarding the operation of radio communications and radar.
Police Chief Michael Haney said this arrangement will allow the city to eliminate a transmitter located on Grand Center Road and utilize Walker County’s dispatch services. The city can also utilize the county’s FCC license as it pertains to operation of speed detection devices that rely on radar.
In other action:
Councilman Robbie Robertson nominated David Best to fill the unexpired term of Jimmy Groce who recently retired from the Chickamauga Recreation Association board of directors.
The council adopted a resolution that approves application of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB54) which determines how balance sheets are prepared and presented.
After clearing the night’s agenda, councilmen and City Manager John Culpepper offered several remarks, including one related to the July 31 primary election.
Councilman Jim Staub reported that bids from individuals or firms wanting to conduct a historic preservation survey will be reviewed and ranked for the entire council’s consideration at the August meeting.
The council in June had approved spending $2,800 to secure a state grant of $4,200 — a 40/60 matching grant — that earmarks a total of $7,000 to conduct an inventory of all buildings, structures and objects built prior to 1972 within the city. That inventory is part of a statewide program to preserve the unique character of Georgia’s diverse communities.
Councilman Robertson expressed his thanks to local emergency response crews and noted the benefits being seen from a parking lot installed on private property that is free for public use.
Culpepper reminded the council and public of the importance of a referendum that would adopt TSPLOST, an optional sales tax dedicated to transportation, that will be on all ballots in the upcoming primary election.
“We’ve always depended on state support,” he said. “But with fuel sales going down, less money is available for maintenance.”
Culpepper explained how each of the 15 counties in the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission District submitted a list of projects for inclusion on a masterplan for the region.
All money collected by the penny-per-dollar sales tax would be divided among the 15 counties and 49 cities using a formula that factors a county’s population and miles of paved roads.
Culpepper said when it relates to the 25 miles of roads in Chickamauga, the results would be dramatic since little, if any, money is currently budgeted for resurfacing.
“We’ve had no general fund property tax for city services for several years and for the past two years I’ve had enough money from the state to pave about 500 feet each year,” he said. “If TSPLOST passes, I’ll have about $79,000 to purchase asphalt. The county would provide equipment and labor for free. That means we could repave miles of road, not just yards, every year.
“Please consider supporting this.”