McLemore Receives Training Certificate

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Griffin Mayor Ryan McLemore received the prestigious Certificate of Recognition from the Georgia Municipal Training Institute at the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) Annual Mayors’ Day Conference in Atlanta on January 25.

The Georgia Municipal Training Institute, a cooperative effort of GMA and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, provides a nationally recognized series of training opportunities for elected city officials. To receive a Certificate of Recognition, a city official must complete a minimum of 42 units of credit, including at least 18 hours from the required list. The training program consists of a series of more than 50 courses.  

“This is an outstanding achievement,” said GMA Executive Director Lamar Norton. “We commend Mayor McLemorefor this accomplishment and for the dedication he’s shown in using this valuable resource to become a more effective city official.”           

Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, research, training, employee benefit and technical consulting services to its 521 member cities.

 

 

 

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CITY OF GRIFFIN BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS MET TUESDAY NIGHT, JANUARY 27, 2015    6:00 P.M.

The first order of business at the Griffin City Commissioners meeting Tuesday January 27 th  was to recognized Butch Richardson, with the Water Department, as 2014′s “Strongest Link” Award recipient.

On October 20 th, 2014 Butch was working at Simmons WTP by himself. A chlorine delivery was being made. The Delivery driver started to unload the ton cylinder of chlorine, when the STOP device placed on the tailgate of the truck failed. The cylinder and the delivery man both came off the back of the trailer. Butch tried to catch the man and managed to cushion his fall and prevent him from hitting the nearby brick wall. The ton cylinder of chlorine fell on the man’s legs pinning him to the ground. Butch had to move the truck in order to get the cylinder off the man’s legs. He then quickly called 911 to get medical assistance for him. The EMT’s responded quickly and the man was Life-flighted to Atlanta.  Doctors say he will keep his legs due to Butch’s quick thinking and reaction to the situation. The city recognized Butch Richardson as the City of Griffins 2014’s “Strongest Link” Award recipient.

 

 

 

The commissioners approved a Proclamation declaring January 21, 2015 to be Kiwanis International Day. This proclamation recognized the Centennial Anniversary of Kiwanis International and the many local contributions that the Kiwanis Club of Griffin makes to improve community life. Johnny McDaniel accepted the plaque. He and a host of other Kiwanis members were present. Pancake Day is Saturday February 7th at the fairgrounds.

 

The commissioners approved an ordinance amending the Unified Development Code to allow for manufacturing of alcoholic beverages as a Permitted Use in the Central Business District (CBD).  This amendment changes the Use from Special Use to Permitted Use.

 

Approved a change order to the contract with Renfroe Construction in the amount of $188,324.01 for the construction of the new Electric Operations facilities. This is required to cover the cost to remove rock required by the relocation of the detention pond and to install the water line, and for other minor revisions to the project. The approved budget for this project was $2.645 million with an $50,000 contingency.  With this change order, the Renfroe contract will come in $2,485,442.01, and furnishings are approved at $70,859.03, bringing the total project cost in at $2,556,301.04, which is $143,698.96 under budget.

 

Approved a timber sales agreement with Murdock Forest Management, Inc. for the procurement of timber harvesting at the Still Branch Regional Reservoir spray field. This agreement will allow Murdock Forest Management, Inc. to pursue the thinning of the timber. They will solicit numerous firms for pricing in return for 7% of the timber sales income.

 

Approved the Tree Trimming and Removal Services to Southern Pride Tree Care & Removal as primary and JTH Coleman Group dba Tatum Tree Care as secondary service for the Public Works and Utilities Department. The city of Griffin bids out its tree service contract every 4 years. It has a one year life with an option for renewal annually for 3 more years. This is done to keep the cost of the life of the agreement confirmed for 4 years. Southern Pride Tree Care & Removal was the lowest and responsive bid with Tatum Tree Care as second.

 

Approved the purchase an F250 Pick Up Truck from Speedway Ford in the amount of $24,822.00 to replace and surplus a 1999 Dodge 1500, with 123,689 miles on the odometer, for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department.  $33,060.00 was budgeted. Purchase price is $24,822.00.

 

Approved the purchase an F150 Pick Up Truck from Speedway Ford in the amount of $22,040.88 to replace and surplus a 1995 Ford 150 Pick Up Truck with 137,418 miles on the odometer,  for the Water and Wastewater Department of the Public Works and Utilities Department. $24,000.00 was budgeted. Purchase price is $22,040.88.

 

Approved a contract with Duffield Aquatics, Inc. in the amount of $14,847.30 to rebuild the City Pool backwash system for the Public Works and Utilities Department and amend the FY 2015 Budget accordingly.

 

Approved the Downtown LCI Concept of one travel lane Northbound and one travel lane Southbound on GA SR155 as presented in the Downtown LCI road diet. Both sides of downtown GA SR 155 will have extended parking stalls, bulb outs at intersections and travel lanes will be shared bike lanes. The City of Griffin will be working with ARC to move the “Removal of GA SR 155 from downtown Griffin” out of the long range planning projections into the active project list in the STIP. The Project is funded in the 2008 SPLOST.

 

Approved a request from the Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee to make improvements and additions to the Veterans Memorial Park located inside the Oak Hill Cemetery.  The Military Affairs committee is requesting permission to erect a monument dedicated to the Global War on Terror to be placed inside the Veterans Memorial Park Cemetery. In addition, they wish to make maintenance improvements to the existing monuments, erect a granite podium to be used at ceremonies, replace 8 concrete benches and replace the eagle atop the WWII monument.  There will be no cost to City.  Improvements will be made as funds are available and allocated by the Military Affairs Committee.

 

Approved on second reading, an amendment to the Alcohol Ordinance to include the requirements for the installation of security cameras at those businesses licensed to sell alcohol by the package for off premises consumption. The requirement of the security systems will assist in the resolution of crimes committed at businesses that are licensed to sell alcohol by the package.  The camera system will also assist businesses with internal theft and be a deterrent to would be criminals.  On December 16, 2014, a meeting was held with 19 business owners/operators who would be affected by the proposed changes in the ordinance.  After a brief presentation, staff asked owners about any concerns they might have with the ordinance.  There were very few questions about the required technology.  None of the attendees indicated a dissatisfaction or objection with the proposed ordinance.

 

Approved a Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Griffin, Spalding County Board of Commissioners, Griffin/Spalding Board of Education, and the UGA Partners, agreeing to participate in the development and implementation of the Spalding County Archway Partnership.

 

 UGA has moved the local entities to the top of the waiting list due to Griffin/Spalding being a “community of institutional significance”. This MOU is effective July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, and may be terminated by any party with 90 days advanced notice. The Board of Education has approved the MOU and Spalding County Commissioners will consider on February 2.  The three local entities will agree to expend $20,000 each for a total of $60,000 in FY 2016.  UGA agrees to expend $121,000.

 

The Commissioners took no action to Appoint one (1) member to the Historic Preservation Commission. The term of Matthew Rahn expired on 12/31/14

The Commissioners also appointed Commissioner Joann Todd and James Johnson to the Three Rivers Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Advisory Council.  These are new appointments requested by the Three Rivers Regional Commission.

 

Commissioner Dick Morrow, Chairman of the Airport Authority, reported to the Commissioners that at Monday night’s Authority meeting all legal documents were approved and signed to move forward with the revenue bonds.  March 18th is the targeted date to sell the bonds. Shortly thereafter land acquisition can begin.

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In Barnesville a bomb disposal unit from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was in Barnesville Thursday morning after a local man expressed concern that an old cannonball might be live. 

John Gilbert of Thomaston Street told investigators the cannonball was an heirloom that had been in the family for many years.Upon examining it closely, he became concerned that it might be live.

The GBI bomb unit arrived and removed the old shell. X-rays revealed that it still contained black powder. No doubt a fragmentation Ball from decades before World War I, possibly the Civil War era.

A similar device was found several years ago in Spalding County off Carver Road in a field that was located by a land owner.
WKEU would like to thank Walter Geiger and the Barnesville Herald Gazette for their assisance in this news story. You can subscribe to the Herald Gazette on-line at barnesville.com
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The Griffin Water Department as well as the Griffin Police Department are investigating high levels of 2 two chemicals found in sewer water that are related to methamphetamine.  The Chemicals WERE NOT found in the City’s Drinking Water only in SEWER Water.
Dr. Brant Keller of the City of Griffin said that the chemicals found in sewer water have “NOTHING TO DO WITH DRINKING WATER,” only sewage water.
There are indications that high levels of ammonia, which could possibly be from a Meth lab.  But Dr. Keller was quick to point out that  there is no indication for sure that a Methamphetamine Lab is the culprit. He also said that Information on the Internet and social media that indicated the chemicals were in the city’s drinking water was NOT true.  The investigation is continuing and the chemicals may have stemmed from Industrial waste, or other sources. But both the City Water and Police Departments are continuing the investigations to locate the exact cause of the chemicals.

UGA GRIFFIN CAMPUS 2

On Tuesday, February 10, 2015 Beginning at 6:30 p.m.  The Spalding County Extension 835 Memorial Drive will host rainwater harvesting and rain gardening class.

The class will present why and how to start a rainwater harvesting project, instructions on building one and points to consider before designing and installing a system. The benefits rain gardens provide in controlling drainage will also be discussed.

The class is free and open to the public but registration is required.

For more information or to register contact

Spalding County Extension at 770-467-4225,

Email: uge2255@uga.edu or visit http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/spalding/anr/index.html

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         PHOTO CURTESY OF WSBTV
TO SEE WSB-TV’S MARK WINNIE AT THE COURT HOUSE  USE ADDRESS BELOW. COURTESY OF WSBTV.

A Federal  judge has sentenced two former Spalding County Fire Fighters in Federal Court in Coweta County.  Battalion Chief Dwayne Coggins received four years in prison and firefighter Michael Owens to two-and-a-half-years.

At the sentencing were Several members of the Spalding Sheriffs Department,  along with several drug investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and Griffin police showed up for the sentencing Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the two men put several officers in harm’s way when they called a relative to tip him off before a raid.

U.S. Attorney’s Office Public Corruption Section Chief Kurt Erskine said “Whenever somebody calls another person about a warrant that’s being executed, in this case it just happened to be battalion chief Coggins and firefighter Owens, you’re putting the officers in harm’s way.” 

Erskine indicated the sentences handed down by Judge Timothy Batten boiled down to  four years in prison for Coggins and two-and-a-half for Owens, plus 100 hours of community service each.

Erskine says Coggins was the more culpable of the two, convicted of getting word to a relative of both men, who was a drug dealer, that a raid was coming that day. That information then spread quickly among a network of dope dealers.

Coggins’ attorney suggested Coggins stood only to gain the safety of his family member and asked for probation.

Erskine says he agreed Owens should get less time because Coggins told him to make a call to their drug dealing relative to warn him.

“In 38 seconds, Mr. Owens life was basically destroyed,” Owens’ attorney, Scott Key, said. “(Those are) seconds that he wishes he could have back.”

Erskine, however, maintains Owens conduct included much more than just the 38-second phone call. Erskine says Owens lied repeatedly to the FBI.

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Griffin PD Reports Lower Part 1 Crimes and Surpasses National Clearance Rates

An annual review of the Part 1 Crime Statistics for the city from January 1, 2014 through December 31, 2014 revealed that Griffin experienced a 15.77% decrease in Part 1 Crimes from the same period in 2013.  For those Part 1 Crimes documented within the City of Griffin, the GPD’s clearance rate surpasses the National Clearance Rate in all areas.

Part 1 Crimes include; Murder, Forcible Rape, Aggravated Assault, Robbery, Burglary, Larceny, Motor Vehicle Theft and Arson.  Part 1 Crimes are identified and tracked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) through the Uniform Crime Report (UCR).  The GPD additionally reports its clearance rate, a metric used to measure crimes solved or cleared from further action by the police department.

Based on statistics provided by the most recent Uniform Crime Report, the chart below shows the national clearance rates for Part I crimes as compared to the Griffin Police Department Part I clearance rates.  Arsons are not included in Griffin Police Department’s information because those investigations are turned over to the Griffin Fire Department for investigation.

Part I Crime: National Clearance Rate Griffin PD Clearance Rate
Murder 62.5% 100%
Forcible Rape 40.1% 52.6%
Aggravated Assault 55.8% 64.7%
Robbery 28.1% 33.3%
Burglary 12.7% 22.9%
Larceny 22% 47.2%
Motor Vehicle Theft 11.9% 45.9%
Arsons 20.4% N/A

Chief Steven Heaton indicated that even though the city has experienced a decrease in Part 1 Crimes this year, the department will continue to work to reduce those numbers in the future.  He is pleased to see that the clearance rates exceed the average national clearance rates.  Chief Heaton contributes the department’s success to the hard work of men and women at the police department and their continuous efforts to reduce crime and apprehend those responsible for committing those crimes.  The Chief also credited the community for their partnership in assisting the police department.

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The Board of Commissioners of Spalding County Zoning Public Hearing January 22, 2015 in the Courthouse Annex, Room 108During the meeting the board will consider an application #14-06Z: Mabbett Family Limited Partnership, Owners of 300 Airport Road (0.41 acre. Requesting a rezoning from R-1, Single Family Residential Low Density, to C-1, Highway Commercial.
The Board will also discuss current and future zoning designations and future land use designations along the North Hill Street corridor.
SPALDNG COMMISSIONERS MEETING

SPALDNG COMMISSIONERS MEETING

There were three items on the agenda at the January 16th Spalding County Commissioners Workshop.

The First item of consideration was establishing a policy for the use of Spalding County Board of Commissioners Official Letterhead Stationary.After a lengthy discussion it was decided no person shall use the official county stationary except The County Manager William Wilson. Each Commissioner will have their own letter head with their Name on it. This is the same as the other departments in the county.  It was decided when a commissioner sends a letter a copy is to be provided to the The County Manager.

Chairman Johnson requested authorization of funding of the University of Georgia Archways Program as discussed at the Intergovernmental Retreat.  The total cost is $60,000 per year from local sources. The Board of Education and the City of Griffin have committed $20,000 each to this project.  After lengthy discussion the by 3/2 vote the commissioners agreed to move forward with this project contingent upon others agreeing to proceed with the program and to support the UGA Archway program. 

The partnership provides a mechanism for grassroots needs assessment, planning, and the connecting of higher education resources that can be beneficial in helping the community achieve its goals and objectives. Archway communities have established a strong reputation for collaborative effort that is unprecedented.

Discussion of North Hill Street/Northside Drive/Tuskegee Avenue and North Hill Street/East McIntosh Road Intersection Improvement Projects. On the proposed changes at North Hill Street and Northside Drive/ Tuskegee Avenue the commissioners have approved a round about intersection. Today there was discussion about land acquisition of right of way with each property owner. Cross walks will be included in the project. 

Griffin City Commissioner of District 4 Mrs. Joanne Todd has announced she will not seek re-election when qualifying starts in August. 
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WKEU’s Bill Taylor talked with Mrs. Todd about her many years of dedicated service to the City and residents of the Area.
To listen to the interview click below.