'Walking Dead' to film episode in Grantville


Grantville City Attorney Mark Mitchell, left, and City Manager Johnny Williams, right, share a light moment at Monday's city council meeting.

A Zombie apocalypse may be an unusual way to revive a distressed downtown area, but Grantville is willing to give it a try.
Television network AMC’s “The Walking Dead” will feature an episode — expected to air later in season three — shot in the south Coweta town. Crews are expected to shoot interior footage at 16 Main St. beginning Thursday, with outdoor filming scheduled next week.
Location work will require rerouting of traffic in downtown Grantville next week, according to Mayor Jim Sells, who said the city also intends to bring in reinforcements for its police department. Sells made the announcement at Monday’s meeting of the Grantville City Council.
“We want to do this with as little inconvenience of our citizens as possible,” said Sells, adding signs and diagrams will make detours around film locations obvious.
“Our hope is that this brings more attention to our charming downtown historic area and we wind up with future filmings,” Sells said. “The city is doing everything we can to accommodate them and make it as efficient as possible.”

In other business, the council:

• Heard from David Hunt of Waste Industries Inc., which provides garbage collection services for Grantville. Hunt displayed a new, larger recycling container which will replace the 18-gallon tote currently supplied by the company.

Hunt told the council his company plans to collect waste weekly and recycling every two weeks to reduce pollution and road wear. Previously, Waste Industries scheduled twice-weekly trash pickup and recycling pickup as a weekly trip.

• Commented on plans Grantville’s Downtown Development Authority is making to celebrate the town’s 160th birthday in November. Robert Allen told council members the DDA wants to include a parade, historic dress, music and food.

• Adopted zoning ordinance amendments after a second reading. The amendments put in place a new table of uses to allow more types of businesses to be specifically addressed in city zoning. The amended ordinance also eliminates a current requirement to post signage at every property to be rezoned, according to city attorney Mark Mitchell.

• The council also voted – following a second reading – to adopt a motorized cart ordinance “very similar to the ordinance Senoia has in place,” Mitchell said. For a $12 registration fee, cart owners can obtain a decal from the city and operate vehicles on residential streets where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less.

Council members stipulated a 30-day grace period to purchase decals and get an application form in order. The ordinance does not allow for the operation of ATVs or four-wheelers, and the city must also designate crossings at U.S. 29.

• Voted to disengage Grantville’s agreement with its municipal court solicitor. The city is not legally required to have a solicitor, and the move will save $5,400 for the cash-strapped town.

• Accepted the Local Option Sales Tax distribution negotiated over the past few months among Coweta County and its municipalities and authorized Sells to sign the certificate of distribution.

“This will help a lot with our budget,” City Manager Johnny Williams said.

• Heard from council member Rochelle Jabaley, who during council comments criticized city officials for not being fully familiar with Grantville’s codes and ordinances. Jabaley said she witnessed a Sunday alcohol sale, which voters have approved but which are not yet in place.

“Illegal Sunday sales were going on while a police officer was sitting there eating potato chips,” Jabaley said. “If I see it again, I’m writing them up. That’s disgusting. Just because we’re a small town, it doesn’t mean we don’t obey the laws on the books.”

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