Sells challenges Better Home Town over financial report

by Celia Shortt

The Grantville City Council is requesting financial information from Grantville Better Home Town regarding its participation in the Grantville Crosstie Festival. Grantville Better Home Town Director Sandra Luttrell and the city council verbally sparred at Monday night’s council meeting over her need to produce the financial information it’s requesting. “The books have always been there, but no has requested to look at them,” said Luttrell. “How can anyone dictate who we give to? You can give me that request in writing, and I will get them to you.” Luttrell also asked Grantville City Attorney Mark Mitchell if providing financial information was required by the city.
“There is no requirement that an applicant provide information, pertaining to finances,” said Mitchell. Grantville City Mayor Jim Sells still maintained the need for financial information from Grantville Better Home Town, a local non-profit that works to improve the downtown area in Grantville. “As I studied Grantville Better Home Town, their goal is to enhance downtown,” he said. “I don’t see it doing that. Credibility — we have seen that Grantville Better Home Town is not full of that. I don’t see you as a proper 501(c)3.” “No one has ever asked me personally and put it in writing,” she maintained. Sells encouraged them to pay the fees and participate in the Crosstie Festival that way. During her remarks, Luttrell also introduced Deborah Jenkins, the new co-director of the festival. Jenkins is handling all their donations and emphasized what they would be supporting. “It is my understanding that all the money is going to Bridging the Gap,” she said. During the time reserved for citizens’ comments, Amanda Jackson asked the council about the proposed restrooms and water fountains at Griffin Street Park. “We have kids,” she said. “If we go to the park and our kids have to go to the restroom, what do we do? If our kids need a drink of water, what do we do?” Councilman Lundy responded to her question. “The mayor is concerned about illegal activity and sexual acts,” he said. Jackson kept asking about the children until Sells asked a police officer to help her take a seat because he refused to have an argument with her. Jackson voluntarily returned to her seat. “I disagree with restrooms at that park because they are unattended,” said Sells. “The water fountains are not in question.” Councilman Johnny Cooks also responded to Jackson’s questions. “I think there is a misunderstanding,” he said. “We voted, we bid on it, and it’s progressing.” The company contracted to do the restrooms backed out of the contract, and the city is in the process of re-bidding. The water fountains have been ordered. Other business at Monday’s city council meeting included: • The mayor reminded those in attendance that the qualifying period for the November municipal elections began on Monday and continues today at 4:30 p.m. Those who want to qualify need to do so at Grantville City Hall. The application fees are $72. Rochelle Jabaley’s and Selma Coty’s city council seats are open in the upcoming election. During the meeting, Leonard Gomez announced his intention to run for Jabaley’s seat, and after the meeting, David Riley announced his intention to run for Coty’s seat. • In his remarks, Mayor Sells gave an update on the splash park, saying the project is moving along despite the weather, and he anticipates the concrete being poured today. • The city council set public hearing dates for the proposed 2013-14 Fiscal Year budget on Sept 9 and 23. Both will take place at 6 p.m., before the city council meetings on those dates. • City council renewed a contract with Coweta County for non-residential building inspections and commercial building inspections. • City council set a utility committee meeting on Sept 3 at 3:30 p.m. to discuss a water line extension and replacement to install a fire hydrant on Grandma Branch Road. • The city manager reported that the animal shelter received a surprise inspection visit from the state. “It was superb, said City Manager Johnny Williams. “They said it was exemplary.


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