Grantville to extend water lines into Meriwether
by Celia Shortt
Grantville City Council has voted to extend the town’s water lines on Meriwether Street into Meriwether County.
In response to a request from a group of citizens whose homes are just over the county line, Grantville Council agreed to work with Meriwether County to install fire hydrants near those residences. Meriwether County will provide the materials and Grantville the labor, using a $15,000 of the city’s SPLOST funds.
“These citizens of Meriwether County use our stores and our gas,” council member Johnny Cooks said. “They’re neighbors of our people here. It is my opinion to go ahead with this and put a priority of providing them for our citizens, too.”
But council member Rochelle Jabaley and Mayor Jim Sells said Grantville’s first priority should be ensuring its own residents have reasonable access to hydrants.
“They have a demand for the fire hydrants, but few plan to tap into the lines,” said Jabaley of the Meriwether residents. “We are putting the cart before the horse,” said Sells. “This should come after we evaluate the needs within our city limits.”
Council finally approved the requested extension but also asked for City Manager Johnny Williams to research the needs for fire hydrants within Grantville and report his findings at a future meeting.
Council also discussed raising the bid threshold outlined in the town charter, which requires approval for bids amounting to more than $2,000. For utilities, the threshold is $3,500.
City Attorney Mark Mitchell presented several options, including amending the charter to include higher threshold amounts. Council also could amend the charter so that it refers to the procurement process outlined in the ordinance, allowing the city to more easily make future changes if needed, Mitchell said.
Council members postponed a decision, voting instead to further explore the issue at a July 15 administrative committee meeting set for 3:30 p.m. “Anytime you introduce something new, we owe it to the citizens to discuss this so we understand it,” Jabaley said. In his comments, Cooks praised council members for working together throughout Monday’s meeting.
“I’m excited about what we’re doing here with our governing,” he said. “I’m excited about us continuing to do that.”
In other business:
• Council held a second reading and adopted a new speed limit of 25 miles per hour for streets in the Bohannon Woods subdivision.
• Per council request, Williams will have the floor of the city’s gymnasium inspected to determine whether it needs replacing. The inspector also will determine the overall condition of the building.
• Grantville Downtown Development Authority will be holding Kid-A-Palooza Festival of the Arts on Aug. 3 at Glanton Elementary School to raise money for downtown beautification and school supplies for needy students. Council voted to waive the freight depot’s rental fee for the event.
• Council renewed its contract with Southern Crescent/Three Rivers for SFY 2014.
•nCouncil approved two new appointments for the Grantville Planning Commission.