Waleska, county strike code enforcement deal
by Joshua Sharpe
May 10, 2013 11:43 PM | 1420 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With a new football program coming to Reinhardt University in Waleska, the city has struck a deal with Cherokee County to receive county code enforcement services to better serve Waleska residents and the sports fans expected to pour into the city for football games.

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the one-year intergovernmental agreement with the small northwest Cherokee town of about 700 non-student residents.

Waleska City Manager Aimee Abernathy said Friday that for the deal to go through, the city council will have to approve it at its meeting May 20, but she doesn’t foresee any issues.

“The city asked for this,” she said.

Post 1 Commissioner Harry Johnston said in Tuesday’s meeting that Reinhardt football was “the catalyst” for the agreement, in which the county will take over code enforcement for building, construction, fire and other codes.

But Abernathy said for her, the agreement isn’t necessarily about getting the city “cleaned up” for Reinhardt football.

“In my opinion, it has nothing to do with football,” Abernathy said. “In other people’s minds, it is. (But) we want our city to be cleaned up ... either way.”

Code enforcement has been an issue in Waleska for some time, Abernathy said.

“We have some residential areas that we can’t seem to get to bring their homes up to code,” she said, with “piled up, junk cars” and other “eyesores.”

Waleska’s trouble with code enforcement is simple: They don’t have any code enforcement officers.

A further hindrance; Waleska has no court to process code violators, even if they had officers.

“So we needed the county’s code enforcement and their courts,” Abernathy said.

For some time, the city of Waleska has been in the ranks of Cherokee County towns to receive services like fire and EMS from the county, along with Holly Springs and Ball Ground.

Now, the city manager said the umbrella will be widened, with the county taking over code enforcement.

County Manager Jerry Cooper said during the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday that in return for providing the services, the county will receive $11,000 a year and all fines and fees relating to code enforcement from the city, except for alcohol permit fees. Abernathy said Waleska has recently given out their first permit for package alcohol sales and may soon give out their first pour permit.
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