Woodstock hears resident’s sewer concerns — City Council hears first reading for proposed fiscal 2014 budget
by Michelle Babcock
mbabcock@cherokeetribune.com
June 11, 2013 09:55 PM | 1438 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODSTOCK — A local woman voiced her concern about the lack of sewer availability for part of downtown Woodstock and urged the council to act at the Woodstock City Council meeting Monday night.

“If not now, then when guys? It’s been 13 or 14 years we’ve been waiting patiently,” downtown Woodstock resident Debbie Carter said. “I’m just glad we’re talking about it.”

Carter said she’s lived downtown since 1986 and has seen years of change in the community. She asked that the mayor and council consider adding sewer lines to make the service available for six homes and three businesses on Main Street that do not have the option.

Carter commended the City Council on its environmental progress and cited two of the council’s goals set for 2017: planning for and maintaining first-class, sustainable neighborhoods, and focusing on health, development and redevelopment of commercial corridors within the city.

“In my humble opinion, providing sewer to the homes on Main Street would be walking the talk of those goals,” Carter said. “How can we have first-class neighborhoods when, right in the heart of downtown, we can’t access city sewer services? And why would a commercial enterprise choose to relocate to such a place? That could be affecting future revenues.”

City Manager Jeff Moon said the cost of the project is estimated to be between $75,000 and $106,000. Moon said that because a part of the pipe originally figured into the cost will no longer need to be constructed, “that should shift the numbers down.”

The city is discussing whether or not to tap the sewer lines, but the residents and businesses would have to pay to connect to the line themselves. Moon agreed to bring an updated cost estimate and a plan for the sewer addition to the City Council meeting July 8.

In other business, the council heard the first reading of the proposed budget for fiscal 2014, presented by Chief Financial Officer Robert Porche. The final reading and vote on the budget will be June 17, and Porche said there weren’t any changes in the proposed budget since last work session.

The proposed budget for 2014 is $33.79 million and Porche said the millage rate is the same as last year at 7.889. Porche said despite an increase in the total taxable value of property in the city, they are “budgeting conservatively.”

The June 17 meeting marks the end of fiscal 2013 and Porche said “Today our (general fund) revenue number is at $15.6, so we’ve already surpassed the 2013 revenue number in the general fund.” Porche said the tax digest is up 3 percent before appeals and 1.2 percent after exemptions. Taxes make up about 45 percent of the general fund and Porche said the tax digest has been “on the slight rise this year.”

Community Development Director Jessica Guinn and three representatives from Orion Racing and Gold’s Gym presented their request to have one lane of Highway 92 closed for about an hour Oct. 9 for a community 5,000-meter race. The 5K Jack-O-Lantern Jog would start at Gold’s Gym and turn left onto Highway 92, taking up one eastbound lane from the light at Claremore Drive to the light at Lakestone Drive. The race will continue up South Cherokee Lane and loop back to end at the gym.

The Georgia Department of Transportation and Cherokee County have approved the request and Woodstock Chief of Police Calvin Moss said the department would provide security during the event. Moss also said the businesses on the affected stretch of Highway 92 wanted to participate and supported the event.

The council approved the request 5-1, with councilman Chris Casdia opposed. Casdia and Councilman Randy Brewer voiced concern about Highway 92 being a busy, and dangerous place to have a race at 4:30 p.m.

Moss also gave a public safety update on the intersection of Highway 92 and Molly Lane.

The council awarded an alcohol license for Barrel and Barley LLC, a craft beer market opening in downtown Woodstock sometime between June 28 to July 5.

Owner and founder Zachary Yurchuck answered questions posed by councilmembers, said the main goal of his store was to educate customers about the art, science and history of beer and explained that the store would refill growler bottles for customers.

“The idea behind the growler started out West as a way to get beer straight from the brewery, fresh to your home,” Yurchuck said.

A growler is a glass or ceramic jug for transporting beer home from a store. Yurchuck said that most growlers are sealed to stay fresh for a matter of weeks, but his Barrel and Barley store will seal them so unopened beer stays fresh for months.

The council also approved a Woodstock Park restroom project, approved an amendment to the business ordinance, made an amendment to the fee schedule ordinance, called for the municipal general election Nov. 5, and adopted the Parks and Recreation policies and procedures manual.

The mayor and council went into a closed session to discuss personnel, litigation and real estate.
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