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The Hogansville Herald
Manchester, Georgia
June 9, 2005     The Hogansville Herald
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June 9, 2005

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Here's a Fish Tale You Can Believe -3A Need a New Job? Check Classifieds -?-9,4 Masons Help Park Effort -6A The "! Formerly The Hogansville Herald m Serving the Hogansville-GrantviUe Area Since 1944 PRSRT STD AUTO U. S. POSTAGE PAID HOGANSVILLE, GA PERMIT NO. 35 VOL. 62, NO. 23 HOGANSVILLE, GEORGIA - THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 2005 10 PAGES 1 SECTION .50 Electric Rates Going Down By Clint Claybrook COLOR WAS IMPORTANT - Jordan Striblin and his father Randy were checking out some of the brightly colored entries in the Hogansville Benefit Car Show on Saturday. Color was important: There was a trophy, for instance, for the best paint job. 'Auto'-matic Success GOOd Weather Helps First C-di00Show Thrill Crowd," Organizers J. By CLINT CLAYBROOK Mother Nature seemed to smile on the First Annual Hogansville Benefit Car Show last weekend. Heavy rains that fell until late morning stopped just in time to allow the owners of the 71 show cars, trucks and motorcycles entered to get them spiffied for the show to get under way in early afternoon. Some of the classic car owners had to wash their vehicles two or three times after arriving at Hogansville Elementary School where the show was staged. And several owners who didn't want to expose their vehicles to the heavy rain and wind that blew through West Georgia on Saturday morning, See CAR SHOW, Page 2A By Clint Claybrook CHECKING AN OLD MODEL - Courtney Wharton and Haylee Maddox of LaGrange check out a 1934 Ford at the Saturday car show. Residential Utility Cost Cut Will Mean Tight City Budget By CLINT CLAYBROOK There's good new and bad news for Hogansville resi- dents about new rates for electricity, which go into effect on July 1. The gooU news is that electricity will be cheaper - about 9.4 percent cheaper - for residential customers. That's in addition to an average 12-percent decrease that became effective in March. The first rate decrease was accomplished by raising water and sewer usage fees in order to off set the lower rates for electricity. THE BAD NEWS is that by offsetting some of the costs of electricity with some $111,754 in general fund rev- enues over the next year, in order to keep the cost of elec- tricity lower, the budget is going to be extra tight- again. That could mean some delays in other infrastruc- ture improvements, accord- ing to City Councilman Jack Leidner. Leidner and City Councilman Charlie Frank Martin served on the com- mittee that did much of the work on the 2006 budget. The City Council, at a June 6 Monday night meet- ing gave initial approval to the Fiscal Year 2006 Budget and to an agreement with the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia that will set the new rates in place come July 1. As part of that agreement, the council also approved a $500,000 loan from Wachovia Funds that will mean more reliable electric service and reduced losses in the city's electrical system. That money will be used to increase the voltage on the main lines supplying Hogansville from 4 kilovolts to 12 kilovolts, John Giles, a MEAG official, told the coun- cil. That will increase relia- bility and reduce losses in the electrical system, he said. THE NEW budget will be up for final approval by the council at a June 20 meeting. Giles said that under the new rate system, home own- ers in Hogansville will pay less for their electricity than do Georgia Power and Diverse Power customers near the city. The new rates "will be the lowest in at least north Troup County," he said. That should a big incen- tive for developers, he said, particularly since Hogansville's combined tap fee for both water and sewer service for new homes is only $1,250. THAT IS more than $1,400 below the combined tap f,ees'for most othei" cities on the 1-85 S o__h Corridor, includiiig East Point, Grantville, Palmetto and I.aGrange. John Lansing, another MEAG official, said that "Hogansville has the lowest utility tap fees on the south 1-85 corridor. WCith that and these new (electric) rates, it's a bargain to build (here)." Gripes about Hogansville's high costs for electricity have been com- mon place in recent years. The new rates may mute those gripes. It's the modest amount of growth over the last couple of years that has made it pos- sible for the city to keep util- ity rates reasonable while also decreasing property tax rates by lowering the city's millage rate in recent years, Leidner said. '1 Just Need a Break' Marine Jason Carden Glad to be Back Home After Second Tour in lraq By CLINT CLAYBROOK "Home is the sailor, home fPom the sea, and the hunter, home from the hill..." And also home now, after his second 10-month tour of duty in Irag during which he sawor.was involved in fire- fights almost daffy during the early assaults on Fallujah is Jason Carden. The U.S. Marine corporal surprised his parents at their Saint Marks Road home on Memorial Day, just as they'd surprised him by showing up in Hawaii, the same day in May that Jason arrived there fresh off his second tour of war-torn Iraq. Some 50-60 family mem- bers and friends welcomed back at a party at the fam- ily home in his honor about 1 1/2 miles west of the Saint Marks Community on Saturday night, June 4. His parents, John and Carol Carden, spent many FI By Clint Claybrook HOMECOMING - The family of Jason Carden, third from left, his mother, Carol, older brother Greg and father John Carden prior to Saturday's night's party. anxious months wondering a helicopter crash in the ,where he was and what he Fallujah area and they could- was doing n't find out if he'd been among Their most awful week- them. end, perhaps, was the one The 22-year-old corporal after several Marines died in wasn't some long-range observer of the fighting in Iraq after the Marines' delayed entry into Fallujah began shortly after the 2004 presidential election. He was down where the "grunts" live, spending his nights huddled in a sandbag enclosed bunk on the ground - a small safeguard against the flak and small-arms fire that was all to familiar to Carden and his buddies in the Marine Corps' 1st Battaltion, 3rd Marine Regiment, part of the 3rd Marine Division which is based in California. The young man doesn't come across as a belligerent: he refers to the folks his units fought in Iraq as "insurgents," never resorting to the "rag head" nickname that many GIs used to label their ene- mies during the first Gulf War in 1991. And he says there are all kinds of folks to be found among the insurgents, includ- ing Syrians, Saudis and 'Chechnians mixed among the different factions of Iraqis. The Chechnians, he said, are among the fiercest fight- ers while some others among the insurgents "fire a couple of rounds and run" rather than standing to fight. By CIInt Claybrook MEMORIES-Carol Carden with some of the mementos of her father's service dur- ing World War II. Jason was an Eagle Scout before he graduated in 2001 from Greenville High School, where he played a little foot- ball, but was much more interested in hunting. That helped him obtain See MARINE, Page 2A