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The Hogansville Herald
Manchester, Georgia
July 3, 2003     The Hogansville Herald
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July 3, 2003

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New Program Proects Kids -3,4 Blrthday.00 ' ' N ws in Cause to Ptctures J -5,4 I The PRSRT STD AUTO U. S. POSTAGE PAID HOGANSVILLE, GA PERMIT NO. 35 Formerly The Hogansville Herald Serving the Hogansville-Grantville Area Since 1944 VOL. 60, NO. 27 HOGANSVILLE, GEORGIA-THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2003 8 PAGES . 1 SECTION . 2 INSERTS . 50 By Clint Claybrook HIGH BALLING: Yet another CSX freight rips through Hogansville. Several factors have led to an increase in rail traffic through Hogansville in recent years: the new tntermodal loading facility in Fairburn, a new cutoff track in LaGrange and traffic Changes in CSX routing. The possible opening of a Ford plant in Meriwether would also affect the former A&WP trackage. City, CSX Trying to Solve Delays, Safety Concerns CSX Railroad officials heard FIogansville's gripes about long delays at the,railroad crossings in town duringa ' free' e ride for elected officials from Grange to Atlanta last week, according to various media reports. Hogansville Councilman Charlie Martin Was in the group and said he spent much of the ride - it was designed to point out railroad safety issues and measures - talk- Ing about railroad problems in "his" town: "I think we have a safety problem" in FIogansville, Martin told one official. He was talking about the long delays CaUsed by CSX trains that seemingly meet frequently at the downtown crossing. "The switching station takes too long an People get impatient. That's when some- thing happens," he said. Delays at the main crossing downtown Can sometimes stretch out to 30 minutes or rore, even though railroad officials claim no railroad crossing is supposed to be blocked for mor than five minutes. The City Council here has delayed action on the railroad's request to increase the speed limit through town from 35 mph to 55 and has said it wants help from railroad officials in solving problems downtown. There have been three fatalities from railroad mishaps in Hogansville in the last four years, including one about three weeks ago when a man who was apparently sleep- ing on the tracks was run over by a train. Railroad officials reportedly offered to come to Hogansville and put on a program called "Operation Life Saver," which is aimed at teaching local people about rail- road safety. Martin told reporters that by the end of the ride on June 25, he felt he'd made s6e progress with railroad officials: At least. they've shown a willingness to discuss Hogansville' issues. School, County Taxes Climbing :i::::ii our increase taxes) is really about 7 per- By CLINT CLAYBROOK 1 abOUtcent 7.4overPer- centago.,, higher than two years Some Troup County resi- i Fiscal 2001. What homeowners might dents will see the taxes on Last year we ought to be more concerned their homes and property approved the about is the cost of natural jump-perhaps significantly full roll-back gas, withwhichmanyofthem - due primarily to re-apprais- and kept (the heat their homes. al and the 2-rail increase in Aldrich increase) at The city - in its budget property taxes being consid- zero." which will be up for final ered by both the County "And," he said, "I fully approval at the City Council School Board and the County expect that increase will be meeting on July 7 - figures Commission. reduced somewhat" by the on receiving more revenues And some Hogansville time the tax digest is com- from both the retail sale of residents have been griping pleted, electricity and natural gas about the tax hikes, includ- He acknowledged, how- next year. ing the city's refusal to com- ever that if the county and pletely roll back property school board approve millage BUT just how much wilt taxes in order to make for a rates increases of about 2 depend on the "spot market" zero increase in property mils, and " if reappraisal price for natural gas. taxes due the city as a result (increases taxes) eight or Whatever increase home- of reappraisal, nine percent, then a couple owners see in their heating But the Hogansville City of mils could be a significant bills this winter will be based Council has approved a roll increase." " entirely on the cost from the back of two-tenth of a mil "rhe city did try to reduce wholesaler and their usage. rather than take advantage ours a little. At least, to trend of the full 7-9-percent it in the right direction" which The city's add-on rate increase that would have to taxpayers, of course, won't change, Aldrich made resulted from reappraisal means downward, clear. (also known as property re- "The problem is the cost evaluation) alone. HOGANV|LLE, - wilI of gas has increased signifi- City Manager David realize only a few thousand cantly. There's almost a cri- Aldridoohd.oaLia.m. dolhuinadditjomravenu.v si in the indtstry. , ....... interview this week that even from reappraisal - after the with the increase- including city's "roll-back" - he has "Exploration is still going the city-approv.ed "roll- pointed out. on, but it takes about two back"- Hogansville property Because of various years for any (new gas from owners will see their city exemptions, the typical new wells) to get into the property taxes only about 7 owner of a $100,000 home in pipeline." percent higher than they Hogansville will likely pay "Our margin hasn't were two years ago. property taxes on an assessed changed. The difference is value of $30,000 rather than going to be the spot market WITHOUT the City the actual assessed value of and personal consumption." Council's action "the increase $40,000, Aldrich estimates. Homeowners should take from reappraisal would have "Right now," he said, that statement as a warning: been 8 or 9-percent," he said. "based upon our (tax) digest, They too will have a major 'ge rolled ours back two- with the city's roll-back (the role in how much their heat- tenthsofamil, and that makes amount of city property ing bills go up this winter. Big Fireworks Show Set for This Evening size as it was last year," Kris By ROB RICHARDSON Price of the Woodbury Recreation Department said Final preparations are earlier. underway for Thursday Last year's July 3 event night's fireworks show at drew an estimated 4,000- Lake Meriwether. 5,000 spectators, according Pyrotechnic experts to the sheriff's department. were making last minute Thisyear's"July3rdLake adjustments, early vendors Meriwether Celebration" were setting up and the grass will offer even more attrac- was being mowed, tions than last year. The second annual event, Although the massive co.sponsored by the fireworks display won't start Woodbury Recreation until about 10 p.m. Thursday, Department and the the gates at Lake Meriwether Meriwether County Sheriff's will open at 5:30 for a variety Department, is open to the of concessions and other SPECTACULAR Last whole county and could draw attractions. year's July 3 fireworks dis- 10,000 people according to Donations will be accept- play dazzled the crowd at some estimate's, ed at the gate to offset the Lake Meriwether. The gates "If the weather is good, will open at 5:30 p.m. today, the crowd could be twice the See FIREWORKS, Page 2A . By Clint Claybrook ,GA CONTINUES-The Villages at Huntcliff subdivision on U.S. Highway : changed to Creekside by its new owners, is still awaiting underground ll'.wer, which is currently being delayed by a pending lawsuit. Phase one 'hs call for 60 units. The development may eventually have 400 homes. .Spray Site Up for Renewal By CLINT CLAYBROOK H0gansviUe's permit to oper- ate its 400-acre spray application sewage disposal system is com- ing up for renewal by the state Environmental Protection Division. While officials are going through the process necessary to renew the permiL officials have decided this would be a good time to ask EPD to reevaluate the hydraulic loading rate of the 400- acre site on Hightower Road to see if it-can't accommodate a high- er rate of liquid sewage discharge per week. If that turns out to the case, it could mean that the city can dis- charge more spray per week on at least some of the 400-acre site's several approximately i9-acre fields. That means the site could last longer and handle more of the liq- uid sewage, which first goes through the city's waste water treatment plant and then is pumped to the spray application field Where it is sprayed, on a rotating basis, on different "fields" (areas within the 400-acre site). Or in plain English: The site would last longer, meaning the city won't have to buy more expensive land as soon as if the current-day hydraulic loading rate stays in place. City Manager David Aldich said that the city has had its own soil tests done by an independent firm, and that according to test results, some of the land at the Hightower Road site could han- dle up to three inches a week of the liquid spray;some could accommodate 1.3-inches weekly and other portions could best han- dle 87-hundredths of an inch a eek, about a half inch a week more than the current EPD per mit allows. Permit renewal, if the city See SPRAY SITE, Page 2A