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Newspaper Archive of
The Hogansville Herald
Manchester, Georgia
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November 1, 2001     The Hogansville Herald
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November 1, 2001
 

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HOGANSVILLE Ho,,m NEws - TltURSDAY, Nov. 1, 2001 tg(;E 5-A EDITOR: How soon we forget! How we value what we have t is no longer there! we want and then when we have pay for it in the years to years awards been bestowed and have been made about great quality of plants. It has said that we have the in the state. Be that as it we need to remember how we came by those facil- In the 1980s our sewer and Water departments were in shambles. The stench of raw aewage permeated the town from Taliaferro Drive to the Village to West End. Our only SOurce of water was Flat Creek which was down to a trickle, and water was being hauled in by truck to put into city tanks. y well remem- around in the dark trying to stamp out burn- embers coming from a fire across the street great mounds of tree roots and limbs and other debris were burning on the where Mr. Thomas Pike had cleared land to build his house. I wasn't happy about it, but I did have to under- stand when the Fire Chief and the firemen couldn't put out the fire because the city had so little water. By the late 1980s, though, ansville had no money and was already in debt on the utility fund ($225,000 from 1968 bond issue and $155,000 from 1972 bonds), the federal and state author- ities mandated that the City had to do something. Fortunately, the City Council of 1989-90 (consisting of Tommy Johnson, Suzanne Cook, Ken Hammock, Charles Maxwell, and Tony Williamson) "bit the bullet" (It is seldom popular for elect- ed officials to spend large am of public money.), and)did,what  to be done. Voting unanimously, they floated a bond issue of 5 1/2 million dollars in October of 1990 to be used to pay off the 1968 and 1973 bonds, to run lines and make connections with the Blue Creek update the water Water System History ] Tuesday! filter plant, build a sewage treatment plant and obtain land and construct a spray field, reconstruct old water and sewer lines, as well as extending lines to additional sections of town. FeW of us were even faint- ly aware of the tremendous amount of time and energy expended by certain Council members and city employees on this project. As is the case with most large and complicated proj- ects, there were some prob- lems and hitches along the way, but the work was being done. By the end of 1991, things seemed to be falling into place. Mrs. Donna Lackey of Chattahoochee-Flint RDC said the Village resewering project was finished in November, 1991, and "the overall consensus is a com- plete success, and the water and sewer service in the Mill Village area of the city is bet- ter than it has ever been for the citizens." This part of the project involved 299 households, Mrs. Lackey said. Construction of the sewage treatment plant and spray field was well under way. A contract had been signed and reaffirmed with Mr. Joe Manus to operate a sod farm and plant nursery on the spray field. It was esti- mated that the farm would provide jobs for 12 full-time employees and up to 25 employees during the sum- mer months. The agreement called for the City to receive ten percent of the gross sales. An added benefit for Hogansville was that it would have received a discount on sod and plants to be used on city property. An office and equipment building and a pole barn had already been tt-for use in the project. Mr. Manus, a rep- utable sod farmer at the time and still operating success- fully in 2001, said recently, "I thought at the time and still think it could have been a good deal for both the City and for me." Operating as always with a tight budget, the city was able to meet the bond require- ments. On February 24, 1992, Mr. Cliff Adams, an attorney who had been asked to look into city finances, said, "The City is not now, nor has it ever been, in default with these payments." So through 1991, the City apparently had the situation in hand, but then everything changed. An examination of city records does not make clear to me the reasoning behind the decisions made by the Council starting in January, 1992. There had been one change in the composition of the Council on January 1 of that year -- Ken Hammock was replaced by Jack Dollar. (Suzanne Cook had been replaced by Jimmy Jackson a year earlier, January 1, 1991.) At any rate, immediate efforts were begun to demol- ish previous arrangements. The restructuring was cost- ly. The Council approved pay- ment of $10,750 to a differ- ent sod farmer who advised eliminating the sod farm and planting Coastal Bermuda as a forage crop. (I've been told that that consultant has since gone bankrupt and out of business.) The contract with Mr. Manus was terminated. According to Mr. Manus, this was done without notice and without reimbursing him for the thousands of dollars for materials and supplies he bad used on the project. Coastal Bermuda was never harvest- ed, and the City has borne the cost of keeping up the site. Under the contract, this com- plete cost would have been the responsibility of Mr. Marius. The Council voted to pay a law firm $20,000 to pursue refinancing of the 1990 bonds. There were costs for the 1990 bonds and other "unspecified costs." At any rate, when the new bonds were issued in July 1993, the amount was for $8,525,000, an increase of more than three million dol- lars. Interest rates had fall- October 18 Johnny Thompson, Marcie Howington. October 19 Albert Faulkner, her Fowler, Luke Burrus, Mary BosweU, Xfite, James Jamie Wade, Lillian Howell. October 21 Brent White, Danny Williamson, Diane Howington, Ellen Davis, Jeff Bugg, Ella Smith. October 22 James D. Pittman, Sara 8train, Mr. and Mrs. Jeb Howington, and Mr. and Mrs. ; Saunders, anniversary. October 23 Angle D. McCormack, Kevin Worthy, Sandra IA October 24 Calvin Massengale, Devin Waldrop, Kevin Waldrop, Eugene Crocker. October 25 Ann Powell, Clem Powell, J. Steven Duffey, James Little field, Mallorie Fountain, Mary Stankiewicz, Michelle Purgason, Robin Butler. October 26 Buck Jones, Buster Cook, Mack Reynolds,Vicki Bible, Knox Burson. 27 ChrisWheelus, Rev. Billy Burks, Thomas Rhodes. October 28 Billy Wiltiamson, David Howington, Debbie Duffey, Greg Bailey, Joe Cook, Joshua Yarbrough, Peggy Toney, Patsy Moore, Brad and Dene6 Brock, anniversary. October 29 Brooke Bonnet, Joe Huckabee, Louise Hamby, Pare Fuller, Larry Barrow. October 3O. None. October 31 Andy Williamson, Dennis Brock, Kevin Rodgers, Matt Johnson, Mike Chapman, Mike Scantlin, Payton Fretwell, Richie Bowles, Kimberly White Johnson. en, but the new bond issue was stretched over 30 more years, which means we are paying on a greater debt for a longer period of time than we would have been under the 1990 bonds. Operating a city is a com- plicated operation with both elected officials and paid administration and employ- ees constantly changing, not to mention the changes in fed- eral and state regulations. However, it is time for all of us to stop pointing fingers and blaming past dealers in this game. Like families with over- extended credit cards, we need to knuckle down and fig- ure out how to manage in the tuture. One of the over-worked and little-known heroes of the rebuilding of our systems was Mr. ,Jim Drake, Superintendent of the Water and Sewer Systems, at the time they were overhauled. Mr. Drake says, "The City should be glad and appreci- ate the fact that they have an EPD-approved wastewater plant with a place for the water to go., i.e, the spray field, an updated water filter plant, to say nothing of the Blue Creek water supply, and major, major reconstruction of old water and sewer lines throughout the City Afff Hogansville. Had it not been for the bond issue, none of these things would have occurred." I heartily agree with Mr.Drake. I would also add that the updated systems have also permitted growth such as that at the exit on 1- 85 which could not have hap- pened without adequate water and sewer access. ELECT Bobby Joe N0vember 6, 2001 New Leadership For the 21' Century Pt A Pa by Canddale Want your ideas and concerns heard in Hogansville Government? Hogansw Post #2 N Have listened, read Will continue to voice your concerns Thank you for your vote and support! i when possible. to resolve them. I00TOTE*&*ELECT City Council Post 2 November 6, 2001 I have a sincere concern for ourfinances and will work hard for improvement. Your rot and support trill be appreciated. ) -Jack Dollar  Ad, Paid for by  Crrv Coqcn_ Post 4 A good man committed to Hogansville. HCGANSVILLE NATI, WHO UNDE YOUR NEE[. Will not ra rates for utility bills to  City Revenfle Will not vote to r pmrty taxes Will support new growth for the City VOTE FOR THOMAS PIKE ,i  i i  ii i ? L t i  f! i