Cartersville approves 'pill mill' ordinance
by Matt Shinall
Feb 03, 2012 | 2171 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With unanimous approval, the Cartersville City Council accepted Thursday an ordinance defining and restricting "pill mills."

The illegal operation of medical clinics for the purpose of dispensing prescription pain pills has surfaced across the nation, including the Cartersville-based Atlanta Medical Group, 16 Collins Drive, shut down in June for such actions.

An ordinance approved by the city aims to tighten regulations surrounding the establishments known as pill mills and thereby deter their existence within the community.

"I have no doubt that the council's concern is mimicked in that ordinance. It's before you because of the rampant problem across the country with prescription drug use," said Cartersville Police Chief Tommy Culpepper. "Through our officers assigned to the drug task force and with the DEA, we see as much or more than that of illicit drugs. It is our desire not to impede a legitimate business and a legitimate medical practice.

"It's the ones that are breaking the law that we are concerned about, which destroy the community's quality of life."

In other business, the city council tackled a full slate, approving of each measure put before them Thursday. Several ordinance second readings, zoning request public hearings, contracts and purchases were heard:

* Annexation of an apartment building at 23 Redcomb Drive bringing the northern portion of an apartment complex into the same school and city service districts as the southern portion.

* Annexation of a home on Natchi Trail for the purpose of city schools and city services.

* Ordinance amendment placing planning and development board members at-large, as opposed to elected by ward.

* Amendment to utilities ordinance regarding distributed generation energy rider as required by state law.

* Amendment to utilities ordinance regarding electric time-of-use rates for large customers. The city's largest customers will have the option to reduce power usage at peak times and benefit from the reduced energy cost.

* Amendment to motor vehicle and traffic ordinance regarding all-way stop at Pointe North Drive and Pointe Way.

* Memorandum of understanding and a cost reimbursement agreement with the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding the Safe Streets Task Force. The city of Cartersville Police Department has participated in this inner-agency initiative since 2008; the items approved Thursday were just a continuation of that agreement.

* Approval for Gas Department Director Gary Riggs to sign an agreement allowing Atlanta Gas Light to cross a city gas main with another line.

* Georgia Power encroachment agreement for phase II of the Pettit Creek Trail crossing underneath transmission lines.

* Agreement with Georgia Department of Transportation regarding off-system safety project. Agreement allows for GDOT to reimburse the city for thermoplastic striping and raised pavement markers for 25 streets. The project will be paid for by Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds before being reimbursed by GDOT up to $63,361.

* Memorandum of understanding for continued participation in the Georgia Main Street Program. Cartersville has been a part of the program, administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, for nine years.

* Assignment of real estate lease for the Montessori School located on city property at 324 and 326 W. Cherokee Ave. New owners will assume the property's monthly lease.

* Contract naming Home Development Resources as project administrator for the North Towne Owner-Occupied Rehab Program. The contract was awarded in the amount of $12,619 for administrative work, $2,500 per unit -- up to seven -- for project delivery fee and $500 per unit for lead abatement, if needed.

* Appointment of Mike Fields to the Cartersville Development Authority and the Development Authority of Cartersville.

* Change order approved for Potts Construction on the construction of the new Public Safety Headquarters to repave Harris Street.

* Flood remediation services in the amount of $7,821 after the basement of a home was flooded on Crestwood Road from a broken city water line.

* Asphalt crack sealing material for use at the Cartersville-Bartow County Airport to seal cracks in the runway. The airport authority will repay the cost of materials.

* Swimming pool access equipment, including one lift and three ladder steps, in the amount of $8,771 for use at Dellinger Park and Aubrey Street pools.

* Youth football helmets, 120, at a cost of $8,700.

* Five vehicles for sewer, fire and water departments for a total cost of $122,116. These items are budgeted capital items.

* Recycling containers, 1,000, for use in the recycling program kicking off next week. This is the last of three budgeted orders of recycling containers this fiscal year at a cost of $35,650.

* Railroad crossing repairs being made on South Erwin Street, Old Mill Road and Sugar Valley Road. CSX Transportation has agreed to pay for the crossing repairs if the city will repave the surfaces at the crossings. The three crossings will cost a total of $41,500 paid from SPLOST funds.

The Cartersville City Council will meet again Thursday, Feb. 16, at 6 and 7 p.m. at city hall.