Cartersville renames Clearwater St. Park
by Jason Lowrey
Aug 17, 2012 | 1432 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Clearwater Street Park will be named after Robert Ed Hicks, as approved by the city council during their Thursday night meeting.

Hicks, who passed away May 29, was once a council member, president of the Cartersville Little League, a member of the planning commission and served on the tax equalization board. After his death, his family put in an application to Cartersville Parks and Recreation to rename the Clearwater Street Park in his honor. Parks and Recreation Director Greg Anderson supported the renaming.

Members of Hicks’ family were present to see their request approved.

While the second reading of an amendment to the alcohol ordinance on brown bagging was on the agenda, the council decided to postpone any decision on the matter. The proposed amendment would create pouring licenses for art and pottery studios that would allow them to pour alcohol brought in by their patrons during after-hours events. There was still debate among the mayor and council members as to how much the licenses should cost, if it was fair to restaurants who are required to purchase more expensive licenses and, if the measure passed, the likelihood of other businesses requesting similar amendments.

The council decided to look at brown bag ordinances in other cities to see if they could be adapted for use in Cartersville.

A rare deadlock occurred when the council voted on a boom mowing tractor purchase for Public Works. The department has used a 1993 New Holland tractor and Tiger mowing unit for the past 19 years and the mower is in need of replacement. Debate came down to two bids: one from Rhinehart Equipment Company of Rome in the sum of $92,495 and a bid from Franklin Tractor of Cartersville in the sum of $99,898.

Council member Jayce Stepp moved to accept the bid from Franklin Tractor, and said it was important to buy locally in this case.

“I think, by being able to do it locally and use maintenance here locally, that, in my eyes, this is the best bid,” he said.

Stepp, Kari Hodge and Lindsey McDaniel Jr. voted in favor of the motion. Dianne Tate, Louis Tonsmeire Sr. and Lori Pruitt voted against the motion. Mayor Matt Santini broke the deadlock by voting against the motion.

“While I understand the concern about doing business locally, I think that [with] 8.1 percent and $7,494 of taxpayer money that I’m going to recommend the low bid as proposed by Public Works,” Santini said. “Actually, I can’t do that, can I? Actually, I’m going to vote no on that so that the motion does not pass. I apologize.”

After the vote, with the issue unresolved, the council debated about the merits of spending more money than was necessary to support a local business versus saving as much taxpayer money as possible. Stepp suggested spending the money in Cartersville could be the better economic decision over saving money.

Public Works Director Bobby Elliott said either purchase was within his budget of $109,000 for the purchase. However, part of that budget is planned to go toward buying a new brush mower. When asked, he said the brush mower would cost around $10,000 by his estimates.

Tate made a motion to accept the lowest bid from Rhinehart, with Tonsmeire and Pruitt voting for the motion. Stepp, Hodge and McDaniel voted against it. Santini broke the tie by voting for the motion and the bid was awarded to Rhinehart.

Two items not on the agenda were discussed as well. The council looked over the new Downtown Development Authority budget, which increased to $125,000 after expected revenues were accounted for. Before any form of approval could take place, Santini said he wanted to see budgets from previous years for comparison. Hodge said she was interested in previous years’ advertising budgets in particular.

A proposal to run fiber optic lines into the Highland 75 industrial park was discussed as well. Parker Systems, who has worked for the city before, gave an estimate of $218,035.60 to do the job if they did not hit rock. However, they offered a profit-sharing deal to the city where they would charge $164,454 to do the job in exchange for a percentage of any future profits.

While no vote was taken, the council came to a consensus that they did not want to enter into any form of profit-sharing agreement. Most council members said it was important to have fiber optic lines running into the park and asked Assistant City Manager Dan Porta to start sending out bids for the project.

Other council business included:

• Approving an alcoholic beverages ordinance related to ID requirements.

• Approving a records retention ordinance amendment.

• The first reading of a de-annexation application by the city of Cartersville for property located on Paga Mine Road and Ga. Highway 293.

• The first reading of an annexation and zoning request by Mark Harris for seven adjoining properties on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive east of U.S. Highway 41.

• The first reading of an amendment to utility capacity fees.

• The first reading of an amendment to alcohol pouring license fees.

• Adopting the APPA safety manual for Cartersville Electric System.

• Entering into an agreement with the Georgia Department of Corrections for four inmate work crews at a cost of $39,500 per crew.

• Approving a subordination agreement regarding 24 Georgia Blvd.

• Approving the purchase of a compact hydraulic excavator from Mason Tractor of Blue Ridge in the sum of $42,425.

• Approving the purchase of furniture, fire and police equipment for new city buildings in the total sum of $167,201.74.

• Approving a contract with Heavy Construction to install pipe for the Etowah Emergency Pump Station in the sum of $508,300.

• Approving chemical suppliers for the water treatment and pollution control plants.

The Cartersville City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at city hall.