Kingston City Council considers rezoning application
by Neil McGahee
Mar 12, 2013 | 786 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
At its Monday meeting, Kingston City Council heard about problems with the city’s newly installed water meters, tabled a resolution to adopt the county’s amended animal control ordinance and pondered a request from a Kingston business for a conditional operating permit.

Kingston businessman Brian Fulmer applied in February to the Kingston Planning and Zoning Commission for a conditional use permit to operate a restaurant grease reclamation facility on his property at 4563 Highway 411. That land, however, is zoned for neighborhood business, not the light industrial classification Fulmer would need to legally operate the business.

Larry Posey, chair of the planning commission, in a letter to city clerk Michele Jones said that, before a hearing could be held, a building inspector must verify that the business is in compliance with all federal and state requirements and adjacent property owners be notified of the proposed zoning changes.

The planning commission recommended the council conduct a first hearing April 1, with a second hearing and vote on April 8.

Last spring, new water meters were installed by the Kingston Water Department, a move that has caused several problems.

Councilman Harold Posey said he was concerned by a loss of revenue in the city’s water fund and recommended a new water rate schedule be adopted that would provide adequate future revenue.

“These new rates must be for the long term,” Posey said. “We can’t be re-establishing these rates every few years.”

Posey recommended conducting an audit of the entire water system to see where the revenue loss was occurring.

Jones reminded the council that much of the revenue loss occurred when the meters were changed.

“When they changed the meters, there was no record made of the readings on the old meters,” Jones said. “That resulted in at least $30,000 in lost revenue.”

Several Kingston residents pointed out to the council that they were experiencing exorbitant water bills — one was charged more than $200 for the use of 21,500 gallons in one month. City water manager Billy Baker said he was aware of the problem.

“Something isn’t working correctly with the new meters,” Baker said. “We suspect it is something electrical, but whatever it is, we need to make sure everything is working correctly.”

In other business, the council:

• Authorized hiring Dawn Clark as part-time city treasurer.

• Tabled a vote to readopt the 2012 Bartow County Animal Control ordinance with amended dangerous dog control wording and requirements for possession of a classified dog, meaning any dog that has been deemed dangerous or vicious.

• Authorized upgrades to the city baseball field — scoreboard, concession stand and gates — to attract future baseball tournaments.

• Heard a proposal for use of an $8,180.66 Georgia Department of Transportation grant for repaving and patching Shaw Street, Kitchens Alley, MLK Street and Hardin Bridge Road.

The next meeting of the Kingston City Council will be held April 1 at 7 p.m. at Kingston City Hall.