New Adairsville public works director welcomed
by Neil McGahee
Jun 12, 2013 | 988 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Adairsville’s new Community Development and Public Works Director Jamie Cochran received a big welcome at Tuesday’s city council work session. Maybe that should read overwhelming.

Not only does he face the remaining cleanup from the Jan. 30 tornado that leveled parts of the city, he must also address the complete reconstruction and renovation of city hall, which suffered extensive water damage from heavy rainfall three weeks ago.

City hall’s damage prompted a total shutdown, with city offices being moved into temporary quarters and all public meetings being moved to the Adairsville railroad depot.

“There had been a number of roofs installed on top of each other,” said City Manager Pat Crook, who coincidentally was attending an emergency preparedness conference along with Police Chief Robert Jones at the time of the flooding. “That plus the weight of the water caused the roof to collapse. The strange thing is, we had been planning a renovation of city hall. On the morning the tornado hit, I was just about to issue a proposal for city hall renovation. I’m so glad I didn’t in light of what has happened.”

Crook said the renovation was a chance to build a more “public-friendly” building where townspeople didn’t feel jammed into a tight space. She also said an elevator must be installed to meet requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

She reported that the Collins Mountain water tank, which had been destroyed by the tornado, has been completely demolished, but construction of the new tank has been hampered by weather issues. She said she still thinks the tank will be completed by the end of July.

“Last month was a pretty quiet month,” Jones told the council. “We worked about 1,335 calls. We did notice an increase in the number of accidents, but I think that may be due to kids being out of school and lots of people are traveling.”

He also reported that three new police cruisers had been delivered and may be ready for service by Friday and both K-9 dogs, Harley and Dagger, earned national certification.

Jones announced that APD was sponsoring an 82-mile motorcycle ride on Saturday to raise funds to outfit the K-9 units with needed equipment.

“The ride starts at 9 a.m.,” he said. The cost is $20 per motorcycle and $10 for a second rider. For more information, call the Adairsville Police Department at 770-773-7779.

By now, administrator Cochran probably was thinking his to-do list was doable.

Then the women spoke.

Hattie Adams complained that several abandoned and overgrown houses on Howard Street were bringing property values down.

“They need to be torn down and the lots cleaned up,” she said.

“See Mr. Cochran about that,” Mayor Evan King replied.

Next Gloria Curtis complained to the council about potholes on Poplar Springs Road.

“Mr. Cochran can help you with that,” King repeated.

Finally, Jeannette Harris complained about two overgrown lots on Martin Luther King Drive that bordered her yard.

“I’m afraid to go back there,” she said. “There may be snakes back there.”

Again King referred her to Cochran.

After the meeting, Cochran made a beeline for the three women to assure them their complaints will be satisfied.

“I think I landed in the hot seat,” Cochran said, “but I don’t see any problem getting this stuff done. The hot spots are where I need to be.”