Officials to annex new conference center into city
by Brande Poulnot
Sep 02, 2010 | 2425 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A worker Wednesday puts the finishing touches on the Clarence Brown Conference Center at 5450 State Route 20 in Cartersville. A public open house at the event facility, which is expected to be annexed into the city of Cartersville tonight by the city council, is set for Oct. 10 from 2 to 5 p.m. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
A worker Wednesday puts the finishing touches on the Clarence Brown Conference Center at 5450 State Route 20 in Cartersville. A public open house at the event facility, which is expected to be annexed into the city of Cartersville tonight by the city council, is set for Oct. 10 from 2 to 5 p.m. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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Set to accommodate functions this month, the Clarence Brown Conference Center is soon to be up and running and local leaders are getting prepared. At a public meeting Wednesday, Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown authorized the annexation of the 20.3 acres the facility sits on at 5450 State Route 20 into the city of Cartersville.

Cartersville councilmen are set to vote on the annexation during a public meeting tonight. The property will likely change from a county agricultural to a city public institutional zoning classification.

Brown said the move is necessary due to the county's distilled spirits pouring restrictions.

"We felt like when people come there for different things, they want the alcohol and, if it's in the county, they can't have the alcohol," Brown said. "Well, they can have beer and wine."

Attorney Peter Olson said groups holding functions at the facility would hire an approved caterer, which would provide alcoholic beverages to event goers. The county does not allow the pouring and serving of liquor, but the city of Cartersville does.

"We also pick up additional police and fire protection by having it in the city and it's important at that site that we're able to get particularly the police," County Administrator Steve Bradley said.

The commissioner also approved an intergovernmental agreement with the city of Cartersville regarding the management and operation of the $20 million building -- the county and city jointly funded and support the project.

That move authorized an agreement with the Cartersville-Bartow Convention & Visitors Bureau, which will operate the facility, including a consolidated Visitor Information Center. Measures Brown approved in the document include the rules and regulations, fee schedules, and license and lease agreements.

Funded with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax dollars approved by voters in 2008, Bartow County and the city of Cartersville will evenly split operating costs of the facility, which includes 15 interior rental spaces, the Cass Courtyard and Bartow Amphitheater.

"We have a dedicated 1-percent hotel/motel tax that will go to that operation and then it will generate fees as well," Bradley said. "The city is putting in their portion of the hotel/motel tax. We're putting in our portion and the CVB will be the operating entity. So we'll operate under the CVB and that 1 percent will help offset some of the costs."

CVB will operate its office and a visitors center at the conference center beginning Sept. 20, the same day the facility's first event, Etowah Valley Humane Society's Rescues and Runways, is slated. A public open house at the 44,000-square-foot facility is set for Oct. 10 from 2 to 5 p.m.

The commissioner also:

* In conjunction with Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini declared Sept. 4-11 Relay for Life Days.

* Signed a proclamation along with Santini honoring public servants and declaring Sept. 7 Public Servants Appreciation Day.

* Awarded a contract to D.A. Baker Construction Inc. for repairs to the 1903 Courthouse in the amount of $6,985. Brown said the work would repair plaster.

* Declared surplus county-owned property and authorized the sale of the property through GovDeals Internet Auction Service.

* Appointed David Chapman to the Bartow County Board of Tax Assessors.

* Entered a maintenance agreement with Shumate Mechanical for HVAC at the conference center.

* Authorized the de-annexation of property owned by Douglas Lee and Laura Bagley at 224 Road No. 1 S. in Cartersville.

* Renewed an agreement with Community Health Network to provide health and wellness services to county employees. Bradley said the program saved the county $700,000 last year in health insurance claims. This year's contract is $348 per employee and includes participating spouses. There are about 750 county employees covered under the plan.

* Amended the Bartow County Building Code Ordinance. Most of the changes center around mobile homes -- the county will now inspect the interior of mobile homes and restrictions on the ages of mobile homes allowed in the community are different as a result of amendments to state law. Tarps are also addressed in the new ordinance.

* Approved a one-day special event malt beverage license for the Saddle Club by Rancho El Potosino and license holder Moises Altamirano.

* Approved a change of address on the malt beverage license for Racetrac Petroleum Inc. #652.

* Approved a new malt beverage application for Cass-White Beer & Tobacco, license holder Mukesh Shah.

* Approved a change of managers on the malt beverage license for Allatoona Landing Marine Dock and Ricky Wayne Vinznt, license holder.

* Approved a change of ownership on the malt beverage license for Cass Grocery and Ashfaque Khan, license holder.