Daily Archives: July 10, 2010

Why Now?


Okay, after posting several pieces about events in the life of the City of Hawkinsville, I am starting to get several people asking me – “why are you doing that?”. So here’s why…

It is my hope that by opening up dialog on social media (this blog, twitter, facebook, etc.) that people will offer suggestions, critiques, comments, and ideas that will help. I certainly don’t have all the answers but as a group, maybe we CAN find the answers. I am hoping to pull in a diversity of opinions that can only help us! At least I hope that will be the case!

Comment and tell me if you agree or am I wasting my time.

Shelly

Hawkinsville Water Improvements


The City of Hawkinsville applied for and received a $500,000 CBDG grant (Community Block Development Grant) from the state of Georgia for the purpose of rebuilding the water lines in Orchard Hill Street Subdivision.  Orchard Hill Street subdivision is located adjacent to the Hawkinsville City limits but receives (at a higher cost than city residents) city water services.   However, the water lines are very very old and very small.  They are inadequate to service the neighborhood.  This section is one of the primary problem areas for our city crews being called out for repairs.   By replacing the lines, we will not only offer cleaner, safer water with better pressure, but we will also be able to install Fire Hydrants in the neighborhood that will increase the safety of the area AND reduce the homeowners’ fire insurance costs.   AND reduce our maintenance costs as well.

And after bidding out the work, we realized that we were going to be able to come in way under budget.   Rather than send the money back to the state, we asked for a scope enlargement and added the Forest Hill Circle Subdivision to the project.   Forest Hill will also receive new lines and fire hydrants.

Local Resident Lance Woods of Ocmulgee Engineering worked with us on designing and engineering these improvements.

There are many many areas in the city that desperately  need infrastructure improvements.   But without these grants, it would be next to impossible for us to afford.    In order to qualify for these CBDC grants, the area has to meet certain qualifications including medium income limitations.    Some of the areas that need improvement, do not meet these medium income criteria.  Therefore these areas can only be done with local money.     Therefore, we have designated 1.5 million dollars from the upcoming SPLOST election budget to fund street, utility, gas, and other infrastructure improvements.    That vote will take place on July 20th and will hopefully allow us to make other major improvements over the 6 year life of the SPLOST.  (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax)

Shelly

Dilapidated Housing


More City of Hawkinsville News. I am very pleased to report our progress on removing blighted property in Hawkinsville. We have over 100 homes in our town that are too far gone to renovate. These houses are a detriment to our community. They are an eyesore, thus hurting economic development and hurting property values of surrounding homes. They are magnets for crime and drugs. It is simply not right for a neighbor to work hard to keep their yard and home attractive, while right next door a house is falling in and the lot is overgrown. Plus some of the houses that need to come down are burned out and hold memories of tragedies.

The City of Hawkinsville has really made this a priority in the last few years and our current status is this: 23 homes have been removed. And of those 23, 17 were removed by the owners with NO expense to the city. The 6 that the city removed, we have placed Liens on the property so that – eventually – we will get our expenses back on those as well.

The City administration and codes enforcement office, along with help from our HURA (Hawkinsville Urban Revitalization Authority) and GICH (Georgia Initiative for Community Housing) committees have helped with this effort.

But our work is not complete with JUST tearing down dilapidated houses. We also need to work on housing rehabilitation so that additional structures do not reach the dilapidated stage. The City has applied for a $300,000 CHIP grant from the state of Georgia as well as a $500,000 CBDG grant. The CHIP grant will focus on properties NORTH of Broad Street. The CBDG grant will focus on properties SOUTH of Broad Street – in particular the McDuffie Street Area. We need to make sure we have available workforce housing as we work to entice industry to our town.

ALOT of work needs to be done, but ALOT has already been done and progress is continuing.

Comment to this post and tell me what you think ought to be done with Housing in Hawkinsville. Ideas? Suggestions? Compliments? Complaints? In order to be a better commissioner, I want YOUR feedback.   And/or complete the poll below!

Shelly

New Businesses in Hawkinsville!


My favorite part of the Hawkinsville City Commission meetings is approving new business licenses. New businesses mean new jobs. New utilities. New businesses paying taxes. People making money mean people spend money in town. Win – Win – Win.

Check out these businesses that are getting approved on Monday night. And then visit/employ them! Shop Hawkinsville First!

V AND M AUCTIONS AND PAWNSHOP
(118 Commerce St.- auction sell used items)

2. C & S MORTUARY
(46 Martin Luther King B1vd.- Funeral Home)

3. FLAVORS FOOD & SPIRITS, LLC dba
TREASURE HUNT
(91 Commerce St. – resale, consignment)

4. A & D PHARMACY
(342 Industrial Blvd. Ste E- long term care pharmacy)

5. LYNN ALEXANDER ROOFING
(448 Cochran, Hwy- Roofing)

6. BIBB EXTERMINATING COMPANY
(41 Kibbee St. – Pest Control Business)

FORMSPRING


Formspring is an interesting site.   You can ask your friends or even strangers anonymous questions.    Interesting..    Got a question for me?

http://www.formspring.me/shellyberryhill

City of Hawkinsville Cemetery


I just left a funeral and graveside at Orange Hill Cemetery. The Cemetery is owned by the City of Hawkinsville. I was very upset to find the grass was knee high. It was very embarrassing. For any people at attendance, I want to personally apologize on behalf of the city. We have a city commission meeting Monday night and you can rest assured that this item will be HIGH on my agenda for that meeting.    If you have anything that YOU think I ought to be bringing up at city council – post it as a comment here!

City of Hawkinsville ZONING MAPS


As of June, 2010, the City of Hawkinsville now has a complete new set of ZONING MAPS.   The maps were produced by the Regional Commission for the city.   Prior to these maps, if a person wanted to know what a particular parcel was zoned – good luck.   You had to find the 30 year old zoning map and then go through years and years worth of zoning board minutes to see if it had ever been rezoned.   It was ridiculous.      Now, codes enforcement officer, Keith Carter, has the maps (along with city hall) and is diligent about keeping the maps current.

Although I have a lot of libertarian thoughts rattling in my head, I do believe that zoning laws are good.   They help us manage our growth and have planned improvements in designated areas.  It helps to protect property values of adjoining properties.  It allows one to feel confident about the neighborhood or community in which they are investing their dollars.

The county has also followed suit and we know have zoning throughout Pulaski County as well.

Shelly

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