Monthly Archives: November 2011

Preconceived notions / annexation.


“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”
Daniel Boorstin, 1984 Librarian of Congress

The city commission recently was reviewing some water improvement grant work that was actually performed in an area outside the city limits. There are several areas that are physically outside the city limits but they still receive some city services such as water and /or sewage. However since they reside outside of the incorporated areas and therefore do not pay city taxes, we charge a premium fee ( $10.00 per month extra).

We determined that due to the medium valuation of the houses in this particular neighborhood, the residents would actually save a few dollars by being incorporated (annexed) into the city and paying city taxes but not paying the ($10/mo) premium. By being in the city, these residents would also obtain a better fire code rating which would result in additional savings via lower homeowners insurance premiums. So by being annexed, the property owners in this subdivision would save money each and every year. Read the rest of this entry

City / County Consolidation


There are many citizens that have expressed an interest in the city and county governments consolidating into one entity.   This was previously tried in 1999 but the county citizens voted the proposal down.  It passed in the city but lost in EVERY precinct in the county.   In this post, I am going to try to detail some thoughts, concerns, and suggestions on consolidation.

Personally, I have not made up my mind.   I see some benefits and some concerns with this proposal.  I will attempt to break down both my concerns and the potential benefits in this post.

Benefit:  SIZE   Since we are only 4,000+ in the city and 8,000+ in the county (excluding the city), it probably makes since for a community our size to consolidate.   There is no need to fight over resources when there are so few resources to go around.   I can see an advantage when applying for grants or when presenting ourselves to a potential industry when we can present ourselves as 12,000 strong rather than 4,000 strong.   For example, when we apply with DCA for a grant, one of the “blanks” is how many people will this impact.   Indicating 12,000 rather than 4,000 has got to carry weight.

Benefit: Cooperation  Again, when presenting ourselves to potential industries, I think consolidation will show a spirit of cooperation that would please a prospect.   And, although the city and county currently get along fabulously, there is no guarantee in the future if this will be the case.   We all hear of communities (read MACON) that continually fight over LOST (Local Option Sales Tax), SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax), and other shared revenues.   They also continually bicker over shared expenses. Read the rest of this entry

The Hawkinsville Dual Bridges


Hawkinsville is a great, small, community located in Middle Georgia.   The Golden Isles parkway goes right through the middle of our wonderful town.   While most cities on Highway 341 have been bypassed, due to the location of our dual bridges, Hwy 341 comes right through the middle of our town.

Currently we have two bridges that are 1 city block apart from each other.   The “Commerce Street” bridge handles the northbound (inbound) traffic coming from Eastman, Ga.   The “Broad Street” bridge handles the southbound (outgoing) traffic going toward Eastman.   It has been this way since the late 1950’s.
Our downtown is located on Commerce Street which was the “main” street during the 50’s.   Due to the dual bridge situation, and the increase in traffic that resulted on Broad Street, that street has also developed into a major business district as well.  In fact, today, Broad Street carries the heaviest traffic burden.    Commerce Street handles about 40-45% of the volume that Broad Street currently handles.
We became aware of a DOT proposal this summer.   They are proposing that both bridges be torn down and that the Broad Street bridge be replaced with a 4 lane incoming & outgoing bridge.     The city leadership and the majority of the citizens of Hawkinsville are very much AGAINST this proposal.  In fact, the City Commissioners voted UNANIMOUSLY to oppose this plan.    We are in opposition of this plan for 3 primary reasons: Read the rest of this entry

Thanksgiving


It was a dozen years ago this week.  I went on a mission trip to Honduras.   I saw such a degree of poverty that i had never witnessed before.  yet, i also saw an appreciative and happy people.    I saw four boys sharing one lolipop.   I saw entire families waiting to get our discarded ICE and have what amounted to an ice cream party.   I was touched.  Then I come home that same week to a Thanksgiving spread of my grandmother’s doing that would have feed the entire country.    It was so good, but for once, my grandmother’s cooking was difficult to eat.  All I could think about was how blessed i really was, and how unappreciative I often am of these blessings.   We live in a great country and really don’t know the meaning of sacrifice.   yes, we have sad moments and tough times, but comparatively speaking, we are all so blessed.    I hope you and your family realize your blessings this year.    Mainly, realize the sacrifice that Christ gave – His Life – so you and I could enjoy in His fellowship – The biggest blessing of all!

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