Despite the absence of Mayor Rick Roberts and council members Mickey O’Malley and Frank Homiller, the Ball Ground City Council had a quorum for its most recent meeting and was able to proceed with approval on a trio of annexation petitions.

The petitions had received their first readings at an earlier meeting, but came before the council once again for a second reading in order to be officially approved. The annexations cases involved land at 560 Old Dawsonville Road, 619 Old Dawsonville Road and at the end of the public access road on Roberts Lake Road.

“It’s where approximately half of the parcel was already in the city and the other half was in the county. This is basically an adjustment to get that entire parcel into the city,” City Manager Eric Wilmarth said in regards to the request regarding 560 Old Dawsonville Road.

Wanting to ensure she was clear about the 619 Old Dawsonville Road request, Councilwoman Andrenia Stoner asked, “Is this the one where we had the zero-lot-line?”

Mayor Pro Tem John Byrd responded that it was not, this request involved land with a single residence on it, but no additional development was being proposed for the site.

“For the first annexation to work, we have to do this one to keep from creating an (unincorporated) island,” Byrd said.

Lastly, the council was reminded that the city had purchased the land at the end of Roberts Lake Road to develop a parking area and trailhead for Roberts Lake Park. As such, since the city owned the land, it only made sense to have the land officially brought within the city limits. This annexation petition, along with the pair on Old Dawsonville Road, were approved in a unanimous vote of the council.

In addition to taking action on these three petitions, the council heard the latest updates on city business from Wilmarth. He explained that the city’s general fund finished October with $522,000 in the account, while revenues exceeded expenses for the month, which was helped by the fact that October starts the city’s revenue season. At the same time, Wilmarth said the expenses for the month exceeded what had been budgeted for, although he explained this was due to grant money the city had given out. He mentioned the city was looking at holding the council planning retreat later than when it traditionally takes place and encouraged the council members to be considering dates in the April-May 2021 range for when the retreat could be held.

Although the intergovernmental agreement with Cherokee County had been approved for work on resurfacing a portion of Old Canton Road and the installation of a guardrail at the intersection of Old Canton Road and Commerce Lane, factors such as weather and temperature had delayed work on the projects, with Wilmarth saying it could be early spring before they would be able to be completed. Repair work at the water system’s Mountain Brook Lift Station have been completed, he said, although the same day work at that station was completed, a pump at the Sage Hill station went down. The stormwater mapping project has been completed, with all related data set to be put online in the very near future.

Lastly, Wilmarth said some of the Roberts Lake Park trail was having to be relocated to make the pathway safer for hikers and that the city was working to modify the lights at the tennis courts in city parks, making it possible for the lights to be turned off from an online source to keep them from shining all night long.

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