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Ball Ground Mayor Rick Roberts, left, honors Scott Barnes after Barnes announced his resignation from the Cherokee County Planning Commission at the Aug. 8 meeting of the Ball Ground City Council. The council appointed Dennis Holt to fill the position on the planning commission at Thursday night's meeting.

The Cherokee County Planning Commission has a full complement of commissioners to make recommendations on zoning cases following action taken by the Ball Ground City Council at Thursday night’s meeting.

During the meeting, Mayor Rick Roberts recommended appointing Dennis Holt to serve on the planning commission, filling a vacancy left by the recent resignation of Scott Barnes. During the meeting, Roberts described Holt as having been involved in zoning cases before and who has been asking for ways to serve the city. A motion was made to approve naming Holt to the board, which passed unanimously.

“I’m very happy that he accepted our nomination,” Roberts said after the meeting. “I think he’ll be very important to the commission. He will not sit there and be silent.”

Roberts also said the city had first-hand experience with Holt, who served on committees the city had established in the past for various issues. During those meetings, Roberts said Holt was always present, had an opinion and came ready with comments about matters being discussed.

Along with recommending Holt for appointment to the planning commission, Roberts said the city was changing up how it would select its member to the commission, making the position up for annual reappointment by the city council.

The council also approved a project to be managed by the InterDev company, which has already been handling the city’s GIS (geographic information system) digital mapping program. City Manager Eric Wilmarth said there was a mandate for all public and private stormwater facilities to be mapped, which would be overlaid into the GIS system already up and running. Reviewing the bids submitted for the project, the council approved going with the quote of $20,175, which includes the first round of hydrology assessments for the city and which Wilmarth said was the best quote the city received.

The Ball Ground City Council also handled the following:

♦ It was announced that the annual city council planning retreat would be held on Jan. 13 in the conference room at the Cherokee County Airport. Roberts encouraged the council members to be thinking about a discussion topic they might want to talk about during the retreat, while he also suggested working on creating a vision and mission statement for the city. “I want to have good interaction,” Roberts said.

♦ The council renewed the latest statewide mutual aid agreement for when natural disasters or other serious issues occur, which Wilmarth said has not changed since the last time it came before the council for renewal four years ago.

♦ Due to a proposed 43% increase in cost for solid waste services from the city’s current provider, Santek, the council approved a motion to move forward with soliciting bids to see if the city could find a better price for this service. It was explained that the rising cost of recycling is where the increase came from, while the council told a Santek representative in attendance that the city was pleased with the service Santek had been providing, but this cost increase was not in the city budget and the council was trying to be good stewards of its taxpayers’ dollars.

♦ During his report, Wilmarth said there was approximately $801,000 in all of the city’s financial accounts, while revenues exceeded expenditures across the board for the month of October. The first notice for selling the former city hall building will run over the weekend, while all bids received will be opened on Jan. 10 and can be discussed during the planning retreat before a potential decision could be made at the February council meeting. Wilmarth also said the work on the Roberts Lake Park trail is going well, with the trail having been developed as far as a power line between the community center and the dam at Roberts Lake and a 50 foot span of bridge has been installed along the route. The city is still hoping everything is in place to hold a public input meeting on the Georgia Highway 372 truck route project in January, and the city’s paving schedule for certain streets may be delayed for some time due to the recent co♦ ld and rainy weather. Lastly, Wilmarth said all that remained on the streetscape project along Valley Street was some required paperwork, a few of the lighted crosswalk signs for the downtown area have been installed, various options are still being considered for the city’s fire hydrants and both the Kat Run and city Spooktacular were well attended, despite the Spooktacular having to be moved indoors.

The next meeting of the Ball Ground City Council will be 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 12.

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