The financial statements for the city of Ball Ground were found to be in order with no issues, according to the annual audit report given at Thursday night’s meeting of the Ball Ground City Council.

James Bence with the accounting firm of Mauldin & Jenkins said that, after all of the information provided by the city was carefully examined, the firm was of the opinion that everything was as it should be. It was noted that the city’s spending had been higher than its income, but this had been planned for due to the city receiving grant money in a previous year, but not being able to spend the money until 2019.

When breaking down the city’s expenses for the year, Bence said the two main portions of expenses were public works and public safety.

The council heard from a handful of residents wanting to voice concerns during the meeting. Two local business owners said they received letters from the city regarding items at their stores being in violation of the city’s law regarding outdoor storage, with both saying they were working to comply. Mayor Rick Roberts said the outdoor storage issue will be on the agenda for the upcoming city council planning retreat.

The Ball Ground City Council also acted on the following:

♦ City Manager Eric Wilmarth reminded everyone that the city council would be holding its annual planning retreat at the Cherokee County Airport on Monday, while Roberts reminded the council members to be thinking of an issue they would like to bring before the rest of the council during the retreat.

♦ After renegotiating the city’s inmate housing agreement with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, the council approved the updated agreement. Under what was renegotiated, Ball Ground will still pay $35 per day for the county to house municipal inmates, but the cost will not kick in until a period of 24 hours after the inmate has been booked in.

♦ Under his portion of the agenda, Wilmarth said the city ended December with approximately $1.1 million in its accounts. As of Thursday evening, the city had received five bids for the old city hall building with the bidding period ending Friday. Lastly, Wilmarth said the city was still working on bids for the project to relocate the water line under A.W. Roberts Drive/Georgia Highway 372. He also said the city may have a new police officer on staff by March.

♦ With the new calendar year, the council approved motions to reaffirm the list of check signers for any and all of the city’s banking and checking accounts, the amount of qualifying fees for city elections ($108 for mayor, $35 for city council), adoption of the zoning map with no changes from 2019 and the schedule of service fees with no changes.

♦ As Ball Ground is officially a Tree City, and was the first such city in Cherokee County, the council approved a proclamation recognizing Arbor Day, while it was also announced the city would be celebrating the holiday by holding a tree planting near the gazebo on Valley Street, across from city hall, at 10 a.m. on Feb. 21.

♦ A motion for a resolution to honor local law enforcement officials for National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day was approved.

The next meeting of the Ball Ground City Council will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13.

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