The Canton City Council approved a plan to help local businesses and individuals by waiving some fees and providing written payment plans due to COVID-19 at their meeting on May 7. 

This action will allow late fees and penalties for licenses, excise taxes, and utility payments to be waived. Written payment plans will be provided for the payment of certain late fees and penalties for licenses, excise taxes and utility payments, and management is to enter into said plans for the full payment of license, excise taxes, utility payments and any non-waived associated fees before the end of the fiscal year, Sep. 30.

The council also approved a number of items for a June 13 auction. These items include a handful of cars such as two Chevy Tahoes and two Ford F-150s, a water trailer, Billy Goat turf product, Norcon Communications intercom, various monitors, Savin copier/printer, and various cell phone cases and covers. The vehicles are in excess of seven years old and equipment is aged or no longer used.

The third item on the agenda that was approved was a temporary maintenance easement with Georgia Department of Transportation for the Etowah River Trail area. GDOT has been working on a project to remove debris from under the southbound on-ramp to Interstate 575 at Exit 20 over the Etowah River. As part of their project, they will be adding materials to help divert the flow from pilings and reduce bank erosion. GDOT has also agreed to provide extra materials to an area that had been marked as part of the project work for the trail expansion while they are currently working in the area as long as the city provides a temporary maintenance easement.

The council also discussed an alternate design layout for the downtown parking deck being designed by Clark Patterson Lee. City Manager Billy Peppers said the first version of the deck was for 303 spaces on four floors with ramps and would have cost an estimated $6 million in SPLOST funds. The existing surface lot is 62 spaces, so it would provide a net gain of 229 spaces and would have additionally straightened out the intersection at Archer and Church Streets, reducing it from a 5-way to a true 4-way. The alternate version would create two parking levels using the existing topography and would not have ramps. He said the lower level would be accessible from Archer Street and the upper level would be accessible from city hall off Academy Street.  It would provide 139 spaces, or a net gain of 46 spaces with a cost of between $2.5 and $3 million.

The council then discussed awarding the Amos Road booster pump station improvements to Lanier Contracting Co. in the amount of $653,311. This project is part of the new Laurel Canyon Booster Pump Station, which will add modifications that are necessary to provide reliable service to Great Sky and Laurel Canyon when the Great Sky water tanks are taken out of service. 

The next agenda item dealt with the Pea Ridge Section of Waleska's water system. Waleska requested that Canton take over operation and maintenance of the Pea Ridge Section of their water system. The area consists of approximately 103 customers with an average monthly consumption of approximately 347,000 gallons. The area is within the Canton city limits, the piping is small (less than four inches), and Polyvinyl chloride and all the meters would need to be replaced. Canton currently provides water to Waleska for this area. 

Peppers concluded after a lengthy council discussion that he would send a number of questions to Waleska in order to gain more information for the council.

Lastly, the council discussed a request regarding reauthorizing cooperation with Cherokee County Community Development Block Grant Program. This program would allow Canton to receive direct CBG funding based on federal appropriations as an entitlement community. The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners is asking Canton whether they would like to sign on to be a partner as it relates to CBG funding for the next round of funding cycles which begins in Oct. of this year and runs through the end of the fiscal year of 2022, or Sep. 2023. This would allow for the CCBC to count Canton as a partner so that when hud funding is available, Canton can make applications directly to the county for a percentage of that fund for city projects. 

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