The Woodstock City Council was busy during Monday night’s meeting, hearing a request for a monument sign waiver to be installed at a new development and acting on a contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation regarding a road improvement project.

As development continues on Shuler Plazas at the corner of Ridgewalk Parkway and Ridge Trail, the developers were requesting a waiver that would allow two freestanding monument signs along Ridgewalk Parkway in front of the plaza, one at either end of the development. One reason for this request, according to Woodstock Process Planner Dakota Carruthers, was that the topography at the site would limit where a sign could be put on Ridge Trail in order to follow city law limiting one monument sign for each street front. When reviewing the case, the Woodstock Development Process Committee said it saw no major issue with allowing for the waiver, but did attach one condition, that each sign be no larger than 85 square feet. Following Carruthers’ presentation, the council approved granting the sign waiver with the recommended condition attached to it.

The contract with GDOT would allow a project to improve the intersection of Neese Road and Georgia Highway 92 to move forward. Under the contract, Woodstock would be required to obtain the right-of-way needed, while GDOT would be providing a great deal of the money required for the construction phase of the project. City Manager Jeff Moon said there were seven parcels of land the city would need to acquire for right-of-way, while city documents estimated the cost to purchase these parcels would be $147,000, but could begin immediately. The council unanimously approved the contract, allowing for the next phases of the project to begin.

Along with taking action on these items, the council held a discussion on potential plans for the city’s Fourth of July celebration. Although Moon said the fireworks show would be able to proceed, there was still some question about what to do with the 5K race and the parade. The city had not made any decision as to whether to move forward or cancel the events, and Moon said a decision would need to be made, recommending either both be canceled or both move forward.

“The reason I say that is because the expense of putting the barricades out and the police officers to block literally every intersection along the parade route is, this is a $4,000 to $5,000 proposition,” Moon said.

One suggestion was to consider moving forward for the time being, but reserving the right to cancel closer to the Fourth of July if necessary, which the council felt was the best way to go.

The Woodstock City Council also handled the following items:

♦ The consent agenda, which included a scope change to a project to replace the sewer line recently uncovered during the expansion of the Chattahoochee Tech parking lot, a $12,000 budget amendment to move money from salary to overtime due to personnel vacancies and the recertification of the city as a Local Administered Project Public Agency, was approved.

♦ The council approved the appointment of Councilman Colin Ake as the city’s voting delegate for the annual business meeting of the Georgia Municipal Association.

♦ Mayor Donnie Henriques read the proclamation he had prepared for the city’s Memorial Day ceremony, while reminding the council the ceremony would be held virtually this year.

♦ Ake shared the latest announcements with the other council members, including reminding everyone that the city’s Memorial Day ceremony would be held virtually at 10 a.m. Monday, that city offices would be closed on Monday and no trash pickup would take place as well. Moon had additional announcements, including stating the city’s senior center would remain closed until June 15. He also brought up that the council was slated to return to in-person meetings in June, but following news from elsewhere in the state that there had been a case of coronavirus detected following an in-person city council meeting, he wanted to see what the council wanted to do moving forward. After some discussion on the matter, the council came to the general consensus of holding both June council meetings virtually.

The next meeting of the Woodstock City Council will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 8.

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