by Robin Kemp

UPDATE 2:50 p.m.: Land Bank cancels July meeting

City councils and other governing bodies are back to work this week. Here’s what you can expect:

Monday, July 12

  • 6 p.m.: The Jonesboro City Council holds its regular meeting, starting with a public hearing on the city’s 2021 Comprehensive Plan. Jared Lombard, who is senior principal planner and the person who manages the Livable Centers Initiative grants program at the Atlanta Regional Commission, will give a presentation about the update to the plan at the top of the meeting. According to an announcement on the city’s website, the city will be choosing a new stakeholder committee in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. Noting that the cityscape has changed radically in the past five years, the city also will hold a series of open houses to solicit public input: “The purpose of this hearing is to brief the community on the process to be used to develop the plan, opportunities for public participation in development of the plan, and to obtain input on the proposed planning process.” The updated plan also will include “all of the many quality of life features (LCI study, creation of Overlay Districts, etc.) into the new Comprehensive Plan and the Future Land Use Map.” You can see previous versions of Jonesboro’s comprehensive plans for 2005 and 2015-2020 at the Department of Community Affairs website, as well as the 2019 Blueprint Jonesboro Supplemental LCI Study (low-resolution version) and the 2020 amended version of the 2017 Blueprint Jonesboro LCI Study (or just the 18 amended pages), as well as selected highlights of past public meetings, on the city’s website. See the 2003 LCI study and a map of the 2003 LCI study area. The current stakeholder committee includes Mayor Joy Day, Councilwoman Pat Sebo, Karen Sullivan, Barbara Emert, Cathy Roark, Lillie Suder, Arlene Charles, Helen Meadows, Harry Osborne, Linda Summerlin, Julianna Anderson, and Wes Agnew. Other items on the agenda include:
    • a public hearing on a proposed change to permitted uses in the City Center Mixed-Use District
    • a conditional use application for commercial truck parking at 8271 Tara Blvd.
    • the public hearing on the 2021 Comprehensive Plan Update (Don Flanders/Sardis Creek LLC and Dhanram Nahdlal)
    • a public hearing on whether to grant an alcohol beverage pouring license at 103 W. Mill Street for Nouveau Jonesboro LLC (Ebony Austin)
    • a public hearing on whether to grant a conditional use permit for a retail cigar shop and cigar bar with alcohol at 112 S. Main Street (Robert and Kimberly Lightfoot)
    • New business includes approval of a guaranteed fixed price construction contract with Hogan Construction Group LLC for Phase II construction of the Jonesboro City Center (the new City Hall and complex next to Lee Street Park); consideration of the above-listed zoning hearing matters; a discussion “relative to the America Rescue Plan Act”; the 2021 Municipal Election polling place; whether to appoint Michael W. Padgett (306B West Ave.) to fill the unexpired term of Billy Gardner on the Jonesboro Beautification Commission through October 2022; a budget amendment for a $62,500 CJCC Training Grant; $63,784 to buy a box truck for storing tables and chairs; an agreement with Courtware Solutions, Inc. to upgrade Municipal Court’s current system.
  • 6 p.m.: The Riverdale City Council holds its regular meeting at City Hall Council Chambers, 7200 Church Street. On the agenda: Clayton County Tax Commissioner Terry Baskin will do a presentation on the Land Bank, which Councilman Kenny Ruffin will discuss later in the meeting. The Council will also consider a construction contract (33-7-2021) for the rear building of 6690 Church Street (the Fleet Building behind the police station), installing street lights on Georgia Hwy. 85 (38-7-2021), and a resolution (37-7-2021) for Decel Lane. On the consent agenda are items to approve “the CDBG Agreement/Resolution No. 40-7-2021 for Park Improvements,” cancellation of the August 9 meeting because of the annual Georgia Municipal Association meeting in Savannah, and approving June 19 (Juneteenth) as an official city holiday.
  • 6:30 p.m.: The Lake City City Council holds its monthly work session, followed by the meeting at 7 p.m. The work session will discuss the Employee Appreciation Luncheon, City Hall Park, Nature Preserve, the Ingles property, and Heritage Bank. New Business on the regular meeting agenda includes a resolution to “Amend City Ordinance,” “Zoning Vote,” and “Employee Premium Pay.” The published agenda does not offer any specific information about what will be discussed on these items, nor does it include the proposed amendment text and number or the zoning item parcel number, request, owner, or address. We’ve asked the city to send more information about the items on tonight’s agenda and will pass them along when we get them.
  • 6:30 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Ethics holds its meeting via Zoom. Here’s a short link:

Tuesday, July 13

  • 4:30 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration holds its regular meeting via Zoom. Register in advance for a link to the meeting itself. Here’s a short link:
  • 5:30 p.m.: The Clayton County Board of Commissioners holds its work session at 113 Smith Street, Jonesboro. The only item on the agenda is the Economic Development Strategic Plan 2021, which will be presented by The CREST Team, Clayton State University. The Development Authority of Clayton County (Invest Clayton) paid for the study, and DACC and the Office of Economic Development “chaired the Steering Committee for this project and supported the CREST team in their research and community engagement efforts.” The agenda promises a “deep dive” into four key areas: housing and income equality, labor and employment, small business and entrepreneurship, and healthcare and well-being. The last such plan was in 2013.
  • 5:30 p.m.: The Morrow City Council holds its pre-meeting work session, followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. and possibly resuming its work session afterwards.
    • See the 64-page work session agenda, which includes a discussion of a city billboard at I-75. Clear Channel “stated there were too many trees on Skylark. Wants city to take down before moving forward.” Lamar’s reponse is “pending GDOT permit question” and GA Outdoors says it “cannot do billboard due to under 5000 feet GDOT on digital billboards.” The Strada property next to Clayton State has had its design approved (by whom, the agenda doesn’t specify) and is “ready for the next step,” also not specified. The city is still in discussions with potential tenants for The District, better known as Olde Towne Morrow, where restrooms are expected to be fully restored by July 13. The old church on Reynolds Road is “ready to move forward with preliminary work and design plans,” and structural engineering and electrical work is underway at the “dark space” at Southlake Mall. The city notes “one potential candidate” for Public Works director. It’s also planning to ban semi-trucks at Mount Zion and Southlake Parkway and will meet with Police Chief Lopez de Azua on that matter next week. (About a mile south of the intersection is a new 176,000-plus-square-foot warehouse development, Battle Creek Logistics Center, at 1412 Battle Creek Road in Jonesboro.)
    • The regular meeting agenda takes up staff recommendations for a “Tea Room proposal;” upgrades to Lake Harbin stormwater systems, curbs, gutters, and sidewalks using SPLOST 2014 funds; approving another $1,323 for Morrow Roofing’s repairs to the “Red House” using SPLOST 2020 funds (total $15,648); second reading of the proposed ambulance billing fees ordinance; a resolution to increase the homestead exemption for Morrow homeowners; a resolution to transfer the assets of the city’s Georgia Municipal Association 401(a) defined contribution and 457 (b) deferred compensation plans to “a successor administrator and trustee,” as well as a resolution to transfer the city’s GMEBS Defined Benefit Retirement Plan to “a successor administrator and trustee.” It also contains literature from a number of architectural and engineering firms vying to renovate the Morrow Center.
  • 6 p.m.: The Development Authority of Clayton County (Invest Clayton) meets at the Lake City Community Center, 5471 Jonesboro Road, Lake City. On the agenda: approval of minutes from the June 28 special called meeting, as well as the June 8 regular and executive sessions; treasurer Randy Burton’s report; an Invest Clayton Project report from Larry Vincent; old business including the Economic Development Strategic Plan, a Workforce Clayton update, and the FY2020 audit; new business including the employee handbook update, insurance renewals for 2021-2022, and an “application for bond financing/inducement resolution, Gilbert Road Project.” Also on the agenda are two requests for sponsorship: one for former state representative Valencia Stovall’s Back to School Block Party, the other from Clayton State University’s Back to School Bash. There’s also an executive session for real estate, personnel, and potential litigation on the agenda. At the June 8 meeting, Chair Regina Deloach told the board that she was working on a possible joint meeting with the Board of Commissioners and Board of Education to present the results of the Economic Development Strategic Plan “to everyone at the same time.” The June 8 executive session meeting involved updates on the 5711 Hwy. 54 MOU, Mountain View/Gilbert Road, and Department of Labor lease at 1632 Phoenix Blvd., as well as a revised intergovernmental agreement (the minutes did not specify with which governing body that was), and a “Strategic Alliance Law Suit.”

Wednesday, July 14

  • 9 a.m.: The Clayton County Board of Assessors holds its regular semi-monthly work session, followed by the board meeting, 5:30 p.m.: The meeting at the Tax Assessors Office, 121 S. McDonough Street, Annex 2, on the second floor in conference room A.

Thursday, July 15

Friday, July 16

  • Nothing as of press time.

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