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County clears way for Elks annexation

PORTERDALE - The Newton County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an intergovernmental agreement with the city that paves the way for Porterdale's annexation of the Elk's Club Lodge on Crowell Road and a corresponding change in zoning.

Porterdale's council had approved the annexation and rezoning at it's regular meeting Monday night, contingent upon the county's approval of the intergovernmental agreement on Tuesday night. With the county's vote, the annexation and rezoning will take effect Sept. 1.

Subsequent to the city's approval of the annexation and rezoning from Commercial to Neighborhood Commercial, the city called for a liquor-by-the-drink referendum to be held in conjunction with the Nov. 4 General Election. The referendum will allow voters to decide if pouring licenses should be granted to private clubs, such as the Elks Lodge. Porterdale already allows sales of liquor by the drink, but that ordinance does not cover private clubs.

Under the intergovernmental agreement reached between the city and county, several conditions were placed on the Elks Club property for a period of five years. Some of the excluded uses are adult book store, movie house, auto and motor sales and repair, billiard hall, dry cleaners, massage business, private school, tattoo parlor and more.

New police car

The council approved a low-interest lease through the Georgia Municipal Association for the purchase of a Crown Victoria to add to the police fleet of six patrol cars and the police chief's unmarked vehicle.

City Manager Tom Fox said the car is the third leased through GMA this year.

Payments on the five-year lease will total $1,818 for the remainder of the year. Purchase price of the car was $24,796. Fox said all three new cars acquired by the Police Department this year were purchased from Jackie Jones Ford in Cleveland, which submitted the lowest quote on the vehicles.

Chief Wayne Digby said the new car replaces an older vehicle that was wrecked.

DCA visit

Porterdale's Better Hometown Manager Sandy Fowler announced that the state Department of Community Affairs will make an onsite visit to Porterdale on Aug. 20 as part of the process of achieving the DCA's designation as a Better Hometown.

The Better Hometown Program, which is the equivalent of the Main Street Program for smaller towns, assists Georgia cities and neighborhoods in the development of their core commercial areas, according to the DCA.

Alice Queen can be reached at alice.queen@newtoncitizen.com.