Porterdale mulls golf cart ordinance

PORTERDALE -- An ordinance allowing the use of golf carts on city streets was discussed at the City Council's work session Tuesday night.

City Attorney Tim Chambers told the council that the ordinance enacted by the city of Covington would be sufficient to address most of Porterdale's requirements, with some possible modifications based on state highway access and speed limits.

Council members agreed to have Chambers draft an ordinance to present at the Feb. 25 work session, with possible first and second readings to follow on March 1 at the regular council meeting.

The council also finalized arrangements for its planning retreat, which is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 6 at the American Legion Hall on Legion Drive in Covington. The facility is provided for the retreat at no cost, according to Mayor Bobby Hamby.

Interim City Manager Frank Sherrill asked that council members draw up a list of priorities they envision for the city for 2010 and forward those to him so he can compile a list of topics for the retreat.

Sherrill said this list will be useful to the council as they review candidates for the full-time city manager position, comparing their priorities with the skill sets of job applicants.

In other news, council members agreed to the expenditure of $1,300 for the removal of two high hazardous trees -- one on Elm Street and one on Poplar Street. Both trees, which are on city property, are dead and pose a threat to nearby houses.

Councilman Robert Foxworth, who owns and operates a tree service, said he would grind the tree stumps at no charge to the city.

The tree removal expenditure will be formally approved by council vote at the March 1 regular meeting.

Mayor Hamby advised the council that the city will not be able to meet the schedule for application for a Community Development Block Grant for sewer improvements this year.

The city had hoped to be able to complete its comprehensive land use plan and have it approved in time for the grant application to go through.

The city's comprehensive plan is about two years past due and is required for eligibility for the grants.

Hamby said he had been advised by Burke Walker, director of Local Government Services for the Northeast Georgia Regional Commission, that it would not be possible to have the comprehensive plan completed and approved in time for this year's round of grant awards.

Sherrill said he had scheduled a meeting with the city's consultant who is drawing up the plan in order to get the project moving forward.

City Councilwoman Linda Finger reported that 23 people turned out for the senior citizens volunteer services meeting Saturday and that eight seniors have volunteered to assist with answering the phones at City Hall.

Finger said the volunteer program got under way this week and that two volunteers are scheduled to work each day.

Finger also said that seniors now have a meeting place at 1 Cedar St., where they plan to meet every other Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for games and social activities.