New portion of road named MLK Boulevard

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- Construction on the second portion of the Social Circle Bypass has not yet begun, but the road now has a name.

The City Council approved Tuesday naming the southern portion of the yet-to-be-constructed bypass Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Social Circle resident Lurie Maddox brought the request before the City Council during its February meeting. Maddox pointed out that the northern section of the roadway, which runs from Ga. Highway 11 to East Hightower Trail, was named in 2004 for James V. Burgess Jr., who now serves as mayor of Social Circle.

Burgess appointed during that meeting Councilwomen Anne Peppers and Traysa Price to head up a citizens' committee to recommend a name for the roadway.

Peppers said Tuesday the committee -- which included her, Price, Maddox, Ollie James, Myrtle Ivey and Bobby Howard -- recommended naming the 2.8-mile section of the bypass that will connect East Hightower Trail to Ga. 11 at the Walton/Newton counties line after Martin Luther King Jr.

The council unanimously approved this name.

After the meeting, City Manager Doug White said the Georgia Department of Transportation still has to complete right of way acquisition along the proposed roadway and construction is expected to begin in 2012.

In other news, the City Council agreed to allocate $50,000 from the city's general fund in matching funds for a grant from the state Department of Community Affairs to construct new water and sewer lines to homes in the city's mill village.

White said engineers estimate the cost of the work will be around $240,000.

"The grant calls for a local match, but it would not be required in our case because our grant request is under $300,000," White told the council. "However, I would recommend that we provide a $50,000 match because it gives us more points in the grant project and makes us more competitive."

White said there are about 24 homes along Canon Drive and Cedar Street, which is in the city's former mill village located between Ga. 11 and Spring Street, that are connected to old and failing water lines.

He said the city would not have to spend the $50,000 if the grant is not awarded. He said the application is due April 1.

The Social Circle Development Authority held a called meeting March 9 to approve transfer of a leasehold interest on the Solo Cup property from Walton Investors LLC to Industrial Income Trust, based in Denver.

Development Authority member Frank Sherrill said the lease transfer will not affect the city or Solo Cup. He said the SCDA owns the land where the 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center is constructed, allowing the SCDA to provide the company tax abatements throughout the life of the lease.

"Because the Development Authority is the owner of the land, we had to concur with the transfer of the lease," Sherrill said. "The position of the city, the SCDA, Walton County and Solo Cup is completely unchanged."