Cartersville approves MPO memorandum
by Jason Lowrey
Dec 21, 2012 | 1397 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
With the Cartersville City Council’s approval of a memorandum of understanding Thursday night, the Cartersville-Bartow County Metropolitan Planning Organization approval process moves on to the state level. Planning and Development Director Randy Mannino said after this approval, plans for the MPO would move on to the governor’s office. If approved, the MPO will be the 16th in the state.

“This is a good thing,” Mayor Matt Santini said. “This keeps us from being a small fish in a big pond with [the Atlanta Regional Commission] and it certainly gets us out of that shadow a little bit. So [I’m] real happy to see that.”

The MPO is required under federal law, as an urbanized area in the county has exceeded a population of 50,000. All federal funding for transportation projects will flow through the organization. It also gives the county and cities more say in how the transportation projects are planning, Mannino said.

“The object of it is to have the actual boundary of the county be our entire MPO. That way we control our own transportation planning, short term [or] long term,” he said.

Also approved was the emergency reading of an ammendment to the city’s development regulations ordinance. Public Works Director Bobby Elliott, who was not present at the meeting, had discovered the ordinance’s requirements for dumpster enclosures were too small and hindering trash collection. He requested the council approve the amendment as an emergency reading — rather than going through the usual two readings — in order to prevent any planned enclosures from being too small.

The first reading of a number of text amendments to the city’s zoning ordinance was heard as well. City Planner Richard Osborne said his department had been reviewing the ordinance since it was revised in 2010 and making notes of needed changes. One amendment, he said, was more important than the rest.

Under the current ordinance, applicants for a special use permit do not need to include any information about how their property use may affect their neighbors. That would change with the proposed ammendment.

“These sections are proposed to be modified to require an applicant proposing special use to state possible effects on the activity of traffic flow, parking, screening, hours of operation, lighting ingress and egress and compatibility with surrounding land use,” Osborne said.

While the council often takes those criteria into consideration when approving a special use permit, this change would require the applicant to include such information with the application, Osborne added.

The council also approved a contract with Vaulted Vending, who will install a vending machine for duck, goose and fish food at Dellinger Park.

Parks and Recreation Director Greg Anderson said the machine was necessary in order to cut down on food littering the park and going into the pond. The human food, he added, was also unhealthy for the animals and the environment.

Under the agreement Vaulted Vending will install the machine at no cost to the city and pay 50 percent of the proceeds to the parks department.

Other council business included:

• Hearing the first reading of a request to update and re-adopt the official zoning map for Cartersville.

• Approving a memorandum of understanding with the Georgia Main Street program.

• Approving an agreement with the American Red Cross, allowing the organization to use the Cartersville Civic Center in the event of a disaster.

• Approving a quit claim for Ruby Street to allow Georgia Power to work in the area.

• Approving changes to Cartersville Electric System’s billing system in the sum of $12,870 to allow the collection of increased electric rates.

• Approving the replacement of the CES office’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the sum of $8,958.

• Approving the repair of a high service pump valve in the Cartersville Water Department’s treatment plant in the sum of $10,950.35.

• Approving the purchase of a valve actuator for the high service pump in the sum of $9,530.

• Approving the restocking of water department distribution and collection inventory in the sum of $10,827.86.

• Hearing the October monthly financial statement.

The Cartersville City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. at city hall.