Cartersville Council postpones Brunch Bill referendum for a year


The Cartersville City Council took action Thursday to correct an error that came down from Atlanta.

In February, the Georgia General Assembly passed a law commonly known as the Brunch Bill, which gave local municipalities that already have Sunday alcohol sales the option to decide through a ballot referendum if they would like to roll back Sunday on-premise consumption sale hours from 12:30 p.m. to 11 a.m. 

"When the General Assembly passed this law, no one realized that it didn't provide a provision for it to be on the ballot for the November general election," Assistant City Attorney Keith Lovell said. "Because they didn't include that, there are preexisting laws that require certain procedures for special elections related to alcohol matters. Those procedures require that if you had it on the ballot this November, you would have to hold two simultaneous elections. That means the voter would have to go in, get a card and vote. Then they would have to go out and go to another room or possibly even a new location and vote again."

Lovell said the cost to the city for staffing two different locations would be about $15,000. There are two options, he said, either shift the referendum to the November 2019 city election or hold a separate special election in March. Moving the referendum to November 2019 wouldn't incur any additional costs, but a special election would also cost the city $15,000.

Council voted to move the referendum to November 2019. 

Council approved a request from The Rotary Club of Bartow County for the creation of a festival zone for the Cartersville Beer Festival, with all proceeds going to local charities and causes.

"This is a resolution for a Rotary community festival on March 30, 2019," Downtown Development Authority Director Lillie Read said. "They want to create a family-friendly event to include kid's activities, music and vendors in addition to the beer festival. This is the first time this festival is coming to Cartersville. They want to have a zone on both sides of the track."

Public Works Director Tommie Sanders asked permission of the council to allow mayor Matt Santini to sign a Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) application and cover letter to the Georgia Deptartment of Transportation for $258,179 for resurfacing Riverside Drive, Curtis Court and Waterford Drive. A 30-percent match is required and will be provided with the Cook Street Culvert Project, which is funded with 2014 SPLOST and Stormwater funds. Council approved the request.

A public hearing of a first reading zoning and annexation request was heard. Owner Janice Wynn is requesting to annex two residential properties at 228 E. Felton Road into the city limits so future owners may utilize the Cartersville School System.  

"This is an important selling point for the owner," Planning and Development Director Randy Mannino said. "The owner recently purchased both lots and is renovating a house with the intention to sell both lots when the renovation is complete. Each lot is approximately 0.5 acres. All unincorporated lots are zoned A-1, which allows for large lot, single family detached homes. The  owner requests proposed R-20 city zoning, which is compatible with A-1 and should have no effect on the development or character of the neighborhood."

In February, the council authorized construction of the Center Road Sewer Replacement Project by Wade Coots Construction in the amount of $849,005.

"The project began in early May and has reached the most difficult stage of construction," Assistant Water Director Ed Mullinax said. "From this point forward, bypass pumping and reconnection of the sewer will take place every day. Additionally, there is a stream crossing and very tight construction limits for the remainder of the job. For these reasons, it is necessary to have a resident inspector onsite daily until the job is completed."

Mullinax said Sweitzer Engineering, the design engineer for the project,  said the cost should not exceed a price of $58,000 for construction administration and onsite inspection. The price was approved. 

Mullinax also reminded the council, that In 2011, they authorized a major overhaul of the water treatment plant's freight elevator, including a rebuild of control systems, pumps and hydraulic cylinders, but did not address the elevator car. 

"The car has become increasingly problematic with the elevator shutting down and/or alarming because the doors will not close or remain closed during operation," he said.

During a recent inspection, as part of the City's maintenance agreement with ThyssenKrupp, Mullinax said they observed the issues with the elevator car and provided a repair work order for $20,662, with 50 percent to be paid in advance  and the balance paid upon completion. Council approved the request.

The council approved a proposal to abandon approximately 2,000 linear feet of existing 6-inch and 10-inch cast iron water main under the Cartersville High School field house. The Water Department will install a new 6-inch water meter vault off of Nelson Street and lay approximately 400 feet of new line to feed the campus. In return, the field house contractor will abandon the existing 10-inch main in areas designated by the Water Department and run all necessary new lines to the new meter vault. 

This project will allow the school to expand in any direction they choose in the future without having to work around publicly owned water infrastructure.  The city benefits by no longer maintaining a very old line in an increasingly congested area. A low quote of $20,817.95 was accepted from Fortiline, but, because time is short before the new school year, a request to forgo authorization as long as the price does not exceed $30,000 would allow for potential unknowns.

In other business, council:

• Approved $8,292 for yearly support from Barracuda for the city's web filter and the SSL VPN appliance that provides secure remote connections for employees working outside the office.

• Approved payment of $5,187 to Martin Robbins Fence Company to repair a guardrail by the city cemetery. The city is submitting the charges to the driver's insurance company for reimbursement. 

• Approved $19,400 to upgrade cameras in the customer service area to four mega pixel cameras, 12 indoor and five outdoor.

• Accepted an amended Irrevocable Standby Letter of Credit for Kohl's, which decreases the amount of the Letter of Credit and updates their address.

• Denied a claim from Gina Brown, a city school bus monitor, who claimed she was injured in an accident involving the bus where she was a passenger.

The Cartersville City Council will hold a work session on Thursday, Aug. 2, at 6 p.m., followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m. at Cartersville City Hall.