During the hearing, the city heard from Planning and Zoning Administrator Ron Goss, who said the zoning request is to change the area to an agricultural use for the new land owner, Jason Willis, to relocate his tree nursery business to the city from its current location in Moultrie. According to the application, and to Willis's presentation to the council, the land will be used to house his Internet-based, mail order business that grows and sells trees. Willis also intends to relocate his family to the city as well, citing the better climate as his main reason for the change.
Moving into their work session, the council opened the meeting with a continued discussion regarding installing a fence around the grist mill ruins to deter citizens from climbing into the ruins and incurring possible injury due to the weak structure. After much discussion and debate between the city's original proposal to install an 8-foot temporary chain link fence around the area with the Historic Preservation Commission's preference of a wooden split rail or privacy fence, the city decided that with signs placed around the area, a black, chain link fence would be suitable for their needs. The fence is designed to be temporary, while archeological studies will be conducted on the site and stabilization and construction could take place over the next year, once permits are obtained. Currently, the city's main concern regards liability issues if injuries were to occur.
Following the debate regarding the fence, council member Craig Guyton presented the consideration of a referendum for the July 31 primary ballot to present the option of allowing package alcohol sales on Sunday in the city. Cartersville and Kingston have already approved Sunday sales. The council will vote on the referendum at a later date and encourages the community to step forward and voice their opinions on allowing Sunday alcohol sales in the city at their next council meeting.
Wrapping up the bulk of the meeting, City Manager Trish Sullivan presented the budget for the Euharlee Police Department to the council for questions. Chief Terry Harget also presented a request for two new patrol cars to replace the current Ford Crown Victoria's with over 100,000 miles each. Harget proposed that the patrol cars be replaced with new Dodge Chargers at approximately $20,000 each after a trade-in value on the Crown Victoria's. The cost is covered in the new budget, as well as the extra approximately $7,000 cost to equip the vehicle with computers and other necessary items. Some equipment, including radars and radios, may be reused for the new vehicles, but dash cameras and cages from the current units will not fit into the new Chargers.