Cartersville postpones electric rate decision, discussions continue
by Matt Shinall
Mar 16, 2012 | 1271 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The city of Cartersville will further delay a decision on the proposed electric rate structure change tabled earlier this month in response to concerns from industrial customers.

As discussions continue with local manufacturers, the city council approved Thursday to remove the item from the agenda until further progress is made on the matter.

At the item's first reading last month, representatives from local industry, including Anheuser-Busch, Shaw and Linde, spoke in opposition to the structure change.

"The city staff and the leadership of our electric department continue to work individually with our industrial customers," said Mayor Matt Santini. "So based on the staff recommendations, as they continue to go about their business, for us to remove this item from the agenda so we won't have to keep on tabling it. And they will present it back when they are ready to do so."

Another item approved Thursday that may affect many area manufacturers was the council's decision to extend the city's freeport tax exemption from 20 percent to 40 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2013.

Freeport is a tax on inventoried goods in the process of being manufactured or produced, including raw materials and partially finished goods. The state of Georgia allows for freeport exemption to be set at levels of 20 percent, 40 percent, 60 percent, 80 percent or 100 percent of the inventory value. Increased freeport exemption rates are used by communities as incentives for prospective manufacturers and other areas of industry maintaining high inventories, including warehousing and distribution.

"We talked with the school board, they are certainly facing a number of financial challenges through the state, but I'll state publicly again -- this is one of the single most important things we can do in our economic development strategy to bring quality jobs to this community. I am really happy that we are taking this step and I am even more happy that the school board is taking this step with us," Santini said.

Two first readings were heard Thursday, including a rezoning request for 1120 West Ave., next to McDonald's, from commercial to light industrial and an amendment to the motor vehicle and traffic ordinance removing the "no left turn" clause on Church Street at the former post office.

All items up for vote Thursday were approved by the council:

* Reappointment of Harold Smith to the Development Authority of Cartersville.

* Purchase of crime mapping software to track crime statistics and occurrences in the amount of $12,200 the first year plus a $7,200 annual fee every year thereafter. Funding will come from asset forfeitures.

* A contract was approved with Pettit Timber for yard waste removal for $8 per ton.

* The purchase of baseball netting at the Cartersville Baseball Complex for $13,055.20.

* Equipment was approved for the public safety headquarters under construction on Cassville Road, including cabling, video surveillance, data services and equipment in the amount of $704,010 and smart boards and projectors for $37,314.71.

* The purchase of replacement mixers for the water treatment plant was approved for $24,088.32.

* A water boost pump station on Main Street will be repaired at a cost of $10,240.

* Stock items are to be replaced for the water department's distribution and collections in the amount of $8,594.

* The water department also requested an emergency item which was approved for the repair of a backup generator at the water treatment plant for $9,051.52.

* A reimbursement for the library was requested from the impact fee fund and approved in the amount of $15,813.34.

* Equipment from various departments was declared surplus for auction on