Adairsville receives praise for cooperation in tornado relief
by Matt Shinall
Mar 15, 2013 | 1777 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After regular business was conducted at Thursday’s Adairsville City Council meeting, the city received praise for its efforts and cooperation with volunteers in the cleanup and relief work following the Jan. 30 tornado.

Helping lead the Bartow Recovery disaster response team, David Franklin of the Bartow Baptist Association addressed the council Thursday in gratitude of its facilitation of more than 3,000 volunteers that have come through since the tornado.

“I just came tonight to simply say thank you to the city of Adairsville for letting us serve,” Franklin said. “It’s been great having a city to work with that is just exceptional.

“This experience has been a really, really neat thing. Not just everyone in Adairsville, but the government has worked with us and given us the opportunity to serve.”

After an army of volunteers pitched in the first two weeks after the storm, efforts shifted from cleanup to recovery and work is now being done to repair homes. Volunteer efforts are focusing on the uninsured and the underinsured.

“We’ve gotten nine roofs back on and our goal is to get tarps out of Adairsville as quickly as possible,” Franklin said. “It’s going to take a long time, but it’s moving in the right direction.”

As the council gave a unanimous voice of gratitude to Franklin and community volunteers helping Adairsville residents, Adairsville City Manager Pat Crook spoke up with her words of thanks.

“I’d like to thank you. You have done things we could never have done as a government,” Crook said. “You’ve just picked up where we left off and it’s been a very good experience.”

Also speaking before the council Thursday was Poplar Springs United Methodist Church Pastor Jimmy O’Tinger, speaking out against an agenda item regarding improvements to the Adairsville McDonald’s.

O’Tinger is concerned about runoff from neighboring businesses, including McDonald’s. His concerns are about the management of the runoff, health and environmental concerns stemming from the water’s content and erosion caused by excessive runoff.

As he spoke to the council, he produced two mason jars filled with water samples, which he plans to have tested. He also has contacted the Georgia Environmental Protection Division in hopes of having the runoff tested on site.

A renovation of the McDonald’s restaurant was the first item on the council’s agenda Thursday night following the approval of minutes from prior meetings. The proposed changes would consist of altering buffer space at the drive-thru, adding a sign and allowed signage area and changes to the building’s exterior.

The city council approved the first reading of the variance request after receiving a unanimous recommendation from the planning commission to allow the request.

Council members also approved the first reading of the Bartow County ordinance for the enforcement of fire codes as well as the new county fee schedule for the fire marshal’s office. With the addition of Bartow County’s first fire marshal, fire codes and inspections must be followed on all buildings that are not single-family or two-family residences.

A full report on the new fee schedule was covered in The Daily Tribune News in February after the county adopted the ordinance for unincorporated residents. Adairsville, as well as all Bartow County municipalities other than Cartersville, receive fire service from the Bartow County Fire Department. For more information, call Fire Marshal Bryan Cox at 678-721-5495.

The second reading of an amendment for building codes and enforcement was approved Thursday. The amendment would alter and add to the property maintenance code language that will provide enforcement options for aesthetic violations. The changes relating to junk and other yard debris or clutter will take effect June 1. Education opportunities are being planned to inform residents and business owners of the changes. For more information, contact the Adairsville Police Department, at 770-773-7859, and ask for code enforcement.

An intergovernmental agreement between Bartow County and the city of Adairsville concerning the collection of Ad Valorem taxes was approved and the purchase of three patrol cars was approved. The patrol cars and necessary equipment, costing no more than $110,000, is to be paid for with 2014 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax dollars as funds become available.

Lastly, the council approved the necessary measures be taken to expedite the repair or replacement of the Collins Mountain water tank damaged in the Jan. 30 tornado. The lid of the tank was destroyed by the tornado and the tank’s interior was damaged by debris. The extent of the damage has slowed the insurance process and officials are now waiting to hear whether the tank will be repaired or replaced.

“This is an insurance settlement and we are waiting on the insurance company to make a decision on whether it is able to cover a repair or a replacement of the tank,” Crook said. “They’ve asked for some additional testing so we’ve been delayed about a month.”

Crook warned that the process will not be a fast one and that her hope would be to have a new or repaired tank operational by winter.