Emerson applies for downtown pilot program
by Neil McGahee
Jan 14, 2014 | 1102 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Emerson City Council voted unanimously Monday to apply for membership in an 18-month pilot program focusing on job growth and creation in Georgia’s historic downtowns.

The Building Opportunity on Main Street program, a partnership between the Georgia Municipal Association, the Georgia Cities Foundation and the Department of Community Affairs, seeks to stimulate job growth by redeveloping business-friendly infrastructure in historic downtowns.

“We have had our eyes on this program since it began last year,” said City Manager Kevin McBurnett. “There are some grant opportunities available for creating success in downtown areas.”

Those grants could be used for streetscaping, traffic management and building housing opportunities as well as providing support for new businesses. Other Georgia cities taking part in the program include Ellijay, Madison, Jefferson, Cordele, Columbus and Woodstock.

The council also approved a resolution to continue seeking a ZIP code boundary change from the U.S. Postal Service.

“The city currently has three zip codes — 30137, 30121 and 30120 — within the city limits.” McBurnett explained. “We asked the postal service to expand the boundaries of 30137 to the city limits, but when they came back with their version of the proposed changes, it included large portions of the south end of Bartow County.”

McBurnett said the council agreed to the post office’s new version.

“If the change is approved by the postal service, then we will hold a series of public meetings in mid-January showing the boundaries and how the people living in those areas will be affected.” he said. “After the public meetings are held, the postal service will survey each affected customer, report their findings and a final vote will be taken.”

In other business, council:

• approved a 31 percent increase in city property re-evaluation by the Georgia Interlocal Risk Management Agency.

• approved a resolution switching the city’s health insurance plan from Coventry Health Care to Humana, saving $13,000 a year.

• approved four waiver requests for work being done at the south campus of the LakePoint Sporting Community.

• presented a certificate of achievement to Marlee Hardin for being named an Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education.

The Emerson City Council will meet next at city hall on Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.