Euharlee council holds mumble-free work session
by Neil B. McGahee
Aug 20, 2014 | 1702 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Before the Euharlee City Council’s work session began Tuesday evening, council member Joseph “Jo-Jo” Turner established a special rule of order — no mumbling.

Not that there hasn’t been mumbling before, but Turner had another reason for requesting the rule.

“I have misplaced the charging station for my hearing aid,” he said. “I have looked everywhere and can’t find it, so please speak loud and clear and don’t mumble.”

The first order of business to be loudly discussed was rental fees for the historic covered bridge and the adjacent pavilion.

“The city recently became the owner of the Euharlee Covered Bridge,” said City Manager Trish Sullivan.”And we recently finished building the outdoor pavilion near the bridge. We get a lot of requests to use the bridge, especially for weddings. I think it would be appropriate to charge a $100 rental fee and a $150 damage deposit. All of those proceeds would be going into a maintenance fund.”

Council Member Ronald Nesbitt asked Sullivan what was considered the covered bridge and why hadn’t the city charged before now.

“The covered bridge would be the bridge itself and the grassy areas surrounding the bridge,” she replied. “And we haven’t previously charged a fee because we didn’t own the bridge.”

In June, Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor approved a quit claim deed transferring ownership of the Euharlee Covered Bridge to the city of Euharlee.

“To be quite honest, I never realized the county owned the bridge,” Taylor said then. “I just assumed it belonged to the city of Euharlee. Now it does.”

Council Member Craig Guyton said charging a higher security deposit than the usage fee didn’t make sense. He proposed making both fees $150.

Turner countered that rather than renting one venue, say the bridge, both facilities should be rented together.

“I think both facilities should be rented as a whole, especially to weddings,” he said. “No one would rent the bridge except for a wedding. If we rent both facilities as one, then the wedding party has a place to dress.”

Council Member Steve Worthington said that if the city rented the bridge only, people would still go up to the pavilion to use the restroom and change clothes and the city would lose maintenance dollars.

Guyton suggested charging a $200 usage fee and a $150 refundable deposit.

The council will vote on the fees at the Sept. 2 meeting.

In other business, the council:

• Heard a first reading for a dress code for Euharlee employees.

• Considered changing to period appropriate signage for city attractions like the covered bridge. Sullivan recommended waiting until after the scheduled public meetings on Thursday, Aug. 21, from 7 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon.

• Discussed three bids to replace the carpet in the old library.

The Euharlee City Council regular meeting will be held Tuesday, Sept. 2, at 7 p.m. at the Euharlee City Hall, 30 Burge’s Mill Road.