Members of the Cartersville City Council voted unanimously Thursday evening to approve the purchase and installation of a new severe weather monitoring system.
Cartersville Fire Chief Scott Carter said the upgrades to the City’s ten existing warning sirens will allow for automatic activation whenever the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning.
“It activates, for lack of a better word, a [geographic information system] polygon,” he said. “In addition to that, we’re able to take that and we can set it up to where if we have watches or anything, it can also push out on our social media automatically without intervention.”
The current activator and control head for the system, he said, has been in operation for about 20 years.
“It’s outdated, it’s pretty antiquated, it has to be manually operated,” he said. “We all know errors could occur as far as that’s concerned.”
Council members authorized a $15,700 payment to Birmingham-based sole-source-provider Mobile Communications America for the upgrades.
“On our record retention, currently we have to use a dot-matrix printer, it’s very cumbersome,” Carter said. “This will allow us for digital record-keeping and automatic notification if we have any form of failure or maintenance issue … it will even notify us ahead of time if we have a problem with any one of the sirens.”
The upgrades, he said, will be funded via 2020 SPLOST dollars — particularly, a pot set aside for fiber expenses.
“This is a time-sensitive issue due to the severe weather that we’re in this time of year, and because of the coronavirus going down, it’s about a 45-day installation,” Carter said.
Documents indicate the City will pay $1,600 for one year of remote maintenance, with WeatherWarn programming, installation and training expenses also tabbed at $1,600.
Council members also voted unanimously to approve a $1,229,746.92 contract for Indiana-based ElectriCom, LLC to install roughly four miles of pipe from the City’s Transco delivery point to its Brown Farm Road regulating station.
“These folks have successfully done work for Eatonton and Covington, they’re pretty much on call there all the time,” said City of Cartersville Gas Department Superintendent Michael Hill. “We vetted them pretty good, so we have faith that they can do this job well for us.”
Hill said he anticipates the gas main extension project taking at least six months.
Council members also voted unanimously to approve a considerably less expensive item — a water department request to repair a grit chamber at the local water pollution control plant.
“All of this equipment is sole sourced to WSE Solutions and the total cost of repairs this time will be $29,209,” said City of Cartersville Water Department Director Bob Jones.
Council members spent much of the work session held prior to Thursday evening’s Zoom-conducted meeting discussing a proposal to construct a new kayak/canoe launch off Douthit Ferry Road near Sam Smith Park.
Cartersville City Manager Tamara Brock said the Bartow County government has already applied for funding to construct the project. Once it is completed, she said the plan is to turn over the launch for the City to maintain and operate.
She said the specs on the project are comparable to the launch along Hardin Bridge Road.
“The one they proposed in the drawing had about 61 spaces,” she said. “We kind of like the idea of making it a little bit smaller and looking at 39.”
At least one councilman, Gary Fox, said he preferred the prospects of having a larger parking lot.
“A lot of people would use that to access that trail for walking as well as biking,” he said. “I don’t think the parking lot will just be used for boating, because if you go to the 113 boat launch, a lot of people park there to walk the path at Pettit Creek.”
Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini said he believes the proposed launch would represent a “great addition” to the City’s recreational offerings — as well as a safer option for those looking to use the community’s water resources.
“Anybody that’s been on Douthit Ferry Road knows that there are people that are using the left side of the road,” he said. “It is a really treacherous area that I’m quite surprised we don’t have a lot of fire department calls out there for rescues or injuries.”
City of Cartersville Parks and Recreation Director Tom Gilliam also gave his support to the proposed project.
“The best thing about it is it gives us a put-in as well as a take-out there at Leake Mounds for us as a City, so I think that’s huge,” he said.
Still, Brock said she had some initial concerns about noise complaints, as well as individuals potentially using the launch for larger vessels.
Cartersville City Attorney Keith Lovell, however, said that could be addressed by the council at a later date.
“If you have a problem with people putting jet skis or whatever else in the river, at that point, just like any other City property ya’ll would have the ability to adopt an ordinance and say ‘You can’t use it at that location,’” he said.
Brock said an intergovernmental agreement between the County and the City is expected to go before council at a meeting slated for 7 p.m. on May 21.
The council meeting began with a moment of silence paying tribute to the late Lindsey McDaniel, Jr., who died April 19 at the age of 86.
McDaniel taught at Summer Hill High School and later served as a Cartersville City Council member from 2004 to 2017.
“Lindsey spent an awful lot of time in this community, doing an awful lot of good,” Santini said. “A lot of which people saw and probably even more that they didn’t see.”
Other items approved by council at Thursday’s meeting include:
— A request from the planning and development department to pay Thyssenkrupp $12,266 for elevator repairs.
— A request from the electric department to pay an invoice from Southeastern Natural Gas Services of Rome, Inc. totaling $5,976. Per City documents, the costs are being reimbursed by AT&T.
— A request from the water department to pay Fortiline Waterworks $11,745 for ten fire hydrants.