The Mayor and City Council of LaGrange had a very busy day this past Tuesday, August 22nd. After a work session that morning, the group then embarked for a tour of the downtown Courtyard by Marriott hotel that is scheduled to open later this year. That tour will be covered and reported on right here in Troup County News. Later that night, the Mayor and Council once again came together for their regularly scheduled meeting.
That night, Natalie Hale with the Friends of the Thread was on hand to present a check to the City for maintenance of the Thread. Last month, the Thread hosted its grand opening to a large crowd. The event is huge and a significant happening for all of LaGrange, with the finishing touch of the separation lines being laid just this past week. The City and the Friends of the Thread have been working together a long time with this project and are already beginning phase two of the Thread. There will eventually be many phases and after many years, the Thread is set to connect the entire community. That night, Hale presented a check in the amount of $11,125 for maintenance of the trail system.
Another delegation that night came from Evie Kettler. After being introduced by Sheriff James Woodruff who has been a long time supporter of Kettler, Evie took the stage for a presentation on her new non profit. Kettler has become well known throughout the community for her fight for animal rights. She played a part in the Mayor and Council’s 2015 ordinance that restricted the tethering of dogs to a fixed point. Kettler found an organization, Fences 4 Fido that helps provide fencing for people that need it for their animals so that they do not have to love their life chained up. This prompted Kettler to start her own nonprofit, Paws for Chainge, with which she has already built two fences in the community. She was there that night to ask for support and promotion from the Mayor and Council.
Under Petitions and Communications, there was a motion for the Board of Zoning Appeals recommendation on a request for a Special Use Permit for a Group Treatment Facility located at 99 Johnson Street for Next Crossroad. Months ago, this same request was filed for a location on Alford Street but after many complaints from residents in the area, the request was denied. Now the request has been resubmitted for the location on Johnson Street and a public hearing has been called for at the September 11th meeting.
There were two resolutions called for that night. The first was authorizing the Mayor and Assistant City Manager to execute a Maintenance Funding and License Agreement with the Friends of the Thread. The other resolution was authorizing the Mayor and Assistant City Manager to execute a Second Amendment to Public Roadway, Water, and Sewer Infrastructure Agreement. This deals with the new pumping station that will be placed near the new Great Wolf Lodge and Selig land.
There were several second reading of ordinances that night, all of which were voted on and approved by the Council that night. These include all of the DASH properties on Jackson, Jenkins, Freeman, and Jefferson streets which have been highly publicized as of late, as well as the amendments to zoning ordinance to include both brewpubs and microbreweries.
After the meeting during the Mayor’s open mic policy, several citizens came forward and expressed frustration to the Mayor and Council about the City’s gang problem and why there are no activities for youth in the community. The Mayor and Council retorted and stated that they have funded, sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars, several projects throughout the city to try and help the youth in the community. The conversation was civil and many ideas were discussed as to what more the citizens and the council both can do to continue the fight on gangs and the saving of our children.