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Rezoning approved for flea market

A new flea market may soon open up in West Bainbridge, now that the Bainbridge City Council has given its approval for a necessary rezoning.

At its Tuesday meeting, the council approved, by unanimous vote, a rezoning of 703 and 709 Spring Creek Road from UR-6 and Neighborhood Business, respectively, to Highway Commercial for use as an open air flea market.

Speaking previously at the July 14 meeting, applicant Rollins Miller stated that 12 parking spaces would be provided for the flea market. The entrance to the flea market will be located off Butler Ferry Road.

Citizen questions layoff of city employees

Ted Snell, a frequent visitor to meetings held by the Bainbridge City Council and Decatur County Commissioners, addressed the council during the public participation portion of Tuesday night’s meeting.

Snell, a retired businessman, had previously addressed the council about the possibility of furloughing its employees—that is, making them take unpaid days off of work—to make up a projected shortfall. On Tuesday night, Snell referred to the city government’s action on July 10 to layoff nine employees for budgetary/economic reasons.

According to City Manager Chris Hobby, the layoffs, which the city termed a “reduction-in-force,” were prompted in part by declining sales tax receipts, which provides a significant portion of the city’s revenue. Hobby previously said the city’s monthly share of sales tax receipts had hit a five-year low during the past two months.

Snell asked why the impending layoffs had not been discussed by the City Council at its July 7 meeting. Snell asked city leaders to consider hiring some of the laid-off employees back if economic conditions improved. He also proposed that city leaders investigate the possibility of installing solar energy panels to help power large buildings, such as the new Bainbridge High School. No members of the Council replied to Snell’s comments.

Other business

 Approved, by unanimous vote, a request from the organizers of Bainbridge BikeFest to close the following streets during the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. of Saturday, Sept. 19, in order to accommodate a bike show and downtown entertainment: Water Street, between Broad and West streets; Broughton Street, between Broad and West streets and West Street between Water and Broughton streets.

 Approved, by unanimous vote, a request from Bainbridge BikeFest for a parade permit and police escort for its Veterans Ceremony and Parade to be held on Friday, Sept. 18. The parade will travel from Willis Park to U.S. 27 and then to the festival’s new site on Pond Town Road.

 Heard an annual presentation from the city’s Public Safety Division.

Bids and Bills

Bills: $2,381.54 from Southern US Insurance of Atlanta, Ga., for deductible billing for second quarter; and $3,390.77 from the Georgia Municipal Association Workers’ Compensation Fund for deductible.

Bids: $41,250 from Badger Meter of Milwaukee, Wis.., for additional meters for automated meter reader system; $8,009.52 from All Safe Industries of Louisville, Ky., for Hazardous Materials team apparel; $14,792.98 from Consolidated Pipe and Supply of Albany, Ga., for Drisplex plastic pipe.