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Penhallegon: Protect our history

At its meeting on Tuesday evening, the council heard from citizen Clayton Penhallegon, who presented the council with three requests.

Penhallegon’s chief request was to ask the council to consider acting to protect and promote a large live oak tree located behind City Hall near the intersection of Broughton and Clay streets in what is currently a dirt parking lot.

According to Penhallegon, the oak tree in question has a circumference of 28.5 feet, which would make it larger than a renowned tree in Thomasville said to be 24 feet around. Penhallegon said that after comparing it with other renowned live oaks, the Bainbridge tree could be close to 900 years old. In his opinion, registering it with the Live Oak Society could help draw tourists to the site.

Penhallegon also asked the council to consider moving a Georgia historical marker located on the Shotwell Street offramp accessed via the south/east lanes of the U.S. 27/84 bypass. According to Penhallegon, the limestone marker and plaque—which details the travel of U.S. President Andrew Jackson near what is now Bainbridge on March 8, 1818—is currently difficult to view by auto or foot. He suggested moving the marker to Hatcher Street near the Earle May Boat Basin.

Penhallegon’s third request was to ask the council to ensure that a historic building known as the Old Powder Magazine, located on Clay Street near the Oak City Cemetery, would be secured to prevent vandalism.

Other business

In addition to a discussion regarding the purchase of new patrol and investigative vehicles for Bainbridge Public Safety, the Bainbridge City Council conducted the following business at its meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at City Hall:

 Tabled indefinitely, per the suggestion of Mayor Mark Harrell, consideration of a contract with Clemons, Rutherford and Associates of Tallahassee, Fla., on a proposed redesign/renovation of City Hall until such time the firm’s representatives are ready to answer questions presented at the council’s Oct. 6 meeting.

 Heard from City Manager Chris Hobby in regards to the First Baptist Church’s request to permanently close a portion of Clay Street between Shotwell Street and the terminus of the church’s property. Hobby said legal research indicated the city needed to draft administrative policy and procedures related to permanent street closures. The council will hold public hearings on the Clay Street requests at its meetings on Nov. 3 and Nov. 17.

 Approved, by unanimous vote, a request from Jawann Lewis for a conditional use of the property located at 401 Broad St. to allow a car wash. Hobby there was adequate space and parking at the site and said Lewis would install sufficient drainage facilities.

 Approved, by unanimous vote, a request from First United Methodist Church’s request to temporarily close a portion of Florida Street near the church between the hours of 4 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 25, in order to hold a children’s event.

 Appointed Jay Wells to replace Blaine Palmer, who moved outside of Bainbridge city limits, on the Bainbridge Planning Commission.

Bids and Bills

The council voted 5-1, with Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer voting no, to approve a $75,591 bid from Hardy Family Ford of Dallas, Ga., for two new Ford Expeditions and one Ford Crown Victoria with police interceptor package.

In a separate vote, the council voted unanimously to approve the following bids and bills:

Bills: $3,179.30 from GovDeals of Montgomery, Ala., for fees and credits associated with the city’s surplus auction conducted in September; $23,247 from Public Risk Underwriters of Norcross, Ga., for commercial general liability and workers compensation premium; $14,306 from Alliant Insurance Services of Alpharetta, Ga., for general liability insurance; $3,485.46 from Georgia Municipal Association of Atlanta, Ga., for workers’ compensation deductible; $21,479.77 from Southeastern U.S. Insurance of Atlanta for deductible billing; and $42,719.70 from Decatur County Board of Commissioners for monthly inmate and landfill charges.

Bids: $39,352.50 from Florida Rock of Bainbridge for annual concrete supply, $349,853.28 from Riverbend Ford of Bainbridge for 12 Ford Crown Victorias equipped with P-71 package with lights and police radios for Public Safety; $7,050 from Genesis Group of Tallahassee, Fla., for change order on engineering services on Downtown Streetscape Phase II.