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Grovetown names new administrator, votes on library location

Posted: August 16, 2017 - 1:48am

Grovetown officials made several big decisions during its regular city council meeting Monday.

City council members unanimously voted to approve acting interim city administrator John Waller to assume the official title at a salary of $97,000.

Waller, who has been serving as interim city administrator, replacing longtime administrator Shirley Beasley, was originally hired as the city's planning director before taking on both responsibilities after resignation of the city's former director.

After much debate, the council also agreed to build its new $3.5 million library next to city hall.

The topic spurred debate from council members who argued that the new library should be built on property across the street from the new Grovetown Elementary School.

Speaking on behalf of her mother, Rosa Lee Owens, Rose Marie Hardin presented her case before the city council Monday for building the library across the street from the middle school.

The property would have to be purchased by the city at a cost of $280,000, which Hardin said could come from the General Obligation Bond that is funding the library's construction.

Council members Dennis Trudeau and Vicky Cook voted to build the library near the elementary school.

Grovetown Mayor Gary Jones broke the tie in opposition to building the library near the school.

Council members Sylvia Martin, Eric Blair and Jones stated their reason for the vote was the results of a recent resident survey that allowed residents to vote on a location.

A small majority voted to build the library next to city hall, with the location near Liberty Park Community Center coming in a close second. However, only 372 residents participated in the survey, according to the results.

Trudeau and Cook voted against the decision to build the library next to city hall; however Blair, Jones and Martin said they could not ignore the survey results.

The council also approved a decision to pull $130,000 out of reserves, in addition to other cuts citywide, to fund a half-million dollar expenditure revenue gap created after the city opted to keep the millage rate unchanged.

Waller met with Martin and Trudeau before the meeting to find areas where the city could fill the $550,000 gap, but could only come up with cuts totaling $400,000 from departments without affecting services.

Overall, the cuts mean no new equipment across the board, Waller told the council.

 

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