Leaders of Grovetown and Harlem met for the first time in 2006 at regular city council meetings Jan. 9, handling such issues as water rates, alcohol ordinances and the swearing in of new members.
Grovetown City Council said goodbye to Tony Arnold, who did not run for another term after being elected in November 2003 to fill the 26 months remaining in the term of George James, who resigned to run for the county commission.
"It's an honor and a privilege for me to have served the citizens of Grovetown," Arnold said at the meeting after receiving a plaque of recognition from the council. "I have an exceptional replacement up here."
James was elected in No-vember to fill Arnold's seat.
"We're just flip-flopping that seat," Mayor Dennis Trudeau said.
City Attorney Brendan Fleming swore in James and incumbent Bruce Stoddard, both of whom were elected to serve four-year city council terms in November.
The first city council meeting of the year also included the first reading of a city ordinance allowing by-the-drink alcohol sales on Sunday. City residents agreed to allow the sales by passing a referendum in November.
The city ordinance allows alcohol sales between 1 and 11 p.m. Sunday. A second public reading of the ordinance at the Feb. 13 city council meeting is required before the ordinance can go into effect Feb. 14.
Harlem City Council saw only one personnel change at their first meeting of 2006.
Former mayor pro tem Robin Root declined the nomination to serve as mayor pro tem and nominated Councilman Rudolph Dixon for the position.
"Oh, we're going to have some changes made," Dixon said with a laugh after he was unanimously voted as mayor pro tem. "I say with gratitude, thank you."
Harlem residents might see a 5 percent increase on water and sewer services in April. The city purchases water from Columbia County and was told last year the cost of that water would go up 15 percent during three years - 5 percent each of those years. The first of those raises occurred in April and was passed along to residents using city water.
Harlem City Council voted at its Jan. 9 meeting to pass along water increases from the county to residents.
"The rate schedule increase will be equal to the rate increase charged to the city by Columbia County," Mayor Scott Dean said.
The next rate increase should happen in April and city residents will be notified through their water bill and in the city newsletter.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.