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City Council addresses right-of-way guidelines

Thomson City Council convened for its monthly meeting at city hall last Thursday night and adopted a second reading of an ordinance.

The first one involved new right-of-way guidelines, especially recommended by officials with the Georgia Municipal Association.

The state organization in which the city has been a member for many years, suggests updating existing or adoption of new ordinances concerning right-of-way management in light of state telephone and cable/video legislation passed by the Georgia Legislature back in 2007 and 2008.

The legislation makes it clear that ROW protection issues be addressed within the authority of local government to manage the public rights of way on a competitively neutral and nondiscriminatory basis.

The ordinance will:

Establish reasonable standards for ROW occupancy;

Require an application in writing to use the rights of way specifically describing the nature, extent and location of the portion of the utility affected and;

Allow for the provision of an indemnity bond or other acceptable security conditioned to pay for damage to any part of a public road or to any member of the public caused by the work of the utility performed under authority of a city permit.

In other business, the council appointed Juanita Wheeler to replace Robert L. "Bob" Flanders as a member of the Thomson Historic Preservation Commission. Mr. Flanders, who twice served as city administrator and has held many appointed positions in Thomson, decided to resign in August.

In his letter of resignation to Thomson Administrator Don Powers, Mr. Flanders wrote: "It has been an honor and pleasure to serve on the HPC. We have accomplished several objectives. Local guidelines have been adopted and put into place. A set of procedures and forms have been created and are available to guide the public.

"I have enjoyed my period of service and I wish you and the other members of the HPC well as Thomson continues to grow and prosper."

Most recently, Mr. Flanders submitted a letter of resignation as executive director of the city's Housing Authority.

Web posted on Thursday, October 15, 2009

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