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Council votes to retain current millage; budget goes forward

The Thomson City Council chose last week to keep the property tax millage rate stable in 2012 and to absorb the loss of about $14,400.

The council voted Thursday to advertise the same rate of 5.399. That rate will gather $723,233 in taxes this year.

Because of some reductions in property valuations, that rate will take in about $708,811 in 2012.

Details will be sorted at 5 p.m. today, when the council meets for a work session.

That meeting, to be held on the second floor of the government center, is estimated to take about two hours.

According to the tentative budget schedule, a public hearing will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1. The budget and tax digest could be approved at a regular city council meeting at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8.

In other business:

- An ordinance banning smoking on the government center property and the historic courthouse property was passed on second reading, on a 5-0 vote.

Because the measure previously was adopted by the McDuffie County Commission, the measure becomes law immediately, according to Thomson City Clerk Dianne Landers.

Violations carry a fine of up to $250 for each offense.

- City Administrator Don Powers advised the council that the pit burner at the recycling center has been repaired, and "we've got a ton of waste to burn" as soon as wind and other safety conditions are right.

- Powers said the sale of water to Harlem is back on track after a chlorination feature was added to a pump station.

- Powers reported the city has received more requests for speed bumps. He said a proposed policy will be on the Sept. 8 council agenda.

He said the estimated cost is $1,500 for each speed bump and includes asphalt, striping and signs.

- Powers said the regular quarterly meeting of the water-sewer commission was postponed from July 19 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30.

- Powers said the supervisor training course has begun, with further sessions set for Aug. 25 and 26 and Sept. 19.

"The feedback I am getting from the supervisors is very favorable, so it appears that the training module we chose is a good one," Powers wrote in his report to the council.

- The council granted Georgia Power Co. an easement to provide electricity to the fire training building off Augusta Highway. The utility pays $10 for the right to install and maintain service on a tract formally known as 612 Forest Clary Drive Extension.

- The council accepted a bid recommendation for improvements in the Pitts Street area.

Bids were opened Aug. 10. The winning bidder is Beam Site Preparation, with a bid of $399,660.80. The money comes from a Community Development Block Grant awarded in 2010. Work includes paving, sewer and water lines, curbs and gutters.

- The council was advised of two approaching meetings: A Transportation Roundtable was planned for 6 p.m. Monday at Savannah Rapids Pavilion. A Hometown Connection meeting with state legislators will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5, in Thomson, with officials from McDuffie and Warren counties and Harlem and Washington attending.

Web posted on Thursday, August 18, 2011

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