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Longtime Thomson workers honored at council meeting

Two longtime Thomson city employees were honored Thursday at the meeting of the city council.

Mayor Ken Usry presented service plaques and envelopes to James "Rick" Sewell and Gregory "Slim" Curry.

Curry is a 10-year veteran of the street department. The mayor quoted city administrator Don Powers as saying Curry accepts any assignment.

Sewell is a 20-year veteran of the fire department, where he serves as chief.

"Thank you for the 20 years of dedicated service, and we hope for 20 more," Usry said.

"Rick and his crew do a super job," Usry said. He said Sewell is active in fundraisers for the fire department and charities.

In other business:

The council approved rezoning of three lots adjacent to the 3.1-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Thomson Bypass and Cobbham Road. Benji Cranford, who owns the corner lot, the three unoccupied lots and the access road, has said he plans to build a convenience store on the property. The planning commission recommended the zoning change from R-1 to B-2 on Oct. 27. Cranford said he has not secured a tenant for the property.

The council approved purchase of two heating and air-conditioning units for the main fire station on Washington Road. Indoor Comfort Solutions of Georgia submitted the lowest bid, of $7,413. Sewell said the heating unit on the office side of the station failed.

Powers submitted a summary of city projects in progress. He said the 2010 Community Development Block Grant infrastructure work is continuing. Sewer replacement and new storm water features have been finished on Dixie Drive and crews are addressing water, curb, gutter and sidewalk work on Pitts Street, with a projected completion date of Dec. 10.

Powers said the Georgia Department of Transportation has requested a list of traffic signs and pavement stripings throughout the city that need replacing or repainting. He said federal highway grant money might be available for that work. "It can be as much as $250,000 of DOT money," Powers said. Usry commended Powers on the inventory, which shows more than 360 stop signs in the city.

Powers presented a summary of the Railroad Street/Depot project. He said planning began in 2008, and the city now can expect to open bids in the spring of 2012.

Usry noted that trash-collection dates fluctuate around holidays. He asked Powers to prepare trash-can hangers to alert residents to deviations from the routine schedule.

The council received copies of proposed revisions to the city employee handbook, and set a meeting for 5 p.m. Nov. 17 to discuss the recommendations.

Dearing resident Ray Silverstein, who has said he will run for the county commission, asked the council to support a flat-rate sewer fee for the county.

Web posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011

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