‘Bold’ initiative may begin next school year
By Kathryn Purcell
What is the cost of public education?
In Morgan County, the answer to that question is $8,382.33, or the average total expenditure per Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Student, according to the Expenditure Report for Fiscal Year 2007 recently published by the Georgia Department of Education.
Compare that to the state average of $8,428.05 and the Northeast Georgia RESA (Regional Educational Service Agency) average of $8,592.77.
"On average, Morgan County spends less than the state average, less than the RESA average per student," Morgan County Superintendent Stan DeJarnett said, in presenting the information to the Board of Education at their meeting Monday night. "And there is a significant range in our RESA."
Of the counties surrounding Morgan County, Greene, Walton and Oconee counties are also in the Northeast Georgia RESA. According to the report, published on the Georgia Department of Education's Web site, Greene County spent significantly more than Morgan County per FTE, $10,321.69, while Walton County came close to Morgan's total, spending $8,538.03. Oconee County spent almost $300 less per FTE than Morgan County, with a total of $8,094.84.
Of the other counties surrounding Morgan County, but not in the same RESA, Putnam County spent $9,695.99 per FTE; Jasper County, $8,400; and Newton County, $7,855.17.
Morgan County falls fairly square in the middle in regards to the average cost per FTE, with Greene, Putnam, Walton and Jasper counties spending more and Oconee and Newton counties spending less.
Detainees spread the gospel, hard truth at A.M.E.
story by Jessica Blomquist • photo by Angelina Bellebuono
Council considers adding ‘C–5’ zone to industrial palate
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Sidewalks, parking spaces, retaining walls and drainage fields will be installed in Madison’s new Town Park in the coming weeks, making visible for the first time concrete advancements in the development of the space.
The grading on the site—handled gratis by the county—has been complete for nearly a month, but other contracts were delayed by complications in the bid process. As of this week, Madison’s Downtown Development Association has either signed or expects to sign contracts for curb, gutter and drainage; retaining walls, steps and walkways within the park; and the renovation of the 19th-century cottage on the property.
City and DDA officials are particularly eager to see sidewalks and parking spaces go in around the park.
“I call that the picture frame that will frame the park,” said City Manager David Nunn at the Madison City Council’s regular meeting Monday night.
Contract “2.1,” as the DDA calls it, for the curbs and gutters, has already been signed; Rendrag Construction could have that work complete within 90 days. “2.2,” the contract for the retaining wall and walkways, was approved by the DDA at its regular meeting Tuesday morning, pending final approval of the bid documents.
“You’re a long way toward where you want to be, with [the completion of] 2.2,” said Nunn.
And contract “2.3,” the work on the cottage, has already been bid on but DDA members will not select a contractor for a couple more weeks, at least, as they plan to conduct interviews with each of the bidders.
By Matthew Burgoyne
Trimble Bridge Road was abandoned by the county in July 2006, but the memories and history of the area still live on.
The old steel bridge, built across the Apalachee River separating Morgan and Greene counties, is one of the oldest in the county. Due to weathering and age, the bridge was in disrepair by the early 1990s. In March 2005, the two property owners adjacent to Trimble Bridge Road asked the county to abandon it. The two land owners were Bill Zachary and Weyerhaeuser, a corporation that works with forest land development. Both parties cited similar reasons for why they wanted the county to abandon the land – trespassing and loitering. Because it was happening on their land, both Zachary and Weyerhaeuser had an interest in stopping the problem.
As senior planner for Morgan County, Allison Moon has to consider situations like this. When the county was asked to abandon the property, a lot of thought had to be put into the decision.
“We don’t want the bridge taken down, but we also don’t want to designate the bridge as a public access recreational facility or access point,” Moon said.
Creating a recreational facility would be difficult at Trimble Bridge. The road leading to the structure is curvy and graveled. As the road goes farther, it gets thinner and less maintained. Currently, there is a locked gate about a mile down the road.