By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has eased the level of the state drought in Madison from a Level IV (more severe) to a Level IVb (less severe).
The drought modification order went into effect on June 11, and will remain in effect through December 31, or until other directives are received from the state.
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division determined that “water use restrictions established by the state are not necessary or appropriate to relieve or avoid a local water shortage,” according to a letter received by the city last week.
“Under Level IVb…outdoor water uses are allowed on an odd/even basis, two days per week between midnight and 10:00 a.m.,” reads the letter from state Environmental Protection Division Director Carol Couch. “Odd addresses may water on Tuesdays and Thursdays; even addresses on Mondays and Wednesdays.” Other than for newly installed landscaping, the watering should be done by hand using a garden hose for up to 25 minutes per day during the designated watering hours. No outdoor watering is permitted in the City of Madison on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays.
The filling of swimming pools is still permitted, as designated by the General Assembly in May; the washing of hard surfaces, such as streets and driveways, is still prohibited.
“That’s good timing, because we’re going to need a good little bit of water to get [the landscaping in the new town park] going,” said Madison City Manager David Nunn.
For more information of the Drought Reponse Level IV area, the state EPD recommends visiting www.gaepd.com, and click on “Drought and Water Use Information for a list of frequently asked questions.
By Kathryn Purcell
Last month set records for Morgan County Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
EMS normally answers an average of 180 calls per month in Morgan County, according to Huey Atkins, director of Morgan County EMS. Last month, the organization answered 230 calls.
Atkins, however, isn't able to attribute the call increase to any one factor.
"There are days with 15 calls where we run four ambulances, and there are days we don't run ambulances anywhere in Morgan County," Atkins said.
Morgan County EMS runs two full-time stations, out of Madison and out of Fairplay, and an ambulance, staffed with two to three employees, is sent based on a dispatch from the county's 911 call center. The average response time within Madison is less than eight minutes, and less than 10 minutes in the outlying county.
Once the ambulance has arrived, a decision is made about the state of the patient and how far they can be transported.
"Based on what they find and what the patients want, the determination is made as to what hospital they go to," Atkins said. "[The decision is] based on where the patients want to go and whether the crew feels they can make it safely there or not."
Morgan County EMS takes residents to Morgan Memorial Hospital, primarily, as well as hospitals in Newton, Walton and Putnam counties and Rockdale, Greensboro and Athens.
By Patrick Yost
The Buckhead Town Council Monday held its first public hearing regarding the town’s fiscal year 2008 – 2009 budget.
Income generated from property taxes is expected to increase approximately $350, said Council member Jennifer Doran. Doran said the town would keep the millage rate at 2008 levels but county–wide property revaluations would drive a slight increase in tax collections. In total, revenue for the town’s general fund is expected to remain stagnant, matching last year’s $35,000 collection.
Expenses for the town are projected to drop approximately $2,500, based on reported budget projections, a reduction of total town spending from $32,000 in 2008 to an estimated $29,500 in 2009.
The town council also estimated a reduction of approximately $6,000 in its 2009 water fund. The town collected approximately $47,000 from water services in 2008 but is estimating income next year of $41,000. The town’s water service currently serves an estimated 120 customers. Expenses for the water system are expected to remain stagnant for 2009, matching 2008’s $27,000 mark.
In other Buckhead Town Council news, the council:
As the new school year begins in Morgan County, the school system is gearing up to launch Infinite Campus, a new student information system that will integrate all five schools in the system into one system.Â
The new system, which is 100 percent web-based and updates in real time, will now allow parents to access a mÃ©lange of information about their children as well as offer educators the means to assess their studentsâ€™ progress in new and innovative ways.Â
â€œIt allows us to access a lot
In the fleeting break between May and August, some teens are sofa-warmers, some teens are travelers, some teens are workers, whiSubmitted by archiver on Wed, 09/05/2007 - 13:08.
Summer. For many students, this time of year means waking up late, lounging in front of the television and spending time by the pool, working on that ever-elusive tan which always seems to be stuck somewhere between bright pale and a painful shade of red.
However, several Morgan County High School students chose to skip time poolside and, instead, continue their education, taking part in a variety of life-enriching experiences.
Rotary Youth Leadership Awards
Eleventh-grade student Wesley Glos
Sonny Snowden celebrated his 21st birthday Sunday. His mother, Robin Benkoski and Peter entertained guests at a barbecue luncheon at their home. Everyone was delighted to see Sonnyâ€™s walking since his accident earlier this year. Among those present for this joyful occasion were his sister Becky Snowden, his aunts and uncles, Glenda and Lee Nelms, Monaray and L. C. Powers, Susan Briscoe, Gertrude Plungis, Melvin and Beth Kitchens and Chris Brown. His father Bill Snowden and Aunt Frances Hamrick