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CITY OF CORNELIA
MINUTES OF MEETING
January 10, 2022
The Cornelia City Commission met in a Workshop Session on Monday, January 10, 2022, at 5 PM in the Cornelia Municipal Building Conference Room, 181 Larkin Street, Cornelia, GA. Mayor, John Borrow, called the meeting to order and the following Commissioners were present: Tony Cook, Janice Griggs, Jeff Wilson, and Don Bagwell was absent. Also, present: City Attorney, Steve Campbell, City Manager, Donald Anderson, Human Resource Director, Diane Feorino, Community Development, Jessie Owensby, IT Director, Jeremy Dundore, Police Chief, Chad Smith and Debbie Turner, City Clerk.
Police Chief, Chad Smith gave his yearly report to the Mayor and Commissioners, he highlighted some of the issues that have affected his department. Covid being the biggest barrier regarding employees being out and even down to domestic incidents increasing because of people having to stay home. City Manager, Anderson asked if there could be some extra patrol at Lee Street due to some drug activity there. Mayor Borrow said he had someone ask him about it and he was concerned someone was going to get hurt. A copy of Chief Smith’s report is made an integral part of the minutes.
IT Director, Jeremy Dundore gave his yearly report, saying he thinks we are in much better shape this year. The city was hacked on December 26th, 2021, since then a lot of firewalls have been installed as well as additional security features.
Mayor John Borrow opened the workshop and City Manager reviewed some of the items on the agenda. Mr. Anderson said that Audrey Davenport will be at the meeting on behalf of the Habersham County Historical Society, and she is looking for help with some funding. Mr. Anderson said he met with her on Friday, and they had a good meeting. She has already talked with Mount Airy and will be talking with some of the other cities to ask them for funding. The City provides a building and free utilities for the HCHS.
City Manager Anderson also went over the request from the DDA to extend the Entertainment District. He said that we have several businesses that would like to be included in the district. Mr. Anderson also informed the Mayor and Commissioners that Ordinance #01-22-01, Amendment to chapter 38 would prohibit residents from placing leaves are brush in the city storm drains, culverts and on top of the catch basin. He said residents are putting their leaves at the street and causing flooding due to the leaves clogging the drains.
Commissioner Cook made the motion to adjourn the workshop at 5:50 to enter executive session for personnel, seconded by Commissioner Wilson. Approved 3 - 0
Commissioner Cook made the motion to close the executive session at 6pm, seconded by Commissioner Wilson. Action taken to hold a special call meeting February 1st, at 4:30 PM. Approved 3 – 0
The Cornelia City Commission met in Regular Session on Monday, January 10, 2022, at 6 PM in the Cornelia Municipal Building Conference Room, 181 Larkin Street, Cornelia, GA. Mayor, John Borrow, called the meeting to order and the following Commissioners were present: Tony Cook, Janice Griggs, Jeff Wilson, and Don Bagwell was absent. Also, present: City Attorney, Steve Campbell, City Manager, Donald Anderson, Human Resource Director, Diane Feorino, Community Development, Jessie Owensby, IT Director, Jeremy Dundore, Finance Director, Melanie Chandler and Debbie Turner, City Clerk.
Commissioner Griggs led the Pledge of Allegiance and Commissioner Wilson gave the invocation.
Commissioner Wilson made the motion to Approve the Agenda, with the deletion of Item #14, seconded by Commissioner Griggs. Approved 3 -0
Commissioner Wilson made the motion to approve the December 6th minutes as submitted, seconded by Commissioner Cook. Approved 3 – 0
Commissioner Cook made the motion to approve the December 20th minutes as submitted, seconded by Commissioner Wilson. Approved 3 – 0
Departments Heads came forward and gave their Annual Reports. All these reports are made an integral part of the minutes.
Community Development, Jessie Owensby came forward to give her monthly report as well as her annual report. Ms. Owensby said that we have a lot of new development going on in the city and that her department is still wrapping up some things from Christmas. Her report is made an integral part of the minutes. City Manager Anderson said that Christmas in the Park had 26,000. cars that went through the park.
City Manager Anderson gave his report for the year, some of the highlights were that on December 26th the city was hit with a ransom ware attack and it took several weeks to get our software restored. On January 25th, the new fire station opened giving us two fully staffed fire stations. In April, Governor Kemp visited the city and signed several bills into legislation. In May we were declared a Historic District by the State Historic Preservation organization. We won two awards in August. In September we lost Commissioner Wes Dodd after a brief illness. We received several grants allowing us to purchase necessary items. On October 5th Jeff Wilson was appointed to serve as commissioner for Ward 1. In November the referendum passed to allow for package sales. December a budget of $19,559.597 was passed. A copy of his report is made an integral part of the minutes.
Minutes of Meeting – Cornelia City Commission
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Mayor Borrow opened the public meeting and asked Audrey Davenport to come forward as she was scheduled to speak. Ms. Davenport said she would like to thank the city for hosting the reception for HistoriCorps. This group is helping with restoration work on the Chenocetah Tower. She asked the city to help support the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the HCHS with a donation of $3000.00, The funds will be used in help with planning a 50th year celebration as well as placing a commemorative plaque in the Habersham County Courthouse and maybe smaller ones for each city. Ms. Davenport said that she already has talked with Mount Airy and plans to visit the other cities as well. She also thanked the city for being involved in the BRAF and would like to see that involvement in other festivals. City Manager Anderson said he could work with Ms. Davenport on the breakdown of what the funds will be used for.
Heath Barrett spoke on behalf of the DDA Board saying that every member is in full support of expanding the Entertainment District.
City Manager Anderson said that the DDA Board has requested that the city expand the boundaries of the entertainment district. Several businesses have contacted the board about having their businesses be included in the district. The new boundaries would include South Main Street, Front Street, Larkin St., and Foreacre St. Commissioner Wilson made a motion to table and hold a Public Hearing at the February meeting, seconded by Commissioner Griggs. Approved 3 – 0
Ordinance # 01-22-01, Amendment to Chapter 38 of City Code. City Manager Anderson said that this amendment would make unlawful for residents to place leaves or brush in city storm ditches, culverts and on top of catch basins. He explained that this was causing a flooding hazard for other citizens. Commissioner Cook made the motion to post the ordinance for public comment, seconded by Commissioner Griggs. Approved 3 – 0
Appointments to the Downtown Development Authority. City Manager explained that we have 3 members coming off the board and the board met on January 6th, 2022, and voted to nominate Sarah Higgins, Jason Tanner and Cagney Meads. Commissioner Griggs made the motion to approve Higgins, Tanner, and meads, seconded by Commissioner Wilson. Approved 3 – 0
Mayor Borrow and the Commissioner adjourned the meeting at 6:55 PM
Debbie Turner, City Clerk John Borrow, Mayor