The debate stemmed from an announcement by City Manager Paul Page, stating there were no resident water service cut-offs in August. Page said he and city hall employees worked diligently with 39 delinquent customers to ensure no one¡¦s service was terminated. He said this is the first time he has seen a month with zero cut-offs in his tenure as city manager.
Councilman Ken Marks, a candidate for Fort Oglethorpe mayor in the Nov. 4 general election, thanked Page for his effort and said he recently spent time working with the city manager to persuade residents to catch up delinquent water bills and avoid a $100 reconnection fee.
Immediately following the adjournment of the council meeting, Richard Egeland, a candidate for Marks vacated Ward 1 council seat, took the podium to accuse the councilman of grandstanding during an election year by assisting with the unpaid water bills.
¡§Why is Ken Marks involved in this process?¡¨ Egeland said. ¡§Is it because it¡¦s election time? You¡¦ve got six people working at city hall. Why do you have to be involved?¡¨
¡§Because it¡¦s my job,¡¨ Marks said. ¡§If you get elected, it will be your job.¡¨
Marks further countered the remarks by stating that Egeland did not understand what is involved in the position of city councilman.
Councilmen Ronnie Cobb and Alan Marshall also had heated exchanges with Egeland.
Cobb and Egeland continued to argue as the meeting dispersed, with Cobb advising Egeland to stay away from him in the future.
In other business...
ƒÜ City Manager Paul Page announced that the Environmental Protection Division has reduced the city¡¦s fines by an additional $1,000 for sewer leaks, bringing the final total to $5,000. The city was originally penalized $12,000 for two separate leaks earlier this year ¡X one on Beaver Road and another at Edgewood Circle. EPD supervisor Jim Buckles said Aug. 8 that the fines will likely be reduced because Fort Oglethorpe is spending a considerable amount of money modernizing its sewer system to correct existing problems.
ƒÜ The council unanimously approved an additional $45,000 to repave Barnhardt Circle in Fort Oglethorpe¡¦s historic district. In August, the council unanimously approved the repaving by Southeastern Materials at a cost of $59,720, with $46,700 of that funded by the Georgia Department of Transportation.
According to Public Works director Jeff Long additional work is needed as a result of the discovery of mainly dirt and little asphalt underneath the current pavement at the circle. Long said he will seek to obtain grant money from the state to offset the added costs.
ƒÜ The council unanimously approved a list of roads needing repaving to be submitted to GDOT for consideration as part of the state¡¦s 2004 Local Assisted Road Paving (LARP) program. Long said LARP will cover 100 percent of repaving costs of roads selected. Mayor Judd Burkhart said he expects GDOT to fund a maximum of only three of the 10 roads submitted for repaving