Progress for Phase II of expansions at the Henry County Airport, technology upgrades for county job seekers and balancing the 2014-15 fiscal year budget were action items at the Henry County Board of Commissioners meeting last week.
Ron Burckhalter, airport manager, asked the council to approve a professional agreement with Marietta-based Croy Engineering to continue capital improvements at the airport.
“Henry County has been working since the completion of Phase I of the runway expansion on prepping documentation for Phase II and the county has received documentation from Croy Engineering for the design for the expansion,” Burckhalter said.
As of April, the county had received approval from the Georgia Department of Transportation to move forward with the process and all of the design work qualifies for a 95 percent reimbursement through the department and Federal Aviation Administration.
The total cost of the project, which will include professional planning, land acquisition, designing and construction will cost about $103,835 with about $98,643 being reimbursed and the remaining $5,191 being paid for by the county.
The resolution was approved with no objections by the board.
An online job application and career portal is set to replace the paper method currently used by the county’s human resource department when seeking job applicants.
Rod Gray, county purchasing director, said when a paper application is turned into the department, it is screened, filed and logged but the new system will integrate all of those actions together.
The commission discussed a budget amendment to increase property tax revenue and decrease the use of the fund balance, or the rainy-day fund, for the fiscal 2014-15 budget.
Chairman Tommy Smith said that the amendment is to ensure the budget is “balanced, true and correct” in light of rising property values and, therefore, tax revenue.
“In order to balance the budget for this year, we used about $6 million out of [the] fund balance, which some might refer to as our savings,” he said.
“With this year’s changes, including a decrease in the millage rate and increase in property tax, that means we will generate about $6 million more than we did last year, so we’re taking that money and putting it back into our savings, which will then be replaced with the anticipated funds collected from taxes.”
The amendment passed with no objections.
The millage rate was rolled back by .199 mils in July after three public hearings, which changed the rate from 14.497 to 14.298 for unincorporated Henry County by adoption in a 4-2 vote, with Smith and Commissioner Gary Barham opposed.
The millage rates for the cities are 11.219 mils for McDonough, 14.298 mils for Stockbridge, 12.098 mils for Locust Grove and 12.314 for Hampton.
The beginning of cooler weather marks the arrival of fall festivals and events throughout Henry County.
One of the county’s newest events, the Hail to Ale Beer Festival, which will kick off its second year on Oct. 25, will combine brews and live music to raise funds for women and children in need.
The proceeds from the festival, which will run from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Jason Harper Event Center at Heritage Park, 101 Lake Dow Road in McDonough, will benefit Haven House, a local nonprofit that provides shelter and essentials for abused women and children.
Beau Kelley, event co-chair and nonprofit board member, said there is no other event on the southside of Atlanta quite like the beer festival.
“A few years ago, McDonough’s Main Street program conducted a survey and one of questions they asked was what type of new event residents would like to see in the county and the No. 1 answer was a beer festival,” he said. “Last year we got a lot of positive feedback from our first beer festival and we’ve made this year’s event even better.”
Along with 100 different brews, adult games like beer pong, food trucks and live music, a live broadcast from alternative radio station 105.7 will be part of the festivities.
New to this year’s event is a special VIP section offering wine tastings and snacks for sponsors, which are still being recruited.
“Last year we had about 600 attendees,” Kelley said. “We expect much bigger crowds this year as we’ll have an overall better organized event with plenty of space for vendors and activities.”
With a goal of raising about $20,000 for Haven House at this year’s event, nonprofit Director Marjorie Lacy said events like the beer festival help those in need.
“This year, we’re working towards buying a new van for transportation because our old one has about 350,000 miles on it,” she said. “We’ll have about 600 women and children by the end of the year who have stayed at Haven House and we do everything with them as far as food, medical assistance, clothing and shelter, so all proceeds go towards those necessities.”
Tickets, for ages 21 and up only, are $45. Advance tickets are available at $25 through Tuesday.
Fulton County Schools has sent out a request for charter proposals, due Jan. 16, to create a charter high school in Hapeville slated to open in August.
The request process combines a charter school petition with the district goals of improving graduation rates and increasing college and career readiness.
The request calls for creation of a high school charter that features a well-rounded curriculum targeting improved graduation rates, an enhanced school culture and stronger student performance.
School system data from high schools in the target geographic area of College Park, East Point and Hapeville suggests they are not on track to meet the district’s goal of a 90 percent graduation rate by 2017.
Data also suggests that many of the schools have lower standardized test scores than the district average.
The successful charter petitioner will be located in the soon-to-be-vacated Josephine “Jo” Wells Education Center at 554 Parkway Drive in Hapeville.
Formerly an elementary school that now houses administrative offices for the school district, the center is a fully equipped campus featuring 19 classrooms, an office suite and a cafeteria. Located within walking distance of the Tom E. Morris Sports Complex, Hapeville Elementary School and the Hapeville branch of the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, the building also is accessible by public transportation.
It will become available once the school district completes consolidation of its central office operations to one building and will be offered to the successful charter petitioner under a lease/purchase arrangement.
In May the district issued its first request for charter proposals which outlined the district’s academic focus areas and asked petitioners to submit their school plans for addressing those needs.
As a result, a successful petition was selected and approved for the Latin Grammar School for grades K-5 and the Latin College Preparatory School for grades six to eight.
These will open next fall on the campus of Oak Knoll Elementary School in East Point, which is closing due to the construction of a new elementary school in the area.
The district is the largest charter system in the state. It has 94 schools in the charter system which will feature school designed innovations by the end of 2016.
With a total of 10 start-up charter schools in its school choice portfolio, the district is considered one of Georgia’s most charter-friendly school systems.
Eight charter school alternatives with district-wide attendance zones that feature greater levels of innovation already are offered to students – Amana Academy, Main Street Academy, Fulton Sunshine Academy, KIPP South Fulton Academy, Fulton Science Academy High School, Hapeville Charter Middle School, Hapeville Career Academy, and Chattahoochee Hills Charter School.
The Old National Merchants Association will celebrate its 25 years of taking steps to promote economic development by hosting its inaugural 5K run and walk Saturday at 8:30 a.m. at Old National Commons Plaza, 5495 Old National Hwy., College Park 30349.
Association vice president Kevin Smith said the event will be an opportunity to exercise and enjoy “unity in the community.”
“The purpose of the event is two-fold – first, to bring unity to the Old National community through an activity for the entire family,” he said. “The second part of the event is to allow the community to participate in healthy exercise and enjoy fellowship with our neighbors and business partners.”
Professional trainers will conduct warm-up exercises before the race and present awards afterward.
“Proceeds from the event will go to our scholarship fund and beautification of the landscape of the medians on the Old National Corridor,” Smith said. “We are expecting between 75 and 100 participants and we as an organization are very excited about the event and look forward to having a great time with our community.”
Association president Dionne Christopher said the association, founded in 1989, has earned a reputation as one of metro Atlanta’s most inspired business organizations. “For more 25 years, ONMA has successfully rallied businesses, residents and governments to embrace a common vision – to sustain and improve the economic vitality and quality of life of the Old National Corridor in south Fulton,” Christopher said.
She said the association has collaborated with developers and the governments of College Park and Fulton County to obtain “sustainable, high-quality economic growth in a safe, appealing environment,” including the creation of the Old National overlay district and a MARTA bus shelters initiative.
“ONMA’s positive agenda and collaborative approach have produced a strong membership base and significant support funding from such major entities as Allstate, AT&T, Georgia Gas Light, Georgia Power, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Wells Fargo Foundation, and the Development Authority of Fulton County,” Christopher said.
Some of the association’s activities include holiday lighting, corridor cleanups, business expos, A Taste of Old National, Adopt-a-School and Mystery Shopper campaigns.
Fulton County Youth Commissioners will kick off their sixth Can-Paign to Fight Hunger Oct. 6 to help feed hungry adults and children. The campaign, in partnership with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, has a goal of filling 50 barrels of non-perishable food by Nov. 7. Each barrel holds enough food to feed an average of 285 families, totaling more than 14,250 individuals. The continuing partnership with the food bank focuses on the need to fill overwhelming gaps in food security for adults, seniors and/or families whose heads of households are unemployed, underemployed or living on fixed incomes that do not meet all of their economic needs. The campaign is promoting friendly competition among high schools, faith-based organizations, businesses and government departments. Organizations are asked to initiate a competitive campaign to collect as many non-perishable foods as possible within their network. When the campaign ends Nov. 7, the donated cans will be weighed at every collection station to determine the winning organization. The winner of the competition will receive the HOPE (Helping Other People Every day) Award that will be formally presented by the Fulton Board of Commissioners. Interested organizations can register to participate and request one or more barrels by contacting Reginald Crossley at (404) 612-7386 or email@example.com.
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