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More good news for Molena

By Dwain W. Penn Within months of activating the new water filtration system, Molena city council heard more good news at the Feb. 13 meeting. Construction of the new fire station will begin in March. *************** ©The Pike County Journal Reporter/pikecountygeorgia.com: This information may not be reprinted, broadcast or distributed electronically in any form or fashion without express consent. For reprint permission, e-mail news@pikecountygeorgia.com. *************** City manager Jim Roberts said a meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28 at city hall with the Department of Corrections supervisor, warden Edd Sanders and other officials to discuss the project. Within five days of the meeting a work trailer will be brought on site. Work will begin shortly after with supervised prison labor. For over two years council has considered options that were viable with Molena’s limited SPLOST funds, which had a shortfall of 12% from the anticipated $230,000. After exhausting all possibilities, it was decided to buy a building from a metal building company and use labor from the state prison work program. From a detailed work list submitted through Sanders, the state supervisor determined the prison system will not have skilled labor to do concrete work. Molena will let that work out to a private contractor and hire someone to install a septic system. Molena must have telephone and fax lines, water service and power on the site ready to go for the project. It will also be responsible for paying a percentage of the prison guard’s salary and buying materials used in the finish work as they are needed. Molena has about $150,000 left after the building was purchased. A council member asked if the city should install a construction fence and was told by Roberts it was not necessary due to the modest size of the building site. ’I encourage all council members who are able to attend this meeting,’ said mayor Brian Callaway. ‘Local residents and the general public are welcome, too.’ COUNCIL ALSO: ’¢ Heard Molena has not requested a re-evaluation of the ISO rating. The previous evaluation was suspended due to inadequate water pressure. The problem was solved but ISO officials have not been invited back. ’¢ Learned it is still experiencing problems with water system infrastructure. A final payment of $16,000 on the contract is being held until the work is done to the satisfaction of mayor and council, or the money will be used to hire another contractor to fix the problems. ’¢ Heard from councilman George Ingram he is leery of changing the tax deadline since the tax is the bulk of Molena’s revenue. An option is to stagger the year-end deadline and offer a discount for early payment prior to the first due date of Oct. 31. He said the public has not said whether changing the deadline is a good or bad idea. ’¢ Agreed to buy U.S. and Georgia flags for city hall. Council will also investigate having someone in the county design a special flag for Molena. ’¢ Approved a request from the Molena Civic Club to install a memorial for Harriett Beckham at city hall. Since the memorial will be permanent, council will negotiate with the club to find another location in downtown. ’¢ Allowed councilwoman Carol Callaway to start publishing a monthly one-page city newsletter. Local residents may receive an email copy by sending their addresses to cityofmolena@bellsouth.net.

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