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Posted: February 3, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Social Circle applies for DCA city revitalization

The Social Circle City Council approved a motion on Monday night that would allow the city to apply to the Department of Community Affairs to be part of the redevelopment fund program.

The decision was made two days before the DCA will hold their next meeting in Atlanta. The DCA will decide on Wednesday if Social Circle will be admitted to the program, and what sort of assistance it will be provided.

According to Better Hometown Director Mike Miller, the city revitalization plan would follow the Ga. Highway 11 corridor through Social Circle and that all city properties to the east and south of the highway would be the areas selected for revitalization. The areas to the north and west are largely residential, Miller explained, and the DCA plan is largely aimed at tax breaks to any businesses that create new jobs.

Miller also explained that the project would not, in and of itself, require any re-zonings and would not directly create any new construction. It would, however, act as a nice benefit to entice new businesses to set up shop in Social Circle, as the tax breaks would make their first year much simpler.

In order for the city to apply for the DCA program, the affected areas all need to be low income areas. The affected area of Social Circle covers all the census areas within the city limits, and each has a poverty level of at least 10 percent. 

"With this program, we’ll use public and private money to help redevelop the area to raise the quality of life for our citizens," Miller said.

Acceptance into the program will allow the city to apply for DCA grants that could be used to renovate blighted homes and other buildings.

Covington is already in the DCA program. In Walton County, the city of Monroe is also part of the program, and Social Circle’s plan was modeled after theirs.

Also at Monday’s meeting:

• City Manager Doug White and new Public Safety Director Tom Fox had their contracts unanimously approved by the city council. The council announced it will still be having its regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the community room of the Old City Hall.

Fourth of July Planning

The Fourth of July planning committee also held their first meeting Monday night, and the group locked down the primary details of the 2010 festivities.

This year’s event will be spread across two days, Saturday, July 3, and Sunday, July 4. The annual parade, gospel concert and fireworks show will take place on Saturday, starting in the afternoon. The city will host a car show on Sunday, and the Historic Preservation Society will offer activities at Gunter Hall.

The city plans to spend approximately $12,000 on the event, which will be raised from community donors and sponsors. The committee has allocated $5,000 of the funds to go to the half-hour long fireworks spectacular.

The National Guard will be present for the parade and will have a marching band and color guard.

The group is also plans to cut down on the downtime between events this year, citing that many residents went home during the two hour break between the parade and the concert last year.

The next meeting of the Fourth of July committee will be held March 1 at 7 p.m. in the community room of the Old City Hall.

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