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Posted: April 23, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Social Circle Court Briefs - April 23

The City Council of Social Circle met on Tuesday night. Highlights of the meeting include:

The city of Social Circle addressed an extra amount of copper that is present in city water. The amount is not dangerous or detrimental to humans, but according to the ETD, the amount would be harmful to wildlife downstream of where treated wastewater is discharged in the Little River.

According to City Manager Doug White, the excess amount is approximately two parts per billion. Chemical treatments had previously been attempted to remove the copper, and other filtration systems have been attempted as well. Engineers have estimated that if a filter must be installed to dilute the copper out of the system, the cost to upgrade the wastewater treatment facility could cost as much as $1 million.

Currently, the city is trying to figure out where the copper excess is coming from, including testing water at intake points and within the system. The city plans to try to attack the problem at the source, as a cheaper alternative to filtration.

White presented an artists’ rendering of the sidewalk that will connect downtown Social Circle with the Blue Willow village. The sidewalk is planned to be eight feet wide with six feet of vegetation separating it from the road.

This is the first stage in the downtown renovation that was presented by Urban Collage last year. White stated that progress in the downtown proper would likely not begin for another three years until the bypass was completed.

It is unclear when the construction will begin on the sidewalks. The presentation Tuesday night was to show the council the aesthetics, which have been "pretty well received," according to White. The plan will be presented to the DOT in the near future.

Mayor James Burgess said the bypass construction is to begin in June.

The city approved the first reading of hotel/motel tax, which the town did not have previously. White explained that it would be put in place for future growth and to fund future economic development.

"It will being money from outside the community to support the community," City Attorney Joe Reitman said.

Changes were made to the city’s inspections code that would help clarify the powers and role of building inspectors. The plan, modeled after the system in place in Porterdale.

The changes would allow the inspector to enter and inspect a building at any time a request for a review, or a complaint against a building, was filed. The new ordinance would allow inspectors to "enter, examine and survey at all reasonable times."

The changes were put into place because some tenants had allegedly complained to city hall that their landlords were not correctly keeping their properties up to code.

City officials announced the creation of a city ethics committee, which had been in the city ordinances for several years, but the had never been filled, according to White. Currently, six members are being considered, and three will be selected for the position, pending background checks. The other three will remain as alternates.

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