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Posted: December 30, 2008 8:32 a.m.

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Social Circle completes annexation, receives another petition

Social Circle moved one step closer to another annexation of more than 300 acres of Newton County land Monday night.

The city council received a petition at a called meeting to annex a total of 342.6 acres.

"We are merely receiving this petition," said Social Circle Mayor Jim Burgess, adding that it still needed to go through the zoning process and proper legal procedures. "The zoning requested is AG2, which is the zoning that currently exists for that property in unincorporated Newton County."

The land, made up of four tracts ranging from 1.32 acres to 228.36 acres, lies at the northeast corner of Newton County, between Social Circle Road, the Little River, and next to or very near Walton County-Newton County border. The seven signatories included Thomas Campbell III, Thomas Campbell IV, John (Brad) Bettis, Charles Bettis and Mary A. Burt as the president of the MAB Holding Company.

The value of the land, including another 16 acre tract that was not included in the petition, was assessed at nearly $2 million by the Newton County Board of Tax Assessors, according to a Newton County records search included in the petition.

This petition comes on the heels of another petition earlier this year by the H.A. Walton, LLC and All Star Management LLC to annex 223 acres. That request was approved at the Dec. 16 city council meeting.

When asked about the motivation for annexation, Burgess pointed out annexation allowed the land to be included in long-term city development planning and made the property more valuable by making Social Circle's public safety, utility and municipal resources available to the property owners.

In other city business:

The city council unanimously approved a $15,000 contract with the CSX Railroad Company to repair the East Hightower Bridge.

The council also approved budgeted leases with the Georgia Municipal Association for a maintenance truck for $40,083 and three police cars for $108,286

The mayor submitted a list of 16 possible names for a steering committee to work with planning firm Urban Collage for a study on revitalizing Social Circle's downtown area. The steering committee would provide ideas and act as a sounding board for Urban Collage. Discussion of the steering committee was continued to a future date.

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