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Posted: September 8, 2009 9:12 p.m.

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Social Circle council votes not to raise millage rate

One mill increase shot down by council at Tuesday night meeting

The Social Circle city council unanimously voted to not increase the millage rate at the monthly council meeting on Tuesday night.

More than 100 people crowded into the council chamber to hear the council's verdict, leaving most of the crowd standing, and some backed out the door.

Before the council voted on the issue, resident Lurie Maddox presented the council with a list of votes that he conducted from several hundred members of the community, whom he had polled in various places, such as the post office and on the street. According to Maddox's survey, none of those polled supported the increase.

An unofficial vote was also tallied of the citizens present at the meeting. None voiced their approval of the millage hike.

After this, the council voted unaimously not to increase the rate. The proposed increase would have raised the millage rate by one mill, and resulting funds would have been used to purchase industrial-zoned land for the city, which it would later use to entice more industries to build in the community.

"It was a good concept to have land bank properties," Mayor James Burgess said. "The timing was just bad. No one likes to see taxes increase in the best economic times - and these are not the best economic times. Our citizens told us not to raise taxes, and we're trying our best to respond to the citizens."

Also at the meeting: The final plan for the downtown revitalization was discussed, and the absentee polling and voting locations were moved to the new city hall. For more on this story and the other items at the meeting, please check back tomorrow at our Web site, and be sure to check Friday's edition of The Covington News.



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