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Porterdale gets two more city vehicles
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Porterdale will add two new vehicles to its fleet and possibly a few businesses to its streets.

The city held its monthly work session Thursday and passed a resolution for a Georgia Municipal Association lease on a garbage truck and the purchase of a new K-9 vehicle.

Porterdale agreed to lease a 2005 International 4,000 garbage truck from the city of Oxford for $19,250. The former Oxford truck will join Porterdale’s current truck, a 1997 vehicle, which will serve as a backup to the newer model.

Ushering Porterdale’s K-9 unit throughout the city will be a brand new, 2014 Chevrolet Tahoe, which was purchased for $26,990 from Allen J. Chevrolet of Florida.

Also during the work session, Teri Haler of Main Street Porterdale updated the city council on businesses looking into commercial properties. Among them are three eateries and one retail store.

A brew pub and artisan pizza restaurant looked at three sites, Haler said. Representatives from a shoe store with recreational shoes and accessories, including those for the water, were shown around, she said, as were those from a soul/Southern food establishment.

The council also discussed what it would do if a sex-oriented business wanted to move to Porterdale. At the behest of the city’s attorney, Porterdale has been looking into pinpointing zoning areas for such businesses. No sex-oriented businesses have shown interest in locating within the city, officials said.

Another ordinance, of a less controversial nature, was brought in front of the council regarding special events. Porterdale adopted a special-events ordinance such as the city of Madison’s.

The ordinance states that a special event is usually sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce, Humane Society or other similar organization. Special events are usually ticketed and closed to the public, and guests typically pay for drinks at such events.

The ordinance goes on to make a permit necessary for catering, at the beginning of the year, to any restaurant wishing to take beer/wine off-premises at a flat fee of $250 per year. A catering license isn’t required for a wedding, which typically offers drinks in an "open-bar" setup, with no cash exchanged.

Porterdale also took the time to review a presentation from Kristi Korngold on signage and beautification of the city, including areas around the historic gym. Some of her ideas will be put to use in Porterdale going forward.

The city tabled a few items for its Feb. 11 work session, including discussion of future elected officials’ compensation.

Porterdale officials, working on a part-time basis for the city with a population of 1,442, currently make $500 a year, and the mayor is paid $1,200. According to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, among the five towns ranging between populations of 1,500 and 3,150 and reported on, elected officials make an average of $3,468.40 annually. The lowest paid commissioners were those of Calhoun, making $1,500 a year.

Also moved to the February meeting was a discussion about improving the appearance of vacant houses. Porterdale is currently looking into changing the appearance of boards on vacant buildings.

Porterdale held its city retreat Saturday.