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Porterdale votes against bank kiosk in park parking lot
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Porterdale’s city council put the kibosh on having a bank kiosk in Yellow River Park’s gravel parking lot off Main Street.
Mayor Arline Chapman brought the idea back to the table at a work session on Thursday night, sharing information she received from the bank about the proposed design and landscaping of the kiosk. She said the kiosk would be interactive, with a live feed to a teller in the bank.

Council member Linda Finger said she was in favor of the bank kiosk. “I think it would be good for business and residents, and I think the big parking lot is perfect.”

Three of the five council members objected to building a drive-through in the Yellow River Park parking lot. Though they all expressed support of a bank presence in the village, they wanted the bank to consider other location options.
But the bank made it clear it would not consider other locations, Chapman told the council.

Following their swearing in as chaplains for the Porterdale police department, the Rev. Phillip Bone of Grace Baptist Church in Porterdale, and the Rev. Dr. Jerry Patterson of Faith Tabernacle Church in Conyers shared the results of a survey about the community’s perception of the village police.

The two pastors surveyed all Porterdale business owners and approximately 25 percent of households. The majority of business owners said the police department was very professional. More than 50 percent of business respondents felt the biggest cause for concern in the village were illegal drugs.

Residents also felt the police department was very professional, and on a scale of one through five, villagers felt the community was safe, giving the department a 4.49. While nearly 40 percent of respondents shared a concern about illegal drugs, over 50 percent said their main concern was speeding traffic.

Both groups agreed that getting more downtown businesses was the number one thing needed in the community.
Bone and Patterson told the council that Chief of Police Jason Cripps was seen as being a positive asset to the community, in part because Cripps and the police department had held block parties in pocket parks throughout the village, giving the neighborhoods and residents access to the chief and department.

Council Member Finger announced that Porterdale will become a Purple Heart City, effective Veteran’s Day this year. The designation honors service personnel wounded or killed by enemies of the United States in war time.
Mayor Chapman will read a proclamation, named the village a Purple Heart City, on Nov. 11, and a plaque will be installed at Veteran’s Park on Main Street.

In a special called meeting following the work session, the council approved the Newton County Hazard Mitigation Plan Update, 2015 through 2020. The plan, required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is required by every city and county wanting to receive funding from the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

The mitigation plan evaluates natural and man-made hazards and identifies resources and actions needed to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents.

The council also approved a resolution that would allow customers, who purchase a band from Porterdale restaurants, to carry alcohol off the premises during the Yellow River Jam, Saturday, Oct. 3, from noon to 9 p.m. This is similar to a resolution the city passed for the Fourth of July events, the resolution establishes a designated area as a special event zone.

The area starts west at the back side of the Depot, extending east to the entrance to the Porterdale lofts; south at the Welaunee Mill side of the bridge north to the Porterdale Memorial Gym, and includes the Yellow River Park and parking lot along Railroad Street.

The area does not include the Yellow River itself.