icyclists and advocateso intermodal trans-portation statewide havemounted a strong cam-paign against House Bill689, which would requirethe owners o all bicycles– whether it belongs to aserious adult rider or a pre-schooler with pigtails – toregister them with the state.Although the sponsors o HB 689 intend to respond tothe outcry by withdrawingthe proposed legislationprior to the beginning o the 2014 legislative session,opponents remain outspo-ken in their opposition.An avid cyclist, City o Grin Commissioner DougHollberg views the attemptas unnecessary legislation.“No, I don’t avor register-ing bicycles. That’s just in-sanity. I’m hopeul our localrepresentatives would havemore common sense thanto even waste our hard-earned money discussingthis ludicrous legislationthat was being considered,”he said. “The next thingthey’ll do is try to tie it intothe state’s trauma centersbecause cyclists suer headinjuries in accidents. We’vegot to gure things outmore sensibly and ratio-nally.”
ith an upcoming SPLOST reerendum slated or theMay 20 general primary ballot, Spalding County resi-dents are speaking out in public meetings and on socialmedia, expressing their opposition to elected ocials useo SPLOST unds or nonessential projects. Both city andcounty ocials alike are paying heed to their rustrationswhile still stressing the crucial role SPLOST plays in thecommunity.One such comment was made by Bobby Peurioy as headdressed county commissioners, saying, “Don’t talk abouta wish list. That’s the worst sounding thing to me. I weneed something, let’s go ater it, but don’t call it a wish list.Call it a dire need.”Spalding County Manager William Wilson said county o-cials are also continuing the project review process, butpointed out one key dierence voters will see on the gen-eral primary ballot.He said since the approval o the current SPLOST, statelegislators have revised the law regarding ballot wording,giving voters more specic inormation on the matter.“Beore, we were able to use generic terms – transporta-tion improvements, inrastructure improvements, buildingimprovements – but now, we have to be more specic,”Spalding County Manager William Wilson said. “That’ssomething my commissioners are doing – advocating or
he Grin Piggly Wig-gly store may be clos-ing its doors, but the mem-ories and the appreciationo what the business meantto the community will re-main.That’s the opinion o storemanager James Jenkins,who has been working inthe grocery store industryor more than 40 years. Jen-kins has been working orwhat is currently the PigglyWiggly name since 1994.He’s seen the Grin storechange owners and namesmany times over the past20 years.“What really stands outabout our store in Grin is
PO Box 2251, Grin GA 30224
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OCT 10 - 24, 2013 VOL. 03 NO. 20
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::
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Store closurebrings memoriesand sadness forGriffin residents
ALEXANDER CAIN :::
SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::
Demolition on the parking lots and several old city buildings in theSolomon Street block between Fith and Sixth streets has begun.Only three buildings will remain ater the completed demolition;the original City Hall building, the church toward the back o thelot on Broad Street, and the old Spalding County Courthouse (nowthe 4-H Extension Oce). The remainder o the lot will be grassedover, according to City Manager Kenny Smith, and will await urtherdevelopment.At its Sept. meeting, the Downtown Development Authoritydiscussed recommending the restoration o the City Hall building asa SPLOST project. A committee is currently ormulating a plan or theproject, which will be presented at the DDA meeting on Oct. 15.
Solomon Street gets a facelift
Cyclists speakout against"ludicrous"legislative eortto tax bikes
Though James Jenkins, long time Piggly Wiggly manager and active community member, does not knowwhat his proessional uture holds, he says he has no plans to leave the Grin community. "I will fnd a job in this area," Jenkins said. "My home is here and will still be here."
Ocials respond to "wish list"criticism; say SPLOST is necessary
Voting info &answers fromcandidates onthe challengesGriffin faces;SPLOST &economicdevelopment
Read additional questions and answers from candidates onlineat www.the-grip.net
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Scarecrowsin the UGAResearch andEducationGarden onWest Ellis Road
Scarecrows will be dis-played until the Celebra-tion event on Oct. 20 1-4p.m., a amily event withace painting, story telling,pumpkin painting, pump-kin bowling, duck pondshing, and more.
he Grin Board o Commissioners on Tuesday evening approved a millagerate o 8.611, a decrease o .025 rom theprevious rate o 8.636.“We were able to drop the millage rate aew hundredths o a point. It's not much,but every little bit helps,” said Grin CityManager Kenny Smith, who said the moveresulted rom somewhat better tax digestcoupled with revenue rom the Local Op-tion Sales Tax.The tax digest is the total value o all tax-able real estate and personal property.Once that value is set, a number o exemp-tions are applied which lowers the tax di-gest, the gure upon which property taxesare levied.“There are probably a dozen dierent ex-emptions you take away like homesteadexemption, disabled veterans and historicproperties, and you end up with the netdigest,” he said.According to Smith, the nal step in theprocess – the addition o LOST revenue –resulted in a rollback millage rate lowerthan that o Fiscal Year 2013..“The Local Option Sales Tax was basicallyput in place to basically oset propertytaxes, so you have to do what we call a roll-back o the millage rate based on the LOSTcollections, which gives you a net millagerate,” Smith explained.He said property taxes are dependentupon the overall condition o the commu-nity, and that is where the city has suered.“What people don't understand is thatwhen property depreciates and you don'thave business and industry becausethey've moved out, the tax digest suers. The goal is to have a healthy digest. That'swhere we're suering – our digest is notwhere it needs to be,” he said. “When youhave ewer taxable entities, you have ew-er entities to spread the tax amongst. Themore businesses, industries and residenc-es, the more you can spread it out. Whenthose decrease, everyone has to pay moreto have the same amount o money.”Smith acknowledged the outcry o some who say government should reducespending, and he compared the unding o public services to home budgeting.“The diculty is just like at home – de-ciding what you're going to do without.You have so many dierent interest groupsthat it's just dicult to decide what servic-es you're going to do without by trimmingservices,” he said. Ω
City commissioners vote to decrease millage rate