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Friday, June 27, 2008

Sewer Confusion Creates Stinky Situation For Milton

Jamie Woodhead / Beaconcast

After a year and a half of cityhood, guess what Milton City Council and Mayor just figured out? They do not have a viable sewer policy.

Last week’s council meeting turned into a spotlight on the total lack of knowledge of the city’s sewer policy by government officials. The city has a broad “no sewer” mandate stemming from November’s election results. This means that most properties have septic systems for their waste. Milton sees a link between development and sewers, so by denying new sewers the city strives to keep large developments away. No Sewer = No Development Ken Morton of Webb Road Associates brought forth the first item on the city’s zoning agenda. He wanted to modify the site plan on the north side of Webb Road, and he requested a deferral until August because of sewer problems. The deferral request turned into Council’s realization that the city needs a formal and specific sewer policy. In the city’s most recent survey, 80 percent of citizens who participated wanted to uphold the no sewer policy, but Council was confused how best to do so.

“I believe that the sewer versus no sewer policy is the biggest issue facing our community,” said Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey. “Instead of focusing on short-term solutions, we need to roll up our sleeves and have a workshop with open, public discussions on sewer policy.”

Council member Bill Lusk went on to highlight the city’s confusion when he stated, “We haven’t really defined what a no sewer policy means. We need to solve this issue once and for all. We need to terminate a discussion that’s case by case.”

Tart Gets Tough

As discussion over sewers continued, a frustrated Councilman Alan Tart said, “This is a waste of our applicants’ time and our time to keep bringing this up. There seems to be a theme at Council to put temporary band aids on issues just to get us to the next week.”

Applicants Quit

The Council finally decided that they need to hold a workshop to solve the city’s sewer mess, but they had no immediate answer for applicant Ken Morton. Morton decided to withdraw his application “because of all this confusion. Let’s get this resolved as quickly as possible. Let’s get sewers where they need to be, in smart places.”

Milton Organizers, the next applicants who sought to redesign a site plan off of Highway 9 to eliminate septic and connect to sewer, also decided to withdraw their application because of the sewer mayhem.

Following Milton Organizers, Eric Johansen of the Inland Group petitioned to modify a site plan on the south side of Cumming Highway. At first, this application held the promise of being easily approved. Staff supported the modified site plan, and Johansen even pointed out that there should not be a sewer issue here because there is already a sewer line running through the property. However, Councilman Tart, along with Council members Zahner Baily and Tina D’Aversa, hesitated with the application. “The issue of sewer is still an issue for this application too,” he explained. “I’d hate to approve this applicant when there’s confusion about sewers,” said Tart.

Council finally decided to defer the item until July 7 because of a question about sewer availability. Johansen, who wanted to immediately start work on the site, was not happy about the deferral. Like Morton, he explained to Council that he hoped they would quickly decide upon a sewer policy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Milton Garden Club Announces First Community Market.

The Milton Garden Club is pleased to announce the first Milton Community Market! This Saturday, June 28th9am - 1pm The Grove at Scottsdale Farm and Garden 15639 Birmingham Hwy.Milton, GA Produce - while most of the produce in this area is just starting to ripen, we do have a resident who has a three acre farm and plenty of produce to sell including: watermelon, tomato, squash, and much more!Eggs - fresh from a Milton Farm. Honey - Cultivated and packaged right in Milton. Beeswax Candles Homemade Lotions Homemade Soaps Dried Herbs Baked GoodsRaffle - An original, signed, framed work of art by artist Mary Bush valued at over $340.00. Tickets are $2.00 each. Drawing to be held at our August meeting.

* Scottsdale Farms is donating 10% of all of their sales during our market to Canine Assistants. Canine Assistants is located in Milton and is nationally recognized for their work in providing service dogs to people with disabilities.

Milton Hosts July 4th Parade!


Citizens invited to join in patriotic celebration Come one, come all!


The City of Milton invites all residents to join in Milton’s first annual Fourth of July Citizens Parade!Never been in a parade before? Now’s your chance! Decorate your bike or wagon Bring your favorite pet Make your own flags Be creative and remember it’s all about the Date: July 4 Time: 10:00 A.M. (9:30 A.M. to march)Parade route begins at Deerfield Parkway and Webb Marchers assemble at Milton City Hall You don’t want to miss the Alpharetta Rodeo Wranglers or Milton’s firefighters in the parade! Free popsicles, American flags and face painting for everyone!

It will surely be a day to remember!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Milton Launches Tree Committee



Milton tree lovers unite!

The city is launching a tree committee to help craft a list of do's and don'ts for builders and homeowners to ensure this semi-rural enclave still has greenery in the future. The meetings are open to the public.

Led by arborist Mark Law, the group will discuss possible revisions to the current law. The City Council considers potential revisions to the tree preservation ordinance a high priority.
In November 2006, as the city of Milton was being founded, the City Council adopted the "Fulton County Tree Preservation Ordinance and Administrative Guidelines." Over time, council members and residents concluded the ordinance might need to be tweaked to better preserve old-growth trees.

According to the city's Web site, the group's agenda is expected to include discussions about permits for residential tree removal, recompense standards, tree banking, landscaping strips, tree health evaluations, specimen tree classifications, tree canopy, buffer preservation.
Residents of Milton, perhaps more than most cities, are dedicated to preserving the country atmosphere of the area. Less than half of the community is developed.

The committee is expected to meet every couple of weeks for the next three or four months at City Hall, 13000 Deerfield Parkway.

For more information, visit www.cityofmiltonga.us, or call 678.242.2500.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Septic Tanks A Defense For Milton's Rural Charm

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

In Milton, people have shown a hostility to sewer projects that would astound most outsiders.

It just stands to reason that grass is green, water runs downhill and sewer service brings bulldozers, concrete and people.

Supporters of the city's unofficial no-sewer policy believe that limiting sewers will keep density down and maintain the agrarian charm they love so much.

So that leaves septic tanks, which generally require one unit per acre. No-sewer proponents argue that septic systems' land requirements keep out apartments, townhomes and most commercial projects.

But some say using septic tanks to control growth could backfire.

Dan Reuter, land use chief for the Atlanta Regional Commission, says he doesn't believe a no-sewer policy is a reliable way to preserve the Milton quality of life.

About 85 percent of the city is zoned agricultural, which allows a developer to build homes on 1-acre lots without going through the rezoning process.

"They're just going to end up with a bunch of 1-acre lots, which is classic suburban density," he said. "When you think of Milton, you think of an upscale community and good schools, and those places attract people. Ultimately, they won't have any open space unless the city buys it."

Councilwoman a backer

The champion of the no-sewer approach is city Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey. Bailey disagrees that a septic-only policy will necessarily result in sprawl. She said rugged topography and poor soils will require many parcels to be more than one acre. And the market will help, she said.

"People who come here want to live in a community with a unique, rural, equestrian flavor," Bailey said. "You have many people investing in land so they have more than 1 acre. There will be a healthy balance of subdivisions, farms and estates."

Sally Bethea, executive director of the environmental group Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, said a policy of no-sewer actually could make the city develop more quickly.

"Developers love septic systems," Bethea said. "They don't have to wait for the community to invest in infrastructure. They can come in and build their houses right now with septic tanks. It's cheaper and faster."

Federal and state environmental agencies say that septic tanks are a viable alternative if they are properly sited, installed and maintained. They typically need to be pumped out every three to five years, and owners shouldn't plant vegetation over the system's drainfield.

Critics of septic tanks say relatively few people are diligent about having their septic tank pumped out. The resulting failures means the nasty stuff can leach into ground water, creeks or rivers.

Nolan Ingram, who pumped out septic tanks in Milton from 1974 to last April, said not many people take care of their septic systems.

"If it's not backing up, they don't want to fool with it," Ingram said. "There's just a handful that are good about pumping out their tanks. ... A lot of them don't want to mess up their yards."

To address that, Bailey said the city could pass an ordinance requiring property owners to show proof they maintain their septic tanks.

She added public sewer systems can fail, and sometimes dump huge quantities of untreated waste into rivers and streams. (Sewer proponents argue it also gets cleaned up quicker.)

Critics also say septic systems worsen water shortages because they are so slow to return water to a water source.

Drought a consideration

According to a 2006 Metropolitan North Georgia Water Planning District working paper: "Septic systems are seen as a consumptive use. During drought, it is reasonable to assume the consumptive loss is very high. In the face of limited water resources, consumptive use needs to be minimized and returns via wastewater point sources discharges [sewer] need to be maximized."

The Georgia Statewide Water Plan also said "some portion" of the water does not return to its source in a time frame to be of any use to anyone.

"For practical purposes, this temporarily absent water contributes to the cumulative consumptive use in a sub-basin or watershed," it said.

Bailey countered that stormwater runoff and greater consumption of water come with higher density.

City Councilman Bill Lusk believes the best way to ensure the city maintains its rustic feel is through good zoning and a comprehensive land-use plan. He said sewer in some commercial corridors may be justified.

"We can nail it down enough to say that this is the law, this is what people want," Lusk said. "Extending sewer to the entirety of the city is a physical and financial impossibility. Given the distances, the return on investment isn't there. The only place sewer is viable is in the commercial areas. Citywide sewer is not going to happen."

While Bailey supports crafting a comprehensive plan and zoning ordinances and sticking to them, she doesn't believe those will be enough to keep the community's country atmosphere.

"You have to consider the human element," Bailey said. "You have to add the element of political pressure. Elected officials could start making exceptions. The fact is, if there's no sewer, certain densities aren't possible. It stays rural."

Friday, June 20, 2008

Milton Needs Volunteers For Round Up

by Jason Wright Appen Newspapers

MILTON-- Linda Blow, volunteer coordinator for the city of Milton, can't figure out exactly why there just aren't as many folks signing on to help out this year with the second annual Milton Round-Up."A lot of people from last year are doing other things," she said. "Last year everybody was gung-ho. Now they just don't have the time to dedicate."

The Round-Up is planned for Sept.13 and is slated to include many of the favorite features from last year's popular event, which pulled in more than 3,000 residents to the grounds of Birmingham United Methodist Church. That means chili cook-offs, games, face painting and lots of great food.The crowd is expected to double this year.But to pull it off, a lot of work needs to be done. And Blow admits it's tougher than most people initially think.The odd thing is, the city has never been hard up for volunteers in the past -- its many upstart boards are fully staffed, and last year's Milton Round-Up Committee had nearly a dozen hardworking staffers planning the city's first birthday event. But now myriad factors, including a lack of newness to the affair, 2008 not being an election year and most hardcore volunteers finding themselves otherwise indisposed with other city business, are whittling down the crop of willing participants.

Still, the seven-person strong Round-Up Committee meets every other Tuesday at 6 p.m. in City Hall."It's not going to stop us," said Blow. "The people we have are good people, but we could sure use the help."Anyone who is interested in volunteering to help plan the second annual Milton Round-Up is encouraged to call Blow at 678-242-2489 or e-mail linda.blowatcityofmiltonga.us.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

20% of Fulton Residents To Pay Higher Taxes

School board approves measure for construction projects

By MICHELLE E. SHAW www.ajc.com 06/18/08

Approximately 20 percent of Fulton County residents will pay more in property taxes.
School board members voted Tuesday to approve a less-than-full rollback of the millage rate so the district can take on $27 million worth of capital construction and improvement projects.

The new millage rate for the 2009 fiscal year will be 16.403, a .500 reduction from 2008. To achieve a full rollback the board needed to lower the rate to 15.903.

A full rollback requires the millage rate to be revenue neutral. But when that does not happen, an indirect tax increase can occur when the fair market value of property increases and assessed values rise.

Theresa McDugald, chief financial officer for the district, said approximately 83 percent of Fulton County residents will see a small decrease in their tax bills. She told board members that a homes valued at $250,000 and $500,000 will save $57.90 and $116.80 respectively.

Board member Linda Schultz voted against the partial rollback. She and Ashley Widner, who was unable to attend the meeting, have publicly opposed the tax hike, not the worthiness of the projects that will be paid for with the proceeds.

The projects that would be funded include accelerating the building of a proposed elementary school on Ison Road in Sandy Springs and a new performing arts wing for Tri-Cities High in East Point.

The acceleration of the elementary school will cost approximately $1 million. That means the school would open in August 2009 instead of August 2010.The Tri-Cities project will cost approximately $5 million and does not require a land purchase. The new wing will be built on existing school property.

For weeks, parents of students who attend the performing arts magnet program lobbied the school board for new facilities. Crumbling walls, small rooms and inadequate equipment were among the complaints.

Several parents also said children were suffering hearing losses because the band room was too small and not fit for such musical activities.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Coyotes In Our Milton

So you've never seen a coyote in our city? Then check out this video on you tube posted by one of our residents:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Help Bring Cocoa Home!

All:

A wonderful kitty is missing in our Milton! Please keep your eyes out for the beloved Cocoa pictured above. For more information, please see the comments from Miltonian Dalene Johnson below.

Thank you!

Tim Enloe
Accessmilton.com

"Our female, 4 yr. old long-haired Calico cat, Cocoa, disappeared from our home in Nettlebrook Farms (corner of Redd & Thompson Rds.) on 5/31. She was wearing a purple breakaway collar w/ a heart-shaped tag on it w/ our home ph. # & her name and has a HomeAgain microchip. If anyone finds Cocoa, please call us at 678-762-7719. Thanks, Dalene Johnson"

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Milton Sees Septic Tanks A Defense For Rural Charm

By DOUG NURSE http://www.ajc.com/

Milton enjoys a quality of life that many might envy.The north Fulton community features winding, tree-lined roads dotted with estate homes and horse farms, good schools and a sense of sanctuary.

Many Milton residents are determined to protect the rural charm. They share a deep-seated fear of being steam-rolled by those well-known country killers: high-density housing, strip malls, industrial parks and the like.Some believe they have a secret weapon in a war that many others have fought — and lost — in metro Atlanta. Septic tanks.

Despite concerns that septic tanks can cause environmental problems if they're not maintained, many residents see them as a way to keep the bulldozers at bay."Sewer brings density, and density will ruin Milton," said Ferrall Sumrell, who has lived there since 1994. "If you look at any area with sewer, you'll see increased density. Septic tanks will keep Milton from being overdeveloped."Sumrell has plenty of support. An anti-sewer petition last year in Milton quickly garnered about 560 signatures.

Many comments had a similar tone.

"Completely against this [sewer] ... Growth must stop," wrote Courtney Hensley.
"I DO NOT want sewers in Milton," commented Dolores Marshall. "The developers have done enough damage already. Let's keep our beautiful city beautiful."

The City Council is faced with conflicting pressures. The cash-strapped city could use taxes from more sewer-connected commercial property, but that must be balanced with the desire to preserve Milton's agrarian flavor. In the next month or two, the council is expected to directly address the sewer/septic debate and formulate an official policy.

'Linchpin issue'

Milton, located in the northernmost corner of Fulton County, has 20,000 mostly affluent residents. (The average house on the market in Milton lists for about $800,000.) Only about 10 to 15 percent of the city is connected to sewer.

Septic tanks generally require at least an acre of land for the drainfield and a replacement drainfield, which precludes intensive development, said City Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey, the leading advocate against sewer.

The community's no-sewer stance is not new. As the area developed, its residents pressured Fulton County to keep sewer out in order to maintain its country atmosphere. Now, the city is only about 35 to 45 percent developed, and residents still revel in the rural feel of the area.
Tom Wilson, Milton's former director of community development, estimated that only about 10 percent to 15 percent of the city is connected to sewer. Up to now, the City Council has consistently opposed any requests for sewer expansion for others to hook on to – including one from a man whose property is surrounded by sewer.

Dennis Potts owns 8.5 acres in southeast Milton, and he has sewer within 300 yards of his property. At this point he wants to de-annex into Alpharetta. He wants to join with a piece of property in Alpharetta that has sewer. He can't get sewer for his commercially zoned property in Milton."I've had it sold three times, but the deal fell through because I couldn't get sewer," he said. "This is an idea they all have had since Day One, about what they think they can make Milton into. They've got everything shut down."As a strategy, it may be working, Potts said.
"People in the development community are starting to say, 'You don't want to invest in Milton because you can't get sewer.' If you can't get sewer, you can't develop."

Newly hired City Manager Billy Beckett has learned in a hurry how important the sewer vs. septic debate is in Milton."It is a linchpin issue," he said. "We need to resolve this, so we can move on to other issues. It's almost a daily topic of conversation. Sometimes, we spend hours devoted to it."

The sewer-septic issue was the key issue in the last election. Candidates tagged as "pro-sewer" were defeated.

Water supply, quality

Milton's strategy runs counter to what other cities and counties are doing. Gwinnett, Forsyth and Douglas counties, for example, are trying to ensure that new development is on sewer.
Forsyth County Commission Chairman Charles Laughinghouse said the county wants to minimize the use of septic tanks as much as possible. He estimates that over the past four years, 90 percent of all rezoned residential property has been tied to sewer."With septic tanks you lose the water," Laughinghouse said. "With sewer, you collect it, process it, treat it and discharge it back to the source. In theory, you have zero water loss. With water in short supply, we're going to need every drop we can get."

Forsyth's position is consistent with state and federal studies that have determined that septic tanks are to some degree, a "consumptive use," meaning water is used and then lost in the soil.
The federal and state environmental agencies say that septic tanks are a viable alternative if they are properly sited, installed and maintained. But critics say septic tanks can pollute groundwater and often are not maintained.

Gwinnett County Water Resource Program Specialist Frank Stephens said Gwinnett also is concerned about pollution from septic tanks. He said septic tanks often are not maintained, with nasty results. Many people don't even know they're on septic tanks until they fail, he said.
"When septic tanks aren't properly maintained, and, according to the literature, many aren't maintained, bad stuff goes in the groundwater," Stephens said. "If you have enough failing septic tanks concentrated in a limited area, it's really bad for the environment."

Supporters of the no-sewer-expansion policy point out that sewer systems also fail sometimes and in larger volume. And, they argue, growth from sewer would bring more people, more water consumption and more storm water runoff.

Many Milton residents don't care if other places are trying to limit septic tanks."Keep Milton uncomplicated. If you want a sewer connect, move to Roswell or Alpharetta," wrote Matthew West, who said he's lived in all three cities.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Reports Of Body Being Found Off Of Cogburn Road.

All-

We are receiving unconfirmed reports that a body has been found off of Cogburn Road. As more details come to light, we will be sure to post them here.

- Tim Enloe
Accessmilton.com

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Calling All Classic Cars!

All:

Some of your Milton Neighbors and Milton Staff have been working hard on the next "Milton Round Up" coming up on Saturday, Sept 13th. I am pleased to share with you that we have many exciting additions to this year's event; one of which being a classic car show. The plan of action is to gather at least thirty local classic cars and meet up at the Target off of Hwy 9 at 11am on the morning of. This classic car parade will travel in a train formation over to the Publix at the Birmingham Crossroads with a police / public safety escort in tow. While we already have some folks on the list, we need more! Thus, if either you or a a friend of yours would be open to joining us, please let us know. On a side note, we do need more volunteers for this year's round up as we are expecting a crowd almost twice in size from last year.

Points of contact:

Linda Blow / City of Milton Project Coordinator/ linda.blow@cityofmiltonga.us
Travis Allen / Chair / The Milton Round Up / teallen76@hotmail.com
Tim Enloe / Volunteer / The Milton Round Up / tmenloe@aol.com

Thank you!

- Tim Enloe; Magnolia Media, LLC

Monday, June 09, 2008

AM Polls & Feedback.

Another AM Poll has come and gone. From those who voted, it appears as though most Miltonians believe that schools and churches should abide by the same noise ordinance as private residences. Feel free to offer any feedback that you believe would be of value in the comments section below.

Also, we are in the midst of putting together our July Newsletter. If have a question in mind and want to get some feedback via one of our polls, feel free to email it to us at sales@magnoliamedias.com.

Study To Examine Congestion In North Fulton

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

Take heart, ye weary travelers. Help is on the way, though it may take a while to get here.
Cities in north Fulton County are combining to do a broad study on how to relieve congestion, improve traffic flow and perhaps consider expanding MARTA to the Northside.

The $1.25 million analysis, funded largely through the Atlanta Regional Commission, will begin in January, and probably will conclude around mid-2010. Its conclusions will help drive where transportation money is spent.

The study is being done across the five major cities in north Fulton County to give planners a broader look at what has to happen to improve transportation across multiple jurisdictions.

Among the key topics:

• What can be done with Ga. 400?
• How can other large roads be improved?
• What land uses would support improvements?
• How — and if — MARTA service could be expanded.

About $1 million is being funded through ARC, and the remaining $250,000 is being divided among the five cities according to population. The five cities are Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Johns Creek and Milton.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Avensong Wins State USTA Championship

- Appen Newspapers

A Women's tennis team from the Avensong subdivision won the state championship for the 3.0 level of the United States Tennis Association. Avensong went undefeated through the weekend tournament. The team was formed last summer and is captained by Heather Gray of Milton, and coached by Peter Arebalo, also of Milton. They will competed at the regional level in Mobile, Ala. in July. Pictured from left, front row: Kay Holland, Heather Gray, Gina Duerre. Back row: Beata Chrunik, Lynn Carrier, Lisa Wildy, Robyn Atkinson, Paula Boulware, Denise Bissonnette

Milton Residents Want Tougher Stance Against School

They worry about environmental impact

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

Opponents of a planned high school in Milton are upset with the City Council because, they say, a resolution to the Fulton County School Board wasn't tough enough.

The City Council resolution on Monday called on the school board to consider the concerns of nearby residents who worry about the environmental impact of the school on nearby creeks and rivers. Residents have been especially vocal about the prospect of having a large septic tank to handle the school's waste and about the expected runoff from the school.

Some opponents made a presentation with an environmental engineer, and asked the City Council to intervene. The city has no authority over where schools are placed by the school board, which acts independently of municipalities.

The resolution fell short of condemning the selection of the 116-acre site. Instead, it asked the school board to consider working with the City of Milton to conduct additional tests, and to coordinate with regulatory agencies to ensure that the new high school is designed and built in a safe and environmentally sound way.

Lisa Cauley, chairwoman of a group called Protect Milton, felt the City Council wimped out.
"We feel the City Council should have insisted the school board find an alternative site, since our reports and studies conclude Chicken Creek cannot handle any additional bacterial load," Cauley said Friday."We are confused, disappointed, frustrated about their stance," she said. "We were expecting something teethier. For some reason, they watered it down."

Councilwoman Tina D'Aversa also had hoped for the resolution would be worded stronger, but she said the council concluded the city lacked the authority to make demands on a co-equal government. And she said there was some concern that a strident resolution might alienate the school board."There was concern that a stronger request would cause greater pushback from them," D'Aversa said. "We think that if they will review the environmental studies, they will reach the same conclusion on their own."

NOTE: To find out more about Protectmilton, please click here=>
http://www.accessmilton.com/Articles/ProtectMilton.php

Milton News From Council Person Tina D'Aversa

Dear Milton Neighbor,

You may have read in the Atlanta Journal Constitution today that some Milton Residents will get a new Zip Code July 1, 2008. A map with the impacted areas is available at
http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=z9vw7ncab.0.0.ys4lakcab.0&ts=S0343&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cityofmiltonga.us%2F&id=preview. The United States Postal Service recently sent a notice to 256 Milton residents indicating that the ZIP code for their mail delivery has been changed from 30004 to 30009. Residents affected are in the southern portion of ZIP Code 30004, specifically in the areas around Mayfield Road and Bethany Road, up to the intersection at Providence Road. A map is available on the City of Milton web site at http://www.cityofmiltonga.us/ that provides further clarification. According to USPS spokesperson Michael Miles, the change in ZIP Code does not affect the Post Office location that residents use, but is simply an internal change in the physical mail sorting location. Miles emphasizes that the change should be transparent to citizens, beyond the simple change of ZIP Code on the last mail line. Miles also emphasizes that citizens should continue to use "Milton" as their city of residence on their mailing address. The new ZIP Code officially takes effect on July 1, 2008, but residents can begin using 30009 immediately. The USPS will continue to deliver mail improperly labeled as 30004 until July 1, 2009, one year from the effective date of the change. Residents with any questions are encouraged to contact the Old Milton Parkway Post Office location, which can be reached directly at 770-442-3893.
I try to send information and news to you as needed. I thought this was appropriate. Please be sure to visit the City of Milton Web site for news that will impact you. As a reminder, It is important that you attend meetings and send your comments to Mayor Joe Lockwood and the City Council members. It is also vital that you attend meetings to learn more about how city operations, land use, zonings, development, public safety, taxes and other issues will impact you. The council is one of transparent government. We want you to be informed. The better informed you are the better our city will operate.

June meetings are listed below and the complete calendar of council meetings is available on
http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=z9vw7ncab.0.0.ys4lakcab.0&ts=S0343&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cityofmiltonga.us%2F&id=preview. The next City Council Work Session Meeting is Monday, June 9th - 6:00 at Milton City Hall - 13000 Deerfield Parkway.

CPAC Planning and Visioning Meetings


Citizens are encouraged to attend June CPAC meetings. Your input is needed as the 25 year comprehensive plan is developed. Three meetings were held in May and additional meetings are listed on the City of Milton Web site.

New High School Resolution


This week the City Council approved a resolution asking the Fulton County School Board to review the future site of a new High School in Milton. The designated site is located on Freemanville Road and has environmental issues that cause citizens, city engineers, city staff and the city council concern. Therefore, we thought it appropriate to send a resolution with these concerns to the Board of Education.

Sewer Policy Review

The city staff and council are continuing to work hard towards a comprehensive sewer policy. This is a critical legal matter for the city's future and your comments are welcomed.

Welcome Alice Wakefield, Community Development Director

This week the City of Milton has a new Community Development Director. Alice Wakefield joined the City of Milton last week with more than 20 years in county and municipal planning and development roles. Please join me in welcoming Ms. Wakefield to our team.

It is getting hot and the heat of summer can be very dangerous. Please make sure to drink lots of fluids on these hot sultry days and use the appropriate protection from the sun. Please don't forget to watch out for your pets. Often we do not realize how hot it is and that our pets need more water than we do when they are outside for long and short periods of time.

You can find information on the watering and outside burning regulations as well as storm watch and safety information at
http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?t=z9vw7ncab.0.0.ys4lakcab.0&ts=S0343&p=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cityofmiltonga.us%2F&id=preview. Do not hesitate to call us if we can be of assistance 678-242-2500 City Hall or Tina D'Aversa 678-242-2498.

Wherever your summer vacation may take you, please be safe.

In faith and service,


Tina D'Aversa
Preserving and Protecting Milton
tinadaversa@bellsouth.net

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Know Your Milton: King Snake!


All:

Recently, there was a bit of excitement at the home of Magnolia Media Co-Founders Tim & Ginger Enloe. We had a visit by a very large (est 4 feet ) eastern king snake. After a lucky capture in a fifty gallon storage container and a few pictures (See above), we let this fine fellow venture back to the wonderful woods behind our home.

King snakes are indeginous to Milton and are the largest snake within our city. These snakes are a true asset as they feed primarily on rodents as well as local pit vipers such as the copper head and cotton mouth. King snakes are NOT venemous. It should be noted that a venemous snake's head is diamond shaped and their pupils are oval were as non poisonous snake's head is oval and their pupils round.

If you are lucky enough to come across a king snake, take some picture and let them go. By keeping such wonderful creatures safe from harm, you might be saving your own life in the long run. To find out more about one of Milton's special creatures, please see the article below.

Many thanks to www.uga.edu.

AM Staff

Description:

Eastern kingsnakes are large -- 36 – 48 in (90-122 cm) -- shiny-black smooth-scaled snakes with white or yellow chain-link bands that cross the back and connect along the sides. Because of this pattern this species is also referred to as the chain kingsnake. Generally, individuals from the Coastal Plain have wide bands while those from the mountains may have very thin bands or be nearly completely black. Eastern kingsnakes have a short stout head and small beady eyes. They have an undivided anal plate.

Range and Habitat:

Eastern kingsnakes are found throughout the eastern United States north to New Jersey . They are found in all areas of Georgia and South Carolina . They thrive in many habitats including hardwood and pine forests, bottomlands and swamps, hammocks, tidal wetlands, and even farmlands and suburban areas. This species is strongly terrestrial, but inhabits areas close to water such as stream banks and swamp borders. They are quite secretive and are frequently found under boards, tin or other cover objects.

Habits:

In our region kingsnakes are active almost exclusively by day but are most active in the morning during the summer. They are strong constrictors and consume a variety of prey including snakes, lizards, rodents, birds, and especially turtle eggs. Kingsnakes are resistant to the venom of pit-vipers and they readily eat copperheads, cottonmouths, and rattlesnakes. Although they frequently rattle their tail, release musk, and bite upon capture, they generally tame quickly and are often kept as pets. This species mates in the spring and males bite the neck of females while mating. Females lay 3-24 eggs under debris or in rotting logs in early summer and eggs hatch in August-September.

Conservation Status:

Eastern kingsnakes receive no state, federal, or heritage ranking. However, concern has been expressed by some herpetologists that this species is declining in some areas of the Coastal Plain and in Florida . Although kingsnakes remain common in many regions, in some regions where they were once abundant they have recently nearly disappeared. The causes of these declines are unknown but habitat loss and degradation, imported fire ants, or diseases are potential causes. One formerly healthy and large kingsnake population on the Savannah River Site has been documented to have virtually disappeared in the last 20 years.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

North Fulton Gets New ZIP Code

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

The U.S. Postal Service is planning to launch a new ZIP code in north Fulton County.
The new ZIP code — 30009 — is being carved out of what was the 30004 ZIP code, which covered most of Alpharetta and most of Milton. Most of the affected addresses are based in Alpharetta, but some are in south-central part of Milton.

People in the newly incorporated city of Milton, out of a sense of local pride and identity, have been pushing the post office to give Milton its own ZIP code. They didn't like having to give their address as Alpharetta when they actually live in Milton. They enlisted the support of U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell).

The new post office will help relieve pressure from the post office on Old Milton Road in Alpharetta, but it might not entirely satisfy residents of Milton."It would be nice if we had our own ZIP code for Milton," Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood said. "I think adding another ZIP code will confuse things even more."

U.S. Postal Service spokesman Michael Miles said the new post office was opened for business reasons, not as a result of people wanting their own ZIP code for identity reasons.
"We've had a lot of growth in that area and that means adding delivery routes, and our building was bursting at the seams," Miles said. "From a business standpoint, we have to do what makes sense for the organization and ultimately for our customers overall."

The postal service is encouraging the 6,000 residences and the 1,300 businesses affected to start using the new ZIP code immediately. Mail bearing the old ZIP code will continue to be delivered so that people can use up old stationery by the July 1, 2009. After that, delivery of correspondence with the old 30004 ZIP code could be delayed.

The new facility will only process mail, and will not sell stamps or offer other postal services.
Lewis Miers of Milton will be among those touched by the change, but he seemed unconcerned.
"It doesn't matter as long as everybody plays by the same rules and uses the same addresses," he said.

Please Help A Dog Find A Home!

Please see the following from Miltonian Rashell Scott.


Hi everyone....yesterday we acquired a third dog! She arrived in our yard and stayed here for hours-no collar or tags. I took her to our vet, and she has no chip. They helped me a little with some ticks she had-we applied frontline and she seems in pretty good health, so I'm at a loss as to where she came from. She is SO sweet! Wonderful with our kids, you can tell she's been around people, ridden in a car etc. I'm going topost some signs today butI'm sending this email to see if anyone could possible know of where she could belong, or if you would want to take her into your home to keep or know someone that would want to. I would keep her-that's how much I love her!....but with 2 dogs already we just can't. I really wouldn't be promoting her if I didn't think she was great-I'm just heartbroken because I just can't take her to Fulton Co. :( Please email me...forward this on...anything you can do to help-we need to solve the problem in the next day or so. Thank you! Rashell (bleeding heart dog lover!) :))

Here she is in attached files-she looks to me like a black lab mix-with a little white on her front-she's about 45lbs.-medium sized dog.

We live in Stratforde Estates off of Hopewell almost at the corner of Cogburn and Francis in Alpharetta/Milton.

I will be taking her in the morning somewhere if we don't get her placed, I have had no calls on her from my flyers and she needs to go to the vet asap.

CONTACT: rashellscott@comcast.net

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Milton Asks School System To Address Environmental Concerns

By DOUG NURSE www.ajc.com

The Milton City Council has approved a resolution calling on the school board to consider the concerns of local residents who say the school's huge septic system and runoff is a health hazard.
Many residents oppose the new school site on Freemanville Road, and have asked the City Council to intervene. The city has no authority over where schools are placed by the Fulton school board, which acts independently of municipalities.

Residents say it will pour large amounts of effluent and chemicals into the ground, and they fear it will pollute nearby creeks that feed Little River and the Etowah River.

"We had some residents who hired an engineer and did some tests and shared some environmental concerns," said Mayor Joe Lockwood. "The school board people said sure, pass it on to us."

Residents also worry about traffic and noise and other attendant problems that come with a high school.

The resolution fell short of condemning the selection of the 116-acre site as requested by some residents. The resolution asks the school board consider working with the City of Milton to conduct additional tests and to coordinate with regulatory agencies to ensure that the new high school is designed and built in a safe and environmentally sound way.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Garden Club, Volunteers Spruce Up Milton Fire Station

by Jason Wright Appen Newspapers

Thanks to a number of committed volunteers, Milton's Fire Station No. 42 on Thompson Road now has gardens to drool over.All for free, and all saved from destruction.The plants came from the Windward Parkway property on which eatery Fire of Brazil once stood. As part of that restaurant's ambience, exotic and beautiful plants were installed, as were Koi ponds and other natural features.The land's new owner, Real Development LLC, was looking for a way to recycle everything it could from the property, so when Milton's Garden Club called asking if its members could take the plants to use at a city fire station, project manager David Barnett jumped at the chance."We said, go ahead, knock yourselves out," he said.And they did. On May 17, a force 20-strong of volunteers from the Garden Club, Chattahoochee High School and Real Development took out the plants and moved them to the fire station.

"They had gorgeous plants and stones," said Garden Club founder Sharon Murphy. "We were able to do so much."Each of the volunteers came with their own tools, and everyone even pitched in for mulch. There were no rototillers on hand, so every bit of work was done the old fashioned way -- with lots of sweat and lots help from friends.And seeing the community working to bring them a better home, Milton's own fire fighters pitched in to clean out weeds and plant new life at the older station.

Community volunteer and Garden Club member Abbe Laboda was on hand for the planting. She said it was amazing to see so many people chipping in just to make a community staple look a little bit fresher."It was so cool," she said. "We got the plants from Fire of Brazil and planted them at the firehouse. And we found a burning bush."

Barnett said the effort to reuse the precious plants was all part of Real Development owner Rob Forrest's plan in the community."All of our projects are kind of green," he said. "It's real easy to tear everything down in the world and build something new, but we try to take a different approach."

Real Development also let Milton's Public Safety Department use the building's sprawling layout for training."It makes us feel good that we can give something back," said Barnett.