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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New Poll / Last Poll Results

All:

We have a new poll up which ask:

Should the City Of Milton pave the remaining gravel roads in Milton?

Have you say today in the upper right hand corner!

Last month's poll question was:

Should the City Of Milton delay any extra projects due to the decrease in property values / lower tax base?

The results were:

Yes - 76%
No - 24%

Friday, January 23, 2009

Paging Mrs. Kathy Moore....

All:

This Sunday, January 25th is Miltonian Kathy Moore's Birthday! So if you see Kathy out and about, wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

From all of us at Accessmilton.com, Happy Birthday Kathy and here's to many many more!

Do you have a family member's special day coming up and want celebrate it with Accessmilton.com? If so, email us at sales@magnoliamedias.com / subject line: Birthday!

Milton's Gravel Roads Picturesque, but a killer on the budget

Prone to potholes, ruts, washouts

By DOUG NURSE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Saturday, January 24, 2009

Gordon Hunter lives on one of Milton’s 30 gravel roads, a quaint reminder of slower days and simpler living. “I think they’re an asset to the community,” he said. “It keeps the country atmosphere, and it keeps traffic down. They’re very scenic. They’re pastoral and peaceful. If they pave it, it would change the complexion of the community.”

He’s not alone in his love of unpaved byways. The city’s Comprehensive Planning Advisory Committee lauded the gravel roads and even suggested that developers build more of them.
Public works staff recently wanted to keep gravel from migrating from gravel roads onto paved roads by adding asphalt to the dirt roads’ first 100 feet. But two city council members objected because motorists wouldn’t be able to see that it was a gravel road.

Gravel roads may be aesthetically pleasing, but they are tough on the city pocketbook. Milton’s 13 miles of dirt roads eat up about a quarter of the city’s road maintenance budget in a normal year.

“From a maintenance perspective, it’s more cost-effective to have a paved road,” said Public Works Director Dan Drake. “With a paved road, you can defer maintenance for a while. With a gravel road, there is no deferrable maintenance. You can’t defer it even for a couple of days.”

The roads are prone to potholes, rutting and washboarding as water rushes over the flat surface, carrying supporting dirt and small rocks with it. The city has to go over the gravel roads twice a year.

“People say, ‘I love your road,’ but I feel kind of guilty because the city of Milton doesn’t have much money,” said Marcia O’Shaughnessy, who lives on a unpaved road.

Gravel roads tend to be narrow so people drive over the same tracks, creating ruts.
You can fix a pothole in a gravel road by filling it with dirt, but that’s a very short-term solution. It requires grading, followed closely by a roller-compactor, followed by a truck that sprays calcium chloride to keep the dust down.

“Most cities are trying to eliminate gravel roads, because they’re so costly and hard to maintain,” Drake said.

City Councilman Bill Lusk lives on a dirt road, and likes it. “It’s why we moved out here,” Lusk said. “I grew up in the country, and it takes me back to where I was as a kid. I think if we were to try to pave them, we would hear from people who are against it.”

He said gravel roads are popular with walkers, equestrians and bicyclists because they draw less and slower traffic.

The city has included many of the roads as part of its citywide trail program as “linear parks.”
Some folks, like Rise Hersheran, who lives on gravelly Nix Road, said she would like to see the city blacktop her roadway. She said her elderly parents have a hard time navigating the potholes. “The fact they aren’t being maintained where it’s safe to drive on makes them functionally obsolete,” she said. “There’s a safety factor. There was no problem when Fulton County was in charge of it. The city can’t afford dirt roads.”

Drake estimated that up to 25 percent of all complaints he receives are over the rough state of the gravel roads. But some want the roads to look like they’ve been targeted by the Eighth Air Force.

John Lynam, who lives on unpaved Summit Road, said he doesn’t understand people complaining about gravel roads. “If you don’t like dirt roads, then why did you come out here in your Porsche and live on a dirt road?” he asked. “There’s a lot of other places you could build the same nice house. Move to a gated community. I like it because it’s close to nature.”

O’Shaughnessy said she has mixed feelings about whether to pave them, but a rugged road does have its advantages. “The condition of a gravel road is bad more than good,” she said. “If it was paved, a lot of people would use it besides residents. If the road is rough, then people have to slow down.”

Others fear that if the road is paved, their zoning will change so that instead of minimum three-acre lots, the minimum would be one-acre lots. Some of the roads’ biggest supporters are people who don’t live on them, Drake said. “If we send crews out to grade, we’ll have 10 people tell us good job, and 10 people will tell us to go away,” Drake said.

Drake estimated it would cost $2 million to $4 million to pave the city’s existing gravel roads.
He is hoping to find a compromise that would allow him to somehow cap the roads to make them water resistant, but still make them look like gravel roads.

“We can have the rural feel of the roads, but have it be closer to the maintenance schedule of a paved road,” he said.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Petition Goes Online Against Gating Milton Roads

All:

The following petition has been activated regarding the current discussion about gating city streets in Milton, Georgia. This petition is for those who are against such gating. Please click on the following link for more information:

http://www.gopetition.com/online/24726.html

For those who have a different viewpoint and / or petition, we are more than willing to provide equal airtime. Thus, feel free to email any such information to: sales@magnoliamedias.com and we will list it within 24 hours.

Thank you.

Tim Enloe
Magnolia Media, LLC
770 653 0552

Police Looking To Round Up Help On Stray Horses In Milton

Courtesy Appen Newspapers

January 19, 2009 Milton's rural landscape and multitude of horse farms can present a unique problem for police – escaped horses. It is not unusual for a Milton officer to respond to a call about a horse running loose.The first problem is catching a sometimes stubborn animal while trying not to run it into traffic. If the officer is lucky, the horse might allow itself to be caught, but then the second and more difficult problem materializes – what to do with it? Often horse owners are unknown, at work or cannot otherwise be found quickly.To try to address this problem, the Milton Public Safety Department is soliciting interested citizens to volunteer for an emergency "on-call list" to assist the department with horses in these situations. If you have a horse trailer, extra stall, or even just an available corner of fenced pasture, it could be of real assistance to the department. Such an emergency placement would last only as long as it took the city to find the horse's owner. If you would like to help, please call 678-242-2570. You will be asked to provide your name and contact phone number to be placed on the list

Milton Hosts Second Citizen Police Academy

Courtesy Appen Newspapers

January 19, 2009

The Milton Police Department will host its second Citizens Police Academy, a six-week program that gives citizens an inside look at the department and law enforcement, beginning Feb. 11.

The program takes place Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Milton Police precinct at 750 Hickory Flat Road. Topics include criminal investigations, criminal law, police K9 units, traffic law, and 911 operations. Participants who are over age 18 can also go on a ride-along with an officer.

Class size is limited to 15 people, with preference given to Milton residents. Interested citizens are encouraged to register as soon as possible by completing an application and background form at City Hall during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Milton Business Unite In Chamber-Type Group

Doug Nurse / Atlanta Journal Constitution

The business community in Milton is joining together to provide networking opportunities for its members, and to promote commercial enterprises in the city.

“We don’t have an ax to grind,” said Milton Business Alliance Chairman Dale Jackson. “The city has been receptive to the interests of business when business has voiced its opinion. But business can do a better job of communicating. There isn’t a group like this here. There’s a vacuum.”

The organization is sponsoring an open meeting at 6 p.m. today [Thursday] Montana’s Bar and Grill.

Jackson said the group isn’t intended to replace the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, but to complement it.

“We have just one city that we’re promoting,” Jackson said. “If it’s not in Milton, I’d like it to be in north Fulton. There will be overlapping memberships.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sewer Discussion Turns Into Verbal Shoot-Out In Milton

by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers

January 19, 2009 MILTON - A discussion concerning Fulton's response to Milton's intergovernmental agreement (IGA) and sewer map passed in September 2008 turned into a verbal smackdown Jan. 12 when council members disagreed yet again whether the map and new provisions constituted "sewer extension."

City Attorney Ken Jarrard and City Manager Mort Smedley had met Jan. 12 with Fulton County Interim County Attorney Larry Ramsey to discuss discrepancies between Fulton's original 2006 sewer agreement and Milton's new one.

Fulton said it wants two things: Milton must recognize existing lines in the ground that would not affect service, which Jarrard said would be no problem. Also seven lots that Milton had not included in its map must be lumped in with the serviceable area.

Jarrard said he's tried to get Fulton to agree to Milton's map, which he said will cover 95 percent of the service area, and that they can negotiate when it comes to those seven lots. If not, everything reverts back to Fulton's original 2006 IGA, rendering Milton's work moot.He said Fulton authorities have taken it into consideration. Ramsey could not be reached for a comment.

Then Mayor Joe Lockwood opened a can of worms by saying the seven lots probably would not be considered an "extension of service" because they were included in Fulton's map in the first place.

Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey took exception to that position and said anything new would be sewer extension. She then said the map passed in September was sewer extension, and hypothesized the whole thing might have something to do with county water and sewer usage being down.

"I don't think we would need to be the tool to increase revenue," she said.Lockwood, Karen Thurman, Burt Hewitt and Bill Lusk outvoted Zahner Bailey, Tina D'Aversa and Alan Tart to pass the map. At the heart of the issue were those two little words – sewer extension.Lockwood said that some members "firmly believe [the September map] was not sewer extension." Karen Thurman agreed and asked Community Development Director Alice Wakefield if she thought the map was sewer extension.Wakefield said no.

Zahner Bailey countered by asking Jarrard if the seven new lots were.He said yes, under the "working definition used at the time."

After an uneasy silence and several more jabs back and forth, it was decided to let negotiations take their course and see what happens.

Milton: To Gate or Not To Gate?

by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers

January 19, 2009 MILTON - Gating Creek Club Drive is a matter of safety, Mike Stevens, a Crooked Creek Homeowner Association member, told Milton City Council. That is why he asked the city to abandon the upscale neighborhood's main thoroughfare.

At a City Council work session Jan. 12, Stevens, who has spearheaded efforts to gate the road, spoke to council about the city's right-of-way privatization policy, or the way it abandons a road.

It's just a matter of time, before someone is killed by a passing motorist driving over the speed limit in the neighborhood, Stevens said. "It's going to be on all of our heads."

The meeting was packed with people from the 640-home neighborhood, which accounts for about 11 percent of Milton's population.

They left feeling mostly frustrated after council determined a lot of work needs to be done before anything can change.

The policy, adopted from Fulton County in June 2007, says that for a street to be abandoned by the city, 100 percent of the people affected by the closing of the road would have to approve.

Stevens and the rest of the Crooked Creek HOA board want that number lowered to 75 percent.

Creek Club Drive often is used as a cut through for drivers between Ga. 9 and Freemanville Road.

Milton's Public Works Director Dan Drake told council his staff had looked at eight state jurisdictions and all required a 100 percent approval by affected residents for road abandonment.

He said for a neighborhood of more than 100 homes, he would be comfortable with 90 percent, however."This, to me, is effectively 100 percent," he said.

Stevens denounced the idea."We're six times bigger than that," he said. "This kills it for us."City Attorney Ken Jarrard also told council that state law requires Milton to find the road serves "no public use." He added the decision can be upheld in court if council finds the road is being used "illegally," which had many in the audience contemplating whether speeding counted.

Drake asked that any work done to determine Creek Club Drive's status be carried out during the upcoming transportation master plan process. That way potentially rerouted traffic can be diffused, knowledgeable consultants can help the city make fact-based, rather than emotional, decisions.

Councilwoman Julie Zahner Bailey agreed."We have to have hard data to support our position in a court of law if we had to," she said.The most vocal council member for Crooked Creek's position was Tina D'Aversa, who called Creek Club Drive a "safety hazard.""It is a dangerous road for pass through traffic," she said.D'Aversa agreed that the transportation stakeholders committee needs to be a part of any decision."I wouldn't want to see us change our policy, then defer to our transportation planning policy," she said.

Wednesday, Jan. 21st City Council Meeting

Courtesy bhalliance.org

Rezoning and Zoning Modifications of interest

The BHA Board of Directors would like to make you aware of some upcoming rezoning and zoning modifications that might be of interest to you and the community. Today, Wednesday, Jan. 21st at 6:00 P.M., the Mayor and City Council will hear two cases:

I. Crabapple Zoning Modification:Case # ZM08-06/VC08-06, located at 765 & 785 Mid-Broadwell Road requested by Sally Rich-Kolb to modify Condition 2.a. of Z05-072 to revise the site plan; and 2) To delete condition 4.b. to remove the requirement that the owner dedicate to Fulton County (City of Milton) the necessary right-of-way to provide a connector road from Broadwell Road to Mid-Broadwell Road prior to attaining an LDP, or as may be approved by the Director of Public Works; and 3)To request a concurrent variance to reduce parking from 58 to 39 spaces (Article 18.2.1). (This item was deferred on October 20, 2008.)

The applicant would like to remove the approved road connection, reduce parking spaces from 59 - 38 and remove three specimen trees. Milton Staff recommends denial of the request to remove the road connection, but recommends approval of the reduction in parking spaces.

At the last meeting when this item was discussed, members of the business community in Crabapple spoke about concerns with the reduced parking spaces being considered indicating the lack of overall parking in the Crabapple area.

Alternatives should be considered to save the specimen trees.

II. Highway 9 - Zoning Modification - convert a site plan from septic to sewerCase #ZM08-09 -13941 13943, located at 13945 Highway 9 North by Milton Organizers, LLC to modify Condition 2.a. of RZ07-010, to redesign site plan to eliminate septic and connect to sanitary sewer.

The First Milton Bank is requesting a change to their previously approved septic site plan to a sewer connection using the adjacent property. An issue with this request is that Fulton County has not yet signed a revised Inter Governmental Agreement (IGA) with the City of Milton. The agreement-once signed, could grant the authority for Fulton County to provide sewer to this parcel. At the January 12th work session Alliance members noted, the Milton City Attorney clearly stated the current IGA does not include this parcel and that Fulton County has not yet signed the revised IGA brought forth by Milton. As a result, Fulton County may not have the legal authority to provide sewer to this parcel yet.

The City needs to address the revised IGA.

On Monday, Feb. 2nd at 6 P.M. the City Council will rehear a case voted on during the December 15th meeting. As reported by the Milton Herald and AJC, on January 5th Mayor Lockwood requested to rehear case number RZ08-10, 622 N. Main Street.

A 3-2 vote on December 15th approved the applicant, Larry Singleton, to rezone from C-2 (Commercial) to C-1 (Community Business) by approving it at the density approved by Fulton County for the original of 18,673 square feet per acre on 2.26 acres along with additional conditions from staff. The applicant's request of 12/15/08, was for a density of 28,260 square feet per acre requiring the site to be clear-cut. This rezoning is almost 10,000 square feet more dense than what Fulton County approved as appropriate for the area.

During the December 15th City Council meeting although there was a legal quorum not all of the seven member council were present, the AJC reported, "Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood wants a do-over on a recent zoning decision made while two City Council members and the city attorney were absent." Nurse, Doug. "Mayor wants 2nd vote on Ga. 9 rezoning." Atlanta-Journal Constitution 05 Jan. 2009.

More information on the rehearing available:

AJC 1/02/09
Milton Herald 1/08/09
Milton Herald 1/13/09

Please share this information with your neighbors, families and friends.

Additional Topics of Interest

Right-of-Way Privatization PoliciesDuring the Jan. 12th City Council Work Session, the first item on the agenda was the discussion of the right-of-way privatization policy, Presented by Dan Drake, Public Works Director.

Public Works provided a presentation regarding possible approaches as alternatives to gating of subdivisions or privatizing roads. Such alternatives include traffic calming measures like speed humps, stop signs, and lowered speed limits.

As noted during the work session, Public Works and Public Safety both are conducting further research on the item. The current Milton Right-of-way privatization policy and Georgia State laws seem to require the following:

- 100% of the affected property owners of the road being requested for closure would agree to the privatization.

- Privatization or abandonment of a road or right-of-way may not negatively impact overall public good including existing public access.

- State requirements must be met before Milton can take any action.

One item being considered is whether to reduce the 100% requirement in Milton. Public Works presented findings during their presentation that no other jurisdictions they could find had policies that were any less than the 100%.

The BHA respects all property owners and is dedicated to the safety of all of Milton. Your opinions on this possible policy change and related issues are critical. Please attend meetings regarding this important topic and let council members know your opinions.

This and other transportation topics will be evaluated as a part of the overall Transportation Master Planning Initiative.

Transportation Master Planning Initiative

The City is initiating its first Comprehensive Transportation Plan meeting on Thursday, Jan. 22nd at 4 P.M. - 9:00 p.m. This will be a work shop format and in addition to reviewing the transportation plan process, schedule and activities for the overall transportation plan, there also will be a presentation by Randall Arendt, author of "Rural by Design". The meeting is open to the public and all citizens are encouraged to attend.

Milton Meetings, click here=>
http://www.cityofmiltonga.us/gov/meetings/calendar/index.html

Wednesday, Jan. 21st - City Council Meeting, 6 P.M.
Thursday, Jan. 22nd - Transportation Plan Kick-Off, 4 P.M.
Monday, Jan. 26th - Board of Ethics, 6 P.M.
Tuesday, Jan. 27th - Planning Commission, 7 P.M.
Wednesday, Jan. 28th - Tree Commission, 3:30 P.M.
Community Zoning Information Meeting, 7 P.M.
Monday, February, 2nd - City Council Meeting, 6 P.M.

All meetings held at City Hall, 13000 Deerfield Parkway, Milton GA 30004
Every voice, every dollar and every volunteer makes all the difference!Helping to protect and plan for the future of this unique area has required the BHA's involvement in a variety of activities including transportation issues, proposed zoning amendments, and on-going monitoring of zonings already approved but not implemented, and more. Constant Attention Requires Commitment and Funding - Everyone Makes a Difference We ask for your membership and financial support. We are a fully volunteer organization and it is only through the generous donations and volunteer-time from our community that we have been successful. It takes time and money, but we all benefit directly from the results. Join or renew your membrship with BHA right now! =>
http://www.bhalliance.org/

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reminder: Milton Business Alliance To Meet Thursday / Jan 22nd

The Milton Business Alliance is conducting a membership drive and we invite you to attend.The Alliance is a business group looking to promote development of business in the City of Milton. We are looking for interested people who own their own business in the city or run a business out of their home, or if you are a resident of the City of Milton and are interested in the growth of businesses in the city we invite you to attend.

DATE: Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
TIME: 6pm
LOCATION: MOntana's Bar & Grill / Greenhouse Location

There will be a $3.00 contribution requested per person to be applied toward appetizers.

Are You Ready For Another Milton Election???

CITY OF MILTON NOTICE OF OPENING AND CLOSING DATES FOR CANDIDATES TO QUALIFY FOR MUNICIPAL ELECTION TO BE HELD NOVEMBER 3, 2009

Any qualified elector desiring to run for Mayor or one of the three (3) City Council positions, namely: Districts 1, 3, and 5, for election on November 3, 2009, must file for candidacy for the desired position at the City Hall, 13000 Deerfield Parkway, Suite A/B, Milton, Georgia, 30004 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, during the period August 31 through September 4, 2009. Qualifying fee for candidacy is as follows:
For Mayor: $690.00
For City Council: $390.00

Interim City Mort Smedley
Manager City Clerk Jeanette Marchiafava

Outsourced Cities Rethink Contracts In Recession

Johns Creek, Milton, Sandy Springs may have to adjust plan with city management firm

By DOUG NURSE

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, January 20, 2009

As the economy faltered, Atlanta dealt with a budgetary shortfall by cutting 350 positions. Gwinnett County also axed 93 jobs. On Thursday, DeKalb County announced it was eliminating 181 positions to save money. But it may not be so easy for Georgia’s newest cities.
When they were launched, the cities embarked on a bold privatization experiment in which they all independently contracted with CH2M Hill-OMI, a Colorado company, to provide most day-to-day services. They are lump-sum contracts that the cities pay to have the company provide basic services.

For example, the firm manages the cities’ departments of public works, parks and recreation, planning and zoning, and human resources. The only people on city payroll are police and firefighters, and a handful of top administrators.

Now, as officials at Johns Creek, Milton and Sandy Springs project declining revenue in the foreseeable future, they are sounding out CH2M Hill’s willingness to change its contract to help them cut costs. The contracts are about a quarter to a third of the cities’ operating budgets.
Among the possibilities on the table are having CH2M Hill redeploy staff, eliminating positions, and perhaps even modifying its contract on the level of services provided.

Johns Creek City Manager John Kachmar said he’s not panicking, but if at midyear the revenue picture still looks bleak, he may begin negotiations with CH2M Hill in earnest.

“When you’re an outsourced city, you go to the contract,” Kachmar said. “You can’t be held hostage by a contract when you can’t afford it. Cities have to adjust, and contractors have to adjust. You have to live within your means.”

Reductions in service or layoffs would be a last resort, he said. Johns Creek would first ask CH2M Hill to freeze open positions and discount its bill accordingly, and it would give idle workers new tasks outside the normal course of their duties —- both of which would require negotiations with the company, Kachmar said.

Fortunately, the company is well aware of the cities’ financial pictures, and it is willing to do what it can to cut costs, said Al Crace, Sandy Springs project manager for CH2M Hill.
“This is a partnership, and we’re in it for the long haul,” Crace said. “These are the times we live in, and everyone has to be realistic. The city pays a fixed fee for a bundle of services and levels of service. They tell us what they want, and we’ll price it.”

It’s too early to project how bad the financial picture will be in the coming year.
But so far, property values are stagnating or declining so ad valorem taxes may be down. People aren’t spending as much, so sales tax revenues are flat or falling. Because of the downturn in development, permitting fees, licenses and other income are in a tailspin. And, the cities are at or near the maximum tax rate they can legally impose.

Even so, Johns Creek Mayor Mike Bodker said he believes the city probably won’t need to initiate real talks with CH2M Hill.

“We still have a lot of runway,” Bodker said, referring to the city’s financial status.
Sandy Springs City Manager John McDonough said he is hoping to find ways that don’t affect services to the public. For example, he said, CH2M Hill could move people from departments affected by the slowdown, such as in planning and zoning, and move them to other departments.
“We want to work smarter while providing the same level of service,” McDonough said. “All cities and counties across the country are dealing with budget issues. We are in a strong position, a very strong position.”

In Milton, the company’s city staff is so lean and capital improvements so few that discussions likely will turn to reduction in services, said Tami Hanlin, former CH2M Hill program director for Milton and now director of a company program that pools resources shared by all the cities.
“There’s not a lot of fat,” she said. “The whole premise is that we have a more efficient way of delivering services.”

If there’s no meeting of the minds, the cities and CH2M Hill would have little alternative but to sever the contract, a prospect everyone views with dread, Bodker said.
“We have a nuclear bomb and they have a nuclear bomb,” he said. “No one wants to use it.”

OUTSOURCED GOVERNMENT

City…………Total 2009 budget….CH2M Hill payment

Johns Creek……$47.35 million….$18.9 million
Milton………..$22.87 million…..$7.6 million
Sandy Springs….$97.5 million…..$25.8 million

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Passing of a Milton Neighbor

All:

Word came to me earlier today that long time Wood Road resident Barbara Pappas past away unexpectedly this past Friday. To be honest, I was shocked.

While I only knew Barbara from afar, it was plain to see that she was a strong woman who truly loved life and her passion of the equestrian lifestyle in Milton, GA.

A memorial service will be announced. To find out more information, please visit http://northsidechapel.com/.

Please keep the Pappas family in your prayers during this difficult time.

Thank you -

Tim Enloe
Founder
Magnolia Media, LLC

City Meetings set for week of of January 19th

Tuesday / January 20th:

7pm - Board Of Zoning Appeals
Agenda=> http://www.agendapost.org/comga/bza/2009/01-20-2009_BZA_Agenda_P-R1.pdf
Packet=> http://www.agendapost.org/comga/bza/2009/01-20-2009_BZA_Packet.pdf

Wednesday / January 21st:

6pm - City Council Meeting
Agenda=> http://www.agendapost.org/comga/council/01-21-2009-Agenda.pdf
Packet => http://www.agendapost.org/comga/council/01-21-2009-Packet.pdf

Thursday / January 22nd:

4pm - Transportation Plan Kick Off

Milton County Issue Revisited

Courtesy WSBRadio


By Chris Camp @ January 19, 2009

(WSB State Capitol Bureau) -- An renewed effort is underway to bring back Milton County. It merged with Fulton County during the depression to avoid bankrupty .

Rep. Jan Jones (R-Alpharetta) tells WSB 's Sandra Parrish she's reintroducing a constitutional amendment to allow the re-creation of a previously existing county which was merged into another county.

If passed by the General Assembly, voters would then decide the issue in the 2010 general election. A local referendum would then be held among the affected residents.

"For them it is still about having more control and more elected influence," says Jones.
She says if recreated, Milton would be the fifth largest county in Georgia.

But many members of the Fulton County legislative delegation remain opposed to the idea.
Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D- Atlanta) says the costs of starting a new government should be considered especially after the creation of five new cities in metro Atlanta. "How much more money will it take to finance the operation of these governments," he says.

Jones has the support of members representing the northern end of the county.

Alan Tart: The Presidential Taste Tester from Milton

by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers

January 13, 2009 MILTON – In olden days, royalty had what they called food tasters, a seemingly thankless and terrible job whereby someone would taste the lord's food – at considerable personal risk – to stave off the very real threat of poisoning.

Though the availability of poison has not have changed, the methods by which it is detected certainly have. And that's where Councilman Alan Tart comes in.

No, he not really the president's food taster. But close.

Tart, a regional retail food specialist with the FDA since 1999, is part of a specialized, 15-member team that steps in during "high security" events or disasters. It has been called upon for the G-8 summit, hurricanes Katrina, Gustav and Rita, the Republican and Democratic national conventions and Sept. 11.

Tart said the Secret Service and FBI will contact the FDA and request the team if they believe food security may be an issue. The official inauguration of the President of the United States of America Jan. 20 fall into that category.

"Food defense has been a major issue for us," said Tart, who will leave Jan. 15 and return a week later. "It has been identified as a major weakness in our fight against terrorism."

But it's just food, right? Wrong, says Tart. The chances of something catastrophic occurring are great in a week where there will be more than 20 inaugural balls, all with extensive menus.

To make sure everything goes smoothly, the team exhaustively reviews all menus, the types of food served, the sources supplying the food and the transportation, distribution and secure preparation of all meals.

Because of the volume of food needed for the crush of people coming to Washington for the historic event, the group must also inspect all refrigeration trucks and off-site facilities. That's not to mention the normal food preparation problems of proper cooking, storage and serving.

"You don't notice all this stuff until you really start looking," said Tart. "Any food served to a dignitary, especially the president, is sampled. After the sample is taken it is held in containment in case of an outbreak."

And lest the effort seem a bit much, Tart relayed the tale of some very real food terrorism.

In The Dalles, Ore. in 1984, the members of the radical Rajneeshee cult contaminated water and the salad bars of 10 local restaurants with salmonella, causing 751 cases of illness. They did it to sway the Wasco County elections, hoping that people would be so sick they couldn't outvote the cult's own candidates. Luckily, it didn't work, and no one died from the attacks.

"It can definitely be done," said Tart.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Neighborhood Of The Week


Bentgrass Farms is a quiet neighborhood of only forty five homes in Milton, Georgia. Established in 1991, lots are typically an acre plus of private lush paradise with exteriors including stucco,brick, and hardiplank.
To find out more about this Milton, Georgia Neighborhood, please click here=>

Milton Council Agendas | 1-18-09

Approval of the Financial Statements for the period ending December 2008. (Stacey Inglis, Finance Manager)

Zoning Agenda • ZM08-06/VC08-06 - 765 & 785 Mid-Broadwell Road by Sally Rich-Kolb to modify Condition 2.a. of Z05-072 to revise the site plan; 2) To delete condition 4.b. to remove the requirement that the owner dedicate to Fulton County (City of Milton) the necessary right-of-way to provide a connector road from Broadwell Road to Mid-Broadwell Road prior to attaining an LDP, or as may be approved by the Director of Public Works; and 3) To request a concurrent variance to reduce parking from 58 to 39 spaces (Article 18.2.1). (This item was deferred on October 20, 2008.) (Presented by Alice Wakefield, Community Development Director) • ZM08-09 -13941 13943, 13945 Highway 9 North by Milton Organizers, LLC to modify Condition 2.a. of RZ07-010, to redesign site plan to eliminate septic and connect to sanitary sewer. (Presented by Alice Wakefield, Community Development Director) • RZ08-09 Text Amendment - To amend Article 22, Appeals of the City of Zoning Ordinance. (This item was deferred on November 17, 2008.) (Presented by Alice Wakefield, Community Development Director) • Approval of an Ordinance to Amend Chapter 14, Land Development and Environmental Protection, of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Milton, Georgia. (First Presentation on October 6, 2008.) (Presented by Alice Wakefield, Community Development Director) Unfinished Business • Approval of an Ordinance Amending the Noise Control Ordinance within the City of Milton, Georgia. (First Presentation on November 3, 2008.) (Presented by Chris Lagerbloom, Public Safety Director) • Approval of a Resolution Amending Resolution No. 09-01-66, A Resolution to Create the Milton Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and to develop the Milton Parks and Recreation Ordinance by appointing a member for District 2. (Presented by Brad Chambers, Parks and Recreation Representative)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Welcome Hunters' Christmas Tree Farm To Accessmilton.com!

All:

We are proud to announce one of Accessmilton.com's newest members; the wonderful Hunters' Christmas Tree Farm located off of Wood Road in Milton, Georgia!

The Hunter family has lived in the area for many years and their farm is truly an asset to the city. If you haven't included Hunters' Christmas Tree farm in your Christmas traditions, start in 2009!

They are also part of "Trees For Troops" which helps supply free trees to those in the military. Such patriotism is to be admired.

Check them out today!
http://www.accessmilton.com/Advertisers/Hunters.php

Tim Enloe
Founder
Magnolia Media, LLC

Friday, January 16, 2009

Milton Business Alliance To Meet

The Milton Business Alliance is conducting a membership drive and we invite you to attend.The Alliance is a business group looking to promote development of business in the City of Milton. We are looking for interested people who own their own business in the city or run a business out of their home, or if you are a resident of the City of Milton and are interested in the growth of businesses in the city we invite you to attend.

DATE: Thursday, January 22nd, 2009
TIME: 6pm
LOCATION: MOntana's Bar & Grill / Greenhouse Location

There will be a $3.00 contribution requested per person to be applied toward appetizers.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Milton Notice Of Public Hearing

Courtesy Appen Newspapers

Re: Notice of Public Hearing for Rescission of Previous Council Approval of Zoning Application RZ08-10 and for Possible Additional Zoning Action Notice is hereby given that the Milton City Council will hold a public hearing in order to consider rescinding its approval of Zoning Application RZ08-10 at the Council’s regular meeting on Monday, February 2, 2009, at 6:00 p.m. in the Milton City Hall main assembly room. Zoning Application RZ08-10 pertains to a parcel of property located at 622 N. Main Street in Milton, Georgia. Zoning Application RZ08-10 requested that the property be rezoned from C-2 to C-1. The purpose of the public hearing shall be for public review and comment concerning rescission of the Council’s December 15 approval of the rezoning request and possible additional zoning action with respect to Zoning Application RZ08-10. All Milton residents and any other affected and/or interested persons are invited and encouraged to attend.Milton City CouncilLocation: 13000 Deerfield Parkway, Building 100 City Council Chambers Date: Monday, February 2, 2009Time: 6:00 PM

Milton Citizens Express Need to Halt Speeding



publication date: Jan 11, 2009

author/source: Jonathan Copsey / The Beacon
When you drive to and from work, to and from dropping the kids off, to and from school, do you watch your speed? Do you go the posted limit? Do you place your faith in the “11 over rule?”

The City of Milton and some residents certainly hope you follow the speed limit, but are actively working on ways to make sure you do.
Milton held a shotgun meeting Thursday on the subject of speeding, with more than two dozen residents appearing to voice concern and discuss solutions to what they saw as an increasing problem on Milton’s streets.
“My brother was killed in an accident,” said Tim Enloe, of Accessmilton.com and organizer of the night’s meeting. “We lost him on his birthday. He was 25 and he was killed on the intersection of Mayfield and Providence. He was driving too fast, but it was also a problem intersection before that. Having someone ripped out of your life when they were so young, I don’t want to go through that again and I don’t want anyone else to go through that.
Enloe lives on Bethany Road, a so-called “Open Road Neighborhood” – as opposed to a subdivision – where the houses are along the street instead of the relatively enclosed neighborhoods of the subdivisions. He and many of the people at the meeting expressed exasperation at having to deal with the constant danger posed by reckless speeding on Milton’s roads.
Many of Milton’s roads have a posted speed limit of 45 mph. For residential roads, this is seen by those who live there as too high, especially considering Georgia’s “11 over rule,” where police cannot ticket a speeder unless they are going more than 11 miles over the posted speed limit. Unfortunately, on a road posted as 45 mph, add on the 11 miles and vehicles can go as fast as 56 in a residential zone and not face consequences.
“At 56, it’s not safe for horses, bikes, or walking,” said Enloe. Or even for backing out of a driveway or leaving a subdivision.
TALES OF SPEEDING WOE
While all the residents who appeared had horror stories to tell of not being able to back out of driveways or worrying about drivers often passing school busses, some stories stuck out.
Lauren O’Neil, who lives on Freemanville Road, said: “Where I live, it’s an expressway. People going 60, 70mph. We just had a wipeout on our driveway. The kid was maybe 17 years old and he’s OK. But it was in our driveway. My son and daughter wait for the bus at the top of our driveway and thank God he missed them.”
Tara Chambers, who lives on Cogburn Road in a subdivision, wished to take her three-year-old son to the preschool across the street at the St. Aiden’s Church. “I was going to walk my three year old to school every day,” said Chambers. “All I had to do was cross the road. I had to stop because of the speed on that road, it’s just not safe. If he tripped, it was too dangerous.” She has been forced to drive her son across the road because of the drivers barreling down the road.
Paul Moore, of the White Columns subdivision, told of how his teenage daughter was driving a large SUV home from school and wanted to turn left into the subdivision. As she was doing so, another teenager, in another SUV that was going in excess of 60mph hit her.“All three cars were totaled,” said Moore. “Two SUV’s and a Lexus. The friend’s car was going so fast that the suburban was pushed into a Lexus and pushed 35 feet.”Luckily no one was hurt in the accident, but it goes to show that the issue of speeding is not just confined to the open road residents.
NO QUICK SOLUTIONS TO FAST PROBLEM
Various solutions were offered by Enloe and others, such as placing three-way stop signs at the entrances to subdivisions, allowing citizen speed patrols (much like in Alpharetta) and writing to GDOT to demand a lowering of the posted speed limit.
One attendee suggested a “Milton Pace Car” bumper sticker campaign, with drivers pledging to always drive the speed limit.
City staff were on hand to lend their opinions as well. Transportation Director Dan Drake almost immediately shot down the stop sign solution and writing to GDOT, saying they were impractical and not likely to get anything done. Instead, he suggested writing to local legislators to in turn put pressure on GDOT.
Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom lamented as to the many restrictions placed on police in catching speeders, such as police always having to be in marked cars and have visibility of 500 feet. Even a proposal to use a marked car with only a police dummy inside was refused, on the grounds that Alpharetta had done such a thing only to have the car broken into and the radio stolen.
The entire City Council attended the meeting and all pledged to do what they could to address the problem. That willingness should be evident by the very fact the meeting was held less than a week after hearing complaints. At Monday’s meeting, the Council created almost a dozen citizen committees to help the City have more input. One of those committees was a transportation committee, which is to deal with issues such as those put forward at the meeting.

301 Used Trees Recycled In Milton

by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers

January 13, 2009 MILTON - With a lot of work of some committed Milton volunteers, 301 used Christmas trees were used to mulch city projects.The Milton Grows Green Committee held the city's first Bring One For The Chipper event Jan. 3 at Fire Station 43 on Birmingham Road. Marc Arrington, advisory board member of Green Committee and chairman of Milton's Trash and Recycling Advisory committee, said more than 200 trees were collected, which were then chipped Jan. 8 for free after a generous offer by Freeman's Tree Care.About 50 more trees were added to the pile by Crooked Creek residents Jan. 7 when their waste hauler, Waste Management, partnered with the Crooked Creek Homeowners Association and Milton.

The company collected the huge neighborhood's Christmas trees for free and took them to the fire station to be chipped."Freeman Tree Care service [donated] the equipment and labor to chip the trees into mulch, for which the Fire Station will use for landscaping maintenance instead of using Milton tax dollars to purchase pine needles," said Arrington.At the event Jan. 3, the Georgia Forestry Commission donated seedlings of dogwood, green ash and red cedar to those who brought their trees. The leftover seeds will be used at Hopewell Middle School to add extra trees to the campus, said councilwomen Tina D'Aversa and Julie Zahner Bailey.

Milton Residents Concerned About Speed Limits

by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers

January 13, 2009 MILTON - Resident and frequent city volunteer Tim Enloe is concerned about speeding in Milton. And he's determined to do something about it.

Nearly two dozen residents, council members and City Hall staff turned out Jan. 8 to a community information meeting prompted by Enloe's e-mails asking council to look at several solutions for lowering the number of speedy drivers in Milton.

Enloe, a Bethany Road resident, made the case that while most people think of Milton as a series of neighborhoods, in reality all the open road houses - in his estimation about 10 percent of the total population - should be considered neighborhoods, too. As such, they shouldn't have to worry about cars flying by mailboxes and front yards at speeds nearing 60 mph.

That's the normal speed, he claims, despite a posted limit of 45 mph. Milton police, due to a state mandated speed-trap law, can't pull anyone over unless they are 1 mph over the limit.

The more the homeowners worry, he said, "people will sell out and we'll lose our rural character."

Enloe had a number of residents speak up, including Planning Commission Chairman Paul Moore, whose teenage daughter was involved in a three-car accident trying to turn into White Columns, where the family lives.

Luckily, no one was hurt when she was hit, strangely enough, by a speeding friend coming to see her."My heart beats hard when it comes to things like this for our city," said Moore.

To help calm speeding, Enloe proposed a number of ideas to council, including erecting a few three-way stops, a radar speed monitoring program like the one established in Roswell and recently launched in Alpharetta.

Other suggestions included a "Milton Pace Car" program where drivers display "pace car" stickers while driving the legal limit, naming open roads so driver's treat them as neighborhoods and urging council to petition the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to lower speed limits.

Council and staff told the residents in attendance they pledged to take a look at the ideas presented, as cities do not control speed limits. There were a few immediate things that could be done, however.

Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom said Milton is indeed launching it's own citizen speed monitoring program in early February. He also invited concerned citizens to ride along with police to spot violators - though he admitted it can be tough in a marked police car."We are committed to working with you," he said.

Public Works Director Dan Drake said he loved the idea of pace cars and urged everyone to get involved with the forthcoming transportation master plan. It will address the GDOT uses to determine speed limits.He also encouraged everyone to write to the state Legislature - not GDOT, which he alluded can be fraught with interoffice politics - and urge them to allow cities to set speed limits.

"We're talking about relationships here," he said. "It's a fine line with GDOT. Going over people's heads - they get vindictive about that."

Perhaps the biggest problem, said longtime resident Terry Allen, is the sheer growth in Milton and Alpharetta in the last few decades."I used to be able to sit in the road all night and never worry about seeing a car," he said. "The speed limits haven't kept in proportion with the number of people on the roads."

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

At Kohl's job fairs, More Than 2,000 people seek work

Fewer than 300 positions available at soon-to-open Milton, Canton stores

By MICHELLE E. SHAW
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

After getting laid off from his retail job in November, Endale Tefera set his sights on finding another.

With 17 years of experience, including managerial positions, the Atlanta resident thought he had a good shot of finding something quickly. Two months later, he’s still looking.

On Tuesday, Tefera’s search took him to the Hilton Garden Inn Atlanta North Point, in Alpharetta, to a job fair held by Kohl’s department store. The job, should he be offered one, would be in Milton, more than 20 miles from his home, but the prospect of a paycheck outweighs the commute, Tefera said. “It will be a bit of a hike, but I’m willing to do it if it means work,” he said.

Tefera is among a large and growing group of job seekers, like human pegs trying to find and fit themselves into a small number of holes. He is one of more than 2,000 people applying for fewer than 300 jobs at two different Kohl’s stores.

Unlike during previous recessions, Georgia has been carried along with the national trend: Georgia has lost about 94,400 jobs in the past 12 months while its unemployment rate has risen to 7.5 percent.

About two-thirds of the jobless are in metro Atlanta, whose job losses have been the second-worst in the nation, outdone only by Detroit.

While unemployment is higher among the young and inexperienced, job cuts have reached across the spectrum to include many professionals and white-collar workers.
With those layoffs far outpacing hiring, the state now has more than three job seekers for each opening, according to the Georgia Labor Department.

This growing situation has provided Kohl’s with more than enough candidates to fill the 108 positions the Milton store has to fill, said manager Robert Russo. He said more than 1,000 potential employees will have been interviewed for 108 jobs by the time the fair is over Thursday. “We’re seeing a wide variety of people with all sorts of backgrounds,” he said. “And that actually works to our benefit because we get some really qualified people.”

A similar job fair is going on in Canton at the Best Western Mountain Villa Inn and Suites, for a store planned in that area. Interviews there are on track to process more than 1,000 applications as well, Russo said. Both stores are set to open in March, he added.

Monday, Kimberlyn Amin, of Marietta, sat patiently and waited to see if she could snag a walk-in spot. A move across counties made her last job too much of a commute. “I’ve had a few seasonal jobs, but I’m looking for something full-time here,” she said.

At a table not far away, Stephon Carroll, also of Marietta, waited to be called. New to Georgia, he’s looking to land his first job here. “I tried to find a job before I moved from California, but because I wasn’t here yet, I didn’t get the call backs,” he said. “I’m hoping this time will be different.”

Milton Subdivision Tries To Lock Out Traffic

By DOUG NURSE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A packed house came away from a Milton City Council meeting without getting what they wanted, but with assurances that the council is sympathetic to their cause.

Residents of the 640-home subdivision are asking the city to allow it to become a gated community, responsible for its own roads. The request has been prompted largely by the high volume of traffic with drivers using the subdivision’s main street as a short-cut. As a gated community, it could block off the cut-through traffic.

City Attorney Ken Jarrard told the council that to comply with state law, the city would need to determine that it no longer needed to be used by the public, and then it would require the consent of all the people on the road, a standard the residents said would be impossible to reach.
City Public Works Director Dan Drake proposed a sliding scale that would allow roads to be abandoned with approval of 90 percent of affected homes in a subdivision with more than 100 lots. Crooked Creek representatives said that bar was still unrealistically high.

Among possible options that emerged was detectors laid on roads to gauge speed, more patrol cars, and increased stop sign enforcement.

Mayor Joe Lockwood told the residents that he supported their wish but needed more information. The topic will be taken up by a Comprehensive Transportation Planning committee that is set to meet later this month. The city also is setting up a task force to explore solutions.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Neighborhood Of The Week


Bentgrass Farms is a quiet neighborhood of only forty five homes in Milton, Georgia. Established in 1991, lots are typically an acre plus of private lush paradise with exteriors including stucco,brick, and hardiplank.
To find out more about Bentgrass Farms in Milton, GA, Click here=>

Milton Council Work Session Monday @ 6pm

From http://www.cityofmiltonga.us

AGENDA:

1) Discussion of the right-of-way privatization policy.
(Presented by Dan Drake, Public Works Director)

2) Update on the performance measurement program.
(Presented by Bob Munroe and Myna Crisp, CH2MHILL)

3) Council consideration of Fulton County response to proposed IGA and sewer
map.
(Presented by Ken Jarrard, City Attorney)

4) Building Procedure Policy.
(Presented by Mort Smedley, Interim City Manager)

5) Inclement Weather Policy.
(Presented by Mort Smedley, Interim City Manager)

6) Briefing Property Insurance (contents).
(Presented by Mort Smedley, Interim City Manager)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Rural By Design Workshop & First Comprehensive Transportation Meeting

The City of Milton is initiating its first Comprehensive Transportation Plan this month with a kick-off meeting and "Rural by Design" workshop on Thursday Jan. 22 from 4 to 9 pm at City Hall in Council Chambers. This meeting is open to the public and all residents and business owners are encouraged to attend. The meeting will present the transportation plan process, schedule, and activities for the overall transportation plan. The workshop will be led by Randall Arendt, author of a book about maintaining small town characteristics, "Rural by Design". This will offer the community the opportunity to develop a strategy for ensuring that the transportation plan and its program of improvements support the City of Milton's desired rural community nature.

Safe Routes To School

The City of Milton has partnered with three Fulton County schools within City limits to apply for the Safe Routes to School grant through the Georgia Department of Transportation. Milton will be applying on behalf of the three schools. The grant funds, if awarded, will be used to construct sidewalk connections and new trails and to improve crosswalks and signage in school zones. The City's SRTS team has drafted a Milton SRTS plan and has begun to develop common goals.

Recycling Program at Bell Memorial

Visitors to the City of Milton's Bell Memorial Park will no longer have to toss that empty soda can or depleted water bottle into the trash; instead, they will be able to recycle them and other materials thanks to a new free recycling program offered by the Milton Grows Green committee and Community Waste Services.

Under the partnership, the environmental committee MGG, will place signs and barrels for recycling at various locations throughout the park, located at 15245 Bell Park Road. CWS will provide both the containers and recycling pickup services at no charge.

The program begins in January."Milton Grows Green is happy to play a part in starting the pilot recycling program at Bell Memorial Park," said Melissa Estes, committee co-chair. "This is a program that helps the environment while helping the city save money."Anyone interested in the committee's activities or in environmental issues is encouraged to contact MGG through miltongrowsgreen@earthlink.net.

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer


Shield-a-Badge With Prayer, a prayer ministry for Milton Public Safety personnel and their families, resumes in 2009 with kick-off events during worship services at two Milton-area churches.

The events will be held 10:30 am on Jan. 11 at The River Church and at 10:30 am on Jan. 18 at Community of Christ Church. Citizens who are unable to attend either service may participate by sending an email to shield@wadeintheriver.org. Anyone of any faith is invited to attend and be part of this ministry.
During each service, worshippers will be invited to come forward and make a one-year commitment to pray for a specific public safety worker and their family. Each participant will select a card with a badge number and general information including the employee's gender, marital status and whether or not they have children.
"We are so happy for the chance to serve our police officers and firefighters again," said Pastor Scott Seeke of The River Church. "These folks put themselves in harm's way every day, and we want as many people as possible praying for them."
"This is a great opportunity to take care of those who take care of us," said Tass Welch, Outreach Minister for Community of Christ.
At both services Milton's Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom will address the congregations about the inherent challenges in police work and firefighting, and how the power of prayer can make an impact. "This kind of support means a lot to all our public safety employees," said Lagerbloom. "It's a great program, and we appreciate all the past and future Prayer Partners."A fire truck and police car will be on the premises at each event, giving children and their parents the opportunity to learn more about what is involved in public service.

Mayor Lockwood's Monthly Message


Last year proved to be a successful one for the City of Milton. Together, we achieved many good things. We established a new 911 partnership with the City of Alpharetta, supported the Intergovernmental Agreement with Fulton County regarding sewer in designated areas, created several committees that will help to shape Milton, made a great deal of progress on our Comprehensive Plan and more. We set and met goals for ourselves, and even surpassed a few. During this New Year, we are bound and determined to work harder and make Milton better than we ever imagined.
Unfortunately, we are likely to continue experiencing finanacial hardship across the nation during the year ahead. Every city is feeling the effects of the downturn in economic conditions. I can assure every Milton citizen that we will continue to do everything within our power to be proactive and not reactive. We are preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
Through the incredible efforts of our City Staff, Council and helpful volunteers, we have taken the necessary precautions to whether this storm. We have a balanced budget and a hard working staff that continues to provide Council and our citizens with good and true information. There is a strong financial system and procedures are in place. Even though Milton is a very young city, we have a tradition of responsible stewardship.
For 2009, I pledge to all Milton residents the we will all work together to maintain a pragmatic level of satisfaction and will continue to strive even hard to increase it. We will proceed through the next twelve months, and beyond, cautiously and with the residents' best interests in mind at all times. It will not be an easy ride but I am fully confident we will be successful.
Happy New Year and Best Wishes.
Joe Lockwood

Milton Organization Harnesses The Healing Power Of Horses

10-year-old Amy rarely spoke before coming to Ride-A-Wish, but now they can’t stop her ‘Yee haws.’ For information concerning therapeutic riding at Ride-a-Wish, please call Leigh Aiken, M.S. at (404) 457-8518.
by Morgan Stashick / Appen Newspapers

January 06, 2009 Editor's note: Morgan Stashick is a junior journalism student at Auburn University who wrote about her hometown, Milton, for news outlets in Alabama. This is reprint of her article. The names of the children and parents discussed in the article were not given.
MILTON - On a quiet, single-lane gravel road settled with horse farms plays the music of muted neighs and the crumple of fallen leaves under heavy hooves.
Pastoral Wood Road is the site of Ride-A-Wish Incorporated, a program of innovative therapeutic horseback riding for children with special needs established in 2002 by Leigh Aiken, a certified therapist with the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association and with American Sign Language.
Aiken said after receiving her masters in therapy, she'd had her fill of sterilized environments and chose to branch out to something much more natural.
"I used to work in the hospital. You can't work under fluorescent lights all your life, that's no way to live," said Aiken.
Therapeutic horseback riding, or hippotherapy, is commonly offered to the disabled because riding is good for cognitive skills, core muscles, concentration and stamina. Physically, a horse's natural gait helps strengthen a person's spine and pelvic muscles, improves coordination and posture and increases joint mobility.
Perhaps most importantly for children, the diverse activities offered in the riding ring teach a cause-and-effect relationship while bringing fun and games into each lesson. Students at Ride-a-Wish also gain social and conversational skills.
"Walk on! Yee haw!" shouted one of the program's participants, a small 10-year-old named Amy.At her gentle yet eager command, her horse, named Star, continues its walk around the outdoor horse ring with Aiken at Amy's side."The kids have to 'yee haw' when they go around a barrel in the ring because it makes them more outspoken. Now Amy does a continuous 'yee-haw,'" explains Aiken.
However, Amy wasn't always this chatty. When she first began lessons at Ride-A-Wish six years ago at the age of 4, she hardly talked at all.
Amy's mother said the child has symptoms of C.H.A.R.G.E Syndrome, an acronym for a cluster of features found at birth (see sidebar). Amy's disability most served by equine therapy is hypertonia, a muscle condition that contributes to increased muscle tension, poor muscle tone and reduced ability to stretch muscles."Woah!" shouted Amy.
Again, Star obeys her tiny commander and comes to a halt. Amy decides that it's time to do her posting exercise, which consists of lifting her bottom up and down off the horse as she walks around the ring."I'm going to do a hundred," she announced.
And she does.Amy continues to walk around the ring on Star, blissfully unaware the friend who is carrying her is helping her body in several ways."Posting is good for strengthening the core muscles and thighs, and really helps with balance and stamina," explains Amy's mother.
But there are a lot of children, each with his or her issues. For that, Aiken makes her programs unique, offering a variety of activities depending on the rider's specific needs."Walk on!" shouted Zack, a 6-year-old atop a golden gelding named Hugo. Zack is talkative and full of energy, like most boys his age ‑ except he didn't start talking until he was four. Eighteen months later Zack began forming full sentences.On this particular day, Aiken takes her time preparing the horse when Zack and his mom arrive at Ride-a-Wish, talking to both while setting up and strapping on a saddle.This teaches patience.When Zack finally gets to climb onto the horse's back, Aiken announces that today's lesson is going to be a "whisper lesson," where all voices are hushed unless instructing the horse. This encourages voice control."We've gone to therapists since Zack was 18 months old. We stopped going to the others because Leigh brings everything we need into a lesson," said Zack's mom.
Glowing parental praise aside, Aiken said what motivates her most is simply knowing the children."I never want to be big. I want to be with people where I know all about their lives and can help make them better," said Aiken. "These lessons today, this is why I'm blessed. God's been good to me."

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Some Milton Residents Hope To Put The Brakes On Speeding


This Story content provided by FOX 5 Atlanta WAGA
Reported By: Kaitlyn Pratt Edited By: Leigha Baugham
Created: Friday, 09 Jan 2009, 12:33 AM EST

MILTON, Ga. (My FOX ATLANTA) – Some Milton neighbors tried to put the brakes on speeders and voiced their concerns at a meeting dedicated to speeding.The speed limit on one Milton street is posted as 45, but neighbors said many drivers don't obey the limit.
Tim Enloe said Bethany Road where he lives has become a commuter cut through."Much like these folks wouldn't want speeders going by their home, it's a two-way street. I don't want them speeding in front of mine," said Enloe. Enloe said his brother died in a speed-related crash a few years ago and he said he didn't want another family to hurt like his has. "Don't forget, you've got people living on these roads!" exclaimed Enloe.

Neighbors at Thursday's meeting said they were fed up with the speeding in the area. Some neighbors have taken things into their own hands and monitored speeders with a radar gun. About two dozen residents voiced their concerns at a city meeting dedicated to speeding.
"As we get complaints about speeders, the phone will start ringing about too much enforcement too," said Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood. The city of Milton has developed a program where neighbors, not police, will help slow speeders.
"We're hopefully going to engage them to help us -- not in enforcing, but in identifying," said Milton Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom. City leaders said they were listening to residents and were in the process of working with the state to approve lower speed limits so they could enforce them.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Milton To Address Speeding

By DOUG NURSE
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Tuesday, January 06, 2009

One reason Milton residents decided to become a city, although it was down on the list, was to hire more police to control rampant speeding.Now that the city has been established for a couple of years, speeding is moving toward the top of issues to be addressed; the city has scheduled an entire meeting dedicated to the topic on Thursday.

The meeting was prompted by complaints by residents over motorists speeding through neighborhoods on popular roads and cut-throughs.

Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom said the format and the agenda are pretty open so citizens can bring up whatever traffic enforcement issues they want. He said he plans to bring data to illustrate what works and what doesn’t.“We are hoping for some dialogue so that people understand the challenges and possibilities,” Lagerbloom said. “It’s a double-edged sword. I’ve also got people who when you send an officer out there, you get an e-mail asking if you’ve raised enough money yet.”

City staff also will explain changing speed limits on some Milton streets and roads.The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 13000 Deerfield Road.

Orkin And Associates Pitches In With Habitat

Appen Newspapers

January 06, 2009

On Nov. 22, Milton-based Orkin & Associates, LLC, joined the Habitat for Humanity North Central Georgia to begin constructing the future home of the Lyons, one of recipients of a Habitat town home located in Centennial Village in Milton. Orkin & Associates, LLC, a third-generation, family-owned real estate investment company and The William B. Orkin Foundation Inc., the Orkin family's charitable foundation, donated labor and funding to help provide a home for this deserving local family. Staff and board members of Orkin & Associates, including Orkin & Associates' CEO Adam Orkin, worked alongside the Lyons family as well as other sponsors and donors during the First Nail Ceremony to construct the Lyons' new Centennial Village town home. "It is very rewarding for the company as a whole to participate in such a wonderful and worthwhile experience," said Orkin. On Jan. 31, Orkin & Associates staff members will participate once more in an additional phase of this Habitat built for the Lyons family.

Shield-A-Badge With Prayer Ministry Kicks Off At Two Milton-Based Churches

Appen Newspapers

January 06, 2009

Shield-a-Badge With Prayer, a prayer ministry for Milton Public Safety Department personnel and their families, resumes in 2009 with kick-off events during worship services at two Milton-area churches.The events will be held 10:30 a.m. Jan. 11 at The River Church and 10:30 a.m. Jan. 18 at Community of Christ Church. Citizens who are unable to attend either service may participate by sending an e-mail to shield@wadeintheriver.org.Anyone of any faith is invited to attend and be part of this ministry.During each service, worshippers will be invited to come forward and make a one-year commitment to pray for a specific public safety worker and his or her family.

Each participant will select a card with a badge number and general information including the employee's gender, marital status and whether or not he or she has children."We are so happy for the chance to serve our police officers and firefighters again," said Pastor Scott Seeke of The River Church. "These folks put themselves in harm's way every day, and we want as many people as possible praying for them."

"This is a great opportunity to take care of those who take care of us," said Tass Welch, Outreach Minister for Community of Christ.

At both services Milton's Public Safety Director Chris Lagerbloom will address the congregations about the inherent challenges in police work and firefighting, and how the power of prayer can make an impact."This kind of support means a lot to all our public safety employees," said Lagerbloom. "It's a great program, and we appreciate all the past and future Prayer Partners."

Home Fashion Center Approved In Milton

by Jason Wright / Appen Newspapers

January 06, 2009MILTON - By a 3-2 vote Dec. 15, City Council OK'd a rezoning for a home fashion business on Ga. 9 - after lopping off a third of the square footage for which the applicant was asking. The business, which is to be located on a 2.26 acre lot fronting Ga. 9, was planned for 28,260 square feet of space.It was previously zoned through Fulton County for a little less than 19,000 square feet - the number with which the majority of council felt comfortable.

The business' owner, a Milton resident, currently runs the operation in Alpharetta but is looking to relocate the two miles into Milton to have a new facility. Eighty five percent of the development was for the home fashion center, and the other 15 percent - 5,000 to 6,000 square feet - was for other complimentary businesses. However, because of concerns the density was too high, that the lot's trees would be harmed by that density and that tree recompense would not do enough to shield the property, council members Julie Zahner Bailey, Tina D'Aversa and Alan Tart voted to decrease the size of the project.

Both staff and planning commission had recommended approval of the project, but members of the design review board member noted the density was too much."I'm struck by the comments [of the design review board]," said Zahner Bailey. "This level of density, if allowed to be built at that density, would effectively remove the ability of any trees to remain. I'd be remiss if I didn't say to this body that I'd be concerned with 28,000 square feet. To go up by 10,000 square feet is excessive."She added she felt such a move would be inconsistent with the board's policies along Ga. 9.

D'Aversa said it was "a problem for Milton" and "myself personally" to establish a Ga. 9 Design Review Board to help streamline the development along the state route while at the same time approving a higher density project.With less density and more trees, she said, "It would look more like what ... I'm confident the committee is going to bring forward to us. I'd hate for us to go ahead and rezone properties that are going to be designed differently when six months from now we're going to have design guidelines that are so much different."

Mayor Joe Lockwood said he did not feel it was a wise move to make decisions based on guidelines that could change in the future.Historically Zahner Bailey, Tart and D'Aversa, which generally take a harder line approach against development in the city, have been outvoted by the more centrist voting block of Lockwood, Karen Thurman, Burt Hewitt and Bill Lusk. This time, however, Lusk and Thurman did not attend the meeting.

Zahner Bailey put forth the motion to approve the site for the original Fulton County density and save specimen trees while also adding trees on site for recompense.She also asked for four board equestrian fencing to be used on the property.Lockwood said he couldn't support changing "in the last 15 or 20 minutes" a citizen-owned project that had been approved in all levels of Milton's zoning structure. Hewitt agreed."I respect everybody's concerns, but we just changed this applicant's whole use of the property," he said.

Milton Store Needs 150 Employees

From Appen Newspapers

Interview times Jan. 11 – 12, 10:45 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. Jan. 13 & 15, 12:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14, 8:45 a.m. – 4 p.m. LocationThe Hilton Garden Inn – Atlanta North Point 10975 Georgia Lane Alpharetta, Ga. 30022 For information:877-NEW KOHLS (877-639-5645) or www.kohlscareers.com

January 06, 2009

Construction of Kohl's Milton store is nearing completion, and it now needs 150 employees. A job fair is scheduled next week, Jan. 11 through 15, at The Hilton Garden Inn-North Point.Prospective employees for the full-time and part-time positions should visit www.kohlscareers.com or call 877-NEW KOHLS (877-639-5645) – to obtain details regarding time, location and to schedule an interview. For new stores, Kohl's needs associates for customer service, department service, cash register operation, early morning stocking, truck unloading, housekeeping and evening signage/pricing updates. New hires will receive the full Kohl's benefit package including competitive wages, health insurance, 401(k) plan, employee stock ownership and merchandise discounts. Through Kohl's A-Team, associates are encouraged to volunteer for local youth focused nonprofit organizations, and Kohl's matches their efforts with corporate grants.Kohl's is also committed to being a good steward of the environment through energy management, recycling and building programs. All 19 stores opening this spring are green buildings, 18 of which were built according to a design that is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) pre-certified at the Silver level by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Milton Gardening Meetup

DATE: Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TIME: 12:30pm

WHERE: Scottsdale Farm and Garden

15639 Birmingham Hwy, Milton GA GA 30004

770-777-5875

To find our more about the Milton Gardening Club, click here=>

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Meeting Notice from City of Milton.

Meeting To Gather Information On Issues & Concerns With Traffic and Speeding
Thursday, January 8th, 2009, 7:30pm
Milton City Hall, Council Chambers
13000 Deerfield Parkway, Suite E
Milton, GA 30004

Monday, January 05, 2009

Milton Mayor Asks For Another Vote on Zoning Decision

By DOUG NURSE The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday, January 02, 2009

Milton Mayor Joe Lockwood wants a do-over on a recent zoning decision made while two City Council members and the city attorney were absent.On Monday, Lockwood is going to ask that the council reconsider on Jan. 15 an 18,000-square-foot project on Ga. 9 — this time with everybody present.

“We want to preserve Milton and keep it like it is, but this was in an existing commercial area,” Lockwood said. “With these tough economic times, with potential cutbacks on services and revenue down and not being able to raise taxes, I think it’s important that we do let development occur where development is allowed.”

The seven-member council tends to be divided into two factions, most prominently on development issues. One faction, the majority of four, is considered pro-development by its critics, not a positive appellation in a community wary of growth. The three-member faction has been described by critics as anti-development, also not a compliment in a city struggling to pay its bills.On Dec. 15, the tables were turned as two members of the majority were gone, and the minority held sway.Realtor Larry Singleton sought a rezoning that would allow him to expand a proposed high-end decoration and furniture shop on Ga. 9 from 18,000 square feet to 28,000 square feet.

Milton’s city planning staff had signed off on it, and the Planning Commission had blessed it as well.But the proposal met trouble when it reached the City Council, which approved the plan 3-2, but imposed several conditions. The council rejected the increase in size, demanded more trees be planted to replace ones that would be cut down and banned a long list of potential uses for the property.The project’s supporters felt the changes weren’t fair, so they ended up voting against the proposal.

City Council member Tina D’Aversa supported the changes, but said in the interest of fairness, she wouldn’t fight a re-hearing. “I don’t think they thought through their site plan,” she said. “I don’t think they were prepared to appear before the City Council. They should have asked for a deferral.”

Friday, January 02, 2009

Speed Enforcement Meeting Date Set.


The speed enforcement meeting will be held this upcoming Thursday, January 8th at 7:30pm at Milton City Hall. Both council and staff will be in attendance to hear residents concerns and points. We encourage you to attend and be heard.
- Tim Enloe / Magnolia Media, LLC
770 653 0552

Milton News from Julie Zahner Bailey

Happy New Year

Dear Friends, Neighbors and Milton Citizens -

I hope you all have had a blessed holiday season and continue to enjoy important time with your families and friends. As we near the corner on a new year, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for your care for our collective community and for your involvement which comes in so many different forms. And as we approach 2009, if you have not had the opportunity to be as involved as you would like to be, please include it as one of your resolutions for the New Year. It does not have to take Herculean efforts, but instead can be as simple as attending a Council or committee meeting, sending in a suggestion or reaching out to a neighbor. After all, the greatest blessings of our Milton community are the people that make this place we call home so wonderful.

"Bring one for the Chipper" Christmas Tree Recycling Event - Saturday, January 3 from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.Please mark your calendar for January 3rd from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. for the first annual Milton Grows Green Committee "Bring One for the Chipper" recycling event. Bring your Christmas trees to Firestation #43 on Hickory Flat Road (near the Birmingham Crossroads) to have your Christmas tree recycled. It is one of many programs brought to Milton via the Milton Grows Green Committee. Please scroll down for details.

January Meetings IGA with Fulton County regarding sewer services to be discussed January 12th. In this release is a listing of the upcoming meetings of the Milton Council and other boards and committees. Please note the dates of these meetings in the right margin. The January 12th Work Session in particular will include several important topics including:

Discussion of the right-of-way privatization policy as it relates to the request to gate Crooked Creek and abandon Crooked Creek Drive. (Presented by Dan Drake, Public Works Director)
Council consideration of Fulton County response to proposed Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) and sewer map.The third meeting of January will be on Wednesday, January 21st (given that Monday is a holiday) and includes at least one zoning modification request in Crabapple. As always, I consider it an honor and privilege to serve you. I appreciate so much the many calls, emails and comments I receive from many of you. Keep them coming. Please know I take my role as your Council member very seriously and strive everyday to represent your interests with dedication, honesty and hard work all the while keeping the values and mission of what is uniquely Milton in focus. I welcome your input, suggestions and ideas; after all this is your community.Blessings to you and your families as we enter what is sure to be a wonderful 2009.

All my best -

Julie Zahner Bailey
Milton City Council
770-664-5529 (home)
404-310-6344 (cell)
Julie4Milton@mindspring.com
www.Julie4Milton.com

Committee Brings Holiday Tree Recycling Program To Milton

From The City Of Milton -


MILTON, Ga., Jan. 1, 2008 - City of Milton residents are urged to recycle their Christmas trees through a program brought to the city by the Milton Grows Green committee. "Bring One for the Chipper," is a statewide program sponsored by the Georgia Forestry Commission. This program has existed across Georgia for several years, but is being brought to Milton for the first time by MGG with the generous support of Freeman's Tree Care. The mulch will be used in public beautification projects, helping to reduce costs for the City.

Recycling will be available on Saturday, Jan. 3 from 9 am to 4 pm at the Birmingham Fire Station, located at 750 Hickory Flat Road. All trees should be carefully checked to be sure that lights, ornaments, etc., have been removed. Seedlings, including dogwood, green ash and red cedar, will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.

Volunteers aged 12 to 96 are needed to help unload trees - no machinery contact involved. Please contact miltongrowsgreen@earthlink.net to volunteer, or to request more information.