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City unanimously votes in favor of new organizational chart at latest Council meeting

At the most recent meeting of the Calhoun City Council on Monday night, the Council voted unanimous approval of the 2018 Proposed Organizational Chart. This will separate the City utilities business back into its own entity, away from General Government, and will add back the position of Director of Utilities, similar to the way it was prior to the 2016 change to the organizational chart which eliminated the Director of Utilities position and put the utilities business under general government.

"It's more than a reporting issue; it's a planning issue and an accounting issue for us," said Councilman George Crowley. "When you look back at the growth of the utilitiesit's 75 percent of the city's budget at this time; around 60 million dollars of 80 million dollars. It's more of a planning issue because those utilities have morphed a lot over the years. Utilities has become more competitive. The electric system now has competitors and the water systems are now beginning to see some activity from private individuals who want to go in and buy the water systems as well. It takes a lot and it takes a dedicated manager to plan for the future of what we want to do."

Under the new chart, General Government will be headed by the City Administrator and Utilities will be headed by the Director of Utilities. Both sides will report to the Mayor and Council. Also, the City's Department of Finance will report to both the General Government and Utilities business.

The motion was brought to a vote and all four Council members voted yes for the new Organizational Chart.

City Attorney George Govignon will now rewrite the personnel ordinance and the City will hold another public hearing once that is complete. The change is expected to be implemented within a couple of months.

In other news from the meeting:

The Council approved an annexation and zoning request for Raceway Groceries, located at 1133 South Wall Street.

The Council also approved an annexation and zoning request for Bellwood Nursery. During the meeting, the Council voted to approve a $300,000 loan application from the Revolving Loan Account, to be paid back over a period of 15 years, to Bellwood Nursery and Landscaping.

A variance request for Arby's, by Phillip Beamer, for a side setback of 6 feet, from 10 feet to 4 feet, was approved by the Council.

Beer and Wine Package Licenses for Rite Aid #11828 on Red Bud Road and Rite Aid #4751 on South Wall Street were both approved.

An amended Special Event Permit for the United Way of Gordon County Young Leaders Society to change the alcohol vendor to Wall Street Catering Company, located at 106 North Wall Street, for the Food Truck's and Friends event on April 13 was approved, along with a Temporary Outdoor Alcohol Special Event Permit for Wall Street Catering. The changes were requested due to the closing of Wall Street Grille, who was originally going to be the alcohol vendor for the event.

The next regular meeting of the Calhoun City Council will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 26 at the Depot Conference Room in downtown Calhoun.

Bradley Wellness Center offering free 5k, 10k training

DALTON, Ga. – Leading up to the Bill Gregory Healthcare Classic in May, Bradley Wellness Center (BWC) will offer free 5k and 10k training.

Ricky Harrison, facility and operations manager, has worked at BWC for almost 30 years. He will lead the 10k training, a 12-week program on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 6 a.m., beginning Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The class will focus on improving endurance and speed through a variety of different training techniques including hill training, interval training on the track, Fartlek runs (periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running) and increasing longer runs. This training is designed for someone who is already running some and would like to move up from the 5K to the 10K or improve times on longer distances.

"The 10k is much more difficult than the 5k, just based on the length," said Harrison. "It typically requires more endurance to complete. It's important to train for a race like this so that you're not totally wiped out at the end of it."

Harrison has run in nine marathons and more than 50 10k races over the last 35 years.

Tammy Wilson, desk services supervisor, will lead the 5k training on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 6:15 a.m., beginning on Tuesday, March 20. The sessions will last 30 minutes. Wilson has worked at BWC for 27 years. This will be her eighth time leading the 5k training.

The 5k training program is an eight-week beginner program. It eases the participant into running and generally by the end of the eight weeks, the runner is set to complete a 5k run or walk. The program starts with a short run, with periods of walking. It gradually increases the running to prepare participants for a 5k.

"People run for different reasons – health, stress management or to improve race times," said Wilson. "Running connects you with a group of people that are encouraging and fun."

When training for a 5k or 10k, nutrition is important.

"Obviously, you want to make sure you hydrate," said Jaimee Cooper, BWC's dietitian. "For a race like the 5k or 10k, you need to fuel your body."

Cooper recommends eating plenty of whole grains and a good variety of fruits and vegetables, and avoid greasy burgers.

"Tune in to what your body needs" Cooper said. "You might even experiment some as you're training. If your diet is fueling you and you feel good with your training, stick with it."

To participate in the 10k or 5k program, please call 706-278-9355.

Special through Feb. 28

BWC is running a More out of Life Special. Sign up through Feb. 28 and get your first month free. BWC offers a pool, nutrition consultations, fitness training, 120-plus classes per week, free childcare and more.

Georgia Hospital Association advisory on flu and emergency room overcrowding

With this year's flu season the worst in almost a decade, communities are on high alert. Hospital emergency rooms (ER) have become inundated and are handling the influx of patients by adding extra staff and resources.

The Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) encourage patients to call their health care providers if they are concerned about an illness and to carefully assess symptoms. Individuals who think they may have the flu should follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for when to go to the hospital. As stated on the CDC website, symptoms in adults that warrant an emergency room visit include trouble breathing, chest pain, and persistent vomiting. Those who do not have the flu, but go to the ER, risk catching it from those who do. However, anyone who is concerned about a serious or life-threatening illness should go to the ER.

Precautionary measures such as frequent hand-washing and covering coughs can help stop the spread of flu.

"Hospitals are working diligently to make sure each patient receives timely and efficient care," said GHA President Earl Rogers. "The health and safety of all patients is a priority for hospitals. Hospitals have made modifications such as changing visiting hours, implementing the use of mobile units, and providing additional staff to protect those patients at greatest risk of the flu."

GHA is working closely with state agencies to monitor and develop strategies to combat the flu epidemic. For more information about what are hospitals are doing, visit