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Calhoun City Schools' Board of Education has a new home

Calhoun City Schools recently purchased the property known as the Walter's Home Place on North Wall Street directly across from the Gordon County Historical Society. Plans are underway to construct a replica of the original College Street school building on the site that will serve as the school system's central office.

Superintendent Dr. Michele Taylor shared that the Board has been looking to acquire something centrally located between the district's three school campuses. Moving out of the PreK building (the old Eastside School) will allow for expansion of the Junior Jacket Academy which has a waiting list. The Junior Jacket Academy provides quality preschool opportunities for two and three year olds as a tuition based program option for parents. Calhoun City Schools' PreK Program, a part of the Georgia PreK lottery funded program, has an enrollment of approximately 200 students in nine classrooms. An additional classroom was added this past year due to an increased need for PreK services.

The two-story Board of Education office will house the following spaces and departments: Board Room, superintendent's office, human resources, finance, curriculum & instruction, facilities & operations, communications, school nutrition, and exceptional student services.

Education SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax) funds will be utilized. An official groundbreaking ceremony is planned for the fall. Calhoun City Schools is appreciative of retired educator and cross country/track coach Lynn Walter, who helped facilitate the land acquisition. His father, Dr. Robert D. Walter, moved to Calhoun in 1937 and built a house on the now vacant lot. Lynn and his sister Louise Baxley (who passed away in 2014) both served Calhoun City Schools well as dedicated employees who loved their alma mater.

The community will be invited to attend the groundbreaking ceremony and opening of this new facility.

City Council approves budgets, utilities rate increase at recent meeting

After months of deliberation and discussion, the Calhoun City Council adopted the operating budget and capital plans during Monday's meeting.

The overall budget and capital plan for fiscal year July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 was broken down into three parts, Exhibit "A" or the General Government annual operating budget, Exhibit "B" or the Utilities annual operating budget and Exhibit "C" or the Calhoun Board of Education operating budget.

"As we mentioned earlier, from department to department, the general and utilities budgets are very similar to 2017-2018," Eddie Peterson. "I think we have in front of us a pretty solid roadmap for 2018-2019."

After Mayor Jimmy Palmer shared a reading of the budget ordinance, the budget and capital plan was unanimously approved as presented.

Palmer acknowledged the efforts of the department heads, school board, Peterson, Assistant City Administrator Paul Worley and Utilities Administrator Larry Vickery in crafting the budget plan, and thanked them for their hard work.

The Council additionally approved a motion that pertained to amending the Calhoun Utility Rate Resolution earlier in the meeting. Those changes included a 3 percent rate increase for water and sewer rates per one thousand gallons, minimum charges and monthly fees for all rate classes. An automatic 3 percent increase shall be applied each year for the next five years.

Among other agenda items approved were a parade request for the Calhoun Homecoming Parade on its traditional route, a resolution authorizing Palmer to sign the Gordon County Joint Comprehensive Plan upon approval of the Department of Community Affairs and a motion needed to approve/deny a settlement agreement and release with North Georgia Electric Membership Corporation pertaining to mast lighting at the intersection of I-75 and Red Bud Road.

The group also approved a motion pertaining to amendments to the Calhoun General Government Rate Resolution. Changes mentioned include a new fine schedule for violations of Chapter 14, Animals, of the Calhoun Code of ordinances and updates to the annual alcoholic beverage license fees due to the implementation of Live Scan that is required by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The next meeting of the Calhoun City Council is slated for Monday, July 16 at the Depot. All Calhoun city offices will be closed on Wednesday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.

General Primary Runoff Election is July 24

Tuesday, July 24 is the General Primary Runoff Election for the Democratic party and Republican party runoff.

According to Shea Hicks, chairperson of the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office, those eligible to vote in the runoff on July 24:

-If you did not cast a ballot in the General Primary Election in May, you are still eligible to vote in the Primary Runoff

-If you cast a Republican ballot in the General Primary Election, you will be eligible to cast a Republican Ballot for the General Primary Runoff

-If you cast a Democratic Ballot in the General Primary Election, you will be eligible to cast a Democratic Ballot for the General Primary Runoff

-If you cast a Nonpartisan Ballot in the General Primary Election, you will be eligible to cast a ballot in either the Republican Party Primary Runoff or the Democratic Party Primary Runoff.

No local races are involved in the runoff; state races involved in the runoff include:

Republican Governor:

L.S. "Casey Cagle

Brian Kemp

Republican Lieutenant Governor:

Geoff Duncan

David Shafer

Republican Secretary of State:

David Belle Isle

Brad Raffensperger

Democratic State School Superintendent:

Sid Chapman

Otha E. Thornton, Jr.

Early voting for the runoff begins July 2, ending July 20. To cast your ballot early, visit the Gordon County Board of Elections Office, located in the Gordon County Government Plaza at 215 North Wall Street in downtown Calhoun.

For more information on the General Primary Runoff Election, visit My Voter Page at