The City of Cedartown's housing options will in the near future have a lot more choice than what's currently available.
Construction on a 72-unit complex on Lake Creek Road near the intersection with Highway 27 and within the city limits is going to get underway as soon as possible, developer Terry Marangakis told the commission. He sought and got unanimous approval to change the zoning designation on the property from R-1 to PD-4.
He told the board during a public hearing ahead of their September meeting that this opening phase of construction will feature 48 two bedroom, two bath apartments around 849 square feet of living space. An additional 24 units will be one bedroom, one bathroom apartments of about 563 square feet.
"The structure of the building will be a mixture of brick skirting and siding with arches in areas to give an elegant appeal to the neighborhood," Marangakis said. "We have worked with our engineer and architect to design a maintenance-free building that will maintain its look for many years to come."
Kitchen appliances are planned to be all electric, and each unit will have its own heating and air unit. Apartments will also have balcony space with storage available as well. Utilizing natural gas is part of the plan for providing energy efficient heating as well. The development will also be tying into the city's water and sewer system, which Marangakis said is well within the abilities of the city's facilities to handle.
The first phase of construction doesn't include any additional amenities for the moment, but Marangakis said there are plans in the work to provide more features for the complex during future expansion. They'll have 112 parking spaces available for residents, including several handicapped spaces.
Marangakis did relieve some concerns about traffic flows during his presentation in the public hearing over the new project. He told commissioners that they should keep in mind that several roads connect to Lake Creek Road within a mile of where the new complex is going, including Burkhalter and Davis Roads, as well as Adams Road. There's also plans to have a deceleration turn lane into the complex.
The plans also include green space between the property and Lake Creek Road. It'll be located off Highway 27 behind Cedar Lake Christian Center.
Marangakis said apartment rent will be priced based on market value, and a management company who will also provide maintenance services and customer service.
He told the commission the apartment complex promises to increase business generally for the area by 3 to 5% annually when the 72 units are completely full.
"This will generate additional revenue for the local municipality and the community overall," he said.
Marangakis said the project has been in the works for more than a year. He bought the property in 2018.
"During our planning phases, we've found out that housing in our area is lacking. We have found that in our city and in the county, there's a shortage of attractive housing that is limiting our local workforce," Marangakis said. "Our proposal will help provide a solution to this problem, and help our community grow by providing elegant housing. Workers who live and work here will be happier and will want to stay and raise their families here, which will promote a quality community."
He said he wanted to give back to Cedartown in a way that he felt would be of greatest value for all.
"I live in this community, I work in this community and I care about this community," he said. "I wanted to be given the opportunity to give back to my community, and this is how I can do it."
Marangakis received praise from the commissioners for his work to get the project to this point, and for the development as a whole.
"As your former teacher, you did your homework on this one," Commissioner Dale Tuck said. "The only questions I had you've already answered."
She added that "it looks to me like a fantastic project."
City Manager Bill Fann did also emphasize that the project is a private development, and that rents will be based on market pricing and not have fixed rents for low-income housing.
Marangakis said that construction will begin as soon as possible based on several factors, including permitting requirements.
The discovery of an attempt to smuggle narcotics and tobacco into the Polk County Jail have produced new gang-related charges against several people already incarcerated or newly arrested in recent days.
The Polk County Sheriff Office's newly formed Gang Investigation Unit undertook their first investigation
within the confines of the jail in a case that could continue to produce charges in the days to come.
Their efforts to find out who was responsible for the contraband have netted charges against two inmates already in the jail: Ronald Paul Jr. and David Crider, along with family members and friends including Crystal Bruce, Yvonne Paul, Elaine Van Camp and two others who deputies have yet to take into custody.
They all stand accused of participation in the smuggling attempt to get a small amount of Klonopin and tobacco into the jail on various charges, now including a charge listed as "unlawful for person employ/associate with criminal street gang to conduct/participate in criminal activity" along with several felony charges.
Gang charges were sought by the Sheriff's Office against the group due to the known affiliation of 25-yearold Ronald Paul Jr. with the Aryan Brotherhood, where he is reported to be a lieutenant.
The Aryan Brotherhood is the nation's oldest white supremacist prison gang, and one of the largest in the country.
They were able to establish connections over his participation in the gang through conversations Paul had with those charged and others involved through the jail's inmate phone system. Those included the conversations he had in order to setup the smuggling attempt into the jail.
The report stated the group relied on an 11-year-old to make the drop at the jail. The juvenile is not being charged in the attempt, Polk County Sheriff's Office's Capt. Scott Ford reported. The juvenile carried two bags to dumpsters near the bonding lobby at the jail, tossing one in the trash and leaving the other with the contraband sitting behind a dumpster for later retrieval.
Bruce, who brought the contraband to the jail and was supposed to get a gold necklace and keep some of the drugs purchased for the attempt for her own, never got the necklace.
Deputies reported the attempt went south for the group when an inmate on a work detail discovered the bag and alerted jail staff of what they found, which was then searched and confiscated before it was replaced with rubber gloves in an attempt to flush out who was responsible for the incident.
Video surveillance footage recorded during the incident was used to make further ties in the case to those who dropped off the pills and tobacco, and allow for initial arrests and charges filed against the group. Deputies in the Gang Investigation Unit also tracked down purchases of the tobacco from several different stores.
Ford said it took several weeks of effort — including during off hours for some deputies who volunteered to help — to gather up all the evidence, including listening to multiple phone conversations recorded prior to the August incident.
Though inmates have the privilege to make phone calls, they are all recorded in case of incidents where they utilize the telephone system to organize criminal activity outside of the Polk County Jail.
Investigators were able to determine that Paul organized the drop with Bruce and his mother, Yvonne Paul, who was the guardian of the 11-year-old who involved with the drop. Deputies were also able to uncover Crider's role in the case through phone conversations he also had with his mother, Elaine Van Camp, and with others who have yet to be arrested.
Ronald Paul Jr. was already in jail awaiting transfer to a residential treatment program for several previous incidents. He now faces additional charges of three counts of probation violation, use of a communication facility in committing or facilitating a felony act, conspiracy to commit a felony act, being party to a crime, three different counts of the gang-related charges, and interference with government property.
57-year-old Yvonne Paul faces charges for the first time since 2010 of crossing state or county guard lines with weapons, intoxicants, drugs without consent, conspiracy to commit a felony, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, two counts of the gang-related charges and giving inmates liquor, drugs, weapons, etc. without consent of the warden.
Bruce, 25, faced those charges including possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, use of a communication facility in committing or facilitating a felony act, abandonment of dangerous drugs and tobacco across the guard line.
61-year-old Van Camp was charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, use of a communication facility in committing or facilitating a felony act, possession with intent to distribute a schedule III, IV or V controlled substance and party to a crime.
Charges of giving inmates liquor, drugs, weapons, etc., without consent of the warden and the gang charge was also tacked on.
Her 42-year-old son Crider, also already in jail on previous charges, faces a pair of probation violation offenses plus a bench warrant and charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, use of a communication facility in committing or facilitating a felony act, party to a crime and the gang-related charge.
Voting is coming to a close this week for the best of the best in 120 different categories locally in the 5th annual Best of Polk awards, and those who want to see their favorite business win have until Friday to get online and get their ballots cast.
Those who want to take part can head to TheBestofPolk.com through this Friday, September 20 to cast ballots in major areas of everyday life like shopping, real estate and finance, or health and wellness to others like kids and education, beauty and food and drink.
Additional categories include auto and recreational vehicles, and entertainment and recreation.
Note that this year, The Best of Polk will not accept any paper ballots cast and only votes that are cast online will be accepted.
Voting began on August 28, and as of press time late last week there were more than 33,000 votes cast in the variety of categories we're featuring for our fifth year.
Nominations ran from mid-June through mid-July. Head over to the website for more about how to participate. Winners will be announced later this year.
The Polk County Fair was a week of memories for locals who gathered at the fairgrounds to take on thrilling rides, listen to live music, eat plenty of fried food, and participate in dozens of other games and events.
The fun lasted from Tuesday, September 10 through Saturday, September 14 and saw hundreds of locals come out.
However they spent their time, citizens were supporting a good cause in the process. Tickets sold ultimately help fund the Cedartown Exchange Club and their goals of preventing child abuse by maintaining youth programs, performing community service, and promoting Americanism.
Money earned from fundraisers also goes to local high school seniors as scholarships, and sponsorships are available for organizations such as Our House Battered Women Shelter, Boy Scouts, Parkinson's Walk, Cedartown Performing Arts Commission children's program, and many more. More information about the fair and the club can be found at https://www.cedartownexchangeclub.com/.
It's unclear exactly how much money was raised, but the fair saw high participation throughout the week. Even on Tuesday, when severe rain shut the festivities down early, patrons could be seen staying inside the exhibit hall to view local art, competitive horticulture, prize-winning pies, and locally-produced merch.
Local non-profits and organizations such as the Our House Women's Shelter, the Polk County Bee Keepers, the Polk County Democrats, the Polk County Republicans, and others also set up shop in the hall to talk to patrons and share information about their causes.
Bad weather was a problem of the past by Wednesday afternoon, and it wasn't long before locals were back on classic rides such as the Ferris wheel, the Ali Baba, or the bumper cars. There were more mild rides such as the merry-goround for youth, and those both old and young could be seen trying their luck at earning prizes such as stuffed animals and goldfish at the various games available.
Those who didn't feel like thrills could still look forward to live entertainment provided by acts like Elvis, McPherson Street, Little Known Letter, the Chosen Generation dancers, Hunter Chastain and others who played classic tunes throughout the week.
Courtesy of the Polk County Cattleman's Association, fair-goers were treated to a cattle show where youth were judged both on their showmanship and their ability to work with their animal. First, second, and third place ribbons were given to participants in each of the various classes, and those who placed well were the ones who had clearly spent a lot of time with their cow, were quick to set up, and knew how to position the animal.
Cattle shows also see the live stock judged on their appearance, so a prize winning cow is one that has been fed appropriately and is well taken care of in general. More information about cattle shows and the Polk County Cattleman's Association can be found by visiting https://www.polkgacattlemen.org/.
The festivities couldn't continue forever, and the fair ultimately wrapped up on Saturday, September 14. There was plenty of fun for the final night, with the second annual XC Idol Contest and TJ Cochran taking the stage.
The Exchange Club and the fair will be back next year, so those interested in experiencing what the fair has to offer while should mark their calendars for next year.
The Polk Gathering is sponsored by the Polk County Historical Society and is directed by Spivey McIntosh. The 1st Annual Gathering of the People event is set for September 20-22, 2019 at the Polk County Fairgrounds. Hours are 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Please join organizers on Tuesday, September 24 at Bellview Baptist Church, 2333 North Bellview Rd, Rockmart as they share information and ideas about the ministry of Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse. Participants or anyone would like to find out more about the opportunity to share the Gospel with needy children around the world are welcome to attend. The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. and conclude at 8 p.m. For more information, call Gina at 770-684-8054.
Lime Branch Baptist Church, 1127 Tallapoosa Highway in Cedartown will be having their annual Homecoming on Sunday, September 22 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Services with different singers and a message will continue until about 12:30 p.m. Lunch will follow in the Church Activities Building. Everyone is invited to come and celebrate with us.
Get ready for a lot of fall fun with the Polk County Chamber of Commerce's second annual Halloween Hoopla presented by H&R Block. The opening event is the upcoming countywide scarecrow contest! Those who want to participate can email firstname.lastname@example.org to enter, and must have their oneof-a-kind scarecrow out by September 23. Entries must stay up through Halloween. Trophies will be awarded for first, second and third place.
Aragon United Methodist Church is hosting a yard sale this Friday, Sept. 13 and Saturday, Sept. 14 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on both days. A variety of items will be available for sale to help raise money for missions sponsored by the church.
A Pinto Bean Fundraiser is being held by Live Oak Baptist Church coming up this Saturday, Sept. 14 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the fellowship hall to help raise money for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Ministry shipping costs. The menu includes pintos, lima and navy beans along with cornbread, fried potatoes, slaw, onion and plenty of desserts. Visit the church this Saturday at 150 Live Oak Road, Aragon. Turn by Burton's store on Highway 101 to find it.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2019 State of the Community Address coming up on Tuesday, October 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. The annual gathering is returning to In the Woods in Rockmart and covers topics that are insightful and relevant for the business community. A buffet dinner will be served. Visit polkgeorgia.com to learn more and register now.
Spooky Spokes is coming to Cedartown on October 12 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Bert Wood Youth and Athletic Complex! Civic clubs, community organizations and more are invited to take part in the bike ride and Halloween Village. Find out more by calling the city at 770-748-3220.
The Aragon United Methodist Church is hosting a car show at the Tom Pittman Recreation Area on Saturday, Sept. 14. There's a $20 registration fee to participate. The show is being held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prizes will be handed out to those voted as the top vehicles.
Join the City of Aragon for a day of fun at their upcoming Fall Festival at Tom Pittman Field on Saturday, October 12 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free, and a screening of "Hocus Pocus" will be part of the day.
A Benefit for Shriners' Hospitals for Children presenting the "Sounds of Jericho" a traditional male quartet from Flowery Branch. The members of the quartet are Stacy Bragg, Stephen Sigmon, Ken Thomas, and Matt Tyler. Each member loves the Lord, and ministers to others through music. Each member has extensive musical experience, is well founded in Southern Gospel. In 2014, Sounds of Jericho was nominated in the Top 10 New Traditional Quartet category, by "Singing News Fan Awards". This presentation is from the Cedartown Shrine Club at the Cedartown Performing Arts Center on Sept. 28, 2019. For tickets call 770-748-4168.
The Exchange Club of Cedartown is excited to invite the public to return to the fairgrounds for the annual Polk County Fair, starting on September 10 through September 14. See this week's edition for a schedule of nightly events.
The Polk Gathering is sponsored by the Polk County Historical Society and is directed by Spivey McIntosh. The first Gathering of the People event is scheduled for September 20 through 22, 2019 at the Polk County Fairgrounds, located behind the Polk County Police Department off the Highway 27 bypass in Cedartown. Hours for the event begin 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Call 770-862-4188 or email email@example.com for more information. Visit polkgathering.com to find out more about the event. Sponsors, vendors and advertisers are being sought.
The Cedartown Farmer's Market has a new location and time for the 2019 season. Market-goers are invited to come out to the corner of Ware and South Main Street in Cedartown continuing on Tuesdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Contact Five Cedars Farm to participate at 678-246-1216 to learn more about becoming a vendor.
Join Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church to celebrate their annual Men and Women's Day program at 194 East Point Road on Sunday, August 25, at 3 p.m. The Rev. Susan H. Buckson of the Allen Temple AME Church of Atlanta will be the guest speaker. For more information call 470-370-3290.
RCAC has classes for toddlers, children and adults at the Rockmart Cultural Arts Center in drawing, painting, photography, yoga, chorus, piano, whittling, and pottery. For more information, call 770-684-2707 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Give a child a safe place to go after school and learn valuable lessons about community, life and academics by getting involved in the Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Georgia in Cedartown. Visit their center at 321 E. Queen St., Cedartown from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on weekdays and bring your children ages 5-18 for afternoon activities. For more information on how to participate or volunteer, call our office at 770-749-0869 or email email@example.com.
The Rockmart History Museum on South Marble Street in downtown Rockmart is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Saturday 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. The Museum welcomes visitors and group tours. Contact Pat Sampson at 678-764-5201 for information. RHM meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month and volunteers are welcome and encouraged to take part.
Interested in becoming a Foster or Adoptive Parent? Open your heart to a child in need and find out how you can help. Join others who seek the love of a child every second Tuesday night of each month at 6 p.m. at Polk County Division of Family and Children Services office, 100 County Loop Road in Cedartown. Information sessions explain what is required to become a foster or adoptive parent in Georgia. For more information call Robin Forston at 404-895-6517 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-210-KIDS. Visit www.fostergeorgia.com for more information.
The Polk County Democratic Committee Meets on the second Saturday of every month at 9:30 a.m. In the "even" months (February, April, June, August, etc.) the organization meets at The Rockmart Library at 316 N. Piedmont Ave., Rockmart and during the "odd" months (January, March, etc.) they meet at the Cedartown Welcome Center, 609 Main St., Cedartown, GA 30125.
The American Legion in Rockmart is hosting their monthly all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner coming up this Wednesday, September 18. Meal of spaghetti, meatballs, garlic toast and salad, $5. They hold dinners on the third Wednesday of every month. Join the group for a good meal and to support veteran and children's programs. The Legion is located at 1 Veterans Circle, Rockmart.
USAPA Pickelball Ambassador Daneen England is holding a free pickleball clinic every Monday (weather permitting) from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Rockmart Tennis courts, located at 436 Hogue Avenue, Rockmart. Loaner paddles and all necessary equipment will be on hand to learn t he sport. This is a free event for anyone and they just need to wear comfortable gym clothes and tennis shoes. Contact England at 770-356-1282, or by email at email@example.com for more information.
The office of Exceptional Students of Polk School District is available to assist with the identification of children with disabilities and provision a free appropriate public education beginning at the age of three through the age of 21. If you suspect your child is experiencing any developmental delay or you suspect your child might have a disability and would like assistance or for more information about services available through Polk School District, contact the PSD Exceptional Student Services office at 770-684-8718.
Lutheran Services of Georgia's Heritage Adoption Program partners with DFCS to find Forever Families for children waiting in Georgia's foster care system. Information Sessions are held on the third Thursday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Rome Office, located at 336 Broad St., Suite 200. Individual sessions may be scheduled to accommodate families as needed. For more email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 706-506-0649.
Did you know that nationwide the American Red Cross assists 53 people every 60 seconds during personal and local disasters? Our Northwest Georgia Red Cross Chapter serves Polk County. If you'd like to do some meaningful volunteering, please contact Arthene Bressler at 762-231-9896 and visit our website at www.redcross.org/local/georgia.
Need to get an item onto the Area Calendar of Events? Email email@example.com today! All items must be in at least two weeks before the event to appear in the Standard Journal on time.