When film companies come to a small town like Cedartown looking to use it as a setting for their movie or television show, suddenly many questions need to be answered.
Problems over infrastructure, staffing for road closures and security, and much more come up whenever a city signs agreements with production companies.
With the hopes of having something in place for the future after now hosting 3 different productions in the past years, Cedartown City Manager Bill Fann got to work with the help of Assistant City Manager Edward Guzman to put together language for a forthcoming ordinance to clarify what is and isn’t allowed for studios when they come to town.
“Simple things like getting a permit. There’s an application and forms for those things,” he said. “And we looked into exemptions for thing we know we don’t need to do that for, such as personal filming or if a class wants to come and do something for school.”
The draft was put together in part from language Bartow County already put into place, though according to Fann the ordinance has been tailored to Cedartown.
“There haven’t been a lot of cities or counties who have done this so far,” he said. “When I put it out onto the mailing list online for cities in Georgia, many managers came back to say they needed to look into it as well.”
According to documents from the city, they specifically looks to create a permit process for professional filming, safety standards and requirements, insurance requirements, location agreement language, and what a production will be required to pay for, like using city water for instance.
Fann said the requirement came up following a lack of permitting process and an application for the “Hap and Leonard” production. He said he was surprised the city didn’t have one in place after the production of “Jayne Mansfield’s Car” several years ago.
He said that with a third production now looking to Cedartown as a setting, it is time to put one in place.
It will only be a draft for the time being, with a full ordinance for review and approval expected by the end of the year.
Commissioners Jordan Hubbard and Larry Odom were on hand to hear a report on the first draft during the October work session last week, along with a few other issues.
Fann brought to their attention work on the environmental impact on development for the York Property next to the Northside Industrial Park on the U.S. 27 bypass.
The city is working with an outside firm to get several spots on the property previously classified as wetlands and streams when rules on waterways in the United States changed several years ago.
Those rules changed again in recent months, and in order to help save on costs and changing the landscape for development, the city is hoping the U.S. Corps of Engineers will change their classification.
Fann said the areas in question only fill up when it rains, and the stream on one edge of the property “doesn’t go anywhere.”
Fortunately, Fann said they sit at the corners of the property, and won’t affect potential work they hope fund through state economic development funds to attract industrial and commercial prospects.
Additionally, commissioner had a brief discussion about what to call the pocket park in front of Polk County Courthouse No. 2 on Main Street.
Fann said so far the leading suggestion is to name the park after Sterling Holloway, but that additional suggestions will be taken an no final decision has yet been made.
Cedartown commissioners were set to meet for their regular meeting on Oct. 9. The meeting had a light agenda, with only a few items requiring an official decision, including closing a portion for a Halloween festival at First Methodist Church, and an application for LWCF for Goodyear Park’s use.