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Madison Chamber Music Festival brings dollars into community
by Jessica Blomquist
photos by Angelina Bellebuono
By Matthew Burgoyne
Even with erosion, sedimentation, and the drought, the streams in Morgan County still meet state standards and qualifications.
“The stream quality in Morgan County is very good,” said Kevin Farrell, the Assistant Branch Chief for the Oconee, Ocmulgee, and Altamaha River basins.
Farrell works with the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) within the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The EPD is charged with the task of maintaining the environment of Georgia, taking “the lead in ensuring clean air, water and land” according to their mission statement.
The EPD monitors streams around the state. They examine the area surrounding a stream and perform numerous tests to the water. These tests measure the levels of dissolved oxygen , temperature, pH levels, and conductivity. These tests are done in the field. Samples of the water are also taken and sent to a lab. The lab tests the water for numerous other levels including biological oxygen demand, bacteria, ammonia, phosphorus, and nitrates, Farrell said.
Though the streams in Morgan County are meeting requirements, other streams and water sources in the state are not. If a stream does not meet standards, it is placed on a 303D Listing. Once placed on the listing, the issue goes through a process by which the state determines the cause for problems and the potential solutions. The state then works with the local governments to take steps towards increasing the quality of the streams in question.
“One of the most common problems for streams is bacteria,” Farrell said. This can be from a variety of causes, but it is normally due to a failing septic tank.
Father's Day reminds us dad builds more than treehouses
story by Ramsey Harris | photos by Angelina Bellebuono
By Malin Dartnell
Welcome to summer in Madison: the skies are blue, flowers are blooming and music is playing for everyone to hear. Every year, Madison Main Street, along with the James Madison Inn & Conference Center, hosts a summer concert series "On the Green" behind Town 220. These concerts are free to the public and will be held the second and fourth Thursdays of June and July. Each concert features a different set of artists. The first concert, to be held Thursday, June 12, will feature local bluegrass/country artists Rambling Mountain and Emily Pritchett. The next concert, Thursday, June 26, will celebrate summer by highlighting summertime jazz artists.
The public is invited to bring blankets, lawn chairs, coolers and dinner or to reserve tables and chairs for eight through Ann Huff at the City Hall by calling (706) 342-1251, Ext 206. This event will be held at the new Town Park in the future, but for now, park behind Madison Hardware or at Madison Markets, and feel free to wander down the Round Bowl Springs pathway to the green behind Town 220. The concerts will begin just as the evening begins to cool off at 7 p.m. and will last until 9 p.m.
So, gather up your friends, your kids, a picnic basket and blanket and make plans to begin, or to continue, a summer tradition by attending the summer concert series on the green.
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Madison Downtown Development Authority members voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Watkins Builders to renovate the former Ponder Cottage in the new town park currently under construction.
The company’s bid of $280,000 for the cottage renovation, along with the highest set of scores from an interview process which rated such qualities as experience within the historic district, bid price, and current qualifications, led to the awarding of the contract. DDA officials hope that the total cost of the cottage renovation could come in at an even lower cost than was bid.
“We’re going to be working with that builder to [generate] some cost savings,” said city planning director Monica Callahan.
“The specs on this project…are high-end,” agreed DDA member Clifton Hanes. “There may be some value-engineering that can produce some cost savings along the way.”
Work on the cottage is expected to begin within the next month. Meanwhile, requests for proposals for the pavilion to be built in the park were released last Thursday, and those bids are due to the DDA by July 11. Downtown visitors could be parking on new pavement around the park within two weeks.
In otber park business, the DDA expects to open bids for financing packages for approximately $1.3 million before its next meeting on June 17. Five local banks were invited to bid on a funding mechanism for that part of the park that has not yet been covered by private donations and grant monies.
Following construction of the pavilion and renovation of the cottage, only a gazebo and final landscaping—including the town fountain—will await completion within the park.
By Jessica Blomquist
The Morgan County Planning and Development Commission is allowing members of the community to submit their opinions on growth in the county in regards to a new project underway.
On Thursday, June 5, Allison Moon, senior planner of the department, met with citizens at the Agricultural Land Use and Zoning Discussion Group meeting at 6 p.m. to introduce this new project and get feedback from attendees.
The Rural Design Guideline Project was created to help form a list of suggested guidelines for residential developments being built in the community, to keep in line with the county’s rural character.
The main purpose of Thursday’s meeting was to allow citizens of the county the ability to help define what is means to protect rural character.
“Some of the best suggestions I get are from citizens,” said Moon. To do this, Moon first sent planning department interns, Desiree Estabrook and Lindsey Kerr, both completing their Master’s degree in historic preservation at the University of Georgia, on a scavenger hunt around Morgan County. The two interns photographed small towns like Rutledge, Buckhead and Godfrey, scenic roadways like Fairplay Road, neighborhoods, farm pastures and more, to get a feel for what rural character might be.