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By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
The Morgan County Planning Commission held informal discussion of upcoming agenda items at their regular monthly work session last Friday morning.
Morgan County Senior Planner Allison Moon and Madison Planner Bryce Jaeck discussed with the group two requests made of the county, one involving a double-wide trailer that a citizen wishes to move into the county, and one involving a variance request for a new Holiday Inn Express to be built in Madison.
The request for an older-than-permitted double wide to be brought into the county will certainly be considered in light of the attending hardship, namely a fire that destroyed the original trailer located on the site in question. However, feedback and requests from neighboring property owners is also expected to factor in the discussion.
The variance request for the hotel relates to the potential height of the structure; the applicant would like to create a four-story hotel in a smaller footpritg, rather than a three-story hotel in a larger footprint, according to Jaeck. But Madison law limits the height of most buildings to 35 feet, principally because of safety reasons—the city does not own a fire truck that is capable of rescuing people higher than 35 feet in the air.
The James Madison Inn in Madison did receive a variance allowing it to develop with a fourth story a couple of years ago, commissioners noted at the work session.
However, the upper floors of the James Madison Inn are residential in nature, meaning that anyone trapped by a fire could move to the street side of the building in order to be rescued.
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Madison Corridor Design Commission (CDC) members met last week in a special called session to go over the particulars of a replacement building being constructed at the corner of Highway 278 and Hanover Street in Madison, just south of the hospital.
At the same meeting, city planning director Monica Callahan told the group that plan review is finally on an upswing after a dry period for local development.
“It's been a little quiet for a while, but now we're starting to see groups coming in for review again,” said Callahan.
In the coming weeks, the CDC is expected to review a design for a new Holiday Inn Express to be built in Madison; a Fatz Cafe; signage for a new Denny's Restaurant to be located within the Pilot truck stop on Highway 441; a new Quality Inn (in the former Day's Inn structure); a re-built gas station in front of Cracker Barrel; a re-developed Texaco station on the south side of Interstate 20; and possibly a re-designed Arby's just north of the interstate.
The Corridor Design Commission meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 5 p.m., at the Madison Fire Station at North Main and High Streets.
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photos by Angelina Bellebuono
By Kathryn Purcell
Morgan County High School senior Julian Booker, to say the least, is no slouch.
On top of being the Class of 2008's valedictorian, Booker is also a National Merit Scholarship winner, an award based on PSAT/NMSQT score, among other things, and a National Achievement Scholarship winner, an honor given specifically to outstanding black high school students also based on PSAT/NMSQT score.
Booker was also named STAR (Student Teacher Achievement Recognition) student this year, part of a 50-year-old program established by PAGE (the Professional Association of Georgia Educators). The program requires each STAR student to choose a STAR teacher; Booker chose Assistant Principal and teacher Pat Lemming.
Lemming describes Booker as diligent, determined and extremely well-prepared.
“He was an excellent student,” Lemming said. “The thing that impressed me most is the fact that he’s so compassionate...He’s a compassionate, caring person. That’s a side he doesn't show to very many people.”
On Saturdays, however, Booker does indeed show that side of himself, as he works with Morgan County Habitat for Humanity. His career with Habitat began as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, as the program requires a certain amount of community service hours. After his hours were finished, Booker became attached. Recalling helping to build his first house, Booker remembers the sense of accomplishment he felt while finishing placing the shingles on the roof.
“The sun was shining down, the breeze was blowing,” Booker said, of the experience.
“And helping people is a nice side effect.”