The Comer City Council recently cleared the way for Comer Baptist Church to acquire the old Bluebell sewing plant and convert it into a new campus for the expanding congregation.
The council voted this month to change the zoning on the property from L1 (light industrial) to R2 (residential) with a conditional use permit. The church plans to convert the building into a 500-seat auditorium, offices and classrooms. They plan to move into the facility within six years.
Senior pastor Rodney Owens told the council that his church has simply outgrown its current location and needs the space for future expansion. There was no public opposition to the proposal.
The council was also told about the three story building at 79 E. North Ave. The building was under renovation but the work stopped with a portion of the roof missing. It has become infected with wild plants and small animals. The owner will be contacted to determine his plans.
In another matter, the city will start planning for a city-wide yard sale and car show. The council would like to schedule the event for just before school opens this fall. The goal will be to draw people into town with hopes that they will shop at local businesses.
A meeting with Madison County and Georgia DOT officials led to final plans for the turn lane on Hwy. 98 at Comer Elementary School. The city was given the responsibility for moving utilities. Engineers agreed that, with careful work, the current water lines could be left in place until the four-lane project is started. Georgia Power and Altel will move their lines. This plan saves the city the cost of relocating the utilities.
During the discussions, Georgia DOT agreed to repair the section of Hwy 72 approaching the Hwy. 98 intersection to remove the bumps created by large trucks braking for the traffic light. Work is expected to begin in two to three weeks and will involve grinding and repaving approximately 100 feet of the highway.
Leaf and limb removal remains a problem due to residents who are “grossly out of line with city policy.” Mayor Jody Blackmon asked for ideas to help with the problem.
The council voted to take bids for cleaning services at the city’s travel museum. The doors, windows and floors need to be cleaned at least once a month. Users will be responsible for cleaning their own trash. A sign for the travel museum that matches signs on city hall and the police department will be installed at a price of $450.
A four-year lease extension for the old depot was approved. Athens Tech uses the building as a learning center. The lease price of $500 a month was unchanged. The council will seek bids for repainting the building
Stickers for AAA sanitation to place on non compliance containers have been received. A notice will run in the county paper with a beginning date for enforcement of the container requirements.
The Comer Police Department will host a traffic network meeting on June 22. The department will provide a meal and training. The department responded to 96 calls in May. They wrote 13 incident reports, five juvenile complaints and one accident report with injuries. The made three arrests, issued 55 citations and 51 written warnings.