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August 2019
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Jasper to vet potential water supply

Noise at Rocco’s, New Year’s party also discussed at council meeting


Responding to extreme drought conditions that threaten water supplies across north Georgia, Jasper City Council approved $30,000 for a pump test on a well that could provide a new resource in the future. 
    Jasper Mayor John Weaver said the well, which is located on private property, could be a “potential high water producer.”   

    The pump test is a 14-day test that will determine the well’s viability.
    Council also voted to allow Mayor Weaver to continue negotiations with the well’s property owners. 
    Jasper currently has a daily withdrawal limit of two million gallons from Long Swamp Creek near Cove Road. The city uses flooded mines as a reservoir and can pump water from the mines into the creek to meet EPD water level requirements.
    The mayor has said the city is in “good shape” at this point with their water supplies, but is pursuing the additional source as a contingency plan.

Council proposes noise
 ordinance amendment

    Live music at the popular restaurant Rocco’s Pub on Highway 515 was addressed by Jasper council for the second consecutive month due to complaints from nearby property owners.
    Last month council heard from Shane Fendley who said music from the pub is disrupting his and other residents’ “peace and quiet.” Jasper Police Chief Greg Lovell has issued numerous citations regarding noise complaints over the last four years. At the October meeting, council agreed to bump up severity of these citations by handling complaints in superior court as a nuisance issue.
    The issue resurfaced because the city issued four additional citations to the pub owner since last month, all a result of noise complaints from Mr. Fendley.
    In the past, Weaver, council and law enforcement said they want to create an environment where business can flourish but also protect residents’ quality of life.
    Fendley and most residents who have complained do not live in the city of Jasper, but the ordinance only makes it unlawful if noise impacts people “residing within the city limits.” Lovell and Mayor Weaver pointed out that these citations could be thrown out in court because of the way their current noise ordinance reads. Council proposed amending the ordinance by removing “residing within the city limits.” Lovell has said he believes the city has a responsibility to county residents because the source of complaint is in Jasper.
    The amended ordinance must go through two readings before it is adopted.
    Chief Lovell and council said the pub owner Dan Cirrocco has been very cooperative and is working diligently to address the issue, including installing windows that will reduce noise.
    Lovell told council he is researching the noise ordinance in Roswell, which he called “more sophisticated.” It includes specifics about decibel levels and has a progressive fine system that increases the fine as the number of citations increase. Roswell imposes a $500 fine for the first offense, up to $2,000 for the third offense. Jasper currently has a $250 fine for a noise violation.

In other news from council:

    •Pickens County Economic Development Director/Chamber of Commerce director Gerry Nechvatal is gearing up for the New Year’s Eve celebration on Main Street in Jasper. His tourism director is working on a marketing plan for the event.
    •Nechvatal reported that scouts from a BBC production company have looked at several sites in the county.
    •The city’s 2017 budget will be presented at a public hearing on November 14 at 6 p.m. at Jasper City Hall.
    •Jasper Police responded to 878 emergency calls in October. They worked 67 motor vehicle accidents and issued 74 citations during the same time period. 
    •Jasper Fire responded to 120 calls for service in October.