Fire Chief

Social Circle Fire Chief Ken Zaydel is looking to see if fireworks are feasible downtown.

-During last week’s work session, Social Circle City Council members discussed the possibility of having Independence Day fireworks moved to the downtown area.

This would enable the city’s downtown businesses to better benefit from patronage the celebration would generate, reasoned Downtown Director Amber McKibben.

Safety would be the primary concern, according to fire Chief Ken Zaydel.

Zaydel said he’s combing through maps and assessing the condition of downtown buildings, to determine if shooting fireworks within range of downtown would even be feasible.

“I’m game to try it, but I want more data on it before I sign off on it,” Zaydel said.

The fire chief said the city could “go smaller” on the fireworks, shooting off more 3-inch and 4-inch mortars rather than 5-inch mortars that travel higher and need a larger clearance area.

Councilman Tyson Jackson remarked that parking for large downtown events is often an issue. McKibben said a shuttle could be used to transport visitors from church and school parking lots to the event.

The council also discussed a request to hold a Juneteenth Celebration, possibly on June 19. Jackson said a steering committee is planning the event.

He explained that Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation was made over a year before the enslaved population of Texas learned that they had been freed, according to Jackson.

McKibben also mentioned that a car show to benefit downtown might be held. A tentative date is May 1.

MONROE

Airport closed for rehabilitation work

The sound of engines taking off has gone silent at Cy Nunnally Memorial Airport in Monroe. The municipal airport closed down for a month on Monday ahead of a runway rehabilitation project.

The Georgia Department of Transportation’s aviation division sent the city of Monroe a memo on March 30 stating the total project cost was estimated at $993,163.92, and the contract with the city was set at a maximum of $957,682.91. The federal government has awarded $910,514.18 toward the project, and the state has committed $47,168.73. The city is slated to pick up 5% of the cost.

Goodwyn Mills and Cawood Inc. is contracted to conduct construction inspections and testing, according to GDOT.

The overall cost for the project has come under budget, according to Assistant City Manager and Airport Manager Chris Bailey. The project was initially approved for the fiscal year 2021 Airport Aid Program on July 30.

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