Larry Bradley

Vice Mayor Larry Bradley speaks during a special called meeting of the Monroe City Council on Tuesday night, July 27, 2021, at City Hall in Monroe, Ga.

In a 7-1 vote, the Monroe City Council approved a resolution calling for a referendum asking voters if they want to permit the package sale of distilled spirits within city limits. Mayor Pro Tem Larry Bradley opposed the measure.

Bradley said city officials are responsible for determining the kinds of businesses that come into the city “as a whole” and questioned if this was a direction Monroe should take.

The resolution authorizes the Walton County Election Superintendent to place the question on the ballot for the regularly scheduled Nov. 1 city-wide election.

The City Council also approved a resolution for a moratorium on expanding water services outside Monroe city limits until Dec. 31.

The exceptions include any property outside the city that is currently connected to the Monroe’s water system and any property outside Monroe’s corporate limits that has already paid a water system tap fee or made provisions according to an intergovernmental or development agreement.

The Monroe City Council also approved extending to Dec. 31, a resolution that places a temporary moratorium on applications for preliminary plat approval for major residential subdivision development outside the city core.

The initial moratorium on subdivisions of six or more residential lots went into effect late last year and would have ended on June 30.

City leaders said then that they wanted to slow down the pace of large-scale home construction to give city officials time to review traffic patterns; water delivery services; sewer and natural gas capacity and infrastructure; and projected residential growth outside the city core.

The resolution states there are supply chain issues occurring across the nation and that these shortages have affected Monroe’s ability to provide utilities and services while keeping up with the pace of residential growth.

The moratorium also would not affect any “pending preliminary plat approval applications for residential major subdivisions located outside the city core that have previously been submitted to city staff and are pending approval by the city” before the resolution was adopted on June 14.

Council members unanimously agreed to adopt Monroe’s 2022 Comprehensive Plan update.

The comp plan is a guide for the city to follow in managing future growth. Elements of the plan include population; economic development; natural and cultural resources; and housing and neighborhood development.

The state requires county and municipal governments to update comprehensive plans every five years. The Northeast Georgia Regional Commission facilitated the city’s comp plan in 2017.

Monroe hired Hall Consulting based in Watkinsville to help facilitate this most recent update to the plan.

Cities that submit comprehensive plans to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for approval may be eligible for grants that can be used to upgrade city infrastructure.

In other city business, council members accepted the results of an audit deeming the city kept clean and proper financial records for fiscal year 2021. Monroe’s financial department has received numerous accolades several years running from the Government Finance Officers Association for excellence in financial reporting.

Adam Fraley with Mauldin & Jenkins, the City of Monroe’s external auditors, presented the audited Fiscal Year 2021 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) to the council.

The council also voted to de-annex a 17.223-acre property owned by the Walton County Development Authority located on the north side of Snows Mill Road and the east side of an unnamed branch of Jacks Creek. The land will be used for a non-profit meeting facility to benefit the Walton County Veterans Association.

(1) comment

AlanGrimsley

Any Rivian employees passing through Monroe on their way home might appreciate being able to stop and pick up a fifth. Go for it.

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