Posted: Thursday, September 6th 2012 at 9:50pm
Council member Tara Richards gets a welcome home
By Jerry Gunn Staff
FLOWERY BRANCH - Air Force Reserve civil engineer Captain Tara Richards returned to her role as a Flowery Branch City Council member Thursday night.
After a warm greeting at City Hall and her first council meeting since her deployment to Afghanistan, she got a community welcome at the Flowery Branch Depot from friends, relatives and neighbors.
“It’s a little overwhelming,” Richards said. “I’m just humbled by it.”
Richards said her biggest issue is likely to be downtown revitalization and how to set priorities for spending tax allocation funds.
CLEAN-UP PLAN APPROVED
City Council gave the go-ahead to use tax allocation funds to support clearing and cleaning up the old Mooney Industry site up the street from City Hall.
City Manager Bill Andrew said Pond Engineering would prepare a stabilization and demolition plan that includes removing lead and asbestos in the buildings and controlling runoff.
“Mainly what Pond will be doing is just control any runoff that may occur,” Andrew said. “Our goal is to get the site to what they call a green field site where it’s just a green field of grass."
Andrew said there's little worry about environmental impact with the building removal, and ground testing indicates no contamination.
SECOND IN COMMAND STEPS UP
The second in command of the Flowery Branch Police Department has been named interim chief with the recent retirement of Chief Gerald Lanich.
Lieutenant David Spillers was named interim chief for six months on a recommendation from City Manager Andrew according to Mayor Mike Miller. Spillers said he’s had several years of law enforcement experience.
“I started my career under Sheriff Dick Mecum,” Spillers said. “When I retired from Hall County the City of Flowery Branch was kind enough to give me a job and I’ve been here for six years now.”
Lanich served as police chief for eight years and worked in law enforcement for more than 40 years including 27 years with Hall County.
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