New city council meets holds first meeting, adopts new rules of procedure

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New city council adopts new rules of procedure

FANNIN, Ga. — The new Blue Ridge City Council held their first meeting on Jan. 18. After appointing several city employees and board members, the council took action on water leakage issues and gutter replacements at the Historic Baugh House. The council also adopted a new set of procedure rules along with a city mission statement. 

Mayor Rhonda Haight recognized councilmembers Angie Arp and Bill Whaley for their work in creating the new mission statement and procedure rules. Whaley read the mission statement during the meeting, “Our mission is to enrich the quality of life in Blue Ridge for all our citizens. We pledge to work in partnership with our residents, all stakeholders and the Fannin County government to protect, preserve and secure the quaintness of our small-town community and to enhance the natural beauty of our environment.” He also touched on the core values that the council will operate within, including accountability, collaboration, stewardship, and professionalism. “If you read the whole thing, we’re holding ourselves to a standard of behavior amongst ourselves, and a standard of openness to the community,” Whaley said about the mission statement and procedure rules. The full document can be found in the agenda packet for the Jan. 18 meeting. 

After being tabled at the last council meeting, the council approved a purchase of gutter replacements for the Historic Baugh House on 425 West First Street. Mayor Haight confirmed that the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, meaning the city would need to purchase appropriate gutter replacements at a cost of $17,000. “We want to preserve it, and it costs more to put up aesthetically appropriate gutters,” Whaley said. The council unanimously approved the purchase. 

An approval for the purchase of third party leak detection services was also on the agenda. “I would actually even recommend that you guys think about doubling what we’ve got here because they’re going to be doing leak detection at Mountaintops, which is our highest leak area,” Mayor Haight said when presenting the agenda item. “It would double the price, but it is in the budget to do that,” Haight continued. The council discussed the need, citing the concentration of water loss in the Mountaintops area, and eventually agreed to increase the number of services from four to eight. 

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