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Lyons City Council Revives Development Authority

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The Lyons City Council, in its December 7 session, unanimously approved the re-creation of the Lyons Development Authority (LDA) in an attempt to provide the City with as many resources as possible to continue to grow in commerce and economy. The resolution was approved without the requirement of the LDA registering with the Department of Community Affairs. The deletion of this requirement from the originally proposed resolution came as a suggestion from Councilman Larry Griggers, who contended that this detail of the resolution “added an unnecessary element of uncertainty.”

Griggers explained that this portion of the resolution dealt with supremacy of state law. “If Georgia law applies to the LDA, it simply applies. There is no need for a paragraph stating that it applies,” he explained. “Yet, by including this paragraph, statutes or rules that do not apply to the LDA may be made to apply.”

Griggers concluded, “In essence, this paragraph adds nothing of value and potentially creates confusion for the Authority.”

Council members agreed with Griggers, ultimately approving the resolution that reestablished the LDA, and then appointed members to fill unfinished terms of previous members.

Newly- appointed members to the LDA are: Mitchell Shook, whose term expires February 6, 2022; Rebecca Rollins, whose term expires on February 6, 2023; Parthiv Thakore, whose term expires February 6, 2024; Marsha Moore, whose term expires February 6, 2025; George Powell, whose term expires February 6, 2026; and COVID Hazard Pay

The City Council approved two resolutions that provided hazard pay for volunteer firefighters as well as civil city and utility workers who worked in harm’s way during the August spike of the COVID-19 virus. The FY2020 Operating Budget was also amended to include these stipends and expenditures. Volunteer firefighters who worked during this spike in the pandemic will be eligible for up to $150 in addition to any grants received, if they meet the criteria provided by the Governor’s Grant Program for Public Service Employees. Meanwhile, civil city and utility workers will also be eligible for hazard pay from this same source; however, the payout amount for these workers will be based on hours worked, with a maximum of $350 hazard payment.

Street and Storm Water Improvements

Sikes Brothers, Inc., was awarded the bid for the street and storm water improvements on Pecan Place and Mimosa, as part of a project which began in 2020. This bid for $662,119,35 was accepted by the Council on the terms that Sikes Brothers will be able to complete construction within 180 days of the bid document.

Council Bids Farewell to Council Members

At the conclusion of the meeting, Mayor Willis NeSmith expressed his gratitude to Councilman Larry Griggers and Councilwoman Sonja Eason for their hard work in the administration.

“This is actually the end of tenure for two of our Council members,” Nesmith noted. “Councilman Larry Griggers and Councilwoman Sonja Eason, I want to thank y’all both. You have both done a great job for us, and I want to emphasize to both of you to please stay active with us in town.” The posts of Griggers and Eason are being replaced by Tracy Johnson and Cathy Benton, respectively, following elections this year. Griggers spoke of his sentiment regarding his time on the City Council. “I came back to Lyons very excited to return to my hometown and retire, to live out the rest of my years and give back to my community,” he explained. “It really has been a great pleasure to join this team and be able to do that. I gained a lot of respect for our city employees. This is something I will remember the rest of my days.”

Councilman John Moore further commented on the legacy of these individuals, specifically referencing contributions by Griggers. “Larry and I walked into the door of our first meeting, and $17 million for water treatment was staring us in the face,” Moore reminisced. “We buckled down and helped to save the citizens of Lyons $11 million while providing top-notch water treatment; that is a great accomplishment.”

Moore continued, “I think tonight is a capitalization on some of your leadership, Larry, as we reactivate our Lyons Development Authority. Overall, as a Council, this reestablishment speaks for the work which all of us, including Councilwoman Eason and Councilman Griggers have accomplished. Lyons will continue to grow and thrive, and it is because of the hard work of these individuals in their time on the Council.”

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