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Friday February 5th, 2016 10:12PM

Gainesville's mayor, a "man of his word"

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Gainesville Mayor Danny Dunagan wore a T-shirt with big letters spelling 'The Branch' at Tuesday night's city council meeting.

The mayor of the city that lost in the recent Gainesville/Flowery Branch football game agreed to wear the winner's T-shirt.

"Unfortunately Gainesville lost 34-35," the Mayor recalled. "I questioned it, but it is what it is."

Flowery Branch Mayor Mike Miller called Dunagan a man of his word and reminded him he was to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at the December 6th Flowery Branch council meeting.

NEW TOOL FOR POLICE

Gainesville police have a new tool for tracing possible stolen merchandise thieves take to pawn shops.

On second reading the ordinance got unanimous final approval. It requires pawnbrokers to maintain an electronic database. Police Chief Brian Kelly said it's going to help his detectives.

"It will give our investigators the ability to quickly search items that are pawned and be able to compare them to any kind of theft items coming in from incident reports," Chief Kelly said.

Kelly said detectives right now have to hand file searches and that takes time.
The ordinance also requires electronic tracking of purchases and sellers.

NEW AMENDMENT ON ALCOHOL

Council also gave final second reading approval 4-1 to an alcohol ordinance amendment. Assistant City Manager Angela Sheppard said it helps get the Georgia Mountains Center ready for Brenau University's takeover next month. It allows alcohol at Brenau and the Mountains Center.

"Basically it removes the Mountains Center Director from being a license holder and allows the college to have alcohol events," Sheppard said.

Brenau signed a lease for the Mountains Center in February to grow its graduate student programs. Distance requirements between colleges and universities and alcohol dispensers would be removed under the ordinance. Councilman George Wangemann cast the dissenting vote.

GREENWAY GRANT APP

Council approved a resolution to apply for $100,000 from the State Department of Natural Resources Recreation Trails Program to continue the Midtown Greenway. These are federal funds administered by GDNR.

"What this would be used for would be a purchase of the the East West connection of the abandoned CSX rail line as it goes into E.E. Butler Parkway and the Newtown area," City Manager Kip Padgett said. "An offer has been made to CSX to purchase it."

The grant requires a 20 percent match from the city and the resolution Council approved assures the city has the ability and intention to provide the matching funds.

GIVING THANKS

During its Thanksgiving week session Council also proclaimed November as National Family Month and heard a presentation from Salvation Army Corps Officer Lt. Matt Cunningham. Cunningham announced that the Red Kettles, a tradition in Gainesville since 1928, were out and manned by volunteer bell ringers. Money dropped in the kettles supports 3,000 area needy people at Christmas time, and 14,000 the year around.
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