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Friday May 22nd, 2015 10:40AM

G'ville Council silent on island annexation

By Jerry Gunn Reporter
GAINESVILLE - Gainesville City Council was silent and there was no action Tuesday night on that contentious annexation of 115 island county properties within the city.

It was not on the agenda, but a vote was expected on it after Council approved the annexations as currently zoned on first reading 4-1 on December 4th. Planning Director Rusty Ligon said simply that Council decided to take the issue up next year.

The Hall County Commission stated it would formally object to the annexations.
City officials say the annexation would better define city boundaries, provide a more consistent appearance to gateway corridors and streamline response by police and fire. State law allows for the annexation of such properties without the consent of the owners.

LOITERING AMENDMENT

City Council gave an amendment to the city's loitering ordinance first reading approval but first heard concerns from a downtown pastor Dewayne Payne.

"I guess my concern is profiling, coming against the homeless," Payne said.

Police Chief Brian Kelly said concerns for the safety of people and property led to the amendment.

"This ordinance is not directly specifically toward homeless," Chief Kelly said. "It's directed toward anyone who may be loitering on public property."

The amendment declares loitering in public buildings or on public property unlawful.

It states that "loitering is defined as being in a place at a time or in a manner not usual for a law abiding citizen under circumstances that warrant a justifiable or reasonable alarm or concern for the safety of persons or property."

TAD APPROVAL FOR LAKESHORE

A Tax Allocation District (TAD) to help revitalize Lakeshore Mall got unanimous final approval from City Council. The TAD provides for issuing and selling tax allocation bonds to finance the re-development; Mitchell Salmon with Mall developer Garrison Investment Group said he appreciated the city's support.

"Part of the TAD is a way to fuel the positive momentum necessary in bringing this development to its prior strength," Salmon said. "It's suffered from ownership that has not made the same kind of commitment that Garrison has made financially and operationally."

Salmon said that momentum would lead to new Mall retailers and that will restore the Mall's tax base.
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