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Leesburg City Council OKs watershed plan

LEESBURG -- The Leesburg City Council moved a step closer to gaining Environmental Protection Division approval for its Watershed Protection Plan by unanimously approving a resolution to adopt that plan at its initial 2010 meeting Tuesday night.

Ronny Dudley, the Stevenson & Palmer Engineering vice president who serves as the city's engineer, said the watershed plan -- which specifies monitoring guidelines of wastewater that will be released from city-run facilities into local bodies of water -- had to be in place before EDP approval could be granted.

"In order to get a permit to discharge wastewater to the Kinchafoonee Creek, you must do this," Dudley said before the Council voted to approve a resolution drawn up by City Attorney Bert Gregory.

In what turned out to be a relatively short meeting, Gregory swore in Mayor Jim Quinn and Council members Richard Bush, Debra Long and Judy Powell, all of whom were re-elected in November, before any action was taken.

City Clerk Casey Moore asked for feedback on an updated zoning map that her office has been trying to restore to its pre-2004 condition while incorporating changes that had been voted on and passed by the Council.

"We've been going through the minutes (of past Council meetings) to make any changes that were approved by the Council, but our plan is to go back to the map that was used before 2004," Moore said. "I'd like for the map to be reviewed by the Planning and Zoning Commission at its February meeting.

"Keep in mind that this (map) will go through a public hearing process and will go before the Planning Commission and us before it can be approved."

Long reminded the Council that the downtown railroad crossing in front of the courthouse would be closed over the weekend for resurfacing, and Powell pushed the Run Around Town Grand Prix 5-K and 1-mile runs that would be held on Starksville Road Jan. 23. The runs will be held in conjunction with a health fair that will provide free health screenings.

The Council tabled planned discussion of increases for water/sewer nonsufficient fund checks and reconnection fees and action on a property easement.

Moore said she planned to have a qualification letter in the next week or so to find a consultant/architect to plan and oversee the renovation of the old Leesburg Train Depot.

When asked about the progress of that project, Gregory quipped, "It's on track."