North Georgia Burn Ban Boosts Air Quality

A ban on outdoor burning begins May 1 in 54 Georgia counties, primarily in the northern half of the state. The Georgia Forestry Commission works with the state Environmental Protection Division annually to remind people that during the hot summer months, ground level ozone increases, which can negatively impact air quality and people’s health. Burning yard and land clearing debris may produce smoke and particulate matter that are linked to lung and heart disease in humans.

“From May through September, we all enjoy being outdoors,” said Frank Sorrells, Chief of Protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission. “Open burning is limited during these months to help improve air quality and reduce the risk of wildfire.”

Sorrells said Georgia’s ongoing drought has contributed to increased wildfire activity, and above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall are predicted for the next couple of months, especially in the southern and coastal regions. While campfires don’t fall under the burn ban, everyone is urged to be extremely cautious when doing any type of outdoor cooking or tending to campfires.

The burn ban will be in effect from May 1 – September 30, 2017. The 54 Georgia counties affected are: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker and Walton.

Residents in Georgia counties not included in the annual burn ban will continue to be required to secure a burn permit from the Georgia Forestry Commission before conducting any outside burning, including prescribed burning. Permits can be requested online at GaTrees.org, or by calling 1-888-OK2-BURN. If conditions are safe for burning, permits will be automatically granted.

“We encourage everyone to become familiar with what types of open burning are allowed in their area,” said Sorrells. “The Georgia Forestry Commission will be closely monitoring weather and fire activity to keep Georgians and their property safe.”

For more information about annual summer burn restrictions, burn permits and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.

Leaf and Brush Collection Schedule

To clear the piles of brush, grass, and leaves that have accumulated due to recent weather and city equipment challenges the city will start the following brush and leaf pick up schedule immediately.  The goal of this change is to increase the efficiency of the pickup and enable the entire scheduled area to be cleared of the pickup material on its scheduled day each week.  The routes and days will not change; however, the crews will concentrate on brush or leaves only during each week:

From April 24th through April 28th crews will be picking up brush only

From May 1st through May 5th crews will be picking up leaves only

From May 8th through May 12th crews will be picking up brush only

From May 15th through May 19th crews will be picking up leaves only

From May 22nd through May 26th crews will be picking up brush only

From May 29th through June 2nd crews will be picking up leaves only

The regular pickup days will remain the same.  If an area is not completed in a scheduled day, the crew will begin at the point they left off on the next scheduled day for that area.  A new truck has been purchased and added to the fleet to enable simultaneous pickups of leaves and brush in each scheduled area to resume approximately late May.

Citizens can assist in the efficiency of the collection by assuring that brush is piled separately from leaves and grass, and that no trash is in the piles. Also, please do not bag leaves and debris.

Citizen Firearm Class Scheduled

The Social Circle Police Department has announced the date for their next Citizen Firearm Class.

Date: Saturday, May 20, 2017
Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Community Room

This class is designed for those individuals that want to become familiar with how to properly use a firearm. This course will include classroom and range instruction. This course will also provide the legal and lawful explanation of the use of force.

Please contact Lt. Randy Downs at rdowns@socialcirclega.com for more information.

The class size is limited to the first 15 applicants. All applications must be submitted no later than Tuesday, May 16,2017.

 

Mosquito Spraying to Start April 25

It’s that time of year again! With the mild winter and the rain we’ve had, mosquito season is off to an early start.

The City will start their mosquito spraying schedule Tuesday April 25.  City crews will spray every Tuesday and Thursday (weather permitting) from 4 pm to 8 pm. through the summer months.

Please call City Hall (770-464-2380) with any questions or concerns.

Leaf and Yard Debris Pickup Update

Due to necessary repairs and replacement on equipment, the city is down one leaf and yard debris pickup crew.  We are working on getting items picked up as quickly as possible with one crew.

Our new equipment and repairs should be completed by mid-May and the City will have two crews to catch up on leaf and yard pickups.

In addition, if you see the leaf truck drive by and not pick up your pile of debris they will be back; they are emptying their truck.

We thank you for your understanding and patience.

Fire Hydrant Testing Starts April 20

The Social Circle Fire Department will begin flow testing fire hydrants starting Thursday April 20th. Testing will run through the end of May. Fire Crews will test between the hours of 8am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday.

The fire hydrant flow testing will affect streets in all areas of the city. During flow testing you may experience discolored water caused by the opening of the fire hydrants. If you experience discolored water you can clear it by opening a faucet and letting it run until the water clears.

Road Repairs Scheduled for Tuesday April 11

During the day on Tuesday April 11, Overstreet Asphalt & Concrete company will be making repairs to several roads in town.

  • Clarke Ave
  • The entrance to the Elementary school
  • A section of Spring Street near Hill Rd
  • A section of Clover Dr

The repairs taking place on Clarke Ave and the entrance to the Elementary School will be timed to avoid interfering with before and after school traffic. All work should be completed between 8 am and 5 pm on Tuesday.

Leaf and Brush Pickup Delayed

Cherry BlossomsIt’s spring and we are sprucing up our yards. This creates piles of brush and debris for City Crews to pick up. The crews are still continuing their pickup schedule from fall, but are currently delayed as they wait on the delivery of a new leaf truck. There is only one crew working at this time and they are doing the best they can to keep up.

To make things easier for our crew, please do the following:

  • rake leaves to the curb or road
  • make piles no higher than three feet and six feet in diameter
  • place piles horizontally along the curb for timelier and easier pickup by city crews.
  • no trash, metals, brush etc. mixed in to prevent damage to the machinery.
  • limbs should be cut to no more than 7 feet in length
  • Bagged leaves will be picked up and transported to the cities leaf drop off area.

A load is approximately 8 feet by 8 feet by 4 feet.

Drought Level Dropped from 2 to 1 for Walton County

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) has announced it will ease outdoor water use requirements in 86 counties. Improving drought conditions have resulted in 31 counties being upgraded from a Level 2 Drought Response to a Level 1 Drought Response, including Walton County.

“Winter rains have brought needed relief to much of the state, but Lake Lanier, the Chattahoochee River and smaller streams in the region have been slow to recover,” said EPD Director Richard Dunn.  “As a result, the Level 2 Drought Response will remain in place in the upper Chattahoochee River Basin, including most metropolitan Atlanta counties.”

The following activities are allowed under Level 1 Drought Responses:

  • Irrigation of new and replanted plant, seed, or turf may be done at any time of day for 30 days after installation.
  • Irrigation of personal food gardens may be done at any time of day.
  • Drip irrigation or irrigation using soaker hoses may be done at any time of day and hand-watering with a hose with automatic cutoff or handheld container may be done at any time of day.
  • General landscape watering may be done after 4:00 p.m. and before 10:00 a.m. on the designated days.

More water conservation information is available at http://epd.georgia.gov/water-conservation.