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Hogansville discusses broadband proposal at council meeting

During Monday’s meeting, the Hogansville City Council discussed a proposal to bring broadband service to the city, as well as renovations to the amphitheater.

Some of the discussion also centered around the new city hall building, as Monday was the first day city staff worked out of the new location, which was previously a branch of PNC Bank.

“This didn’t just happen…  it was a lot of work from a lot of people that went into making this a possibility and then actually pulling it off,” said Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz. “And maybe I can speak for the citizens of Hogansville when I say that we’re very blessed when we have a staff, and we have employees such as we have that can really go the extra mile and perform on a level way above anything you could expect. You have my appreciation and my respect. Thank you very much.”

Andy Macke, vice president of external affairs for Comcast, delivered a presentation on how his organization could bring broadband service to Hogansville and Grantville. According to city manager Jonathan Lynn, Macke had spoken to the council about the same topic a few months ago.

“We have this system here in Grantville and Hogansville that definitely could use some love, but the good news is that we’re already on poles, we already have facilities, and it’s relatively easy to get upgraded. We did a similar project in Haralson County. We actually had three of them — one in Haralson, two in Carroll County that we launched in June this time last year,” Macke said.

He stated that the funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 presented a new opportunity to complete the proposed project in Hogansville and Grantville.

Council member Toni Striblin argued that the city had more immediate needs than broadband.

“I would love to have this service here … But at this point, those federal funds that came in — the $900,000 that came to us — as we’ve had our meetings and our discussions, that money was to be allocated for our water system. And we need that. We need that more than we need broadband right now. We can’t grow without that water system in,” Striblin said.

Lynn began the discussion on improving Hogansville’s amphitheater.

“We do have roughly $300,000 that is allocated within our current SPLOST to do the amphitheater project. We don’t really have a plan at this point for the amphitheater. At minimum, we do [have] landscaping, a new bandshell to go on the existing area without compromising it. That’s as far as our thoughts have gotten,” Lynn said.

“We will be looking for a landscape architect to help us with this project and move forward. But now’s the time. Regardless of the feedback at this point, people know we have an amphitheater, so now we really can’t sit on it. It’s time to move forward with that project,” he continued.

Striblin suggested the city do something about a water flow issue.

“There’s a huge water wash issue because from the top of that hill,” Striblin said. “From every direction, that water flows right down the middle of the amphitheater. We have got to do something to stop that running.”

She also suggested replacing the trees that were removed, saying people were upset about their removal and that they’d provide shade. Additionally, she suggested creating a storage building.

“One other thing that I was told back when we did this way back when is that we need a building to the side of it for storage. And that would be for your monitor systems, all that kind of stuff …,” Striblin said. “What was suggested then is that where the flat space is where the gym was behind the bathrooms, is you build a secure building.”

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