Also during their meeting Tuesday night, Cumming’s mayor and city council approved the following:
• Condemnation of Pilgrim Square for a future improvement project along School Street.
City Attorney Dana Miles said the project would include widening School Street to two lanes from Pilgrim Mill Road to Hwy. 9 and adding sidewalks.
No timeline for the project was given.
• An amendment to the city’s utility ordinance that will allow the city to buy back unused sewer capacity.
• A presentation from Utilities Director Jon Heard on the city’s water and sewer master plans.
Both are required by the Environmental Protection Division. Heard said the plans outline water and sewage needs and how they will be met through the year 2040.
Council likely will approve the plans during next month’s meeting.
• Installation of 450 radio read water meters for the Utilities Department.
Heard said the equipment allows employees to read meters without having to get out of their vehicles.
These meters will complete a long-term installation of the devices throughout the city’s water service area, Heard said.
• The purchase of a computer software upgrade and a dispatch console for the Cumming Police Department.
Police Chief Casey Tatum said the software is part of an ongoing project. He said the cost will be broken into three increments of about $32,000, while the dispatch console will cost nearly $13,000.
The items are part of this year’s budget.
• Buying an enhanced vapor recovery system for about $4,600.
Gravitt said the system is an EPD-mandated purchase and the funding will come from the city’s contingency fund.
• Also: Officials recognized Tatum as the city’s new police chief and Clyde Cook as the new assistant chief.
Tatum took over the role from Scott Burgess, who is now the department’s head of community relations and code enforcement. Burgess stepped down as chief due to health concerns.
• Heard a presentation from Remington Youngblood, a fifth-grader at Johns Creek Elementary, on his Change 4 Georgia project, which collects items for troops serving overseas.
— Crystal Ledford
A cab driver’s request to operate in the city of Cumming was rejected Tuesday night over concerns he had been operating without a license and other factors.
The application of William Andrew Mainard Jr. was considered during a public hearing that was part of the regular monthly meeting of Cumming’s mayor and city council.
The hearing had been postponed from last month after Mainard did not show up.
At that time, a representative of another cab company licensed in the city spoke against the request. Council did not want to vote on the matter until hearing from Mainard.
"I’m just one cab out here trying to make a living," said Mainard on Tuesday, adding that he hadn’t received notice of the January hearing.
To Mainard’s knowledge, he would be the only taxi company open later than 1 a.m. and capable of "picking up intoxicated people all night long."
But Ron Daniel and Jim Benton of Country Cab and Advanced Taxi, respectively, spoke against Mainard’s request Tuesday, saying they do pick up people at all hours.
Mainard said he had handled a number of cab requests at Northside Hospital-Forsyth after receiving calls from personnel there.
That prompted Mayor H. Ford Gravitt to ask how Mainard was getting business from the hospital, which is inside the city limits, without holding a valid Cumming business license.
Mainard then told mayor and council that he had been fined by the Cumming Police Department for operating a business without a license.
Recently appointed Police Chief Casey Tatum confirmed that Mainard was fined Feb. 3 for operating the cab business without a proper license.
Gravitt also asked Tatum how many licensed cab companies were operating in Cumming.
Tatum said there are four, including Country Cab and Advanced Taxi.
As a result of Mainard’s citation and a belief that "there are already enough licensed cab companies to take care of business [in the city]," Gravitt recommended the request be denied. Council agreed unanimously.