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Community News Sep 9th, 2020 - 09:32:29

Wi-Fi access downtown getting an upgrade, new health board member appointed.

By Dave Whitaker
Sep 9, 2020, 12:24

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Cochran City Council held their monthly meeting Tuesday night in the auditorium. As has been the case with previous meetings, it was closed to public attendance but streamed via Facebook Live. You can watch the video by going to

Connie Dupree was announced as City Employee of the Month. Introduced at the meeting was Cochran Police Officer Joshua Hasty, who was returning to the department.

Mayor Billy Yeomans read a proclamation declaring September 13-19 as National Assisted Living Facility Week. He thanked Bryant Health and Rehab Center as well as At Home Senior Living for their contributions to the community.

Council member Andrew Lemon had a motion to install speed bumps on Peter Street at the intersection of Peter and Sixth streets. Member Gary Ates suggested rumble strips would be more effective. Council voted to postpone action to gather more information.

An updated to the municipal code was passed. Council also passed adding hazard pay to public safety and public works employees through the next three pay periods.

Wi-Fi in downtown Cochran will be getting an upgrade as the council approved endorsing a $250,000 Middle Georgia State University grant application to the USDA for funds to improve access. It will provide public access points.

According to Downtown Development Authority Director Rusty Lloyd, the expanded Wi-Fi access will go from Ash Street, up Second Street, to Dykes Street “until we run out of money.” The grant will provide access for two years.

Council member Ates, City Manager Richard Newbern, and Public Works Director Willie Farrow were named to a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) advisory committee. John Roland was appointed to the Bleckley County Health Department board. He’ll replace Nikki Paulk, who according to Yeomans, resigned due to her job responsibilities changing.

During the comments portion of the meeting, Newbern provided updates on several matters including the Department of Natural Resources Grant that will be used for improvements to Willie Basby Park as well as the Havenwood Gardens/Havenwood Daisy Senior Apartments project being done with Earl Arnold. He said landscaping of city properties would begin soon, Dixie Landscaping was the low bidder.

Newbern also said they hoped to have an updated zoning ordinance to present in October or November, work on it had been delayed by COVID-19. He called on contracted engineer Skip Layton who provided an update on the slip lining and water works improvements.

In response to a question from Yeomans, Cochran Police Chief Jeff Trawick said no decision had been made in regard to Halloween trick or treating. Council member Keith Anderson inquired about a previous conversation regarding city attorney Leo Phillips not attending council meetings. Yeomans suggested council members should go to Phillips and talk to him about the matter.

In Yeoman’s final remarks, he reminded citizens to complete the census, to look after each other, and please take the coronavirus seriously.

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