City changes cold weather shel­ter pol­icy, zon­ing change sought for el­der care

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Sean Wil­liams [email protected]­

With tem­per­a­tures drop­ping and in­clement weather al­ways pos­si­ble, Rock­mart’s city coun­cil of­fi­cially an­nounced new in­ci­dent re­sponse plan for those who have no where else to go and are stuck out­doors.

The new guide­lines seek to min­i­mize dam­age and shel­ter those in need and were cre­ated as a sub­sti­tute when the group’s pre­vi­ous plan of us­ing the Hogue Av­enue gym­na­sium was deemed a li­a­bil­ity threat.

“The is­sue was tabled at my re­quest,” City Man­ager Jeff El­lis said. “We took the past month to ask the at­tor­ney’s of­fice for a le­gal opin­ion, and we also asked the Ge­or­gia Mu­nic­i­pal As­so­ci­a­tion to give us an in­sur­able po­si­tion re­gard­ing it. The com­mit­tee met, the staff met, and it was our unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to not al­low the use of the fa­cil­ity-- there­fore we wrote two emer­gency op­er­a­tion plans. The one (ad­vice) that stuck the most was the le­gal opin­ion of the city’s at­tor­ney of­fice.”

In­stead, the op­er­a­tional plans are shared with com­mu­nity part­ners pri­mar­ily churches - who have agreed to co­or­di­nate with the city and of­fer shel­ter or aid to those in need.

The coun­cil will also pay rel­e­vant staff to be ac­tive with said part­ners dur­ing emer­gency sit­u­a­tions.

The plans are al­ready in place, but shel­ter will be of­fered only in ex­treme bouts of weather or nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

In other coun­cil busi­ness for De­cem­ber, op­tions for el­der care in Rock­mart might soon ex­pand if zon­ing changes are ap­proved.

Busi­ness Fo­cal HomeCare is at­tempt­ing to open an adult day care cen­ter, and the com­pany re­quested an amend­ment that would al­low them to rent the city’s for­mer health coun­cil needs only to adopt de­part­ment build­ing at 320 the or­di­nance amend­ment Wa­ter St. be­fore the busi­ness is

If the change is not al­lowed to op­er­ate within op­posed in a forth­com­ing the city lim­its. pub­lic hear­ing dur­ing the Those in­ter­ested in the first meet­ing of the New fu­ture of the doc­u­ment Year, the amend­ment could are urged to at­tend the pave the way for more up­com­ing Rock­mart se­nior as­sis­tance. meet­ing.

“Fo­cal HomeCare would A zon­ing amend­ment like to rent the for­mer wouldn’t be the only change health de­part­ment build­ing com­ing to Rock­mart in and op­er­ate an adult day 2019. care for se­niors 55 and The coun­cil ap­proved a older from 7 a.m. through slew of new ap­point­ments 7 p.m.,” De­part­ment of to the Rock­mart Cul­tural Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Arts Cen­ter Ad­vi­sory Di­rec­tor Stacey Smith Com­mit­tee in­clud­ing El­lis said. “Mr. (Jeff) El­lis and as a re­turn­ing mem­ber as I dis­cov­ered there is not a the city man­ager, Bruce def­i­ni­tion that would ap­ply Bell for Li­a­son, James Hill to that type of busi­ness, so for vis­ual arts, Mar­garet Fo­cal HomeCare re­quested Ja­cobs for per­form­ing arts, we amend our zon­ing to Donna Duff for lit­er­ary in­clude adult day­cares in arts, Mar­garet Bear­den what­ever zone we found for ed­u­ca­tion, and Cathy ad­mis­si­ble.” Matthews for busi­ness.

The group found the Those in­ter­ested in busi­ness­coul­d­op­er­ateasa at­tend­ing Rock­mart con­di­tional use in C-2 and meet­ings can visit city hall C-3 ar­eas be­fore agree­ing to on the sec­ond Tues­day of ad­ver­tise a pub­lic hear­ing. each month be­gin­ning at

If un­con­tested, the 7 p.m.

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