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Loganville PD gives back to community

LOGANVILLE — Police chief Mike McHugh recognized his department’s officers Thursday evening, thanking them for their fundraising efforts benefiting the county’s Special Olympics program. “In the spring, we started plans to benefit Special Olympics,” McHugh stated, referring to a new 5K run begun by the officers in 2013.

The chief then presented a check for $4,200 to Janice Tribble, longtime event organizer for Special Olympics. “We really appreciate what you do, and I just wish it could be more,” McHugh told Tribble, who cried with appreciation when she received the check.

The 5K run is planned to be an annual event that will benefit Special Olympics.

D.A.R.E. officers recognized

During the same Thursday council meeting, McHugh enlisted the help of mayor Dan Curry and councilman Rey Martinez to honor the city’s School Resource Officers, who also serve as the city’s D.A.R.E. officers, for their investment in the youth of the city. DARE, or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, is really a character development program,” Sgt. Dustin Peterson said.

“This is the last D.A.R.E. program in the county,” said Lt. Joseph Cantrell, another School Resource Officer and D.A.R.E. volunteer. “Unfortunately, it’s an expensive program to run, and there are no public funds for it.”

The officers and volunteers started a new initiative this year at Halloween, one that coincided with the sixth annual Loganville Fright Trail at Loganville High School. The officers volunteered their time and talents for about a week, building a bunker for “Walkers in the Woods: A Zombie Apocalypse.” Using a creative scenario in which those wishing to escape the zombies had to pay a $5 evacuation tax, the officers raised $6,500 to infuse back into the program.

“The program works. We know just about every teenager in this city, and that makes a difference,” Peterson said.

Zoning variance granted

The city council Thursday granted a variance request for the builders constructing Birchwood Place subdivision. The applicant, J.R. Homes of Alabama, requested relief from the zoning requirement dictating materials to be used on the exteriors of the homes. Specifically, the builder asked to use concrete fiberboard on exterior elevations, rather than more expensive brick. The downturn of the housing market and subsequent lowering of home prices was the reason given for the request.

Council members voted unanimously to approve the variance, noting that the one request is the only relief for which the builder has asked.

The houses in Birchwood Place will each be a minimum of 2,000 square feet and will be comparable in appearance to the houses in neighboring Laurel Mist subdivision.

Leak adjustment policy approved

Public Utilities Committee Chairman and councilman Jay Boland presented a citywide policy change Thursday, changing the way water customers will be charged for water leaks in their homes and on their property. Effective immediately, the city will charge customers the wholesale rate instead of the retail rate for excessive water use in the event of a leak on the customer’s side, not the city’s.

“We’re doing this to show that we’re more customer friendly,” said Chris Yancey, Loganville’s Public Utilities Director.