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September 2020
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As pandemic wanes, Ball Ground reopens with a "Bang!"

Ball Ground to hold fireworks display; Roberts Lake Park to open

 

fireworks

 

By Larry Cavender

Contributing writer 

 

The "Bang" in the headline should be taken literally and not figuratively because this Saturday night, June 27th, Ball Ground will hold their annual fireworks display as originally scheduled. 

Each year, the city "gets the jump" on July Fourth celebrations by traditionally holding their fireworks display on the Saturday before Independence Day, and Main Street Association Director Karla Weaver has confirmed the event will go on as planned. However, because of lingering concerns over COVID-19, all other events planned for this Saturday have been postponed including the Rocks the Park Concert featuring the ever-popular Fly Betty band.

Of course, the public is cordially invited to view the display and to come early and patronize the city's unique restaurants and shops before the fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m. The town's downtown businesses have reported a return to "brisk" business as residents have started to re-emerge.

 

Roberts Lake Park 

to open

 

In addition, only three days following the fireworks, on Tuesday, June 30th, the much-anticipated official opening of the new Roberts Lake Park hiking trail will be held. The trail was recently completed despite this year's excessive rainfall and pandemic concerns. This opening will fulfill City Manager Eric Wilmarth's promise the trail would open by June of this year.

 

Other Ball Ground 

updates

Ball Ground has been gradually reopening, and in the past couple of weeks, the community hosted several baseball tournaments as the athletic fields were again opened. The Ball Ground Garden Club also held another successful annual plant sale in the Botanical Garden recently.

Lingering coronavirus concerns were still evident at the most recent city council meeting, which was again held via tele-conferencing and made available to the public by Facebook and telephone connections. The council approved a number of items including a 2020-2021 operating budget. Among other notable business was an ordinance change which would allow beer and wine package sales by dine-in restaurants if they are in compliance with the city code.

A new sign ordinance was passed to establish requirements for "the placement, installation, and maintenance" of signs including permanent and temporary displays. Other business included approval of a municipal services agreement with the county marshal's office, adoption of county building code regulations, and the adoption of a county animal services agreement.

One item was tabled, the consideration of a 13.1 percent increase in the 2020 property tax millage rate. Because of the rate increase, a public hearing is required and will be held at a later date.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the council is scheduled for Thursday, July 9th, and city officials hope that by that time, council chambers will once again be open to the public for the meeting.