Lula got a new city councilman on Monday evening.
Matt Hamby was sworn in by City Clerk Rosemary Totty.
The Georgia Secretary of State’s office was expected to certify the election results Wednesday, the day after the election had been scheduled. However, because only Hamby qualified for the position, the city was able to cancel the election and allow Hamby to serve on the Council.
Hamby was joined by his family at Monday’s meeting and said he is looking forward to serving.
“I’m honored to serve. … I’m just thankful for family to come and witness the swearing-in, and those that are here,” Hamby said. “I look forward to serving, and I hope I can be a good team member to the Council and add some value.”
Hamby will be replacing Vince Evans, who resigned in August. Hamby is the deputy chief financial officer for the city of Gainesville and has lived in Lula for about 12 years.
Because the election has not been finalized, Hamby was not able to cast any votes yet on Monday.
Trails at Wellness Park
The Council also approved about $118,000 in funding for new trails at Wellness Park on Monday.
Square Deal Enterprises, based in Sautee Nacoochee, placed the lowest bid for the project.
City Manager Dennis Bergin said the project could start within the next few weeks. The new trails will connect to the existing path and wind around the park’s outdoor classroom.
Bergin said the city will be reimbursed up to 80 percent of the costs after the project is done, through a grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
All councilmembers in attendance Monday voted in favor of the funding. Councilman Marvin Moore was absent, and Mayor Jim Grier said Moore was recovering from surgery.
Development authority approved
All present councilmembers also approved a resolution to establish a development authority that would cover Lula’s water and sewer service area.
The Georgia General Assembly will now have to approve the authority as well. Lula already has a development authority that just covers the downtown area.
Development authorities can buy, lease or sell property, issue bonds, and apply for grants or loans.
Lula will appoint five members for the authority, and Hall County will appoint two.