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The Local Agenda: Gainesville to cast 1st vote on water rates increase
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Gainesville City Council will meet today to cast a first vote on whether to raise water rates 1 percent next year.

Public Utilities Director Kelly Randall said the increase would generate between $250,000 and $300,000 in revenue.

But in discussion during a work session last week, council members appeared split on whether to approve the increase or keep rates unchanged.

City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. in the municipal courtroom at the Gainesville Justice Center, 701 Queen City Parkway.

Severe weather warning system test scheduled for Wednesday morning

Hall County will conduct an audible test of the severe weather warning system about 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The sirens will sound for approximately three minutes. This is only a test.

However, sound tests will not be conducted if there is a severe weather watch or warning in effect for Hall County.

The tornado sirens are tested using the wail alert tone once every three months.

Hall County’s warning system is tested silently at 9 a.m. every morning.

Officials will also test the emergency mass notification system, which notifies residents about severe weather, fires, floods, toxic environmental issues and in-process violent crimes within minutes.

Messages can be sent to individuals via cellphone, landline, email, text message and more.

To sign up or learn more, visit

Oakwood’s Stan Brown to serve on Georgia Municipal Association council

Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown has been appointed to the Georgia Municipal Association’s Member Services Advisory Council.

The council provides feedback to GMA staff on services needed to help cities operate more effectively and efficiently.

“Stan brings great knowledge of city operations and needs to this group,” GMA Executive Director Lamar Norton said in a statement. “We appreciate him participating in the council and the role it will play in defining the future of GMA and cities.”

The GMA is a nonprofit organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and technical assistance services to its 521 member cities.

Hall County rebranding continues with unveiling of new promotional video

Hall County has unveiled a new promotional video, highlighting the area’s natural resources, businesses, schools and universities, and more.

The video features Georgia Poultry Federation President Emeritus Abit Massey, Northeast Georgia Medical Center CEO Carol Burrell, Lake Lanier Islands Chief Operating Officer Grier Todd, Hall County Administrator Randy Knighton, members of the Hall County Board of Commissioners and Gov. Nathan Deal.

Hall County officials said the video will help in marketing and tourism efforts.

The promotional video is part of a larger rebranding effort, which includes the recent redesign of the county’s logo and a new slogan, “We have it all in Hall.”

Democrat Vogel holding public meeting tonight

Democrat David Vogel is hosting a public forum at 6:30 p.m. today at the Gainesville Civic Center.

The Ninth Congressional District candidate, who will face incumbent Republican Doug Collins in the general election this November, will discuss his economic platform and answer questions from attendees.

The civic center is at 830 Green St.

Joshua Silavent covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him: