VALDOSTA -- The city officially received two grants for the upcoming Jimmy Carter Work Project at Thursday's City Council meeting.

The state awarded a total of $1.1 million to help the city build 30 homes as part of the annual Habitat for Humanity event, which will be held June 8-14, 2003.

A total of 50 homes will be built on the site, located between Forrest Street and Park Avenue. The first 20 homes will be built as "warmups" for the big event.

The city received an $800,000 Community Development Block Grant and a $300,000 Community HOME Investment Program grant to help with site preparation, material costs and other expenses associated with the project such as extending water and sewer infrastructure.

City officials expect the event to be a huge economic generator given the number of people who traditionally attend the events. As much as $2 million could be pumped into local coffers for the week-long build.

In other business, Council:

Recognized state tennis winners from the Valdosta*Lowndes Recreation and Parks Department;

Recognized Sgt. Jo Ann Rofolowitz and Sgt. Eugene Bell of the Valdosta Police Department as employees of the month;

Voted 5-2 to deny a special exception request from Jerald Howard to establish a beauty shop in a Residential-Professional zoning district on East Adair Street. Councilmen Sonny Vickers and Dexter Sharper voted to approve the request;

Unanimously approved an ordinance annexing and rezoning .8832 acres along North Valdosta Road from Highway Commercial in the county to Highway Commercial in the city. The request was made by Fennis Miller;

Unanimously approved a request from Antonio and Kathy Harrington to rezone 0.21 acres on Lake Park Road from Multifamily Residential to Community Commercial for the construction of a flower shop;

Unanimously approved a request from Bellemeadow LLC to rezone 15.072 acres along Country Club Road from Single-Family Residential to Planned Residential Development and Planned Professional Development for the placement of a 60-unit residential subdivision and an eight-unit professional development;

Unanimously approved a request for a special exception from Katherine Califf to establish a group day care facility in a Single-Family Residential zoning district along West Cranford Avenue, and capped the total number of children at 16;

Tabled, by a 5-2 vote, an ordinance to annex and rezone 17.489 acres from Highway Commercial in the county to Highway Commercial in the city. Councilmen J.R. Sessions and Robert Yost voted against the motion to table;

Unanimously tabled a proposed text amendment to create an Inner Perimeter Road overlay district;

Unanimously voted to set the city's tax rate at 4.63 mills for the 2002 fiscal year;

Unanimously approved a request from Bellemeadow LLC for a variance to the city subdivision ordinance to allow a 40-foot right-of-way and 10-foot utility easement, rather than the standard 50-foot right-of-way;

Unanimously voted to deny a request to close Second Avenue at Brown's Canal;

Unanimously approved a request to authorize the city manager to execute utility company agreements for utility relocations associated with the city's traffic fiber installation project, and

Unanimously approved $29,759.45 for an upgrade to the Gil Harbin Industrial Boulevard rail crossing in conjunction with Valdosta Railway.

To contact reporter Bill Roberts, please call 244-3400, ext. 245.

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