By Luke Hearn
The Richmond Hill City Council passed out awards at their meeting Tuesday, recognizing some of the city’s most artistic youth and top employees.
Mallory McGee of Richmond Hill was given an award by the city for being the state winner in the "If I Were Mayor…" essay contest, beating out over 5,000 other contestants from across Georgia.
"Mallory, I read you essay every morning," said Mayor Richard Davis, telling her he could learn from her essay. "We’re very proud of Mallory."
The council also awarded certificates and trophies to the winners of the city’s essay contest, which was part of the Georgia Cities Week festivities. Those recognized at the meeting were second runner-up Bradley Seuntjens, first runner-up Michelle Todd and first place winner Chelsea Cerame.
The winners of the city’s art contest, also part of last week’s festivities, were third place winner Lukas Takcas, second place winner Blake Neal and first place winner Gwendolyn Leahy.
The city also recognized their employees of the year. These winners were announced at a luncheon for city employees last week but were recognized again before the council. Lt. Leslie Barto was the city’s employee of the year in the public safety area; C.J. Richards won the award for the public works area; and Nicole Williams was named employee of the year for the area of general government.
City employee Ursula Lee was also recognized for serving the city for twenty years.
"I started when I was three," she joked after receiving her award.
In other news:
-The council approved a request from Police Chief Billy Reynolds to purchase two additional police cars under a lease-purchase.
-Rick Lauer, director of the city’s public works department reported 57 tons of trash was picked up in the city during clean-ups last week.
-The council gave approval to city manager Mike Melton to enter into agreements regarding a water line extension on Highway 17 north.
-Local developer Johnny Murphy addressed the council, telling them he was being treated differently than others building in the city limits. Steve Scholar, the city’s director of planning and zoning, said the city treats everyone the same.
In regard to planning and zoning issues, the council:
-Approved a request from Alf Hartley for a variance on a side setback on one side of his lot on Highway 17.
-Approved a request from Ronald Higgins for a variance on a minimum setback on his lot on Avalon Street.
-Approved a request for page printing for a conditional use for property on Longwood Boulevard for a sign printing company and approved the site plan and building evaluations for a new office building for the company on Longwood Drive.
-Approved a request from Tony Hickman for site plans and building elevations for a proposed office/warehouse on Longwood Drive.
-Approved a request from Bill Trout to amend his original site plans for the Station Xchange.
-Approved alcoholic beverage license requests from Victor Pisano for his restaurant in the Station Xchange, from Bonnie Proctor on behalf of the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival and from Frank Glazer for his restaurant to open on Ford Avenue.
-Denied a request from Martha Stefanick to annex six acres of land located southwest of Dutchtown subdivision into the city limits.