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City offers Christmas tree recycling
'Bring One For the Chipper' day set for Jan. 8
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Richmond Hill residents don’t have to throw away their Christmas trees this year.
Instead, they can recycle them into mulch and receive a new tree.
Richmond Hill will host “Bring One for the Chipper” day on Saturday, Jan. 8, in J.F. Gregory Park. A proclamation designating the day was signed during the city council’s regular council meeting Dec. 21.
Harvey Lashley, park and tree department director, said the New Year’s holiday moved the annual recycling event back this year. The first 250 people to recycle their Christmas trees will receive a red maple tree.
“Bring One for the Chipper” day is a statewide program in its 20th year, according to the Keep Georgia Beautiful website. After the trees are recycled, they are used as mulch.  
In other actions:
• The council approved a contract to let the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival use J.F. Gregory Park next year and in 2012. Some council members were concerned with the two-year commitment. But Mike Sisco, an organizer with the annual festival, said he was requesting to use the park two years in advance for planning and contractual purposes. In this economy, he explained, he’ll have to plan way out ahead of time for entertainment. 
• The council had a first reading of an ordinance to change some language in the city’s hotel/motel tax ordinance. City Manager Mike Melton explained that the city is still in compliance with state law and “some verbiage” in the ordinance needs to be changed.
“It doesn’t change anything we are doing,” he said.
• Planning and Zoning Director Steve Scholar told the council that two applications for a subdivision plat on Hwy. 17 was withdrawn from the agenda. 
• The 2011 capital fund and water/sewer budgets were adopted. The capital fund budget is about $1.134 million, and the water/sewer budget is $3.205 million. Finance Director Bob Whitmarsh also told the council that the city is under budget for this year.
• City hall will be closed Monday for the New Year’s holiday.

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