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Council OKs sign variance for Verizon
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After tabling twice a request from Verizon Wireless, the Richmond Hill City Council unanimously approved Tuesday an amended variance request for signage at the business in Richmond Place Village.

Having come from its original variance request of 185 square feet down to just 78 square feet, Planning Director Steve Scholar noted during the council’s called meeting in city hall that Verizon was trying to work with the city.

“They have come down more than 50 percent from their original request,” he said.

With little discussion, council member Marilyn Hodges moved to approve the request and member Russ Carpenter gave the second.

The proposed store at 70 Exchange St. will have one sign of 72 square feet facing Ford Avenue and a second sign of 40.8 square feet facing Exchange Street for a total of 112.8 square feet of signage.

That’s down from the 210 square feet the company had originally hoped for but 78 square feet more than the 36 square feet allowed by city ordinance.

The council tabled Verizon’s application twice before due to concerns for the requested size of the signs.

In other business, the council unanimously approved a $1,339,000 contract with Southern Champion Construction for pump station rehabilitation and upgrades.

The work is part of the city’s wastewater treatment plant upgrade and expansion project and is being paid for by a $1.8 million loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority.

The city was approved for the loan earlier this year, and about $700,000 of the $1.8 million will be forgiven, according to City Manager Mike Melton.

The bid from Southern Champion Construction was the lowest of five. Three bids hovered at just more than $1.5 million, while the highest bid was more than $1.9 million.

Also during the called meeting:

- The council unanimously approved finalizing a conservation easement with the Georgia Land Trust for about 270 acres inside the walking trail at J.F. Gregory Park.

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