Apparently people in Forsyth want to slow down cars driving through their neighborhoods. City manager Janice Hall said on July 1 there has been an increase in requests for speed bumps, and council member Melvin Lawrence said he has gotten several calls asking for the city to install speed breakers.

“It’s kind of gotten out of hand. We need some guidelines,” said Lawrence. “They can’t do it everywhere.”

Hall said Blount Street is one place where speed bumps have been requested. She said she is not sure how well the speed bumps the city has installed in the last few months are working at slowing down traffic; some people have told her that drivers are going even faster after they get over the bumps. 

There is considerable expense for the city to install speed breakers, and there is more expense for the city to take up the speed bumps when neighbors decide they don’t like them and ask that they be removed. 

In other Council news:

• Council adopted guidelines for making proclamations at its July 1 meeting. Hall said the city needed an administrative policy to regulate who and what the city proclaimed.

“We have to get a handle on all we’re being asked,” said Hall. “We have to make sure it’s connected with the city.”

“It shouldn’t be just recommended every year,” said Mayor Eric Wilson. “A lot of cities have more formal procedures than we do.”

The new guidelines define a proclamation as a document that dedicates a day in Forsyth to honor a special event, cause or purpose, typically recognizing an event, significant achievements by a community member or increasing public awareness of a worthy cause. Proclamations will not be issued for anything with political controversy or for a family or class reunion; retirement; pastor, church or wedding anniversary; birthday; recreational event; conference; any deceased individual; any organizations without locally based chapters; or for non-residents of Forsyth. Letters of welcome or congratulations may be presented instead of proclamations. 

The Mayor’s Office will determine the type of document and may deny any request. 

“It needs to be something monumental,” said council member Greg Goolsby.

• Hall said Forsyth increased its spending on fireworks for July 3 this year from $6,000 to $10,000 to provide a 15-minute longer show. The city’s Independence Day celebration were held at Monroe County Recreation Department with fireworks beginning after dark, about 9:30 p.m. Activities began at 5 p.m. with vendors, inflatables and pony rides.

• The groundbreaking for Forsyth Dog Parks at the city’s Country Club Park will be on Friday, July 12. A ceremony honoring Glover Stuart at the American Legion Hall is tentatively planned for Monday, Aug. 5.

• There are two vacancies on the Forsyth Convention & Visitors Bureau board of directors, one for a representative of the hotel industry and one for a representative of the restaurant industry. Council member John Howard, who is on the CVB board, said Navid Kapadia is willing to serve on the board as the hotel representative. He has been working in the hospitality industry for 10 years and manages hotels in Forsyth.

• Council member Chris Hewett asked Hall for an update on building the new city hall. Hall said the architects are still working on asbestos abatement before the old building can be torn down to clear the site for the new city hall. She said the major source of asbestos is the silver paint on the building. She said she will try to get an update on July 3. 

Hewett asked for an update on the development on the site of the demolished Regency Hotel (near Exit 187). Hall said the developer is submitting plans and is coming to the city’s First Step meeting with city department heads soon. She said the developer has decided not to include a car wash because another company wants part of the parcel to develop. 

Hall said there were some issues as the developer took out the gas pumps because it left a huge hole  and a lot of rain at the time made the hole larger. 

In other business, Hewett said the city’s street department is doing a good job cutting grass, but there are some areas, such as where the culverts come together on Frontage Road, that don’t look good. Hewett asked if the street department can find a way to make these spots look better. At some places the problem is caused by the area crossing private property, but Hewett thinks property owners would be glad to cooperate to make it look better. He asked if the city can put a privacy fence where the city’s inventory and dumpster are to improve aesthetics. Hall said the city is putting gravel in that area for employee parking.