Don Daniel

Well, the pollution of wells down in the Juliette area is back in the news with renewed emphasis that Plant Scherer’s ash ponds are still seeping even more pollutants into the area’s well water. The “news” that it still is polluting has again made news via the internet, Macon and Atlanta television, several national newspapers and again riling the residents because the conclusion is that nothing has been done to stop the polluting from the nation’s largest coal fired power generating plant.

I want to go back to somewhere in the mid -70’s around 1973 when rumors were confirmed about all the secretive land buying by Georgia Power. The rumor was that the company was going to build its first nuclear powered generating plant. Seriously! I made sure the announcement of the plant and how it was going to be “rumor powered” were on the front page of the newspaper I owned, this one.

Georgia Power’s public relations team flooded into Monroe and surrounding counties assuring everybody, including a couple of preachers who had alluded to the “nuclear , atom generating, glowing in the dark, body deforming” multi-million-dollar plants, was emphatically not going to be atom powered. 

There were sighs of local relief and praise as the company’s PR efforts paid off, totally convincing us it was not going to be nuclear power.  Hundreds of workers flooded into the area to construct the coal fired power plant. There was total support since Monroe County’s economy was caught in the throes of a downturn. Marvin Bowdoin’s store down in Juliette became “Georgia Power Central” selling more beer, sausage and steaks than any other store in Monroe and cashing the employee’s checks, which were higher than the local paychecks.

Georgia Power was so proud of the plant they named it for the company’s president, Robert W. Scherer. He and I became friends, he and I visiting each other’s homes and to a degree social friends. 

Simply stated, we were having a “love-fest” with Georgia Power. No nuclear, just plain old black smutty coal being burned to generate turning-on lights electricity. And the best part, Georgia Power was having to pay us for burning the coal, adding a tremendous cash cow to our county tax base keeping our personal county taxes low and just adding money to our tax coffers to grow and expand county services. We still receive a multi-million dollar tax check from the plant’s owners every tax season.

Was it all worth it?  Have the plant owners been negligent by causing a health hazard to the area and possibly to South Georgia’s aquafer? I will have to say yes they have but I have no idea how they are going to correct it and neither do they. How paying landowners, residents for the polluting and health hazard will again, as I wrote earlier, take as long as the county line issue.

A footnote to this with a question: why hasn’t the county run water lines to the area? It was discussed many commissioners ago. I close on this comment with the comment that was made at the Forsyth City Council: “We are notorious for talking about something and then forgetting about it”. 

REMEMBER A couple of years ago when Walmart announced they were going to build a “Super Walmart” but agreed they would not put in gas pumps? The talk around the city, Walmart agreed not to be in gas pumps business as a condition of the city approving building. That was the story.

Think  back another couple of years: Ingles was given a building and gas pump approval with the thinking, Ingles offering gas will bring gas prices down. Yeah!

Now we are hearing the same talk from the Juliette  Saturday morning “breakfast club” and the Waffle House Mafia. QT is going to cause all gas stations in Forsyth to have cheaper gas prices. Yeah! We have already heard gas prices will be lower when the multi-multi pump station and Zaxby’s opens. Yeah!

“OVERCOMER” was the title of the movie shown at Paran Baptist Church, sadly no correct answers. So here are the questions for this week: who was named by the Forsyth-Monroe County Chamber of Commerce as the county’s Citizen of The Year? First correct answer after 12 noon on Thursday gets the certificate for a dozen Dunkin Donuts, Dairy Queen Blizzard, single scoop of ice cream from Scoops, slice of Shoney’s strawberry pie, Whistle Stop fried green tomato appetizer, slice of Jonah’s pizza and a Forsyth Main street t-shirt.

FORSYTH’S MAYOR likes to brag that there are 66 parking spaces in downtown Forsyth. What he can’t admit, just like Friday and Saturday night, downtown needed 66 plus more for parking. Saturday night The Rose Theater was having a performance, The Arts Alliance was having a show, Minori’s was open for dinner, Grits was full, Pickled Okra was having entertainment, Jonah’s Pizza was packed, over at the Bluetick the power and lights were’/are still off..

It is great seeing the investment(s) that are attracting local, visitors and foreigners to downtown. 

ASK A Forsyth City Council member or County Commissioner if they learned anything when they attended an “escape” to some out of county/city function billing the taxpayers for their escape from the citizens they supposedly serve;  You will get the unequivocal answer, “we learned a lot” but they don’t say thank you for paying for  it. 

Here’s what the city council “learned”: the city council doesn’t have to allow public comments at their regular meetings. And, those such elected wonder why citizens have no confidence or respect in them and often wonder what they are attempting to hide. Obviously hiding from the citizens. I can hear their comments, “you all are invited. We ain’t stopping you!”

May I suggest, go back to last week’s paper and read Diane Glidwell’s Guest Column. Will, run it again. Very reliable comments with the headline “Council retreats----from its constituents” on page 5A. Obviously, after a Councilman’s profanity laden diatribe and supported by two other council members, that is what they learn at Georgia Municipal Association training conference which taxpayers pay for.

PLEASE LET the attempt at a Democratic Party impeachment be over. Did you watch and listen to President Trump’s State of the Union Speech? Reported, Nancy Pelosi invited illegal aliens to the State of the Union. President Trump invited victims of illegal aliens to the State of the Union. 

Don Daniel is the founder and former publisher of The Monroe County Reporter. Email him at tullaybear@bellsouth.net  to answer The Question or make a comment. Don’t forget to listen to The Reporter On The Radio on Majic 100 Sunday mornings at 7.