News

Walker Fire Rescue & American Red Cross Plan Smoke Alarm Blitz

Rossville, GA – Walker County Fire Rescue and the American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia will be going door to door on February 2nd to improve fire safety in the Chattanooga Valley community.  Teams will be canvassing the Dry Valley Road area to install smoke alarms at no charge, conduct a home safety survey and identify potential hazards in the home.

Four people died in two unrelated fire incidents on Dry Valley Road last year.  Fire investigators did not find working smoke alarms in either home.

“Our greatest obstacle with our free smoke alarm program is getting people to sign up,” said Chief Blake Hodge.  “In my 25 year career, I have not worked a residential structure fire that resulted in serious injury or death, when there were operating smoke alarms present.  Smoke alarms save lives!”

Walker County launched a public service campaign last year that resulted in firefighters installing 228 smoke alarms.  Only 21 smoke alarms were installed in 2017.  “With over 68,000 residents, it’s important to diversify our communication efforts and approach, so this information gets to all our citizens,” added Chief Hodge.  “We hope by adding this one-day blitz, we can increase participation.”

Volunteer opportunities are available for community members who would like to be part of this home fire preparedness campaign.  To learn more or to register, contact the American Red Cross of Northwest Georgia at 706-728-3424 or email Carla Maton at carla.maton@redcross.org.

Any Walker County resident in need of free smoke alarms should contact Walker County Fire Rescue at 706-539-1255.

Eighth Community Forum Added to February Calendar

Lookout Mountain, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield added an additional community forum to next month’s calendar.  This brings the number of public outreach events in February to eight.

The additional community forum will take place at the Mountain Pleasant Community Center, 5270 GA-157 in Rising Fawn, on Monday, February 25th.

All eight forums will take place in different communities across the county, so residents can attend the one that is most convenient for them.  Each session will begin at 6:00 p.m. and feature a brief introduction, but the majority of each event will consist of public comment and discussion about what’s working well today, along with goals and opportunities for the future.

Community forums will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Monday, February 4 at Cedar Grove Community Center (5395 W Cove Road, Chickamauga)
  • Tuesday, February 5 at Rossville Civic Center (400 McFarland Avenue, Rossville)
  • Monday, February 11 at Armuchee Valley Community Center (11471 GA-136, LaFayette)
  • Monday, February 18 at LaFayette-Walker County Library (305 S Duke Street, LaFayette)
  • Tuesday, February 19 at Center Post Community Center (8125 GA-337, LaFayette)
  • Thursday, February 21 at Fairyland Elementary School (1306 Lula Lake Road, Lookout Mountain)
  • Monday, February 25 at Mountain Pleasant Community Center (5270 GA-157, Rising Fawn)
  • Tuesday, February 26 at Chickamauga Civic Center (1817 Lee Clarkson Road, Chickamauga)

 

Related Post: Whitfield to Hold Seven Community Forums in February

Walker County Extension Plans Egg, Chicken & Beef Events in February

LaFayette, GA – February will be a busy month for Extension Agents in Walker County.  The local UGA Extension office will play host to several classes and demonstrations for those interested in learning more about the growing and marketing process of chickens and cattle.

The events begin on February 12th with a Meat Fabrication Demonstration at the Walker County Ag Center on the Civic Center Campus.  Hailey Robinson will explain the different cuts of beef for wholesale and retail and show those in attendance how to cut those portions.  The cost for this class is $15.  This demonstration is part of a larger series of classes on Marketing Your Beef Locally.  For more information, call 706-278-8207.

On February 13th at the Walker County Ag Center, the Georgia Department of Agriculture will present an Egg Candling Class.  If you have a backyard flock and want to sell your eggs, you need an egg candling certificate.  This class will put you on that path.

Egg Candling is the process of examining an egg with light in a dark room to detect germ development.  This class is free and will be held four times: 8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.  To register, call 770-535-5955.

In the case of these classes, the egg comes before the chicken.  Walker County Extension will host a Backyard Flock Management Class on February 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Ag Center.  The class will review poultry breeds, feeds, needs, housing and other items of interest to be successful.  Call 706-638-2548 to register.

How Walker Works – Walker County Landfill

 

Along with household garbage and waste from construction and demolition sites, the Walker County Landfill accepts brush, tires, paper/plastic and other recyclable materials and metals.

Landfill Manager Paine Gily explained, “When they come to the scalehouse our scalehouse operators are going to ask the customer what are you bringing in? What do you have that you would like to dispose? And then based on what they tell our scalehouse operator, they will route them to the proper disposal area. And it’s just important that we not mix waste streams.”

Proper separation protects human health and the environment, and keeps materials that can be reused from taking up space in the landfill. It’s also necessary because some of the material brought to the landfill no longer stays on site.  Gily said, “At the transfer station, we will take the household waste and that’s food containers, food scraps, anything for consumption that has been thrown away… food wrappings, bottles, that type of thing. The type of stuff that you would generate in your kitchen or bathroom or living room and set out on the curb for the waste disposal service to pick up. We load that into tractor trailers and then those tractor trailers are taken to a large municipal solid waste landfill in north Alabama.”

The Walker County Landfill stopped storing household waste on site in 1998, but continues to isolate construction and demolition materials at this location. “And that involves bricks, wood, wall board, tile, ceramics, things like that,” added Gily.

And because it’s the law, residents are reminded to make sure items being brought to the landfill are property secured during transport. “Please tarp your loads, so that waste doesn’t blow off onto the roadsides on the way to the landfill,” urged Gily.

The Walker County Landfill is located at 5120 North Marble Top Road, near the Animal Shelter.  It’s open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except on major holidays. Cash, check, debit and credit cards are accepted as forms of payment.

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How Walker Works – Free Smoke Alarm Program

While most people associate Walker County Fire Rescue with fighting fires and emergency response, the department also actively works to prevent fires.  Regina Dorsey, Life & Fire Safety Educator said, “Because we want to save lives. That’s just the bottom line. We want to save property, but we want to save lives.”

Along with visits to schools and community events, building inspections and safety training for local businesses, this County department also offers a free smoke alarm program.  “We’re going to go out to your home. We’re going to do a home safety survey and we’re going to make sure you don’t have any hazards in your house and we’ll put up the smoke alarms that they need. It’s just that easy,” said Dorsey.

Smoke alarms are given out and installed for free.  There are no income restrictions.  You just have to make the call to receive a potentially life saving device.  Dorsey said, “If you need them, we will come install ours. If you have them, can afford to buy them and you have them, we’ll come install them for you. If you don’t need to climb on a ladder because you’re elderly, we’ll do that for you.”

In 2018, Walker County Fire Rescue worked 89 building fires.  Tragically, two of those incidents resulted in fatalities and fire investigators did not find working smoke alarms in those homes.  Dorsey added, “The ones we have are good for 10 years, they have a sealed battery. You don’t have to change the battery. All you have to do is push the button once a month and test them and make sure they are working. If your smoke alarms aren’t working, you may as well not have them.”

Walker County firefighters installed 228 smoke alarms in 2018.  If you need one, make the call, make the call — dial 706-539-1255.  The life you save may be your own.

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How Walker Works – Development Authority

Since the 1960’s, the Walker County Development Authority has worked to recruit and retain business and industry in our community.  Robert Wardlaw, Economic & Community Development Director sums it up like this, “We turn dirt into jobs, that is our mission… and jobs help families.”

The Development Authority consists of six members: one from LaFayette, one from Chickamauga, one from Rossville, one from the county and two at-large members.  While represented by the cities and county, the authority operates independently, as established by the state of Georgia.

Serving as the first point of contact, the Development Authority connects a prospective industry with available buildings and land, workforce data, permitting agencies and other community information.  “Property that would be owned by the Development Authority would certainly be marketable to prospective new businesses and also private landowners would contact us and ask us to put their property that would be suitable for industrial development into our database/inventory of available property,” explained Wardlaw.

The Development Authority is also the only entity in Walker County that can offer incentives, such as tax abatements, bond financing or free land, among other considerations.  Wardlaw said, “All of these things are carefully weighed to their appropriateness through what value is the prospective industry going to bring to the citizens of the county.”

The Development Authority holds public meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. at the Walker County Civic Center.

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Whitfield to Hold Seven Community Forums in Walker County in February

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield invites residents to share their ideas to start the New Year.  Whitfield will host a series of community forums in February to discuss what’s working well today, along with goals and opportunities for the future.

The forums will take place in seven different communities across the county, so residents can attend the one that is most convenient for them.  Each session will begin at 6:00 p.m. and feature a brief introduction, but the majority of each event will consist of public comment and discussion.

“Over the past two years, community input has led to enhancements in fire protection, updates to ordinances regulating animals and alcohol, safety upgrades on Nickajack Road, clean-up of blighted property and our annual tire amnesty day, among other improvements,” said Whitfield.  “I look forward to hearing about the topics important to folks in Walker County and their thoughts on how we can improve county services.”

Community forums will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Monday, February 4 at Cedar Grove Community Center (5395 W Cove Road, Chickamauga)
  • Tuesday, February 5 at Rossville Civic Center (400 McFarland Avenue, Rossville)
  • Monday, February 11 at Armuchee Valley Community Center (11471 GA-136, LaFayette)
  • Monday, February 18 at LaFayette-Walker County Library (305 S Duke Street, LaFayette)
  • Tuesday, February 19 at Center Post Community Center (8125 GA-337, LaFayette)
  • Thursday, February 21 at Fairyland Elementary School (1306 Lula Lake Road, Lookout Mountain)
  • Tuesday, February 26 at Chickamauga Civic Center (1817 Lee Clarkson Road, Chickamauga)

Sunday Alcohol Sales Now Legal in Walker County

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield signed off on an ordinance amendment last night giving local businesses the ability to sell alcoholic beverages on Sundays.

In November, voters approved two ballot measures addressing alcohol sales.  61% approved giving restaurants the ability to sell beer, wine and distilled spirits by the drink on Sundays between 11:00 a.m. and midnight.  62% voted to allow beer and wine sales at grocery and convenience stores on Sundays between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.

Walker County already allows on premise consumption (liquor by the drink) and package sales of beer and wine Monday through Saturday.  The change to the ordinance takes effect immediately, giving existing licensed businesses the green light to make sales on Sunday, December 30th.
Hours of sale in unincorporated Walker County (effective 12/28/18)

On premise consumption (restaurants):
Monday – Thursday – 8:00 a.m. to midnight
Friday – Saturday – 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
Sunday – 11:00 a.m. to midnight

Off premise sales (retail – grocery/convenience stores):
Monday – Saturday – 24 hours per day
Sunday – 12:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.