City of Hiawassee approves first reading of small cell ordinance


HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Hiawassee City Council held the first reading of a “Small Cell Ordinance” Sept. 3, gaining  unanimous approval. On April 26, Governor Brian Kemp signed into law the Streamlining Wireless Facilities and Antennas Act. The law is scheduled to go into effect Oct. 1.

The legislature is designed to make it simplier for wireless broadband antennas to be installed along public right-of-ways. The law requires wireless companies to seek approval from cities before being allowed to affiix them. The act is designed to help pave the way for the implementation of 5G wireless communication networks in the future. Additional antennas will be necessary to transmit the amount of data that a network will require. According to the wireless organization Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, these transmitters will also capable of supporting mid-band and high-band spectrum frequencies, in addition to the more traditional low-band spectrum frequencies. As mid- and high-band waves cannot travel as far as low-band waves, a need will arise to place the antennas more densely than the large towers currently forming the backbone of wireless networks.


Small cellular network transmitters can range in size.

“Over the last few years, the wireless industry has actively pursued state legislation enacted to constrain the broad authority of local governments over the deployment of wireless small cell equipment in public right-of-way,” National Law Review explains. “These state laws usually limit the authority of local governments to decide where wireless small cell equipment can be installed in the right-of-way; limit the time for action on applications to install small cell equipment; and limit the amounts that can be charged for applications and use of the right-of-way,”

The second reading and adoption of the Small Cell Ordinance, along with a second reading of an UNITI Registration Ordinance which also deals with the city right-of-ways, is expected prior to Oct. 1.

Feature Image: (L-R) Hiawassee City Council members Patsy Owens, Nancy Noblet, Amy Barrett, Kris Berrong, and Anne Mitchell.



Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

Commissioner Bradshaw to take highway safety concerns to Governor Kemp

Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw plans to take the fight for a center-turning lane on U.S. 76, west of Hiawassee, to Atlanta next week where the commissioner will meet with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and State Department of Transportation (DOT) Director Russell McMurry to discuss the pertinent topic. Bradshaw has persistently pushed for the lane addition since taking office, campaigning on a promise to make Towns County’s main highway safer for motorists.

Bradshaw’s decision to press the issue at the State Capitol came prior to the recent death of Randy Barnes Sr., a Hiawassee motorcyclist who lost his life following an Aug. 13 accident in the area of highest safety concern, the stretch of roadway in the vicinity of Papa’s Pizza.

Commissioner Bradshaw

Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw

“I’m going to plead our case,” Commissioner Bradshaw told FYN on Tuesday. “It’s a life or death situation. It causes great concern and getting something done is a promise that I plan to keep. We’re going to the top and we’re going to push hard.”

According to district research conducted by the Department of Transportation, the task of widening the highway could prove to be a difficult feat. With Lake Chatuge bordering U.S. 76 to the north, and steep embankments on the southern slope, issues with construction logistics were cited by the department in April 2018. While it may be possible to install turning lanes in critical areas, a continuous stretch of center roadway may not be feasible. “We’ll be happy with that, but that’s not what we want,” Bradshaw said.

Citizens continued to speak out on the danger surrounding the portion of highway in question, following the recent fatality, taking to social media to make their concerns known.

UPDATED, Aug. 26: Tomorrow’s meeting between Commissioner Bradshaw and Governor Kemp has been postponed due to a funeral that the governor will attend. Bradshaw reported that the meeting will soon be rescheduled.

Related Archive:

Community demands turning lane on Highway 76


Robin H. Webb

Robin can be reached by dialing 706-487-9027 or contacted via email at --- News tips will be held in strict confidence upon request.

House Rep. Matt Gurtler continues fight for concealed gun rights

News, Politics
Rep. Matt Gurtler

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – District 8 House Representative Matt Gurtler returned to Atlanta last week to serve his second-term as a state legislator, continuing to push for House Bill 2, also known as Constitutional Carry, an edict which would make the Georgia Weapons License (GWL) optional for law-abiding Georgia residents.

Gurtler believes that with the help of newly-elected Governor Brian Kemp, a Second Amendment proponent who has shown support for Constitutional Carry in the past, that Georgia can join the list of numerous states who have passed bills in favor of the measure.

FYN Matt Gurtler

A clip from a segment featuring Rep. Matt Gurtler

“If you would still like to get your GWL you can still do so and have reciprocity with other states. This bill, in effect, will keep Georgians from having to pay a tax on a right that is given to them by the Second Amendment,” Gurtler explained, “On Thursday morning, I, along with Colton Moore from District 1, spoke about our continued need for support and signatures from fellow House members to help push this bill along.”

Furthermore, Gurtler plans to meet with Governor Kemp in coming weeks to discuss House Bill 4, a plan to itemize divisions within the state budget. “This bill would divide our budgeting process into 49 separate departments, making both the House and the Senate responsible for voting on each individual department in order to make any changes,” Gurtler stated.

According to the Georgia General Assembly, both bills remain in prefiled status without co-sponsors.

Representative Gurtler affirms that he will continue to relay information to residents in District 8.

“I want to continue to be as accessible and transparent with (the citizens) as I possibly can. This includes access to myself, information regarding each of my votes, and an explanation of why I voted ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on any particular bill,” Gurtler avowed.

Legislative Day 5 convenes at 10:00 am, Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.


UPDATED: Jan. 22, 2019 @ 1659


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Robin H. Webb

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