Timing is everything.
Cobb Chairman Mike Boyce and other members of the Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority members were out in Denver earlier this week attending the American Water Works Association Conference. It was at this point in time, while Cobb’s water expertise was 1,400 miles away, that a 36-inch water line chose to break early Tuesday, prompting Cobb County to issue its first boil water advisory in memory.
“Talk about true irony,” Boyce told the MDJ Friday. “I was there learning about pipes and surges … butterfly valves. I’ve been on this board since I came into office by virtue of my elected position, and the first two years I didn’t go out (to this conference). Last year, it was in Las Vegas, and I told people, ‘You’ll never see this chairman in Las Vegas for anything.’ But this year it was Denver and it was advertised as a convention where you need to learn about a lot of things we talk about in the board meetings.”
“There were some huge pipes there,” the chairman exclaimed.
“I’m not a water guy,” he admitted, “so I thought after two years, this is something I ought to go to and learn about.”
The broken pipe had been noted in a May 21 report as needing repairs or replacement. Thin spots are detected by robots that travel the lines via water flow and determine the thickness of the pipe’s wall, Boyce said. Located near Maner and Plant Atkinson roads in the far eastern part of Cobb County, the line was buried in an area with particularly “corrosive soils.” A permanent fix is estimated to cost between $100,000 and $200,000, but the county is also considering repairs to about 1,200 feet of pipe in the surrounding area.
Relocation or repair of that length of pipe, equivalent to close to a quarter of a mile, could bring a price tag between $500,000 and $1 million.
“It’s hard for me to imagine that a pipe that has only been in the ground for 10 years would be so corroded because of the nature of the soil that you’ve got to replace those pipes, because that’s a million-dollar job,” Boyce said.
Tuesday’s boil water advisory that affected areas of south Cobb was lifted just before midday Wednesday and is believed to be the first such warning for county water customers in at least 30 years. The advisory was issued as a precaution, and test results ultimately showed no contamination to Cobb’s water supply from the water line break and subsequent repair
“Hopefully that won’t happen again,” Boyce said, “but I just think it’s important to realize that you’re going to have bad days, and you just have to own them and do the best you can to make sure the health and safety of the public is not impacted.”
CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT? The Miss Georgia Scholarship Competition is in full swing in Columbus and Miss Cobb County Alexa Gilomen is already taking home a trophy.
On Thursday night, Gilomen wowed the audience while singing “Lovesong” by The Cure, securing her title as the preliminary talent winner. Gilomen competed in her on-stage interview on Friday. The new Miss Georgia — perhaps Gilomen? — will be crowned tonight.
Gilomen has been tireless in her duties as Miss Cobb County over the past year, making more than 50 volunteer appearances, and continues her duties as the digital marketing strategist for Marietta’s RE/MAX PURE office.
The final night and crowning of the new Miss Georgia starts at 7 tonight and can be watched live at https://www.wrbl.com/watch-live.
Alexa, know Cobb is rooting for you to bring home the crown. With talent being 50 percent of the overall score, you’re halfway home.
WEDDING BELLS ... AT THE LIBRARY? When William Tanks and Lee Ann Jean were looking to “book” a wedding venue … they took that job literally. Tanks, Cobb’s public services agency director, wed Lee Ann Jean, an employee with Cobb County Public Safety on Friday ... at a library.
Among the departments Tanks oversees is the county library system, so the venue for Friday’s wedding could not have been better — the Sewell Mill Library and Cultural Center. The private ceremony for the couple featured the traditional wedding accouterments, from the cake to the tossing of the bouquet and garter, dancing and the sendoff of the bride and groom.
The couple met on the job when Tanks previously worked at the Cobb Fire Department, from which he retired after 26 years. Tanks was brought back to the county to head public services in April of last year.
The wedding was a first for the Sewell Mill facility.
COBB FILLS THE BAR: Why the State Bar of Georgia feels it necessary to leave the state to elect its officers is another question for another day. Regardless, Cobb County ruled at the group’s annual meeting last weekend in Orlando.
Darrell Sutton of the Sutton Law Group in Marietta was installed as the 57th president of the 50,000-member bar. Sutton, who operates a civil litigation practice, is a former member and past chair of the Cobb County Board of Ethics and is a board member of the Georgia Legal Services Foundation, the Cobb Justice Foundation and Lawyers for Equal Justice. A native of Marietta, Sutton is a graduate of Berry College and earned his J.D. degree from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. He and his wife Meredith have two children, Louise and Wilson.
Attorney Dawn M. Jones, a resident of Cobb County and managing member of The Firm of Dawn M. Jones LLC in Atlanta, was installed as president-elect of the group.
Jones’ plaintiff-focused personal injury law practice includes medical negligence, wrongful death, motor vehicle collisions, serious slip and falls, and nursing home abuse and negligence matters. Jones, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, is a graduate of the Georgia State University College of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of Georgia in 2000. Prior to pursuing her law degree, she worked for 14 years as a critical care registered nurse in various hospital intensive care unit settings. Jones will be sworn in as the 58th president of the State Bar of Georgia in June 2020.
Marietta native Elissa B. Haynes, a partner in Goodman McGuffey LLP’s Atlanta office, was installed as treasurer of the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) of the State Bar.
A resident of Chamblee, Haynes earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and her law degree from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.
MEDALS OF MERIT: Congressman Barry Loudermilk and his chief of staff, Rob Adkerson, were among those receiving the Medal of Merit from the U.S. Capitol Police. The department’s highest honor was awarded for actions taken two years ago when on June 14, 2017, a man driven by political divisiveness opened fire on Republican Congressmen and staff members as they practiced for their annual charity baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia.
“There were many acts of courage at the field that day, from law enforcement, our teammates, and others. This recognition brought back so many emotions I haven’t felt for a while,” said Loudermilk, whose 6th district includes all of Bartow and Cherokee counties and portions of Cobb and Fulton counties.