No Through Trucks on Main Street
An ordinance to prohibit “through trucks” on Main Street was voted on and adopted by City Council at our
December meeting. Basically, this means that any truck over 6 wheels without a beginning or ending destination
in Winterville will be prohibited from traveling down Main Street as a cut through to a destination outside of the
city limits. Citizens have long been concerned about the amount of heavy truck traffic on Main Street, and the
addition of our Firefly Trail has only added to concerns about safety. We continue to add traffic calming measures
and increase the safety of all streets in the city. Passing this ordinance was a big step forward in that endeavor.
The recent amendment of our City Charter to remove the prohibition of beer and wine in the city limits cleared
the way for the Winterville City Council to consider an ordinance allowing the sale and/or manufacture of beer
and wine within the City of Winterville. An alcohol ordinance was considered at our December meeting after a
public hearing was held to hear comments from citizens. The ordinance was voted on and adopted. Licenses and
permits for the sale and/or manufacture of beer and wine can now be obtained at City Hall. Distilled spirits are
still prohibited under the City Charter.
This might be the most important ordinance adopted by City Council in 2020. After seeing the purchase of homes
in the city for the sole purpose of short-term rentals or Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO), City Council imposed
a moratorium on the issuance of licenses to such businesses, allowing time for our city code to be updated to
address this type of use. Cities with a disproportionate amount of short-term rental versus residential property can
quickly lose their identity, which is why the mayor and councilmembers felt the need to act fast. The update to our
code was presented, voted on, and adopted. The language of the ordinance requires those operating an AirBnB,
VRBO, or Bed and Breakfast on their property to reside on the premises. Find this and all recently adopted
ordinances at www.cityofwinterville.com.
Occupational/Business Tax Ordinance
The need for this update to our Code of Ordinances arose from the short-term rental issue, as it brought to light
deficiencies that needed to be remedied. Specifically, in order to regulate businesses, we have to define those
businesses. This was done through an update to the Occupational/Business Tax Ordinance. The council also voted
to adopt a new fee schedule, but as businesses are already struggling, it was decided to freeze the fee schedule and
any increases until 2022. Local businesses will pay the same business license fee in 2021 that they paid in 2020,
but we urge all business owners to look at the new fee schedule as they prepare their budgets for 2022.
Crosswalk at Main Street and Parkview
We are very happy to report that work should begin soon on a much safer crosswalk at Main Street and Parkview.
The current crosswalk in front of the Depot on Main Street does not provide a safe enough crossing for that
site. After receiving a recommendation from the TSPLOST/SPLOST Citizen Advisory Committee, City Council
immediately voted to fund this project using TSPLOST dollars. The surveying has been done, and the plans are
being drawn up. Once plans are approved, bids will be submitted to the council for approval and a contractor will
be chosen. Construction should begin in the first quarter of 2021. This is another major step toward traffic calming
in the city.
The Winterville Downtown Development Authority is up and running! This is exciting news, as city businesses
will benefit immediately and for years to come. The Georgia Municipal Association picked Winterville as one of
three pilot cities under their “Place Making Program” designed to help Georgia cities revitalize their downtown/
commercial districts and strengthen their communities. Thank you to all the directors of the Downtown Development Authority and the officers recently elected to lead the it. Look for an introduction to members of the WDDA in the next issue of the Gazette.
Arbor Day 2021
The Winterville Tree Commission will host a virtual Arbor Day celebration on February 20, 2021, when a new
bald cypress will be planted in the natural area of Pittard Park that day. Thank you to the Tree Commission for all
of their hard work this year and every year! Our city becomes more beautiful each year with your help.
The City of Winterville has adopted an Inclusivity Statement to ensure that both residents and visitors know that
we are a city that welcomes all people. The statement will be added to the city website and will also be incorporated
into a future art piece within the city. It reads as follows: Welcome to Winterville, Georgia. We are a small city with a big heart, and we are glad that you are here. Wintervillians take pride in our community traditions, festivals, parks and trails, and our people. Whether you are a long-term resident, a new neighbor, or a visitor, there is room for you here. We welcome and value the beauty of diversity and strive for equality and inclusivity in all we do.
The City of Winterville will have a new pocket park in 2021 dedicated to George H.
Chandler, who we lost this year to COVID-19. The park will serve as a rest area for
citizens and visitors using the Firefly Trail. Designed to be a “mindfulness garden,” it
will celebrate inclusivity and diversity. Partnerships with the City of Winterville, the Winterville Civitan Club, and other organizations will make the park possible. George was Winterville. George was Civitan. His passion for this city and his dedication to service and community will be forever enshrined by Chandler Park. The park will be located on the green space bounded by the Front Porch Bookstore’s mural wall, City Hall, and the Blacksmith Shop. Donations are welcome; look for information soon on how to contribute to the park fund.
Holiday Lights Contest
The Winterville Arts Council did a great job again this year with the Holiday Lights contest. The map of participating
homes caused a great deal of excitement among citizens and visitors alike at the end of this extremely difficult
year. As of this writing, the map had over 300 shares and 47,000 views on social media. All of our committees
and organizations do such good work on behalf of our city and greater community, and for that we are grateful.