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Hogansville City Council discusses filming, design

HOGANSVILLE – The Hogansville City Council picked an engineering firm to work alongside the city for the 2019 Community Development Block Grant application, agreed to allow Stalwart Films to film the hit AMC television series “The Walking Dead” in the city from Sept. 4-7 and decided to leave the downtown Royal Theater painted green during its Tuesday night meeting. 

The evening’s most significant discussion centered around the city’s agreement with Stalwart Films, which produces “The Walking Dead.” Stalwart Films approached the city approximately one month ago to film a portion of the series’ upcoming season in Hogansville, and filming of the series took place on Thursday. In preparation for the filming, Stalwart Films painted the city’s Royal Theatre building a shade of green, which City Manager David Milliron lobbied to retain during Tuesday’s meeting.

“The building, I believe, is going to be great for economic development and tourism,” City Manager David Milliron said. “I don’t see why we paint it back. I’d like to keep it green. I think a lot of folks will come when they see the series. I think it will help with economic development.”

City councilman Reginald Jackson asked for clarification on the amount of revenue that has been generated in Georgia as a result of the filming industry in the last fiscal year, which Milliron confirmed was $9.5 billion.

“Apparently, we (Georgia) are the No. 1 worldwide location right now for filming,” Milliron added. “We should retain as much of this opportunity as we can enjoy.”

Stalwart Films will reimburse the City of Hogansville $4,750 for filming on city property. In addition, Stalwart agreed to pay off-duty Hogansville police officers $35 per hour, as well as a number of other, smaller reimbursements outside of the $4,750 payment. 

In other news, the city council decided to go against the staff recommendation for hiring an engineering firm, which culminated discussion in last week’s council meeting. 

City staff recommended the city council elect to work with Falcon Design Engineering to generate the necessary engineering report for the 2019 CDBG grant, however the city council elected to engage with G. Ben Turnipseed Engineers, Inc., a firm the city has a longstanding relationship with. 

“I recommend we go with experience over saving a few dollars,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to go with Falcon.”

A motion to move forward with Turnipseed was made by Jackson, which was seconded and passed 4-0. City councilman George Bailey was absent from the Tuesday meeting.  

In other news, the city council: 

  • Voted to pass a film production ordinance, but amended the proposed ordinance to the point City Attorney Jeff Todd informed the council a substitute ordinance will need to be read next week that incorporates the changes. 
  • Approved a foreclosure and vacant real estate property registry ordinance, with one amendment. Jackson motioned for the fee to register a property as foreclosed or vacated to be set at $0, hoping property owners will be more likely to register their property on the registry if no fee structure is imposed. 
  • Approved a tap fee ordinance to increase the water tap fee to $2,500 from $1,500 and to increase the sewer tap fee to $3,500 from $2,500. 
  • Authorized Milliron with the ability to negotiate economic development incentive rates on behalf of the city.