published Monday, March 4th, 2013

Georgia Senate passes barn exemption bill

 Jim Byers, right, and Don Parris repaint "See Rock City" on the top of an old barn off U.S. Highway 27 near LaFayette, Ga.
Jim Byers, right, and Don Parris repaint "See Rock City" on the top of an old barn off U.S. Highway 27 near LaFayette, Ga.
Photo by Ashlee Culverhouse.

A bill sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, that would give an exemption for barns used to promote Georgia tourist destinations has passed the Georgia Senate by a vote of 49-0.

The bill now goes to the Georgia House of Representatives.

“Barns painted with ‘See Rock City’ have been a highway staple in Northwest Georgia since the Depression era,” Mullis said. “However, these historic structures are disappearing rapidly. I’m proud to have sponsored this bill to keep part of our state’s history alive.”

The bill calls for allowing a person to use personal funds to restore and use a barn or another agriculture structure built prior to 1965 and once used in promoting Georgia tourist sites.

“See Rock City” signs on barns were once found in 19 states, a news release said, but federal legislation banning billboards meant that many barns had the advertisements removed.

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