Suspicious package closes City Hall

The City Hall in Toccoa, Georgia closed for much of the day yesterday as law enforcement secured a suspicious package.  WNEG Radio quoted Police Chief Tim Jarrell as saying, “A city employee went to the night drop box to retrieve payments that had been made to the city for utilities. While they were running it through the envelope opening machine, one of the envelopes contained a yellow, powdery substance. At that point, city staff contacted the police department and in turn, we contacted the GBI and asked for assistance. They gave us a contact with the FBI and we worked with the Cornelia Fire Department to get the Oconee County Fire Department to respond and assist.” Jarrell said the unknown substance is being sent to Atlanta for testing but all indications are that it’s harmless.  City Hall reopened by 2:30. Hazmat crews from Oconee and Anderson counties responded to provided technical support in identifying the material and providing safe handling recommendations. Team members were able to conduct a detailed public safety assessment, obtain a sample and process that sample for initial identification. The product was deemed safe and turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.