Dawson County impact fees inch closer to reality


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners moved closer to reinstatement of impact fees on developers by holding the first of two public hearings Thursday. The second is scheduled for Aug. 16.

County commissioners approved impact fees in 2006, but suspended them during the recession of 2009 when new development was practically non-existent. The fees are imposed on new development projects to pay for all — or a portion of the costs — of providing public services to those developments.

Bill Ross whose company, Ross and Associates, has been working on an impact fee program for the county outlined that program during Thursday’s commission meeting.

Ross pointed out that the county’s population is expected to double in the next two decades and that there will be 2,700 more housing units by then. “By 2040, almost half the traffic on your roads will be generated by new development that has moved into the county,” he told commissioners.

The program looked specifically at the impact growth will have on library services, parks and recreation, fire protection, law enforcement and road improvement.

By 2040, it is projected that the county will require one new library and twice the volume of books, computers and DVDs. Four new fire stations will need to be built and 16 firetrucks purchased. The county, Ross said, will need 137 additional acres for recreational facilities.

The maximum fees the county could impose of various types of development include $3,400 for a single-family home, $1.64 per square foot for a shopping center and $1.88 for a super market.

Following the Aug. 16 public hearing, commissioners are expected to vote in favor of the reinstatement of the fees.

Commissioners also held the first of three public hearings on the county millage rate for next year. The proposal is to leave the rate the same as it has been the last 10 years, at 8.138 mills. However, at the end of the public hearings, the Board could choose to set the roll back rate of 7.393 mills.

The next public hearings are set for Aug. 9 and 16 at 6 p.m.

Commissioners also approved:

  • The purchase of four new vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office under the Georgia Department of Administrative services Vehicle Cooperative for a total of $125,563.75
  • Phase 1 of the three phase county wide computer replacement program. The total estimated cost for 2018 is $145,000 with funds coming from SPLOST VI. The total estimated cost for the three-year period is $435,000;
  • A new professional services contract that will extend the number of years the contract can be extended from two one-year renewals to four one-year renewals;
  • The appointment of Kara Wilkins as the new executive director with an annual salary of $5,000 to be prorated for the remainder of 2018.


Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com



Dawson commissioners to hear multiple annexation requests


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Multiple requests for annexation into the city of Dawsonville are expected to be voted on when the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meets Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Dawsonville City Council has notified commissioners that the owners of several single-family dwellings on Gold Bullion Drive in the Gold Creek subdivision have petitioned the city for annexation. County Planning and Development Director Jason Streetman will present those requests to commissioners.

Dwarkesh Inc. has appealed an administrative setback variance granted by the county Planning Commission to allow a gas canopy to be placed closer than the distance required by zoning regulations, requiring the commissioners to issue a final ruling.

Norkrot Financial Inc. has requested the rezoning of 46.73 acres from Residential Agriculture (RA) to Residential Sub-Rural (RSR) to build a 30-lot single-family residential community.

Bill Ross, with Ross & Associates, will present a final draft of his Impact Fee Methodology Report to the board.  A question came up during last week’s work session regarding impact fees being charged by other jurisdictions.

Ross has prepared a table showing comparisons of impact fees being charged in jurisdictions north of Atlanta and near Dawson County.

Included in the table are fees charged to single-family homes and typical development projects such as an apartment complex, a supermarket and a general office building.  Ross says as a general rule, the jurisdictions in his study indicate they charge 3 percent of each fee.

Public Works Director David McKee will be back before the commissioners to seek approval for a professional services contract with Southeastern Engineering, Inc. for the design of a replacement for the Blacks Mill Creek Bridge. The bridge has been closed since last August 2017.

The county’s contract with Northwestern Benefits to monitor the insurance market for pricing trends for negotiating insurance costs for employee and county premiums has expired, and all renewals will expire on Feb. 28 and the county had received bids from other firms to provide the service. Staff recommends commissioners approve a contract with ShawHankins.


Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com


Future of the Development Authority will be discussed at Thursday’s commissioners meeting


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Key issues the Dawson County Board of Commissioners will discuss during the first meeting of the new year include funding for the Development Authority of Dawson County (DADC), a new impact fee methodology report and 2018 qualifying fees for elected officials.

The work session is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday in the Dawson County Government Center Assembly Room.

The Development Authority annual budget was eliminated for 2017 and 2018. However, DADC Chairwoman Sherry Weeks made a presentation to commissioners at a special called meeting last month requesting that operating expenses be approved in the amount of $175,000. The annual budget had been $150,000.00, but Weeks is requesting an additional $25,000 to fund a move from its Prominence Court location into the Chamber of Commerce facility.

Bill Ross, of Ross & Associates, gave a presentation of a final draft of a proposed Impact Fee Report in December. The report addressed appropriate levels for impact fees to be charged under an updated Impact Fee Program. The report was tabled last month but will come back before the board Thursday.

The county’s contract for uniforms for the Fire Department and Emergency Management expires in December. Fire Chief/EMA Director Lanier Swafford will ask the board to approve a new contract with NAFECO, the most responsive and responsible bidder. The average annual uniform procurement cost has been $52,274.92. Uniforms are purchased only on an as-needed basis. The contract, if approved, would be for one year with two renewal options.


Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com




Commissioners Approve Property Revaluation


Dawson County Board of Commissioners

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. –  For the first time in 11 years, Dawson County will conduct a comprehensive revaluation of real property in the county that will include 15,000 parcels of land, 12,000 residential homes, 1,800 commercial/industrial improvements and 200 mobile homes.

The purpose of a revaluation is not to increase county revenue but, to ensure equity and uniformity of assessment. The process includes new projects and will reflect market changes (up or down) in property values.

Tax Appraiser Kurt Tangel

Commissioners voted unanimously to award the project to GMASS at Thursday’s meeting. Chief Tax Appraiser Kurt Tangel said it will take two years to complete and cost approximately $588,300, not including the cost of appeals. The county budgeted $600,000 for the project.

Bill Ross of Ross & Associates gave a presentation regarding updating the county’s Impact Fee Program. Impact Fees are fees charged to developers to pay the costs of providing public services to a new development.

There are two elements involved in the update. The first is updating the program itself. The second is preparation of a Comprehensive Plan 5-Year update. Ross said his firm could provide both elements at a cost of $98,650.

Once the update is complete, it must be approved by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and commissioners will be required to hold two public hearings. The board took no action on the presentation.

Commissioners held the first of two public hearings on consideration to move forward with the 2017 Updated Environmental Health Fee Schedule. The second public hearing is scheduled for June 1.

The board unanimously approved a special use permit for Steele Buffalo Butchery on Harmony Church Road to allow for butchering and processing naturally processed products with several stipulations, including upgrading the current septic system, capping the maximum number of animals that can be slaughtered to 25 per week and all refuse to be discarded in a steel container and picked up weekly. There were no objections to the request.

Richard Bourgeois’ request to rezone seven acres of his property from Residential Suburban (RS) to Residential Agriculture (RA) to allow his family to keep horses for their own personal use. There were no objections to the request.

Commissioners also approved:

  • Fire House Subs and Chick-fil-A Dawsonville Fund Raising Opportunities to Support Dawson County Emergency Services;
  • A request to surplus three fire apparatuses;
  • Moving forward with public hearings on June 1, 2017 and June 15, 2017 regarding the Scrap Tire Storage and Disposal Draft Ordinance;
  • Dawson County Rotary Club’s request to contribute handicapped accessible playground equipment for the playground at Rock Creek Park;
  • The FY2017 Legacy Link Addendum #2;
  • The FY2018 Legacy Link Contract;
  • A revised travel policy for mileage and per diem for elected officials and county staff;
  • A budget amendment to account for a private donation of $700,000 to build a new senior center;
  • An application to GMRC for a Community Development Block Grant for the senior center project;
  • Reappointment of Susan Roof to the Library Board.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at www.fetchyournews.com



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