BOC delays vote on Chestatee variance

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners tabled a variance request by Chestatee Development Corporation Thursday to gain a better understanding of the legal complexities surrounding the issue.

The petitioner has asked for a variance to the master plan for Chestatee subdivision that would allow Brian Ferris, the property owner, to build lots with 70-foot widths instead of 100-foot widths, thus allowing 11 additional lots in the Linkside section of Chestatee.

The vote to table was unanimous and followed a 10-minute, back-and-forth discussion between County Attorney Lynn Frey and Ethan Underwood, the lawyer for the petitioner.

Dave Pollack was one of six Chestatee homeowners who spoke in opposition to the variance.

Attorney Ethan Underwood

“Linkside was originally marketed as luxury homes on half-acre lots starting at $600,000,” he said. “The quick math that I did shows we will lose 20-30 percent (home value) not only in Linkside but in all Chestatee if this goes through.”

Loss of home value was the issue most often mentioned by homeowners who spoke in opposition but traffic was another concern.

Michelle Pyne expressed concern about traffic safety, especially at the entrance to the Linkside section. “Fireside Lane is the only entry into Linkside,” she said. “Everyone living in or visiting Linkside must navigate the intersection of Fireside Lane and Fireside Drive. The golf cart path crosses that intersection and it has already caused some serious safety concerns. The intersection is also about 30-40 feet from the swimming pool, tennis courts and basketball courts so that adds to the foot traffic there. Adding at least 22 more cars, if not more, to the master plan for Linkside would certainly make those serious concerns even more.”

Frey questioned Underwood about where the authority to modify the master plan comes from.

“Our assertion is the master plan references the requirement for a covenant and the covenant states the declarant has the authority to modify those lots,” Underwood said. “Our position, as laid out in our reservation of rights, is that specific approval supersedes a general provision of the land use resolution.”

In other decisions, the Board:

  • Accepted the results of the Fiscal Year 2017 financial audit by Rushton Company;
  • Ratified the Georgia Trauma Commission Grant that will fund the purchase of emergency equipment for ambulances;
  • Disposal of four climate control units for the Detention Center;
  • Approved a list of surplus items to be sold on Govdeals.com;
  • Approved a design/build contract with Charles Black Construction in the amount of $2,644,127 for the new Fleet/Public Works complex;
  • Approved a special event business license for Carol Stream Amusements, Inc. Carnival to operate in the parking lot of North Georgia Premium Outlets. The vote was 3-1 with Commissioner Julie Hughes-Nix opposed;
  • Approved a site plan for John Megel Chevrolet to build a used car lot on its property;
  • Approved the 2018 Land Use District Map;
  • Approved the re-appointment of Joey Bearden to the Department of Family and Children Services board.
  • Approved moving the next regular meeting to July 3.

 

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

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CPA firm Rushton Company declares Dawson County is in good financial shape

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Chris Hollifield of the certified public accounting firm of Rushton Company presented the results of the firm’s 2017 audit during Thursday’s Dawson County Board of Commissioners work session and declared the county to be in “good financial shape.”

Highlights of the audit included these statements:

  • Government assets exceed liabilities at the close of the fiscal year by $86.8 million
  • Government’s financial position improved during 2017;
  • At the end of the fiscal year, the total fund balance was $8.2 million or 36 percent of total general fund expenditures including transfers to other funds. Fund balance increased by $767,000;
  • Government’s total indebtedness decreased by $96,000.

Expenditures by function showed Public Safety at 44 percent, followed by Public Works 17 percent and General Government 17 percent.

Dawson County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Danny Speaks requested Board approval to apply for a Georgia Trauma Commission Grant used to reimburse 911 agencies for the purchase of trauma related equipment used to equip 911 ambulances.

Fleet Maintenance Director Shannon Harben asked commissioners to approve the disposal of four heating and air conditioning units at the Detention Center. He also presented a list of other county-owned items to be placed into the 2018 GovDeals Surplus Sale.

Public Works Director David McKee gave a presentation on the proposed Fleet Maintenance/Public Works Complex with a recommendation the design/build contract be awarded to Charles Black Construction for an amount not to exceed $2,644,127. Four evaluations were received and reviewed for technical responses to establish a high-score prosper and Charles Black received the highest score.

Planning and Development Director Jason Streetman presented a Special Event Business License Application for Carol Stream Amusement Inc. to operate a carnival in the front parking lot of North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall from June 28 through July 15 between the hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Streetman also presented the site plan for John Megel Chevrolet to construct a used car lot on its property which was required by a zoning stipulation.

The Board also will consider the proposed 2018 Land Use District Map presented by Streetman and the reappointment of Joey Bearden to the Department of Family and Children Services.

Items discussed during work sessions are generally voted on during the next regular meeting.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Commissioners approve changes for Riley Place

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Following a public hearing Thursday, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a request by Riley Place LLC to amend an existing 4.869 acres of the original 26.1 acres zoned Commercial Planned Comprehensive Development (CPCD) to allow for 28 additional townhomes, clubhouse and swimming pool.

The property is located on the north side of Dawson Forest Road and was originally permitted for 200 townhomes. Adding 28 townhomes will not exceed that number. The owner plans to build a new clubhouse, swimming pool and additional parking spaces.

Several homeowners who live in Riley Place spoke in favor of the amendment and said the developer had gone above and beyond to answer their concerns.

Only one person spoke in opposition.

Hugh Stowers said, “We need a new ordinance for one house per acre. We’re headed to becoming Forsyth County. Any of these developments is going to cost other taxpayers.”

County staff has been working with ShawHankins on the annual renewal of employee health insurance plan that is set to expire June 30, Human Resources Director Danielle Yarborough reported to commissioners that claims had declined 16 percent during the year and renewal of the plan would reflect an increase of only 1.3 percent.

Her recommendation, which was approved unanimously, was to consider switching dental coverage to MetLife, Life Insurance and Disability to Lincoln Financial, Flex Spending to TASC, and to begin offering Teledoc services to all county employees not currently under our medical plan. The cost to absorb the 1.3 percent increase is $44,507. Under the plan, premiums to current employees will remain the same. The Teldoc coverage will cost $29,376.

Commissioners also approved a contract with Powers Heat and Air to replace two 8.5 ton air conditioning units and two 7.5 ton units at the county jail at a cost of $45,527.

Commissioners also approved:

  • An increase in the county’s matching funds for Legacy Link that is necessitated by an increase in federal funding of $106;
  • A special event permit for TNT Fireworks to operate a retail fireworks stand in the Ingle Shopping Center located at 118 S. 400 Center Lane. The stand is scheduled to be open June 21 through-July 5 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

 

 

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

 

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Commissioners table decision on alcohol ordinance

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioners held a public hearing on modifications to the county’s alcohol ordinance Thursday then tabled a final vote until the May 17 meeting.

County Attorney Lynn Frey has worked been working on changes as directed by commissioners, including licensing, permit fees, disciplinary issues, microbreweries and administrative issues and incorporated them into a revised new ordinance. No one spoke in favor of or in opposition to the changes during the public hearing

Commissioners approved an addendum to the 2018 budget to allow $6,463 to be added to the Juvenile Court due to an increased case load and a requirement that every child have an attorney. The increase will come from the county contingency.

Commissioners approved the bid of $56,306 from Don Jackson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram to purchase an F-700 dump flatbed for the Public Works Department. A bid was also approved to accept offers submitted by Griffin Contracting as the primary contractor and Allied Paving as the secondary contractor for milling machine rental services for one year with two optional renewal terms.

The county has contracts with heavy equipment movers to transport machinery from site to site, but if a mover is not available, staff must drive equipment, causing undue wear and tear on equipment as well as additional salary and mileage. Commissioners approved bids received by Tractor and Equipment (TEC) trailer in the amount of $79,350 for the Roads Department.

The Georgia Department of Community Supervision’s (DCS) Misdemeanor Probation Oversight Unit (MPOU) has reviewed the contract for probation supervision and rehabilitation services, which was executed by and between Dawson County and Northeast Georgia Probation Services Inc. (NGPSI) in 2017 and requires a modification to the contract’s period of service.

The modification was reviewed by Trial Court Administrator Reggie Forrester and signed by Chief Judge Andrew Fuller and was approved unanimously by county commissioners.

Heather Tierney was unanimously approved for reappointment to the Parks & Recreation 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. 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

 

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Commissioners set public hearing for changes to alcohol ordinance

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. —  Dawson County Commissioners voted 3-0, with Commissioner Jimmy Hamby absent, last week to move forward with a public hearing on potential changes to the county’s alcohol ordinance May 3.

As a result of changes made at the state level, computers in the county’s Tax Commissioners office are no longer compatible with the state’s computers. Commissioners voted unanimously to purchase 11 new computers and four scanners at a cost of $15,425.

Commissioners also approved several special event business licenses. Amicalola Farmers Market’s request for a permit to operate a farmers market in the parking lot at Veterans Memorial Park every Friday from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. through the end of September was approved.

Commissioners approved a permit for Hacienda Bar and Grill in the Publix Shopping Center on state Route 400 to hold a Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Robin Allen received unanimous approval for a special event permit to assemble on the steps of the Government Building in celebration of the National Day of Prayer from 6 until 7 p.m. May 3.

Commissioners also approved a special event permit for a motorcross endurance event on private property on Auraria Road Sunday, Oct. 7, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Commissioners approved an offer from Robertson Loia Roof, the architectural and engineering firm that designed Rock Creek Park and Dawson County Junior High School, to redesign the facade at the Veterans Memorial Park gymnasium.

Commissioners voted 3-0 to accept the South 400 Center Lane Road into county maintenance program. The owner agrees to donate $10,000 to bring the road up to county standards.

Calvin Byrd and Brian Trapnell were appointed to the Industrial Building Authority, and Tom Harter was appointed 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. 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

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Alcohol ordinance amendments, requests for special event permits top a busy commissioners agenda Thursday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. —  Thursday’s Dawson County Board of Commissioners meeting will focus on amendments to the alcohol ordinance, requests for special event permits and an offer of free services from one of the state’s top architectural and engineering firms. That meeting will start at 6 p.m. in the Dawson County Government Building.

Commissioners are expected to vote on a special event business license for Amicalola Farmers Market to operate a farmers market in the parking lot at Veterans Memorial Park every Friday from 2 until 8 p.m. through the end of September.

Celerino Garcia is requesting a special event permit to operate a bouncy house at the Hacienda Bar and Grill in the Publix Shopping Center on state Route 400 during a celebration of Cinco de Mayo Sat. May 5.

Robin Allen submitted a request for a special event permit to assemble on the steps of the Government Building to celebrate the National Day of Prayer from 6 until 7 p.m. on May 3.

Joe Anderson has requested a special event permit to conduct a motorcross endurance event on his private property on Auraria Road Sunday, Oct. 7, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.

Also on Thursday’s agenda is an offer by Robertson Loia Roof, the architectural and engineering firm that designed Rock Creek Park and Dawson County Junior High School, to redesign the facade at the Veterans Memorial Park gymnasium, a project budgeted for $150,000, at no charge to the county.

Other items on the Board’s agenda include:

⦁ The purchase of four new computers for the Tax Commissioner’s Office due to the state updating its motor vehicle system, which is not compatible with the county’s existing computers;
⦁ Revisions to the county’s alcohol ordinance;
⦁ Presentation of 2018 Arbor Day Proclamation;
⦁ South 400 Center Lane Road acceptance into county maintenance;
⦁ A request for partial abandonment of Will Hall Road; and
⦁ Appointments to the Industrial Building Authority and 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. 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

 

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Robertson Loia Roof makes offer county can’t refuse

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Henson was in the process of obtaining quotes for the renovation of the Veterans Memorial Park gymnasium when she learned about a surprising bid from the architect and engineering  firm of Robertson Loia Roof.

In a letter to Henson, Duane Roof, the company’s vice president and lead design architect, said they would do the work at no cost to county taxpayers.

Robertson Loia Roof is a leading architectural and design firm that has worked with Georgia school systems for more than 30 years. The company’s portfolio includes design work for Dawson County Junior High School, Gainesville Middle School and Fair Street International Academy in Gainesville.

The generous offer includes architectural design services and the construction of a stone and wood canopy at the front entrance to the gym. The project had been budgeted for up to $150,000.

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will discuss the project and Robertson Loia Roof’s offer during Thursday’s work session scheduled for 4 p.m. in the County Government Center Assembly Room.

Other items on the board’s agenda include:

⦁ A request by Robin Allen to hold a gathering at the Dawson County Courthouse in observance of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 3, from 6-7 p.m.;

⦁ A request for new computers and additional scanners for the Tax Commissioner’s Office;

⦁ Revisions to the county’s alcohol ordinance;

⦁ Presentation of 2018 Arbor Day Proclamation;

⦁ Presentation of Special Event Business License Application for Amicalola Regional Farmers Market;

⦁ Presentation of Special Event Business License Application for Hacienda Cinco de Mayo event;

⦁ Presentation of Special Event Business License Application for Motorcycle Endurance event;

⦁ Presentation of South 400 Center Lane Road acceptance;

⦁ Presentation of Request for Partial Abandonment of Will Hall Road;

⦁ Discussion of Video Recording System for Assembly Room; and

⦁ Presentation of Board Appointments to the Industrial Building Authority and 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 FetchYourNews.com

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Commissioners approve 52-acre senior-living campus-style development

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — A major mixed-use, senior-living campus-style development at Hwy. 400 and Castleberry Road moved one step closer to reality Thursday when the Dawson County Board of Commissioners agreed to amend the existing zoning of the 52.42-acre site from Commercial Planned Comprehensive Development.

The request was made by Richmond Honan Development and Acquisitions, LLC. The county Planning Commission recommended approval.

Plans for the development include 130,000 square feet of medical/office space, 31,500 square feet of retail, 141,000 square feet of assisted living space and 70,000 square feet for a 128-room hotel. Stipulations approved by commissioners include a maximum of 200 independent living units, 40 loft dwelling units above the retail space and 60 senior-living duplexes.

County commissioners approved a request by the Sheriff’s Office for two additional school resource officers (SRO) and additional funding for off-duty officers to handle traffic control at the schools for July 1 through Dec. 31.

The board also granted Sheriff Jeff Johnson’s request for a permit to hold a 51-mile motorcycle ride for Relay for Live April 14 from 9 a.m. until noon. The event will begin and end at Dawsonville’s Georgia Racing Hall of Fame.

Following a public hearing, the board voted 4-0 to approve a draft Capital Improvements Element as part of the county’s consideration of an impact fee program.

Under new business, the board also approved:

⦁ A request to upgrade a part-time clerk position in the Magistrate Court to full time;

⦁ An increase in pay for a clerk in the Magistrate Court who has achieved Georgia Information Crime Center Certification;

⦁ An annual salary increase of $5,000 for the county attorney;

⦁ The purchase of emergency medical supplies for Emergency Services;

⦁ Ratification of FY 2018 Homeland Security Grant Program application in the amount of $14,400 with no county match required;

⦁ Writing off old debt for ambulance service deemed uncollectable;

⦁ The appointment of Jo Ann Overstreet Hause to the Tax Assessor Board; and

⦁ The appointment of George Lyons, Bob Speight and Judy Baer to the Tree Preservation Committee. Commissioners took no action on five requests from residents of Gold Creek to be annexed into the city of Dawsonville.

Chairman Billy Thurmond read a proclamation declaring April National Donate Life Month that was adopted unanimously by the board. LifeLink is Georgia’s non-profit organ and tissue recovery organization. More than 5,000 people in Georgia are awaiting a transplant. One donor can save 75 lives. Each day, 22 people die because an organ does not become available. To sign up for organ or tissue donation, visit www.donatelifegeorgia.org.

 

 

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

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