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

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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.

 

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Dawson BOC meets in rare Tuesday work session

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will consider a lengthy list of agenda items during a rare Tuesday (Nov. 21) work session that begins at 4 p.m. in the Government Center Assembly Room. Board meetings are usually held on Thursdays, but this meeting was moved because this Thursday is Thanksgiving

Dawson County Commissioners have a busy agenda on tap  for Tuesday’s work session.

Board appointments for 2018, grant applications, an intergovernmental agreement for municipal elections with the city of Dawsonville and several funding requests will command much of the commissioners’ time.

Commissioners will consider the reappointment of Ricky Rexroat and Lanier Swafford to the EMS Advisory Council Board, Dr. Larry Anderson and Elaine Maple to the Health Board and Chad Cofield to the Parks and Recreation Board.

Judge Lindsay Burton will ask commissioners to consider additional funds for the Juvenile Court, and Public Works Director David McKee will request funding for the Lumpkin Campground Concept Improvement Plan.

Grant applications to be considered Tuesday include a FM Global Insurance Company Fire Prevention Grant Application, a Georgia Forestry Commission 50/50 Grant Application, a Department of Public Health Occupation Safety Seat Grant and an ACCG Summer Georgia Counties Internship Program (GCIP) Grant application.

Planning and Development Director Jason Streetman will present a Special Event Alcohol Permit Application by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce for a Business After Hours at United Community Bank on Dec. 14.

McKee will also present a request to abandon the portion of Powell Rd. between Amicalola Church Rd. and Colly Lane.

These agenda items are expected to be voted on at the next regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners.

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Stop the Bleed Training an Essential Investment for County Employees

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County Mgr. David Headley

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County employees recently participated in a program called “Stop the Bleed,” an initiative funded by the Georgia Trauma Commission and developed as a result of the increasing number of active shooter and mass casualty events across the nation.

Emergency Services Director Lanier Swafford and his team completed the training at local schools along with county law enforcement. October marked the kick off for the training, which was conducted during a routine senior staff meeting.

EMS Director Lanier Swafford

In the press release, Dawson County Manager David Headley pointed out that employee training often is viewed as optional rather than essential and an expense rather than an investment.

“This is understandable since training and development are not necessarily focused on producing a targeted result,” Headley said. “Without immediate measureable results, it is nearly impossible to view training as anything more than an expense.”

But county leadership views training as a capital investment – taking into consideration what is an acceptable rate of return on the investment made by citizens. Among the questions leaders ask before undertaking a new training initiative is: What is going to change in the organization or in the behavior and performance of employees as a result, and how will it better serve the citizenry?

“One saved life or one preserved limb due to hands-on Stop the Bleed training can make a difference beyond measureable results,” Headley said.

Successful training and development programs nearly always include a component that addresses employee attitude.

“That is why, in conjunction with initiatives like Stop the Bleed, we attempt to always ask a fundamental question: What attitude did you bring to work or the task at hand? Our senior staff answered this very question during a recent training session. Attitude is the indispensable ingredient to success in our organization. A positive attitude is not an option but, rather, mandatory; and we make an effort to build on this key point regularly,” Headley added.

Headley, who recently had his contract with the county renewed for another year, said,  “Since I have been appointed county manager, one of my primary goals has been to create an environment that employees and citizens alike would want to promote. In other words – brand building. Our training is targeted for specific results that can be measured. Our employees are our principle asset, and we make every effort to invest in them so they can expertly serve our citizens. Moving ahead with programs and workshops – such as Stop the Bleed and the upcoming Community Connections Workshop on Nov. 9 (to which the public is invited) – will play a continued role in how we better serve our community.”

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BOC Considers Contract with Ga. Technical College

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Emergency Services Director Lanier Swafford was the presenter of three of the four items on the Dawson County Board of Commissioners work session Tuesday.

Swafford asked the board to consider approval of a clinical contract with North Georgia Technical College in Clarkesville that would allow for EMT and Paramedic students enrolled in such programs at NGT, to engage in clinical opportunities with Dawson County Emergency Services.

NG Tech is only one of two technical colleges in NE Georgia which conduct a paramedic program. DCES has previously had a clinical contract with the school. This opportunity allows for the student to experience field opportunities while in school and allows for DCES to evaluate students and possibly recruit future employees.

Swafford also sought board approval to apply for an Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG), something the county has done for many years. Swafford said county emergency management agencies who complete the mandatory activity and reporting requirements for GEMA have been eligible to receive a 50/50 matching grant to support EMA activities such as mitigation, preparation, and response to emergency situations. The funds cover a portion of the cost for Swift Reach (Reverse 911 System), weather siren maintenance, and radar subscription for the EOC.

This year the base award formula for the EMPG grant was modified and Dawson will receive an increase $7,784 in the 2017-‘18 budget year. This is a 50/50 matching grant for a total of $15,568.

The Dawson County Fire Safety and Prevention Ordinance was adopted by the Board of Commissioners in August 2005 and has never been updated. Included in this ordinance were fees to be imposed by the Dawson County Fire Marshal’s Office. Now that changes have been made to the fireworks law and additional services are being offered through the Prevention Office Swafford asked commissioners to consider updating the ordinance.

Swafford said the only major changes the department is requesting include: Align the language of the ordinance to match that of state law concerning firework permits and inspection fees;  Address fees for CPR, First Aid, and Day Care Provider Fire Safety Classes. These fees have never been formally been adopted by the BOC.

Public Works Director David McKee gave commissioners a Phase Two SPLOST VI Road Improvement Project Budget Update. The program included four road rehabilitation projects. (Tanner Road, Kelly Bridge Road, Steve Tate, and Thompson as an alternate).  The original contract with CW Mathews was approved May 4, 2017 for the first three roads, and on Sept 21, 2017 the BOC approved the alternate of Thompson Road.

The cost that was approved at that time was only for the CW Mathews contract which did not include all expenditures needed to complete the project.  When the scope was presented to the BOC for approval, staff discussed that striping would be performed by our standby striping contractor rather than contracted as part of the road rehabilitation contractor, as such the cost needs approval from the BOC.

Striping cost is to be included in each project. Total shall include both temporary striping and permanent high build striping.  The total project cost will not exceed original approved contracted budget.  Budget to include all striping and or expenses related to completion of the project.

 

 

 

 

 

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Board to Vote on Thompson Road Work

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Public Works Director David McKee will ask the commissioners to approve $196,403 to pay for striping and related expenses for Thompson Road when the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meets in a voting session Thursday (Oct. 19) at 6 p.m.

Commissioners approved phase two of the SPLOST VI program in February. At that time the program included four road rehabilitation projects for Tanner Road, Kelly Bridge Road and Steve Tate with Thompson as an alternate.  The original contract with CW Mathews was approved in May for the first three roads. In September, commissioners approved the alternate of Thompson Road. The cost that was approved at that time did not include expenditures for Thompson Road.

Public Works staff wants to use its standby striping contractor for the additional work and that requires approval by the commission. The total project cost will not exceed the original approved contracted budget and will include all striping and or expenses related to completion of the project.

In other business before the Board, Emergency Services Director Lanier Swafford will ask commissioners to approve a clinical contract with North Georgia Technical College to allow EMT and Paramedic students enrolled at the college to engage in clinical opportunities with Dawson County Emergency Services.

North Georgia Tech is only one of two technical colleges in northeast Georgia that conducts a paramedic program. DCES has previously had a clinical contract with the school. This opportunity allows for the student to experience field opportunities while in school and allows for DCES to evaluate students and possibly recruit future employees.

Swafford will also seek Board approval to apply for the 2017-2018 Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) application. The county has received the 50/50 grant which supports EMA activities such as mitigation, preparation and response to emergency situations. They also cover a portion of the cost for Swift Reach (Reverse 911 System), weather siren maintenance, and radar subscription for the EOC. This year the base award formula for the grant was modified and Dawson will receive increase $7,784 in the 2017-2018 budget year.

The Board is also expected to vote on a recommendation to approve the 2017 Dawson County Emergency Services Inspection, Plan Review, and Prevention Fee updates.

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution and ordinance adopting the Dawson County Fire Safety and Prevention Ordinance in 2005 that included fees to be imposed by the Dawson County Fire Marshal’s Office and the fee schedule has not been updated since.

 

 

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BOC May Add Fire Hydrants on Kilough Church Rd.

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Lanier Swafford

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Two important contracts will be voted on when the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meet in regular session Thursday at 6 p.m.in the Administration Building.

Dawson County Fire Chief/EMA Director Lanier Swafford has requested that commissioners consider approval of a bid by Townley Construction to install seven fire hydrants as part of an Etowah Water and Sewer Authority project to begin later this month along Kilough Church Road at a cost of $27,755.

Etowah Water and Sewer Authority will begin an upgrade project along Kilough Church Road this month. As a compromise concerning the issue between the Authority and county, EWSA is offering to install seven fire hydrants as part of the project at the bid price of $3,965 each with no long term, binding agreement. EWSA also will waive any connection fees and will not seek line upgrades or administrative fees valued at $14,280.

Commissioners also are expected to vote on renewal of a contract with Deanna Specialty Transportation, Inc., a subcontractor for DHS Senior Transit Rides.  Deanna reimburses the county for all senior rides provided by Dawson County Transit and Dawson County Senior Center.

Also to be considered are special event permits for the Bootlegger Triathlon and the Dawson Chamber of Commerce for an alcohol permit for a Business After Hours event scheduled for Sept. 21.

Milton and Mary Bruce were attempting to buy two lots along Pirkle Leake Road when title work uncovered an old plat making it appear (erroneously) that parts of the lots are in county right of way. However, the lots are not in the right of way and they are seeking a quit claim deed to proceed with the purchase.

Public Works Director David Mckee and County Attorney Lynn Frey reviewed the situation and concluded that a corrected plat and quit claim deed are appropriate to correct the error. McKee has already signed off on the plat but the deed must be approved by the Board and signed by the Chairman.

The Board will also consider the appointment of Gary Coates to the Dawson County Industrial Building Authority and Tara Hardwick, Tony Passarrello and Bill Johnson to the Commissioners’ Compensation Committee.

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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BOC Considers Purchase of Fire Hydrants on Kilough Church Road

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Lanier Swafford

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — During Thursday’s work session, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners listened to a series of presentations including one from Emergency Services Director Lanier Swafford regarding the installation of seven fire hydrants along Kilough Church Road at a cost of $27,755.

If approved, the fire hydrants would be installed in conjunction with an Etowah Water and Sewer Authority project starting just below Kilough Elementary School.

Planning Director Jason Streetman asked commissioners to consider approving the annual Bootlegger/Five Star, an endurance triathlon event on Sept. 10 from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. The event would start at Veterans Memorial Park. The bike riding portion would continue from the park to Lumpkin County along Hwy. 9. Riders would then return to the park along the same route. Public safety has been arranged and volunteers plan to help with safety and traffic control along the way.

Jason Streetman

Streetman also presented a request for commissioners to approve a special event alcohol permit for a Business After Hours event planned by the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce to be held at Northside Hospital on Dawson Drive.

Stormwater Manager Robbie Irvin informed commissioners that the state has modified its soil erosion ordinance regarding the definition of “final stabilization” and the planting of certain grasses to aid in the prevention of soil erosion. Irvin said when the state changes its ordinance the county is required by law to change its ordinance so that it matches that of the state.

Senior Services Director Dawn Pruitt asked commissioners to approve the Senior Center’s annual handcrafted quilt raffle to begin in late October or early November. Proceeds from the event will go to purchase presents for the center’s senior clients.

Dawn Pruitt

Pruitt also asked for approval of the senior center’s transportation contract with Deanna Specialty Transportation, a subcontractor for the Department of Human Services. The contract provides for trips for seniors to and from the center as well as transportation to doctor’s appointments, etc.

County Attorney Lynn Frey asked commissioners to approve a quit claim deed for Lots 38 and 41 in Charles Martin Subdivision. Frey pointed out that a couple wanted to purchase those lots and in doing the research, he discovered the old plat erroneously shows the front portion of the lots are in the Dawson County right of way. He asked for the quit claim deed to show the county has no claim to the lots.

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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County Millage Rate Hearing is Thursday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will hold the first of three public hearings on the proposed FY 2018 budget and the millage rate Thursday at 4 p.m.

The board intends to leave the current millage rate of 8.138 unchanged, which would increase the 2017 property taxes it will levy this year by 4.45% over the rollback millage rate.

The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $250,000 is approximately $34.70 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $200,000 is approximately $27.76.

Additional public hearings are scheduled for Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Citizens are invited to attend and comment.

Other items on Thursday’s agenda include a request by Director of Emergency Services Lanier Swafford for commissioners to consider accepting a Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in the amount of $960,305. The county would be required to provide a match of $596,947.

The grant would help cover the cost of salary and benefits for personnel for three years. The other cost the county would incur would be for uniforms and gear (approximately $2,500.00 per employee per year).

The grant is for three years. At the end of the three years, the grant offers three options – employing agency assumes responsibility of the cost; apply for a hardship extension to the grant if local funding is limited; termination without penalty.

Director of Public Services David McKee will provide an update on the closure of Blacks Mill. The Georgia Department of Transportation declared the bridge unsafe for vehicular traffic and ordered it closed on July 18. McKee will ask the board to consider allowing his staff to continue working with GDOT on one of its bridge maintenance assistant programs.

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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