Dawson Parks and Recreation director resigns

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DAWSONVILLE – Dawson County Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Henson has announced that she is resigning after many years of service to the community.

“I’m going to help my husband with his real estate business and just see what the Lord has in store for me,” Henson said Wednesday.

“I’m going to miss everyone I worked with. We have all been like family. That is the hardest part of my decision, but I’m still going to be in Dawson County and they will too so we will stay in touch,” Henson added.

Henson has been in public service for a quarter of a century, first as a deputy in Forsyth County then as patrol supervisor with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office. She also worked as Forsyth County Athletic Director before becoming Parks and Recreation Director.

Henson submitted her letter of resignation last week but said she would be willing to stay on until a replacement is found.

 

 

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Commissioners discuss Robertson Loia Roof offer, streaming video of BOC meetings onto website

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. —  The architectural and engineering firm of Robertson Loia Roof is no stranger to Dawson County officials. They designed Rock Creek Park back in 2000 as well as Dawson County Junior High School. But the firm’s offer to redesign the facade of the gymnasium at Veterans Memorial Park for free, caught county officials by surprise.

After all, the Board of Commissioners had budgeted the project at $150,000. To have one of the states leading architectural and engineering firms offer to donate its expertise as a gift to the county was completely unexpected.

At Thursday’s work session, Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Henson explained that she sent out requests for proposal in compliance with county policy. “I got two quotes but the third one wasn’t a quote, but an offer from Robertson Loia Roof offering their services free of charge,” Henson said. “So I come before you today to ask that you accept the donation so we can proceed.”

Commissioners do not vote during work sessions so the item was placed on the agenda for the April 19 meeting.

Chairman Billy Thurmond signaled the county’s intention to accept the generous offer by asking fellow commissioners, “Anybody not like free?”

Commissioner Chris Gaines

Commissioner Chris Gaines initiated a discussion about streaming commission meetings live on the county website.”We know not every citizen can be here at the times we hold our meetings so it would be prudent in the spirit of transparency and allowing open government,” Gaines said. “We’re here to serve the citizens.”

Chairman Billy Thurmond said it is an idea the Board should explore. “It’s a great idea, well worth looking into,” he said. “It would give us an opportunity to provide more information to the public. We are always asking the public to assist us by serving on boards and committees. This would be an opportunity for them to see how their government works.”

The Board also discussed, and is expected to vote on the following issues at the next regular meeting:

⦁ Observance of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 3, to be held on the courthouse steps from 6-7 p.m.;

⦁ The purchase of new computers and additional scanners for the Tax Commissioner’s Office;

⦁ Revisions to the county’s alcohol ordinance;⦁ Presentation of 2018 Arbor Day Proclamation;

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

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

⦁ Special Event Business License Application for Motorcycle Endurance event;

⦁ South 400 Center Lane Road acceptance into county maintenance;

⦁ A request for partial abandonment of Will Hall Road;

⦁ 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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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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Dawson commissioners receive SPLOST VI update

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Public Works Director David McKee

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. –  The Dawson County Board of Commissioners received an update on Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) VI collections from Public Works Director David McKee during a rare Tuesday work session.

SPLOST VI was initiated in 2015 and will run through 2021. Collections were expected to reach $46 million in six years. To date, Dawson County collections are $15,067,286. The city of Dawsonville receives 15 percent of collections and the county receives the balance.

Approximately 11 percent of collections are allocated to sheriff’s vehicles, 11 percent to Fire and EMS, 10 percent to Parks and Recreation, 67 percent to Public Works and 1 percent to Information Technology (IT).

McKee said a total of $11,565,649 in projects have been completed with $5,650,000 in proposed projects planned for Phase 3.

Public Defender Brad Morris requested funding for the salaries and expenses for personnel in the Public Defender’s office.

Dawson County has had a contract with the Georgia Public Defenders Council since 2005 to provide one attorney and one administrative assistant. The expenses covered by this contract ($183,738.65) were approved in the 2018 budget. The contract renews the agreement through Dec. 31.

A second request by Morris for $71,257 is required to cover half the salaries of an assistant public defender and an investigator. The other half is covered by Hall County, which is also served by the office.

Commissioners approved the repaving of the roadway of the Veterans Memorial Park and Senior Services and parking lot for the Veterans Memorial Park with SPLOST V and VI funds. The county has received two bids for the project and Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Henson asked commissioners to approve the low bid of Blount Construction Company in the amount of $599,141.

Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has programmed the state Route 183 bridge over Cochrans Creek for replacement during the first quarter of 2020. The closure of the road during construction, which is expected to be for a period of six months to one year, will require all traffic to be detoured. GDOT has identified the most beneficial detour to be Keith Evans Road, a county maintained road. McKee asked commissioners to approve the use of Keith Evans Road as the detour route.

Issues discussed during work sessions are expected to be voted on at the next voting session of the Board of Commissioners.

 

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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