County commission holds first split-session meeting

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. –  County Commissioners held their first split meeting Thursday, with a work session at 4 p.m. followed by an executive session then a voting session at 6 p.m.

During the voting session, commissioners approved the retirement of the Sheriff’s Office K9 Kimbo and transfer of the dog’s ownership to its handler, Jessica Kraft.

In other business, commissioners:

  • Read and approved a resolution to declare May 5-11 National Small Business Week;
  • Tabled a vote on a proposed contract with CT Darnell Construction for design-build services for Fire Station No. 9 until the May 16 meeting;
  • Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Board of Education regarding use of a portion of the parking lot at the Public Works Complex;
  • Approved a services agreement with the Humane Society for treatment and housing of animals.
  • Approved an addendum to the 2019 Legacy Link contract for nutritional program services.
  • Approved the addition of $250,000 to the budget to pay for legal services provided by Jarrard and Davis;
  • Approved a request by Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne to hold a county employees night at the county swimming pool on May 17;
  • Held a public hearing on Olive Garden LLC request for an alcohol license for retail consumption on premises of beer, wine and distilled spirits then approved the request;
  • Held the first public hearing on a land use resolution update. The second public hearing is scheduled for May 16;

During the work session, Public Works Director David McKee asked the Board to consider allowing his department to retain the services of ShepCo Paving Inc., an on-call, full-depth reclamation service.

Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne presented a proposed agreement with the Rotary Club of Dawson County to provide the county with a venue that would house outdoor pickleball courts, batting cages, and an outdoor basketball area at Rock Creek Park.

Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk presented a first quarter financial status report for 2019.

Development Authority of Dawson County Chairman Brian Trapnell presented an update of its activity which will be outlined in a future Fetch Your News article.
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
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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County Commission begins new meeting schedule Thursday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawsonville Board of Commissioners will begin its new meeting schedule Thursday with a work session set to begin at 4 p.m., followed immediately thereafter by an executive session and then a 6 p.m. voting session.

WORK SESSION

During the work session, commissioners will hear a request from Sheriff Jeff Johnson to retire the Sheriff’s Office K9 Kimbo and transfer ownership to the dog’s handler, Lt. Jessica Kraft. Dr. Katie Ferris of the Chestatee Animal Hospital has recommended Kimbo’s retirement for medical reasons.

Public Works Director David McKee will ask for Board approval to retain an on-call, full-depth reclamation service. An invitation to bid (IFB) was released with a sample job at Hightower Parkway at SR53 to the end of the pavement. The lowest, most responsive bid was submitted by ShepCo Paving, Inc. in the amount of $203,500. The pricing received for this sample project will be set for the life of the contract per job at $6.25 per square yard for 10” cement reclaimed base; $152 a ton for Portland Cement; $6 per square yard for haul-off excess material, if required.

Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne, will present a proposed agreement with the Rotary Club of Dawson County to provide the county with a venue that would house outdoor pickleball courts, batting cages, and an outdoor basketball area at Rock Creek Park.

Payne will also ask commissioners to approve a Dawson County Employee Night at the county swimming pool on May 17. The Parks and Recreation Department has hired lifeguards and pool attendants for the 2019 summer season. To provide a great time for Dawson County employees and families, plus use the night as a training night for our lifeguards and pool workers.

County Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk will give a financial status report for the first quarter 2019.

VOTING SESSION

During the voting session, commissioners will hold public hearings on an alcohol license for Olive Garden Holdings, LLC and updates to the county’s Land Use Resolution.

 Commissioners are expected to vote on a contract with CT Darnell Construction for design-build services for Fire Station 9 for an amount not to exceed $1,736,271 and approve the transfer of funds in the amount of $736,271 to this project.

 A services agreement with Dawson County Humane Society for Treatment and Housing of Animals will also be up for a vote. This agreement memorializes the county’s funding obligation and the Humane Society’s duty to provide housing and medical care services for impounded dogs and cats. The agreement does not obligate the County in 2019 for any money that has not already been budgeted.

The Board will also consider addendum No. 3 to the FY 2019 Legacy Link Contract for Nutrition Program Services. The addendum includes an additional $5,284 from Nutrition Service Incentive Program funding (NSIP State) to be used by year end.

Commissioners must also decide on increased funding for legal fees in 2019. In December 2018, the Board made the decision to utilize outside firm of Jarrard & Davis for legal services after the retirement of in-house attorney. There was $160,413 approved for the County Attorney budget for 2019. Those funds have already been used to pay for legal fees in 2019.

Because of increased need for legal services, as well as costs for clearing up outstanding issues, the county has exceeded the funding available to pay future invoices. Current amount left in the County Attorney budget for 2019 is $19,284. Estimated costs for remainder of 2019 (April – December) will be at least $250,000.

 

 

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 reappoint Headley county manager

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – David Headley was hired as Dawson County Manager two years ago. Thursday, the Board of Commissioners showed their appreciation for the way he has managed the day-to-day operation of the county by unanimously reappointing him for another year.

Dawson County Board of Commissioners Chairman Billy Thurmond said, “David has done a good job. He’s shown good leadership skills and he has the staff working together and going in the right direction. We’re proud of the way he has taken care of the county’s business.”

As county manager, Headley supervises nine department directors and more than 200 county employees, implements board policies and assists the chairman with annual budget preparations.

“If you were to ask me what our biggest accomplishments were in the last two years, or what I’m most proud of, it would be the people we have hired,” Headley said.

He has demonstrated the ability to identify highly-experienced, highly-qualified individuals to serve citizens.

When Lanier Swafford resigned as Public Safety Director, Headley hired Danny Thompson, a veteran firefighter with 29 years fire and emergency services experience along with 26 years’ experience as a paramedic.

Thompson also is a Certified Emergency Manager who has commanded in high rise fire situations and received the 300 Club of Atlanta award for life-saving efforts while serving with the Sandy Springs Fire Department.

He also hired Planning and Development Director Jameson Kinley who has a number of unique qualifications, including a specialized background in Geographic Information Science.

Kinley has worked closely with the planning department the last two years and has the ability to take Dawson County to the next level with technology. Headley said Kinley will use his GIS skills to analyze data and help give the Board of Commissioners and committees more updated and accurate information so that better decisions can be made for the citizens.

Headley also hired Matt Payne, who has nearly a quarter century of experience in parks and recreation operations, to be Dawson County’s Parks and Recreation Director.

From 1995 until 1999, he served as athletic director for the Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Department. After that, he worked as athletic director for the City of Cumming, where he was responsible for all aspects of athletic programming and maintenance and operations of the city swimming pool.

“There is an old quote that says, if you want to run fast you run alone. But if you want to run far you run together,” Headley said. “Our employees are running together and that should make the citizens feel good about the way things are being run.”

From an operational standpoint, Headley said, “The county has made big strides as far as how open the budget process has become. In the past, when department heads presented their annual budget requests, they made them to the chairman and county manager. But for the past two years, all commissioners and citizens have been welcome to attend.

“In the past, that has been pretty much a closed-door process,” he said. “Commissioners have not been involved in it. The chairman met with the department heads and he determined what needed to go forward. He presented the budget and they voted on it. But, we have opened the door to communications we never had before.”

Headley has 28 years of county government experience with 16 of those years in county government management. Most recently, he served as the Dawsonville City Manager.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and served in the United States Marine Corps. He and his wife, Sandy, and their two daughters reside in Cumming.

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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Chairman Thurmond will present proposed 2019 budget in Thursday work session

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Dawson County BOC

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond will present the proposed county budget for 2019 during Thursday’s work session which will begin at 4 p.m. in the Dawson County Government Center Assembly Room.

The Board of Commissioners is required to adopt an annual budget prior to the end of the fiscal year (December 31). As part of the budget process, the Chairman presents his proposed budget to the Board of Commissioners (BOC) and the public.

In meetings after the Chairman’s presentation, public hearings for the budget will be held for citizen input.

The BOC will hold 3 public hearings for the 2019 budget on October 4, 11 and 18. The budget may be adopted October 18, following the third public hearing.

Dawson County Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne will seek board approval to apply for a Department of Natural Resources Land & Water Conservation Fund Grant. The minimum grant that can be awarded is $25,000 and the maximum is $100,000. A 50 percent county match is required.

The grant could be used to repair or replace the fishing pier at War Hill Park. The pier has undergone repair for many years and Payne says it would be more cost and time effective to have it replaced.

District Attorney Lee Darragh will ask board approval to accept a Victims of Crime Act Grant in the amount of $74,088.84. No county match is required.

County Attorney Lynn Frey will ask board approval to hire a legal assistant who can perform legal secretary functions, is familiar with specified job duties and has relevant experience. The position was described and requested in the County Attorney Budget for FY 2019, but Frey said subsequent discussion has led to the conclusion that the need is sufficiently urgent at present to move ahead on the position rather than delay until January.

The salary for a mid-October commencement of the job would be approximately $6,956.20 for five pay periods through the end of December. Eligibility for benefits would not occur until January. Annual salary for this grade 11 position, using entry level figures, is $30,547.

 

 

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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