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.


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Commissioners Work Session Set Thursday


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County commissioners will address several key issues at Thursday’s work session, including appointments to the Development Authority, compensation for the new staff attorney, Monroe Frey III, and the results of the 2016 employee compensation study. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. in the Assembly Room of the Government Center.

Those being considered for appointment to the Development Authority include Mike Ball, Brian Trapnell, Steven Melching, Anthony Passarello and Calvin Byrd. If approved, their terms could run through 2020. But Authority Chairwoman Dr. Sherry Weeks said last week the organization may not survive past 2017 without funding from the county.

Commissioners voted late last year to withhold funding from the organization.

Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond and Commissioner Chris Gaines were not on the board when the decision to de-fund the Authority was made so their input could impact that decision.

County staff members will provide presentations regarding proposed dates for the 2017 Emergency Services Boot Drive, a 2017 SPLOST VI update and board appointments and the 2017 Georgia Trauma Commission EMS Trauma Equipment Grant application.


Dawson Development Authority’s Future in Jeopardy


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — With its very existence in jeopardy, the Development Authority of Dawson County held its first meeting of the new year Tuesday to elect a slate of officers and approve a 2017 budget.

Sherry Weeks was re-elected to serve as chairwoman, Brian Sticker was chosen vice chairman.

The budget adopted yesterday was about $150,000 less than 2016 after the Dawson County Board of Commissioners voted late last year to withhold funding for the organization.

Authority members acknowledged this is the final year it can exist at the new funding level.

Asked by one board member, if the county commission understood they may end up with no development authority, Chairwoman Sherry Weeks said she had informed commissioners they did not have the money to operate for more than one year. “They were clear about that,” Weeks said.

The lone county commissioner to attend Tuesday’s meeting was Chris Gaines, who was not on the board at the time commissioners voted against funding the authority in 2017.

Asked to comment, Gaines made it clear that he would like to see the DADC continue its work.

“Speaking only from my perspective, I believe in the mission you guys have in front of you,” he said. “We have to move forward in finding a way to provide the finances this organization needs.”

Although the county commission no longer funds the authority, it does appoint new members, something it is expected to do in the next few weeks.

“The thing we have before us now is to fill the board with qualified candidates,” Gaines said. He added that he is trying to schedule a meeting with newly-elected Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond to discuss future appointments.

“It is my goal to find a way to support you but I’m only one of many,” Gaines added.


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