DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – County Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond focused on COVID-19, county finances, and roads when he delivered the State of the County address to members of the Dawson County Republican Party at beautiful Cold Creek Farm Tuesday.
“The county is continuing to work with all our partners to get our citizens vaccinated as rapidly as possible,” he said. So far about 6,000 Dawson County citizens have been vaccinated and the Health Department is administering the vaccine to about 300 people a day at Veterans Park. There have been 2,693 cases if the virus in the county with 39 deaths.
Addressing the county’s financial situation, the Chairman said, “The County is in good, sound financial shape. Even during COVID, all through 2020, we saw an increase in sales tax revenue. We never thought in 2020 we would see $9.8 million brought in from the one-penny sales tax during the year of COVID, but we did.”
Thurmond credited the county staff and elected officials for their effort to reduce, or at least, hold the line on spending. “They did an excellent job of managing their budgets,” he said. “Each and every department came in under budget.”
With regard to roads the County will pave and/or repave 9.93 miles of roads with funding from a the state-funded Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG) or special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST). The LMIG grant is a 70-30 match with the County providing its 30 percent by doing the work.
“We have an excellent (Public Works) staff,” he said. “I’ll put them up against some of the finest companies you will see.”
Roads that will be funded under the LMIG grant include Browns Point, Antioch Church, and Goshen Church. Roads to be improved using SPLOST funding include Dan Fowler, Lake Circle, Amicalola Forest and Elliott Road.
New businesses that will call Dawson County home soon include Miller’s Ale House, Bruster’s Ice Cream, and Discount Tires. Thurmond said there has been some talk recently that Wild Wings might move into the old Ruby Tuesday’s location.
He also noted the County has been working hard to update some very old ordinances and pointe with pride to the County’s latest jewel, the Pauline Stevens Ivey Senior Center that opened this month.
“There is a lot going on in the County and we look forward to continuing to work for the betterment of our citizens and do what we can to provide you with the services you need.”