DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — State Senator Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) was the featured speaker at the Dawson County Republican Party meeting Tuesday at The Bowen Center for the Arts.
The event drew many office holders and political candidates like gubernatorial candidate Sen. Mike Williams (R-Cumming), State Rep. Brad Raffensperger (R-Johns Creek), chairwoman of the Dawson County Board of Education and candidate for Secretary of State Karen Armstrong, , and her opponent Joe Stapp.
Dawsonville Mayor Mike Eason, former County Commission Chairman Mike Berg, County Commissioner Sharon Fausett and Tim Satterfield, who will replace Jimmy Hamby on the Board of Commissioners in January, were also in attendance.
Gooch said, “This was one of the most successful sessions in the eight years I’ve been in the General Assembly. We passed the first income tax cut in Georgia history.” The tax was cut by one-quarter of a percent this year and will be cut by one-half percent next year.
He cited fully funding Quality Based Education (QBE) for the first time since it was passed in 1985, the distracted driving bill that makes it illegal for a driver to touch their cell phone and increased funding for school safety as accomplishments during the recent session of the General Assembly.
Williams was the first elected official in Georgia to publicly endorse Donald Trump for president. Like Trump, Williams is primarily self-funding his campaign. “We’re relying on the people who know me best to donate five, 10 or 20 dollars to help carry us across the finish line,” he said. “That is important because when I reach the governor’s office, who am I going to be beholden to? It’s not the big lobbyists. It’s the people of Georgia.”
Raffensperger is a structural engineer and licensed general contractor. “I own two manufacturing plants in Georgia, and I have worked on construction projects all over the United States,” he said. “I have seen first hand how some states make it easy to do business and some states make it hard. As your next secretary of state, my job is to make it easy to do business in the state of Georgia.”
Raffensperger, a former Johns Creek city councilman, said he is the only person running for secretary of state who has a 100 percent voting record from the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
“Look back on my legislative and city council voting record and you will find I’ve always tried to protect the small business owner, taxpayers, life and the second amendment,” Raffensperger stated.
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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
DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will review a proposal by the Georgia Department of Transportation to build a roundabout at SR 136 Bailey Waters/Keith Evans Road intersection during Thursday’s work session that begins at 4 p.m.
GDOT provided commissioners with three concepts for their consideration, five year crash data, and a sample “Indication of Roundabout support” letter. The only cost to the county would be the full and entire cost for any lighting installed and maintenance thereof plus maintenance costs associated with the landscaping approved by local government. and GDOT.
Commissioners will also consider a bad debt write off and collections policy that will allow the county to to manage the amount of bad debt accrued primarily for outstanding ambulance billing past due accounts.
The purchasing department submitted and RFP, received several proposals and interviewed three collections agencies.
Staff will recommend the Board award he bid to Professional Recovery Consultants which scored the highest of the applicants. Professional Recovery Consultants would charge a flat fee of 25 percent of all collections.
County fees at the transfer station have remained the same since March 2013. On Jan. 1, Eagle Point Landfill increased its tipping fee to the county by 5 percent. Commissioners will discuss increasing fees to $44 per ton and a minimum of $5 per load weighed. Bagged garbage will remain the same at 50 cents per bag with a 10 bag limit. Any garbage over 10 bags shall be weighed.
DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioners held the first of three public hearings on the 2016 millage rate and property taxes. The proposal is to leave the millage rate at 8.138, effectively increasing homeowners’ property taxes by 4.32 percent.
Commissioners say a millage rate higher than the rollback rate is needed to support the 2017 budget and to continue to provide badly needed services to the county’s citizens.
Charlie Tarver encouraged commissioners to invest more in the county’s future, particularly in the fire department. “We don’t have enough fire hydrants, there is a lot of turnover and Fire Station No. 3 has only two people working there,” he said. “The time to invest in our future is now.”
Hugh Stowers said some property values are not being assessed fairly and equally. “I don’t understand why you need to raise taxes next year. My taxes have already gone up. Some assessments are too low. There is a lot of money out there if you could get the tax assessors to do their job correctly.”
Weldon Sheriff said, “In my opinion, the millage rate should be rolled back. I’m here to oppose this.”
Georgia law requires three public hearings before counties can finalize the budget and set the millage rate. The next public hearings are set for August 18 at 6p.m., and August 24 at 4 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Dawson County Courthouse. All concerned citizens are invited to speak.
DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The three local races that have attracted the most interest in Dawson County this year are County Commission Chairman, Sheriff and Tax Commissioner where a total of nine candidates will campaign.
Sheriff Billy Carlisle, who has been Dawson County’s top cop for 18 years, will not seek reelection. Chairman Michael Berg, who has devoted nearly half his life to public service has announced his retirement and Tax Commissioner Linda Townley, who has served the county for 12 years, said she is leaving to spend more time with her family.
Their departure creates opportunities for others to serve. Billy Thurmond and Peter Hill have tossed their hats into the ring to vie for County Commission Chairman.
Four veteran law enforcement officers will battle it out for Sheriff. Tony Wooten is an 18-year veteran of the Dawson Sheriff’s Office. Jeff Perry has 26 years experience, serving the last 18 as a parole officer. Jeff Johnson has nearly 23 years of experience in both a sheriff’s office and police department and Frank Sosebee has 32 years experience. He is currently the chief of security at the Hall County Correctional Institute.
Townley’s departure has attracted three potential replacements, Karin McGee, Johnny Glass and Nicole Stewart
District 4 County Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix, who seeks her fourth term in office, has drawn one challenger in Heather Hulsebus.
Incumbent Board of Education members Elaine Wilson, Roger Slaton and Doris Cook will return to office without opposition and so will long time Coroner Ted Bearden.
DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved three purchases aimed at providing upgrades to the county’s Emergency Services Tuesday, increasing its inventory of self-contained breathing apparatuses, chest compression devices and turn-out gear.
In a meeting that had to be rescheduled due to the last week’s snow, county commissioners accepted a bid of $73,913.24 from Municipal Emergency Services for self-contained breathing apparatuses. They also approved a bid of $51,603.06 by PhysioControl to provide chest compression devices. Three vendors will provide turn-out gear. Georgia Fire and Rescue was awarded one portion of the bid at $43,707. Ten-8 was awarded another for $15,690 and NAFECO was awarded the final portion at $660.
In other business, commissioners approved their 2015 expenses, denied a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with WLW Investments, LLC, approved a Transit Association Letter of Support and an ACCG Summer Internship Grant.
NOTICE OF SPECIAL CALLED MEETING
The Board of Commissioners of Dawson County shall conduct a special called meeting on Monday, December 7, 2015 beginning at 3:00 p.m. in the Board of Commissioners Meeting Room located at the Dawson County Government Center/Courthouse, 25 Justice Way, Dawsonville, Georgia for the purpose of going into Executive Session to discuss personnel.
The public is invited to attend.