Public Works Director asks BOC to approve major road improvements

News

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – Public Works Director David McKee asked commissioners to approve a contract for major road improvements with Blount Construction in the amount of $4,051,052.72 at their next voting session in May.

The request came during the Board of Commissioners Thursday work session and included Sweetwater Juno, Bailey Waters and Hugh Stowers  roads. The projects were included in the voter-approved special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST VI). Blount Construction presented the lowest of three bids. McKee said there is a need to complete full depth reclamation and paving on all three roads.

Due to the Executive Order issued by Governor Kemp on April 2, a pre-bid meeting was not held. Instead, an additional six business days were allotted for questions.

David McKee

If approved, the Sweetwater Juno Road project includes 4.5 miles from the intersection of SR 53 West to the intersection of SR 183.  The Bailey Waters project is approximately 3.59 miles from the intersection of SR 136 to the intersection of SR 52. The Hugh Stowers Road project is 1.37 miles from the Thompson Road intersection South to Grizzle Road. McKee said Hugh Stowers Road project will likely be the first to start.

All work will take approximately 165 days to complete, weather permitting, and comes with a five-year warranty.

McKee also notified the Board there is a need to complete turn-key culvert renovations on four structures on Bailey Waters Road and Sweetwater Juno Road and he requested approval of the low bid of Townley Construction in the amount of $453,000 to complete those projects. The projects are also part of the voter-approved SPLOST VI.

Brooke Anderson appeared before the Board on behalf of the Rotary Club of Dawson County to request permission to install a granite Peace Pole near the current courthouse. The pole would have the words, “May Peace Prevail on Earth” written in different languages on each side. This reaches people from many cultures in the community or visiting the community.

Board of Elections and Registration Director Glenda Ferguson asked the Board to approve a SECURE THE VOTE/CARES GRANT request to purchase personal protection equipment (PPE) including masks, gloves, disinfectant/cleaning supplies, barriers, markers, etc. and a steel drop box for the county Elections Office in preparation for the June 9 General Primary/Presidential Preference Election.  The grant comes with a 90 percent reimbursement from the Secretary of State’s Office. Because Advanced Voting begins May 11, the items have already been ordered. Should the Board not approve the request, Ferguson said the items can be funded out of the Elections Office Budget.

The Board also heard a request by Emergency Services Director for the county to accept $4,316.35 in funding raised from the State of Georgia Super Speeder Law that went into effect in 2010. Fines collected under the law support the Georgia Trauma Commission statewide. 20% of these funds go to various EMS programs across the state and one of these programs is the Trauma Grant.

During the regular meeting that followed, the Board unanimously approved a contract with West Georgia Lighting in the amount of $217,000 for multipurpose LED field lighting at Veterans Memorial Park and the Peace Pole project presented during the work session.

 

 

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

 

BOC will consider major road improvements during Thursday work session

News

David McKee

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – Public Works Director David McKee will ask the Board of Commissioners to approve two major road construction projects when it meets in a work session Thursday (May 7) at 4 p.m. in the County Administration Building.

Both projects will be funded by the voter approved special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST).

McKee wil request commissioners to award a contract to Blount Construction in an amount not to exceed $4,051,052.75 to complete a full-depth reclamation and paving on three collector roads — Sweetwater Juno Road, Bailey Waters Road and Hugh Stowers Road from Thompson Road to Grizzle Road. The SPLOST VI resolution allotted $21,200,000 (67%) to Public Works for road projects.

Due to the Executive Order issued by Governor Kemp on April 2nd, a pre-bid meeting was not held. Instead, an additional 6 business days was allotted for the question timeframe. The county received three bids on this project. Blount Construction was the low bidder.

McKee will also present a request to the Board to approve a contract with Townley Construction in the amount of $453,000 to complete turn-key culvert renovations on four structures on Bailey Waters Road and Sweetwater Juno Road.

Chief Registrar and Board of Elections & Registration Chair Glenda Ferguson will ask for commissioners’ approval to apply for a Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act Grants to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) for the upcoming election.

The grant became available in April and comes with a 90% state reimbursement. Due to urgency of the purchase, Ferguson said she has already located and purchased 100 face shields to be delivered between April 29 and May 6 for poll workers and staff ($278.19) without grant approve. She indicated that if the grant is not approved, the expense can come out of General Supply budget.

She also said she has reached out to Chastain Supply for sanitizer refills and bottles, gloves and masks and is now waiting on pricing for these items.

Drop boxes are not mandatory, but strongly suggested. Ferguson said her office has received several calls inquiring of a drop box, especially for ADA accessibility. Due to the critical time limit to receive any PPE equipment for the Advance Voting start date of May 18, this is a time sensitive item that will be installed by the Facilities Department for about $300.

Brooke Anderson and Sharon Hall will ask the Board to consider approval of the installation of a Rotary Club of Dawson County Peace Pole in front of the courthouse.

One of Rotary’s six areas of focus is Peace. Rotary clubs across the world have installed Peace Poles to promote peace in their communities. “May Peace Prevail on Earth” is written in different languages on each side of the pole. This reaches people from many cultures in the community or visiting the community.

Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson will inform the Board that EMS has received a Trauma Grant in the amount of $4,316.35.  There is no county match required, however, commissioners are required to approve acceptance of all funds.

 

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

 

 

News

DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – The $29.9 million 2020 budget Dawson County Commissioners adopted in October grew by more than $900,000 during Thursday’s regular meeting.

The Board voted 3-0 – with Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix absent due to an illness in her family – to amend the budget by $836,000 to fund a pay raise for county employees. The increase was based on a salary study conducted by Management Advisory Group late last year. The Board also voted to approve upgrades to employees’ defined benefit and defined contributions plans that will add an additional $70,000 to this year’s budget.

Commissioners accepted a staff recommendation to award Jarrard & Davis a legal services contract at a rate of $200 per hour for attorneys and $100 per hour for paralegals. The contract is for one year with four one-year renewal options.

Each election year, local government is required to set qualifying fees for candidates who plan to run for elected office. The 2020 fees are set as follows: Sheriff $1,779.86, Probate Judge $1,491.65, Tax Commissioner $1,491.65, Magistrate Judge $1,491.65, Clerk of Court, $1,491.65, County Commissioner $288, Commission Chairman $360, Surveyor $10, Coroner $108, Board of Education $99.

Following public hearings, the Board unanimously approved Tim Stowers’ request to rezone 10.5 acres on Harmony Church Road from Residential Agricultural to Residential Sub- Rural and Michelle Taber’s request to rezone 2.67 acres on Frank Bruce Road from Residential Agricultural to Residential Sub-Rural.

Commissioners had a very busy slate of agenda items to consider during the 4 p.m. work session.

Court Administrator Jason Stephenson led off by advising commissioners Hall County had under billed Dawson County for the cost of one Administrative Assistant and a law clerk for each Superior Court Judge for several years. The amount that was improperly billed totals $15,200.

Other work session issues discussed include:

— The potential sale of a 77.67 acre tract of land located along Shoal Creek to Caballero Holdings, LLC for $311,111. The Tax Assessor’s Office appraised the property at $647,074. An appraisal performed by J & T Smith, Inc. valued this property at $1.1 million.

— A request by Public Works Director David Mckee to award a debris removal and disposal contract to Graham County Land Company. The contract will not have any cost to the county unless the company is called to report during a disaster such as a winter storm. The contract, if approved includes removing and disposing of vegetation in rights-of-way; hazardous tree removal; vehicle removal; freon management; electronic waste removal.

— A request to award a debris monitoring contract to Debris Tech, Inc. The contract, if approved, would fast-track federal and state disaster relief funding and allow county staff to work in other needed areas.

— A request  by Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson to renew a statewide Mutual Aid agreement with GEMA and the Department of Homeland Security to provide assistance and support in managing a disaster that occurs within Dawson County and other participating agencies.

— A request to accept a 50/50 Georgia Forestry Commission Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant that requires a $5,000 county match.

— A request to apply for a 50/50 Georgia Emergency Management Performance Grant to cover a portion of the cost for RAVE emergency alerting, weather siren maintenance, and Crisis Track damage assessment. The grant is $15,568.00. Dawson County’s match is $7,784.

Items discussed during a work session are not typically voted on until the next regular meeting 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. 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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City, county officials call for $45 million TSPLOST

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. — In a special joint called meeting Tuesday, the Dawsonville City Council and Dawson County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution calling for a voter-approved referendum on collection of a $45 million transportation special purpose local option sales tax (T-SPLOST).

The question to be placed before voters on the May 19 general primary election ballot would read:

“Shall a one percent sales and use tax be imposed in the special district consisting of Dawson County for a period of time not to exceed five years and for the raising of not more than an estimated amount of $45 million (forty-five million) for transportation purposes.”

City and county officials submitted separate lists of road projects they will include in the TSPLOST if it is approved.

Dawson County Public Works Director David McKee said, “Staff spent the better part of a year-and-a-half looking at various projects to be included in the respective lists.

The most expensive is an on-going, every-day road improvement program with a cost of approximately $10,500,000. Next most expensive is the storm water culvert rehabilitation project with an estimated cost of$7,000,000.

McKee said, “We maintain about 91 miles of storm water culverts. Of those 91 miles, you can imagine a lot of them are failing. This will allow us to start a program to align those pipes so when it does rain, we don’t have roads to collapse.”

The county would receive approximately 91 percent of the tax collected, or $40,950,000. The city would receive nine percent, or $4,050,000.

Road projects the city would like to include in the TSLPOST with estimated costs in parenthesis are:

Main Street from Hwy. 53 to Main Street Park repair ($162,000)

Maple Street repair ($360,000)

Pearl Chambers Drive, Court and Way repair   ($250,000)

Richmond Drive repair ($95,000)

Jack Heard repair ($91,000)

Memory Lane repair ($105,000)

Stegall Place repair ($98,000)

Stonewall subdivision repair ($200,000)

Rain Hill subdivision repair ($40S0,000)

Existing Asset Road Improvement Program ($29,000)

Burt’s Crossing Drive, Winding Court, Ridgewater repair (($260,000)

** SR 53 at Allen Street intersection improvement ($1,000,000)

** Intersection improvement SR 9N at Perimeter Road ($500,000)

**Intersection Improvement SR 9S at Perimeter Road ($500,000)

Total of city projects $4,050,000

 

Road projects the county would like to include in the TSLPOST with estimated costs in parenthesis are:

Shoal Creek Rd. rewiden and rehabilitate ($1,300,000)

Shoal Creek bridge replacement ($3,500,000)

Dogwood/Nightfire rehabilitation ($1,000,000)

Lumpkin Campground Rd. corridor improvement ($5,000,000)

Elliott Road widening ($1,000,000)

Cowart Rd. rehabilitation SR 53 to county line ($1,500,000)

Grizzle Rd. widen and rehabilitate ($1,200,000)

Frank Bruce Rd./Seed Tick Rd. ($1,500,000)

Old Henry Grady rehabilitate ($800,000)

Gold Mine Road improvements ($1,400,000)

Hubbard Road Improvements ($1,200,000)

SR 53 at Dawson Forest Rd. intersection improvements ($1,500,000)

Country Crossing Subdivision rehabilitation ($550,000)

Existing asset stormwater culvert rehabilitation ($7,000,000)

Existing asset road improvement program ($10,500,000)

*SR 53 at Allen Street intersection improvements ($1,000,000)

*Intersection improvement SR 9N at Perimeter Rd. ($500,000)

*Intersection improvement SR 9S at Perimeter Rd. ($500,000)

TOTAL $40,950,000

 

 

 

 

 

2020 road improvements on BOC agenda Thursday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will hold a voting session Thursday at 4 p.m, in the Government Center Assembly Room, 25 Justice Way, followed by a work session at 6 p.m.

During the work session, Public Works Director David McKee will present the 2020 Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant (LMIG) Application and Approval Request for the Board’s consideration.

LMIG is a state program where the county receives money from the State Motor Fuel Tax collections to make road improvements. The grant requires a match of 30 percent. This year the amount allotted to Dawson County is $450,435.77 with Dawson County’s match of $135,130.73, the total budget for projects is $585,566.50. The roads targeted for improvements using the grant include Goswick Drive, Joseph Lane, Sundown Way, Sundown Drive, 3 sections of Perimeter Road and North Seed Tick.

Planning Director Jameson Kinley will ask commissioners to approve a bid proposal from B + C Studios for consulting services for the 400 District Update and the 53 Overlay District. The total amount for the projects is not to exceed $95,700. The B + C Studios bid was the only one received.

Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk will present a request for additional funding to pay for increased attorney fees for the county’s Juvenile Court. The Court has seen an increase in the number of dependent children over the last several years who are entitled to appointed attorneys. In addition, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) does not have enough volunteers to serve on every case. All funds from Indigent Defense – Parent and Indigent Defense – Child have been expensed to pay attorney invoices. At this time there are no additional funds within Juvenile Court’s budget that can be moved to cover attorney fees through the end of 2019. County staff recommends moving $63,000 from General Fund’s fund balance to cover the additional expenses.

Other issues to be considered during the work session include:

Presentation of a request to accept Victim of Crime Act Grant Award;

Presentation of Special Event Business License Application;

Presentation of Land Use Resolution Update;

Presentation of a request for Capital Improvements Element Adoption;

Presentation of FY 2019 Third Quarter Financial Report;

Presentation of Board Appointments.

During the 6 p.m. voting session, commissioners are expected to vote on:

A Special Event Business License Ordinance revision;

A request for approval of FY 2020 State Public Defender Contract;

A Memorandum of Understanding with Georgia Forestry Commission concerning cooperative purchasing and supplies;

Renewal of Automatic Aid Agreement with Cherokee County Fire Department;

Consideration of Legal Services for Dawson County Constitutional Officers / Elected Officials / County Employees;

Board Appointment of Austin Harmon to the Planning Commission as an alternate.

 

 

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

 

 

BOC split meetings scheduled for Thursday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will hold a work session Thursday (June 6) at 4 p.m., followed by a regular meeting at 6 p.m.  in the Government Center Assembly Room.

During the work session, commissioners will hear a presentation by Assistant Public Defender Kyle Denslow regarding a proposal for a Dawson County Food Drive spearheaded by the Public Defender’s Office.

Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne will present a request to build bocce ball courts at Rock Creek Park as an Eagle Scout project.

Payne and Purchasing Manager Melissa Hawk will present a request for proposal (RFP) for a playground and multi-purpose field at Veterans Memorial Park.

Public Works Director David McKee will provide a presentation of an easement for Amicalola Electric Membership Corporation and a request for No Thru Truck Traffic on Blacks Mill Road.

McKee will also give a presentation of a request for Red Rider Road Improvements.

Commissioners will discuss the reappointment of Gail Smith to the county library board.

In the 6 p.m. work session, Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Moore will update commissioners on the status of tourism in the county.

Commissioners are expected to vote on a special event business license for Kathy Roos TNT fireworks sales in the Ingles and Walmart parking lots.

They will also consider a resolution authorizing the disposition of certain county property by sealed bid in Accordance with O.C.G.A § 36-9-3(a).

 

 

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

 

 

County Commission begins new meeting schedule Thursday

News

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

 

 

Citizens will have one more chance to provide input into the county’s future growth Thursday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will hold one final public hearing on the proposed 2018 comprehensive plan when it meets in a voting session Thursday (Jan. 10) at 4 p.m. in the Dawson County Government Center Assembly Room.

The plan is one of the county’s most important documents because it serves as a road map to future growth. It was developed after months of gathering public input at citizen meetings and in an online survey.

The state requires that a county’s comprehensive plan be updated every five years in order to be eligible for state grants and be approved by the Department of Community Affairs.

This plan has received DCA approval and could have been adopted in December, but commissioners wanted to hold one public hearing to give citizens one more chance to provide input.

Planning and Development Director Jameson Kinley will present the plan.

Other items on Thursday’s agenda include:

  • Presentation of Georgia Trauma Commission Grant Application Request by Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson;
  • Presentation of IFB #330-18 – 15-Foot Rock Gravel Spreader Award Request by Public Works Director David McKee;
  • Presentation of Professional Exemption for Medical Director Services for the Dawson County Detention Center by Purchasing Manager Melissa Hawk;
  • Presentation of Sole Source Purchase Request for Computer Aided Dispatch System Upgrade by Purchasing Manager Melissa Hawk;
  • Presentation of Purchasing Policy Ordinance and Purchasing Card Program Policies and Procedures Update Recommendation by Purchasing Manager Melissa Hawk;
  • Presentation of Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Dawsonville for Municipal Elections by interim County Attorney;
  • Presentation of Revised Intergovernmental Agreement with Pickens County Regarding Fire Protection for the Wildcat Community by Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond;
  • Presentation of Board reappointments to the Chestatee-Chattahoochee Resource Conservation & Development.

Hamby, Headley honored for outstanding achievement during Thursday work session

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioners had a busy work session agenda Thursday, but took time out to honor two individuals for very special accomplishments – County Manager David Headley and District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby.

Hamby will be retiring from the Board at the end of the month following eight years in office. The Board presented him a plaque in honor of his dedicated service to Dawson County and held a reception for him following the meeting.

County Manager David Headley was named as the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission Appointed Official of the Year recently. The region covers 13 counties and 51 municipalities. “We’re proud of David and his recognition as Official of the Year,” said Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond.

Public Works Director David McKee addressed the Board on several issues. The first was a course aggregate contract bid submitted by Vulcan Materials in the amount of $161,664. The current contract has expired and all renewal year options have been exhausted. The department has a full-time paving crew on staff to perform the Local Maintenance Improvement Grant work and several miles of other road work and parking lot repairs.

The current contract to purchase hot asphaltic mix has also exhausted all renewal years and Mckee asked the Board to accept contracts with Baldwin Paving, Blunt Construction and CW Matthews Contracting to provide the product. Each company offered the low bids on the various items required.

Mckee brought another long-standing issue of the intersection of Lumpkin Campground Road and SR 53 before the Board. He pointed out the county has partnered with Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to install a right-hand turn lane along the Lumpkin Campground mainline. SR 53 traffic will not be changed. Upon completion, GDOT will adjust all traffic signals. The project qualifies for SPLOST VI funds, Impact Fee funds or General Fund.

Commissioners also discussed a highway beautification project. The county has been looking for ways to landscape areas along the GA 400 Corridor that are within the GDOT right-of-way for 10 years. The project requires special encroachment permits, and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the long-term maintenance of this corridor. In September, the project was bid and two bids were received with a total bid cost was $116,246.85, which is $69,556.85 over the total grant amount. The project is not SPLOST VI eligible, and additional funding will have to come from another source such as the general fund. McKee asked the Board for direction on the project.

GEBCorp Regional Client Manager Ryan Reynolds presented commissioners with options for a county employee retirement plan

Planning & Development Director Jameson Kinley presented a review of the 2018 comprehensive plan.

The purpose of the plan to provide guidance for everyday decision making by local government officials and other community leaders. It represents the efforts of the government, the residents and various stakeholders by identifying the critical issues and goals for the communy. The plan has been approved by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The Board can amend the plan at any time.

Commissioners unanimously approved a request by Kinley to add a summer intern to work on Geographic Information System issues within Planning and Development. The position is fully funded by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson asked for Board approval to apply for the annual Georgia Forestry Commission 50/50 grant program. The maximum allowed on this grant is $10,000.00. Thompson said the grant is needed to purchase replacement fire hoses, nozzles and scene lights. This grant will not be awarded until spring of 2019.

Commissioners unanimously approved Thompson’s request to apply for the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Injury Prevention Program. The program is designed to provide funding to public safety agencies in Georgia. DPH provides Dawson Fire/EMS with six convertible and four high-back booster child safety seats monthly to issue to citizens. The grant requires no county match.

Senior Services Director Dawn Pruett asked the Board to approve the annual contract with Deanna Specialty Transportation, Inc. to provide specialty transportation within the county. The company reimburses the county for senior client rides.

Commissioners also discussed the following board appointments/reappointments:  Tax Assessor Board, Jim Perdue; Department of Family and Children Services Board, Nancy Stites replacing Vickie Porter; Planning Commission John Dooley Chairman, Jason Hamby, John Maloney, Tim Bennett and Neil Hornsey.

 

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

 

BOC holds second public hearing on budget

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Dawson County BOC

 

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners held a work session and the second of three public hearings on the proposed 2019 budget of $27,130,089 Thursday. Commissioners will hold the final hearing Thursday Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. in the County Administration Building.

The proposed budget includes 23 new employees –19 full-time and four part-time — at a cost of a little over $932,000.

During the work session, commissioners voted to table the consideration of annexations until the Oct. 18 meeting.

KARE for Kids Board Member Tom French presented a request to use the several county facilities’ parking lots to park cars during the Mountain Moonshine Festival. Those lots requested include the Justice Center, Sheriff’s Office, K Long Building and Voters’ Registration (Sunday only).

Family Court Treatment Services Director Debbie Mott presented an application grant for supplemental funding for creation of the Dawson County Family Treatment Court. Mott is seeking $67,642 in funding from the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee. To be approved the county must provide $7,516 in matching funds. If approved, Mott said Treatment Services would use the funding to create the Dawson County Family Treatment Court, hire a full-time case manage and buy office furniture, equipment and supplies.

Department of Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson asked commissioners to approve a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) that would create a local collective operating group to disseminate warnings for specific emergency alerts.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is the designated agency in the Department of Homeland Security that implements the policy of public alerts on a national level. IPAWS is the platform used. However, FEMA recognizes that most alerts and warnings come from the state or local level, therefore there is a need for an authorized group of individuals to disseminate those alerts.

Thompson also presented a request to apply for an Assistance to Firefighters Grant that would allow the department to purchase self-contained breathing apparatus. FEMA will provide 90 percent of the total cost. Dawson County would provide the other 10 percent.

Director of Public Works Director David McKee asked commissioners to consider acceptance of Marketplace Parkway into the county road maintenance program.

Marketplace Parkway, formerly Gordon Moss Road, was developed as a commercial subdivision by Hendon Properties. The developer has built and posted maintenance and performance bonds for the roadway. Staff has performed all required inspections and has deemed the road completed.

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

BOC to vote on adjustment to coroner’s budget

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Coroner Ted Bearden

DAWSONVILLE, Ga – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on Coroner Ted Bearden’s request for funding for one additional deputy coroner position beginning on Oct. 1 when it meets in a regular session Thursday at 6 p.m. in the County Administration Building.

The position has been approved for the 2019 budget, but Bearden told commissioners during last week’s work session that a 30 percent increase in the number of calls since last year had forced him to hire a deputy coroner this year and pay him out of his own pocket. He did not ask to be reimbursed for his out of pocket expense, but did request commissioners approve funding for the fourth quarter of this year, approximately $3,876.

He also asked that the coroner’s budget for Other Services (morgue-transportation) be increased by $8,000. He pointed out that the expense had been budgeted for $25,900 in 2017 but only $19,000 this year.

Counties are required by state statute to pay for burial or cremation of indigent deceased persons. Bearden requested that the county only provide cremation service because the reimbursable expense to counties is only $2,000. “There is no way to bury someone for that amount,” he said.

Thursday’s meeting will also see commissioners vote on a conditional use permit requested by Herman Goforth to allow for multiple accessory structures to be built on a 2.744-acre tract. The property is located on Lumpkin Campground Road near Hwy. 53.

Another request commissioners will have to vote on is one made by Public Works Director David McKee who has asked for a professional services exemption for Wakefield Beasley and Associates. The company provided the preliminary civil engineering design for the Veterans Memorial Park ballfield dirt relocation and storm water management plan, which was incorporated into the full design plans for the construction of the new Senior Center building.

The county is in the beginning stages for relocation of the current pavilion, playground and update of the walking trail and unused ball field directly across from the Senior Center. McKee asked for the exemption so Wakefield Beasley & Associates can complete its preliminary work on these designs and plans. The cost is not to exceed $53,915.

McKee said the exemption would save the county the expense of hiring a new firm to become familiar with the site, draw up preliminary plans, and create the complete plans/specifications for for construction services.

Commissioners will also vote on the 2019 Board of Commissioners meeting calendar which accommodates a couple of holidays — July 4 and Thanksgiving — which fall on Thursday. Meetings those weeks will be held on Tuesday. The proposed calendar also accommodates the Association County Commissioners of Georgia Annual Conference in April 2019. Additionally, no meetings are scheduled for the weeks of New Year’s and Christmas.

 

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

 

 

Coroner seeks increase to cover morgue expense

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Coroner Ted Bearden will request an additional $8,000 for his 2018 budget to cover morgue expenses and $3,876 to cover the fourth-quarter salary and benefits package for a deputy coroner when the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meets for a Thursday work session at 4 p.m.

Bearden says his office was budgeted $25,900 for morgue expenses in 2017 but that was reduced to $19,000 this year.

The coroner also said he was forced to hire a deputy coroner this year in order to maintain an immediate response to cases, but has paid the additional expense out of his own pocket. He is budgeted for the position in 2019 but is asking commissioners to cover the cost for the next three months.

Public Works Director David McKee will ask that commissioners grant a professional exemption to Wakefield Beasley and Associates in an amount not to exceed $53,915 to complete the design, plans and specifications necessary to complete the renovation project at the Veterans Memorial Park.

The company was the original firm involved in the design to move dirt from the ball field across from the Senior Center and begin a plan on a necessary storm water management design of a new Senior Center Building. This new project is directly related and correlates with the Senior Center project.

McKee said the exemption would relieve the county of the expense for a new firm to become familiar with the site, draw up preliminary plans, and create the complete plans/specifications for an IFB for construction services.

Commissioners will discuss the proposed 2019 Board of Commissioners meeting calendar which will include a couple of changes to accommodate Independence Day and Thanksgiving, which fall on Thursday. Those meetings will be held on Tuesday. The proposed calendar also accommodates the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) Annual Conference in April. Additionally, no meetings are scheduled for the weeks of New Year’s and Christmas.

Commissioners will also consider the reappointment of Chief Voter Registrar Glenda Ferguson to Chairman of the Board of Elections & Registration.

Items discussed during work sessions can be voted on at the next regular meeting.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

CPA firm Rushton Company declares Dawson County is in good financial shape

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Chris Hollifield of the certified public accounting firm of Rushton Company presented the results of the firm’s 2017 audit during Thursday’s Dawson County Board of Commissioners work session and declared the county to be in “good financial shape.”

Highlights of the audit included these statements:

  • Government assets exceed liabilities at the close of the fiscal year by $86.8 million
  • Government’s financial position improved during 2017;
  • At the end of the fiscal year, the total fund balance was $8.2 million or 36 percent of total general fund expenditures including transfers to other funds. Fund balance increased by $767,000;
  • Government’s total indebtedness decreased by $96,000.

Expenditures by function showed Public Safety at 44 percent, followed by Public Works 17 percent and General Government 17 percent.

Dawson County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Danny Speaks requested Board approval to apply for a Georgia Trauma Commission Grant used to reimburse 911 agencies for the purchase of trauma related equipment used to equip 911 ambulances.

Fleet Maintenance Director Shannon Harben asked commissioners to approve the disposal of four heating and air conditioning units at the Detention Center. He also presented a list of other county-owned items to be placed into the 2018 GovDeals Surplus Sale.

Public Works Director David McKee gave a presentation on the proposed Fleet Maintenance/Public Works Complex with a recommendation the design/build contract be awarded to Charles Black Construction for an amount not to exceed $2,644,127. Four evaluations were received and reviewed for technical responses to establish a high-score prosper and Charles Black received the highest score.

Planning and Development Director Jason Streetman presented a Special Event Business License Application for Carol Stream Amusement Inc. to operate a carnival in the front parking lot of North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall from June 28 through July 15 between the hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Streetman also presented the site plan for John Megel Chevrolet to construct a used car lot on its property which was required by a zoning stipulation.

The Board also will consider the proposed 2018 Land Use District Map presented by Streetman and the reappointment of Joey Bearden to the Department of Family and Children Services.

Items discussed during work sessions are generally voted on during the next regular meeting.

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dawson commissioners to hear multiple annexation requests

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Multiple requests for annexation into the city of Dawsonville are expected to be voted on when the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meets Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Dawsonville City Council has notified commissioners that the owners of several single-family dwellings on Gold Bullion Drive in the Gold Creek subdivision have petitioned the city for annexation. County Planning and Development Director Jason Streetman will present those requests to commissioners.

Dwarkesh Inc. has appealed an administrative setback variance granted by the county Planning Commission to allow a gas canopy to be placed closer than the distance required by zoning regulations, requiring the commissioners to issue a final ruling.

Norkrot Financial Inc. has requested the rezoning of 46.73 acres from Residential Agriculture (RA) to Residential Sub-Rural (RSR) to build a 30-lot single-family residential community.

Bill Ross, with Ross & Associates, will present a final draft of his Impact Fee Methodology Report to the board.  A question came up during last week’s work session regarding impact fees being charged by other jurisdictions.

Ross has prepared a table showing comparisons of impact fees being charged in jurisdictions north of Atlanta and near Dawson County.

Included in the table are fees charged to single-family homes and typical development projects such as an apartment complex, a supermarket and a general office building.  Ross says as a general rule, the jurisdictions in his study indicate they charge 3 percent of each fee.

Public Works Director David McKee will be back before the commissioners to seek approval for a professional services contract with Southeastern Engineering, Inc. for the design of a replacement for the Blacks Mill Creek Bridge. The bridge has been closed since last August 2017.

The county’s contract with Northwestern Benefits to monitor the insurance market for pricing trends for negotiating insurance costs for employee and county premiums has expired, and all renewals will expire on Feb. 28 and the county had received bids from other firms to provide the service. Staff recommends commissioners approve a contract with ShawHankins.

 

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

BOC continues to hear budget requests

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – On the second day of county budget hearings, it was time for the public defender’s office, elections and voter registration, extension service, finance department and public works to present their requests.

Director of Elections and Registration Glenda Ferguson requested a decrease of $9,875 since 2018 is a non-election year and fewer part-time personnel will be needed.

Extension Agent Clark MacAllister asked for a slight increase of about $5,000 to replace an antiquated analog phone system and a copier and fax machine.

Brad Morris in the Public Defender’s office requested an increase of $17,638 primarily to fund the hiring of two additional personnel.

Commissioner Sharon Fausett wanted to know if defendants are required to prove that they are indigent before they receive taxpayer funded legal representation.

Morris said there is a standardized state form defendants are required to complete to determine if they qualify as indigent.

“Is it that they don’t pay anything at all,” Fausett asked.

Morris explained the defendant must pay $50 for an interview and there is some payback through probation fees. “The judge can also order them to pay some attorney fees,” he said.

Finance Director Vickie Neikirk’s budget request was for an additional $33,000, most of which was to pay for the Board of Commissioners-approved county employee pay raise combined with an increase in group insurance.

Public Works Director David McKee asked for the largest total increase, but it would be spread over several diverse functions that fall under the Public Works Department umbrella – Administration, GIS, Roads, and the Transfer Station. An increase in his administrative budget comes from the movement of the stormwater management position from the planning and development department to public works. It is more of a shifting of funds than an actual increase for the county.

If approved, the transfer station would get an increase of $122,052 but that does not affect the general fund budget since it is covered by the revenue-bearing solid waste fund which currently has a balance of $1,796,130.

Roads department would get an increase of $74,907 while administration would receive an additional $63,397. The GIS/Engineering budget would be reduced by $9,875.

McKee requested the addition of two new positions in the roads department and that three part-time positions be combined into two full-time positions to create a four-man mowing crew. The crew’s responsibility would be mowing 40 hours a week during the growing season then switch to cutting back limbs and assisting in cleaning the county right of ways. McKee said a full-time mowing crew could help transform public works from being reactive to proactive.

“For example, this week, we were paving, finishing up some LMIG (local maintenance improvement grant) work and getting ready to move over to Biscayne subdivision,” he explained. “Yesterday, I received eight mowing calls and seven were substantiated. What do we do? We pull somebody off a crew and send them over to mow or I go do it or we take somebody who needs to be hauling solid waste and we go do that.”

Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond welcomed the addition of a full-time mowing crew. He pointed out the crew would be beneficial since it would allow other public works crews to get more road work done and reduce the need to bid road work out.

McKee also asked for one new position to work at the transfer station.

 

 

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

Board of Commissioners schedules work session Thursday

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DAWSONVLLE, Ga. – Dawson County Commissioners will consider awarding a contract to Ross and Associates in the amount of $8,100 to update the county’s Land Use Plan commercial and residential zoning classifications when they meet for a work session at 4 p.m. in the Government Center Assembly Room Thursday (March 28).

The county sent our several request for bids but Ross and Associates’ bid was the only one received. Ross and Associates is the same company that conducted the impact fee study for the county.

Commissioners will also consider:

  • MLH Farm/Uncle Shuck’s application for a special event business permit to continue with its agritourism business, which includes a corn maze, sunflower maze, and this year includes the sale of Christmas trees this year. Uncle Shucks has relocated from its previous location on Hwy 53 to Bannister Rd (off Hwy 9 South;
  • A request by the 4H Rabies Clinic for a parade and assembly permit. This will be the fifth year that the Extension office has hosted the Rabies Clinic. Participants will drive into the courthouse parking lot off of Shoal Creek Road, park, register, return to vehicles and drive to the vet in the upper parking lot. They will then exit back onto Shoal Creek Road;
  • Hiring an Alcohol Licensing Administrator at a pay range of $17.00 to $26.35 per hour;
  • A request by Public Works Director David McKee to apply for the 2019 Local Maintenance and Improvement Safety Grant.to help pay for signing, striping and marking county roads. Georgia Department of Transportation has committed $100,000 for this project. The grant requires a 30 percent match from the county and the application must be submitted to GDOT by April 1;
  • A request to surplus/demolish the Transfer Station Weigh Station Modular Office now that commissioners have approved construction of the new Public Works Complex;
  • A presentation updating the 2019 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Program;
  • A request by Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk for creation of a General Fund Contingency of $100,000 in the 2019 Budget;
  • Presentation of Board appointment of Tom Camp to the Board of Tax Assessors through 2019.

 

 

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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