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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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.

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Hamby, Headley honored for outstanding achievement during Thursday work session

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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

 

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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

 

 

 

 

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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

 

 

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Coroner Bearden requests budget update

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden appeared before the Dawson County Board of Commissioners during last week’s work session to request an increase in funding for this year’s  budget.

Bearden told commissioners, “There is going to be a shortfall. There is just no way around it. That is based on the caseload. We are still running over 30 percent higher number of cases than the same time last year.”

He attributed the increase to drug-realated deaths and deaths of a violent nature.

The county has added a deputy coroner position in the 2019 budget, but Bearden said he has already hired a deputy coroner and has been paying him out of his own pocket. He asked the county to pay the salary and benefits starting Oct. 1.

“It would be a big help to us if we could go ahead and do that,” he said.

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 old pavilion at the park is to be torn down to accommodate a parking lot for the new senior center that is under construction. McKee explained that in losing the old pavilion a new design plan will have to be done to accommodate the drainage that will be lost there. Wakefield Beasley has been involved in the design of the senior center from the beginning.

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 discussed the proposed 2019 Board of Commissioners meeting calendar which will include a couple of minor 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.

Also on the agenda was a discussion about the reappointment of Chief Voter Registrar Glenda Ferguson to Chairman of the Board of Elections & Registration. That is expected to be approved at the next voting session.

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

 

 

 

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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

 

 

 

 

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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

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