Commissioners set to vote on Etowah Village

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Two major developments that have attracted heated opposition from citizens will be on the agenda when the Board of Commissioners meets in a voting session Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Dawson County Government Center.

That session will be preceded at 4 p.m. by a work session and executive session.

Dawson Village Partners wants to have about 800 acres at the intersection of Ga. Hwy. 400 and Lumpkin County Road rezoned to accommodate Etowah Village, a massive development that would include 538,700 square feet of retail space, 243,000 square feet of office space and 2,174 residential units in addition to a hotel, convention center and Asian cultural arts center.

Opponents believe such a major development would overburden the infrastructure lead to overcrowding schools and lower property values. Even more important, they believe it will destroy the quality of life they enjoy and that has attracted many others to move here.

And, Dava Hudgins gave commissioners something else to consider at the last public hearing when she said some part of the project would be built on a historic site.

“My ancestors opened a trading post on that site,” she said. “They married Cherokee women. There are Indian mounds there and I know where there are two different Indian burial grounds. It’s not just a flood plain. It is historically important.”

Historic sites are protected by state and federal laws.

Hudgins took Dist. 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett and Dist. 4 Julie Hughes-Nix to visit the site Saturday. They are expected to report on their findings at Thursday’s meeting.

There is also a request by Judd Hughes to rezone 40 acres on Dawson Forest Road from Residential Agriculture (RA-1) to Residential Multi-Family for the purpose of building a 240-unit apartment complex is less contentious but has drawn a significant amount of opposition.

Other items on the voting session agenda include:

A PR Acquisition, LLC request to update zoning conditions on property near the intersection of Harry Sossebee Road and Lumpkin Campground Road because some of the original conditions no longer apply to the property which was approved for 388 homes;

Consideration of a Dawson County Food Drive spearheaded by the Public Defender’s office;

Consideration of a request by an Eagle Scout to build a Bocce Ball Court at Rock Creek Park for an Eagle Scout project;

Consideration of Amicalola Electric Membership Corporation power easement for the Public Works Complex;

Consideration of No Thru Truck Traffic on Blacks Mill Rd;

Consideration of improvements to Red Rider Road;

Consideration of appointments to the Library Board.

 

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 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

 

 

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BOC will vote on massive Etowah Village development Thursday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County Commissioners are set to make a decision on one of the largest developments in the county’s history during the voting session that starts at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The Planning Commission voted 3-2 last month to recommend denial of the Dawson Village Partners rezoning request that would include 2,175 residential units, approximately 300,000 square feet of retail space, 200,000 square feet of office space, a luxury hotel, Chinese cultural arts center, continuous care retirement community and 450-bed assisted living facility.

The Planning Commission based its recommendation of denial on the impact the development would have on the health, safety and general welfare of the citizens and the environmental impact on the Etowah River and flood plain.

But the final decision is in the hands of county commissioners.

If approved, the development, which will be known as Etowah Village, will be located at the intersection of Lumpkin Campground Road and Ga. 400 then expand west to Etowah River Road before crossing the Etowah River.

In a public information meeting in April, Project Engineer Corey Guthrie said the project will take 10-15 years to complete and would be constructed in five phases.

Phase 1 will consist of building the fire station, hotel and retail along Hwy. 400. Phase 2 calls for construction of office buildings, apartments, a cultural arts center. Phase 3 will be the addition of continuous care retirement center. Phase 4 would include a 450-unit active adult community. The final phase calls for the addition of 171-single family units.

Guthrie said if the county commission approves the project, it will be at least nine months to a year before ground is broken.

 

 

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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County commission holds first split-session meeting

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. –  County Commissioners held their first split meeting Thursday, with a work session at 4 p.m. followed by an executive session then a voting session at 6 p.m.

During the voting session, commissioners approved the retirement of the Sheriff’s Office K9 Kimbo and transfer of the dog’s ownership to its handler, Jessica Kraft.

In other business, commissioners:

  • Read and approved a resolution to declare May 5-11 National Small Business Week;
  • Tabled a vote on a proposed contract with CT Darnell Construction for design-build services for Fire Station No. 9 until the May 16 meeting;
  • Approved an intergovernmental agreement with the Board of Education regarding use of a portion of the parking lot at the Public Works Complex;
  • Approved a services agreement with the Humane Society for treatment and housing of animals.
  • Approved an addendum to the 2019 Legacy Link contract for nutritional program services.
  • Approved the addition of $250,000 to the budget to pay for legal services provided by Jarrard and Davis;
  • Approved a request by Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne to hold a county employees night at the county swimming pool on May 17;
  • Held a public hearing on Olive Garden LLC request for an alcohol license for retail consumption on premises of beer, wine and distilled spirits then approved the request;
  • Held the first public hearing on a land use resolution update. The second public hearing is scheduled for May 16;

During the work session, Public Works Director David McKee asked the Board to consider allowing his department to retain the services of ShepCo Paving Inc., an on-call, full-depth reclamation service.

Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne presented 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.

Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk presented a first quarter financial status report for 2019.

Development Authority of Dawson County Chairman Brian Trapnell presented an update of its activity which will be outlined in a future Fetch Your News article.
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
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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County Commission begins new meeting schedule Thursday

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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

 

 

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Commissioners approve addition of a $100,000 emergency contingency to the general fund budget

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – By the narrowest of margins, Dawson County commissioners voted Thursday to add $100,000 contingency to the general fund budget that County Manager David Headley will have the authority to spend in case of an emergency without receiving Board authorization.

Prior to the vote, Dist. 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines asked for three stipulations:  The expenditure would require dual signatures from CFO Vickie Neikirk and Headley, a maximum amount of $25,000 for each emergency expenditure with an aggregate amount of $100,000 annually and the expenditure be included in the public record at the next Board of Commissioners meeting.

Chairman Billy Thurmond, Dist. 3 Commissioner Tim Satterfield and Gaines voted to approve the contingency.

But Dist. 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes-Nix and Dist 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett, who wanted Headley on a shorter leash, voted no.

Nix reminded commissioners that the money they spend is not theirs, but belongs to taxpayers and that commissioners should maintain a tighter control on spending.

“I would really like to know up front what it is,” she said. “I’m really guided by the fact that the money belongs to our citizens and we need to be more accountable.”

In other decisions, commissioners voted to approve a Landbridge Development, LLC request to rezone property located between Krystal and the movie theater just off Hwy. 400 from Commercial Highway Business to Residential Multi Family for the purpose of building five apartment buildings with 12 rental units each.

Commissioners unanimously approved Amber Popphan’s request for a variance to the Land Use Resolution that will allow her to build a mobile home on property of less than five acres that was given to her by her father.

The Board also approved a request by Planning Director Jameson Kinley to hire an Alcohol Licensing administrative assistant at a rate of $15.84 per hour.

Two weeks ago, the county received a low bid from CT Darnell to execute a design-build contract for Fire Station 9. However, no contract was awarded and since then, the county discovered it could save as much as $75,000 by entering into negotiations with Darnell. Commissioners unanimously agreed to allow the negotiation to proceed.

The Board also voted 4-0 to approve a local share commitment letter for Legacy Link.

Thurmond read a proclamation to celebrate Arbor Day on April 26. The event this year will be celebrated by the Dawson County Tree Preservation Committee and Keep Dawson County Beautiful planting a tree on April 26th and encouraging others to plant trees across the county.

 

 

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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Commissioners will vote on new meeting schedule Thursday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County Commissioners will vote Thursday on a proposal brought to the Board by Chairman Billy Thurmond that would limit commission meetings to just two days a week when they meet Thursday at 6 p.m. in the County Government Building.

In the past Dawson County commissioners have held meetings four times a month with work sessions and voting meetings held on alternate Thursdays. Work sessions are held for the purpose of discussing issues that will be voted on the next week. That has led to some voting sessions lasting less than 15 minutes.

Thurmond said rather than bring staff and citizens together for two very short voting meetings each month, it would be more efficient to hold work sessions and voting meetings on the same night.

If approved, future work sessions will be held at 4 p.m. followed by an executive session at 5 p.m. if necessary and a voting meeting at 6 p.m.

Thurmond said he proposed the change, “In an effort to make meetings more efficient and more productive.”

Commissioners will also vote Thursday on the hiring of an Alcohol Licensing Administrator at a pay range between $17 and $26.35 per hour. The position is currently frozen.

Other issues to be voted on Thursday include:

  • The hiring of Ross and Associates to conduct the land use resolution update the Board requested at a cost of $8,100;
  • A request by the 4H Rabies Clinic to hold the 5th annual parade and assembly on April 27;
  • Creation of a general fund contingency of $100,000 to be added to the 2019 budget.;
  • A request from MLH Farm/Uncle Shucks to hold a corn maze, sunflower maze and possibly a Christmas tree sale at their new location;
  • A request to surplus/demolish the Transfer Station weigh station modular office;
  • A presentation of the 2019 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) VI;
  • A three-party agreement between Dawson County, City of Dawsonville and Dawson County Humane Society on animal control;
  • A new pay schedule for Constitutional Officers;
  • An appointment to the Tax Assessors Board.

 

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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County Commissioners consider changing meeting schedule

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — In the past Dawson County commissioners have held meetings four times a month but that could change to twice monthly if they decide to adopt the proposal discussed at Thursday’s work session.

Currently, the Board holds work sessions on the first and third Thursday each month and a voting sessions on the second and fourth Thursday. During the work sessions, they discuss issues that will be voted at the voting session. But that has resulted in voting sessions that, at times, have lasted less than 15 minutes.

Chairman Billy Thurmond said rather than bring staff and citizens together for two very short voting meetings each month, it would be more efficient to hold work sessions and voting meetings on the same night.

If approved, future work sessions will be held at 4 p.m. followed by an executive session at 5 p.m. if necessary and a voting meeting at 6 p.m.

“Chairman Billy Thurmond he proposed the change, “In an effort to make meetings more efficient and more productive.”

Planning Director Jameson Kinley asked commissioners to authorize the hiring of an Alcohol Licensing Administrator at a pay range between $17 and $26.35 per hour. The position is currently frozen.

He also asked for $8,100 to hire Ross and Associates to conduct the land use resolution update the Board had requested. The department put the update out for bids. Ross and Associates was the sole bidder.

Commissioners heard a request by the 4H Rabies Clinic to hold the 5th annual parade and assembly on April 27.

Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk requested Board approval to create a general fund contingency of $100,000 in the 2019 budget. Dawson County has had a contingency in the past but it was not included in the 2019 budget.

Generally, department heads would ask for money for their department and if she believed it to be in the county’s interest, she would present it to County Manager David could authorize the expenditure before presenting it to the Board as part of his County Manager report.

Other agenda items discussed include:

  • A request from MLH Farm/Uncle Shucks to hold a corn maze, sunflower maze and possibly a Christmas tree sale at their new location;
  • A request to surplus/demolish the Transfer Station weigh station modular office;
  • A presentation of the 2019 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) VI;
  • A presentation of a three-party agreement between Dawson County, City of Dawsonville and Dawson County Humane Society on animal control;
  • A presentation of the pay schedule for Constitutional Officers;
  • A presentation of a board appointment to the Tax Assessors Board.

 

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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