Thurmond will ask commissioners to censure Julie Hughes-Nix

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond will introduce a resolution to censure Commissioner Julie Hughes-Nix for a breach of attorney-client privilege and executive session privilege during Thursday’s voting session.

Thurmond claims Nix sent emails to a county employee despite the fact the emails were marked confidential and attorney-client privileged.

The resolution states: “Despite this specific admonition, such communications were forwarded by Commissioner Nix in violation of the attorney-client privilege when such communications were concerning personnel issues about the very employee to whom she forwarded the communications, this employee was represented by an attorney, and this employee was taking positions adverse to Dawson County’s interests.”

Nix told Fetch Your News Tuesday, “I accept responsibility. I did inadvertently release information from executive session. I apologize to my fellow commissioners and, more importantly, to the citizens of Dawson County. I can promise that will never happen again.”

Censures are mainly symbolic. There is no loss of rights or privileges and therefore, a censure carries no more weight than a written reprimand.

The issue that is expected to draw a large crowd, Thursday is a request by Chamber of Commerce President Christie Moore that commissioners consider reducing impact fees on road projects and fire protection categories to 25 percent.

During last week’s work session, Moore said impact fees are the reason at least one company declined to open a business in Dawson County.

Moore provided the example of one large fitness center that had planned to build a new facility in the community but backed out when it was learned the impact fee would be $51,000.

District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett challenged assertion.

“What would have been their tap fee,” she questioned. Moore said she didn’t know. Fausett continues, saying, “But you know it would have been a lot more than that right.”

“It certainly would have been,” Moore said and that is another entity we’ve been advocating with.”

 

Other issues commissioners are also expected to vote on include:

  • A resolution extending the agreement with interim county attorneys Jarrard & Davis;
  • A FY 2019 public defender intergovernmental agreement between Dawson and Hall counties;
  • The FY 2019 state public defender contract;
  • 2019 Charity Boot Drives;
  • Special event business license application for a motorcycle event;
  • Acceptance of a Geographic Information System summer intern grant;
  • A new recycling agreement with Advanced Disposal;
  • A request for Highway 53 / Lumpkin Campground Road Intersection Improvement Project budget;
  • Approval of a legal services agreement to retain Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. as special legal counsel in opioid litigation;
  • A settlement agreement with Hodges-Mace, LLC to resolve a contract claim.

 

A resolution of censure. 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

 

Author

Chamber of Commerce wants commercial impact fees reduced

News

Commissioner Sharon Fausett

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Impact fees dominated much of the discussion at the Dawson County Board of Commissioners work session last week.

Chamber of Commerce President Christie Moore made a presentation and requested commissioners consider reducing impact fees on road projects and fire protection categories to 25 percent. Moore said impact fees are the reason at least one company declined to open a business in Dawson County.

“We’re not here to speak about the residential side,” she said. “We’re here to speak to the commercial side of things. We can’t calculate how many businesses we’ve lost (as a result of impact fees). We can only calculate what we have received. So far only $73,000 has been collected from commercial impact fees. Our concern is not the large businesses like the Olive Gardens of the world. They’re used to impact fees. But it really can hurt some of our attempts to attract other organizations that we really want in our community.”

Moore provided the example of one large fitness center that had planned to build a new facility in the community but backed out when it was learned the impact fee would be $51,000.

Commissioner Chris Gaines

District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett challenged the notion that the impact fee was the sole reason the company backed out.

“What would have been their tap fee,” she questioned. Moore said she didn’t know. Fausett said, “But you know it would have been a lot more than that right.”

“It certainly would have been,” Moore said and that is another entity we’ve been advocating with.”

“(Impact fees) are nothing compared to that (tap fee),” Fausett added. “It just seems to me like this is all being blamed on impact fees and I disagree with that.”

District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines said the announcement that Northeast Georgia Medical Center will open a new hospital at GA. 400 and Hwy. 60 in Lumpkin County will create new opportunities.

“We’ve all continually said we want to diversify our economic base beyond just retail,” he said. “I think we have a great opportunity of attracting commercial office space when it comes to the medical aspect that is going to be ancillary to the hospital. It seems to me (impact fees) are a barrier we’re putting in place that we do control. I think we need to take a good look at this to make sure we don’t miss out on some high paying jobs that can revolve around the new hospital.”

Items discussed during a work session are typically not voted on until they come before the Board in a 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

 

 

 

 

Author

CORRECTION: Dawson Village Partners plan for 2,700-home development attracts strong opposition from Dawson County residents

News

NOTE: The dates for the planning commission hearing and Board of Commissioners hearing were incorrectly published in the initial reporting of this article. We apologize for any confusion The correct dates are listed below.

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. -Dawsonville Village Partners is proposing a mixed-use development to be located on a 974-acre site at the northwest corner of the intersection of Lumpkin Campground Road and Ga. 400 west, crossing the Etowah River and reaching Etowah River Road.

The Dawson County Planning Commission will hear a request to rezone the property to Mixed Use Village on Tuesday, March 19. The request will go before the Board of Commissioners April 18. Both hearings will be held in the County Administration Building at 6 p.m. and the public is invited to attend and speak in opposition to or in favor of the proposal.

The plan also calls for a 350-home, age-restricted senior community, a continuing-care retirement community, approximately 338,000 square feet of retail space and more than 243,000 square feet of office space, a luxury hotel, conference center, central park and walking trails.

Developers believe the project will provide a “destination” to attract visitors and encourage them to stay longer and spend more money in the county.

But opponents worry the mega development will over burden an already challenged infrastructure and destroy the quality of life in Dawson County.

Residents have taken to Facebook pages like Focus on Dawson and Dawson Discussion to voice their opinion.

Gina Wilson Schulte asked, “Why would you oppose this. It brings jobs and tax money to Dawson County.”

But Schulte was in a very small minority of posters. The overwhelming majority expressed strong opposition.

Dava Hudgins, for example, posted, “2,700 more houses? We don’t have the infrastructure for what we already have, including water and sewer. Our police force is stretched as it is. There is no budget for more. We don’t need this kind of development.”

Jennifer Dyer stated, “This looks like a nightmare.”

Kelley Crane posted, “I came here 20 years ago to get away from this c_ _ _. Why is this happening to our quiet little town?”

Douglas S. Davis asked, sarcastically, “Is this going to lower my taxes like the Mall was supposed to?”

And Danny Gilbert lamented the fact that “Our way of life will soon be gone.”

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Author

Dawson BOC work session Thursday

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County Public Works Director David McKee will ask commissioners for $44,000 to complete the intersection improvements at Hwy. 53/Lumpkin Campground Road when the Board of Commissioners meets in a work session at 4 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 14).

Commissioners approved $56,000 for Vertical Earth to complete the curb work and an amount not to exceed $100,000 for the entire project. Vertical Earth has completed its portion of the project. McKee is now asking for the balance of the $100,000 approved amount to complete additional road work such as stripping, erosion control, hauling, milling, drainage pipe, etc.

Last July, commissioners approved retention of Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley (BBGA) to represent the County as a plaintiff in multi-district opioid litigation. However, that firm was never formally retained and no contract for legal services was ever approved. The multi-state litigation currently involves claims from hundreds of states, counties, and cities nationwide, all consolidated in a federal court in Ohio.

Interim county attorneys Jarrard & Davis have prepared a contract on behalf of the county that calls for BBGA to receive 30% of any recovery, plus reimbursement of costs. There should be no cost to the county from this litigation – if there is no recovery, or if the recovery is valuable but not monetary in nature, the county will not be required to pay any money. In addition, BBGA will indemnify and hold harmless the county against any award of fees or costs to the defendants in the case

In other business, commissioners will consider:

  • Recission of its denial of the alcohol license application from Blackrock Food Service LLC d/b/a/ Crave Hot Dogs & BBQ and Consideration of Issuance of Alcohol License (Retail Consumption on Premises of Beer and Wine);
  • A Presentation of FY 2019 Public Defender Intergovernmental Agreement Between Dawson and Hall Counties;
  • A presentation of FY 2019 State Public Defender Contract;
  • A presentation of an on-call electrical service award (rebid);
  • A presentation of 2019 Charity Boot Drives;
  • A presentation of staff response to a citizen’s reported concerns;
  • A presentation of new proposed recycling agreement with Advanced Disposal;
  • Discussion of Parks & Recreation Programs;
  • Discussion of Impact Fees on Commercial Businesses.

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

Author

Dawson BOC to discuss legal representation at Thursday work session

News

 

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioner will discuss how to proceed with its legal representation during Thursday’s work session which begins at 4 p.m.

County attorney Lynn Frey, who was hired as in-house counsel in Feb. 2017, announced in a letter to commissioners that he is retiring due to an illness.

The BOC retained Jarrard & Davis, LLP to serve as interim Dawson County attorneys for a period of 60 days on December 27, 2018.

In following the county’s purchasing policy ordinance County Manager David Headley will ask the Board to approve a request for a professional exemption for Jarrard & Davis to fulfill the scope of services in the approved agreement and to approve a budget for their services.

Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk will recommend using the funds allocated for the county attorney in 2019. All costs will go into account called Legal Fees.

Other items on the agenda include:

  • Presentation of LED Lighting Project Proposal for the library that was tabled from the Nov. meeting;
  • Consideration of the Comprehensive Plan, tabled from the Jan. 17 voting session[, Voting Session)
  • Presentation of Capital Improvements Element Annual Update;
  • Presentation of FY 2019 Legacy Link Nutrition Program ;
  • Presentation of Community Development Block Grant Language Access Plan Update;
  • Presentation of Professional Exemption Request for Interim County Attorney;
  • Presentation of Board Appointments to the Joint Development Authority (Christie Haynes Moore, John Drew, Betsy McGriff);
  • Discussion of Grant Application Procedures.

 

 

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

 

 

Author

Board of Commissioners delays approval of comp plan again

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — For the second straight week, the Dawson County Board of Commissioner couldn’t decide if would be best to approve the comprehensive plan using the same future land use map it has used for years or replace it with a character area map.

Both maps display every parcel in Dawson County. The future land use map uses more narrow guidelines in assigning zoning classifications while the character area map is reportedly more flexible.

At Thursday’s (Jan. 17) work session, Chairman Billy Thurmond said, “There is some more work that is going to be done on that map that has been requested.”

Part of the reason for the Board’s indecision is that the future land use map presented on Jan. 10 contained some errors that needed to be corrected.

The comprehensive plan is the road map commissioners use to plan for future growth. The state requires counties update the plan every five years and submit it to the Department of Community Affairs in order to attain Certified Local Government status and to be eligible to receive state grants.

The county has held numerous public information meetings and conducted an online survey to keep citizens in the loop about the proposed plan.

Speaking at the Jan. 10 public hearing, Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Moore said speaking on behalf of the Chamber, “We would argue that the character area makes absolutely the most sense. I hear the argument about it being less restrictive, but I would also say it empowers the commission more to help be part of that process.”

Speaking at the same meeting, Long Range Planning Committee Co-Chair Terri Tragesser said, “We have more comfort at this time in staying with the (future land use) map as opposed to the character areas. Not because we don’t think that could have value but we just at this point don’t know enough about it to feel comfortable with it. I’ve seen future land use maps in high-growth areas serve very well as opposed to the character area maps, but you have to put some overlays on those maps so that they are specific.”

 

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

 

 

Author

BOC needs more time to finalize comp plan

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners held one final public hearing on the 2018 comprehensive plan Thursday.

The plan is one of the county’s most important documents because it provides elected officials with a road map to use in planning the county’s future. 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 and approved by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs in order to qualify for Certified Local Government Status and to be eligible for state grants and programs.

Thursday’s discussion centered on whether commissioners should base their zoning decisions on a future land use map, as it has done for years, or consider the character area map approach.

Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond said the character map offers more flexibility in zoning decisions but is less restrictive than the current future land use map.

“That’s the reason we wanted to look at both,” he said.

Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Christine Moore said, “This is a document that people live and breathe every single day. The character area map to us does make the most sense because of the flexibility and control it provides and also because It allows an adaptability to our ever changing economy.”

Tony Passarello, who serves on both the Long Range Planning Commission and Comprehensive Board is Plan Commission favored the future land use map. “It is more consistent and legally supportable,” he said.

He did recognize some changes needed to be made.

As a member of the Dawson Development Authority, Passarello said one comment he hears constantly is “What we are trying to attract is business that offers higher-paying jobs and more professional growth so we can have our children who are being educated in our fine schools can stay in Dawson County. The current land use map we have has not been adjusted to make room for those types of businesses.”

Passarello also whatever plan is selected needs to “reflect the input we have received from the citizens.”

Terri Tragesser, co-chairman of the Long Range Planning Commission, said, “We have more comfort at this point in time with the future land use map. Not because we don’t believe the character area map has value. We just don’t know enough about it to feel comfortable with it. I’ve seen the future land use map in high-growth areas work very well.”

Like Passarello, however, Tragesser said the future land use map needs some changes.

“You have to put some overlays on those maps so they are more specific,” she said. “So they address things like Dawson Forest Road and Hwy. 9 intersection. That will build out with a lot of uncertainty. Right now, we have absolutely no definition in that intersection as to how it’s going to look, how it’s going to build out, how it’s going to work from a transportation standpoint. That’s the type of work that is still to be done.”

The DCA has already approved the comprehensive plan that includes the character area plan, but Hazell said only one section would need to be changed should the Board of Commissioners vote to approve the future land use map and that section has already been submitted for the DCA’s review and approval.

Commissioner Chris Gaines said, “I’d like to step back. I want to make sure we’re doing this correctly. I want to wrap my head around this from a legal standpoint personally before I’m willing to put my name on something that is the future guiding document for the county.”

The Board then directed Gaines and Commissioner Sharon Fausett to meet with the new interim county attorneys, Ken Jarrard and Angela Davis and come to next week’s meeting with additional information.

 

 

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

Author

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

News

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.

Author

FetchYourNews.com - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

News - Videos - TV - Marketing - Website Design - Commercial Production - Consultation

Search

FetchYourNews.com - Citizen Journalists - A place to share “Your” work. Send us “Your” information or tips - 706.276.NEWs (6397) 706.889.9700 chief@FetchYourNews.com

Back to Top