Dawson County Economy is Booming in 2017



Charlie Auvermann

DAWSONVILLE Ga. – The economic doldrums of the past 10 years appear to be over in Dawson County.

Charlie Auvermann, executive director of the Development Authority of Dawson County, says the 400 corridor is bustling with new business development, jobs are available for anyone who wants to work and sales tax revenue has experienced a dramatic uptick during the first quarter of 2017

The most recent figures show the unemployment has dropped to just 4 percent, the lowest level since the recession began in 2007.

The strong need for workers, particularly in both the retail and construction sectors has driven the unemployment rate down dramatically.

“With all of the new businesses opening in Dawson County and commercial and residential construction returning, the number of job openings has exploded,” he added.

Basic sales tax revenue is up almost 9 percent for the first quarter, which is typically the slowest quarter of the year because it comes right after the Christmas holiday.

“These numbers suggest we are a very vibrant economy,” Auvermann said in a press release this week.

March LOST/SPLOST collections alone are up 8.35 percent over March 2016. The combined collection was $1.14 million in March. February saw an increase of 8.4% and January was 9.47% better than last year. The March collections were the highest since 2009 and the second highest in the last decade.

The total LOST/SPLOST tax collections for the first three months of 2017 were just over $3.05 million and that does not include the education local option sales tax revenue which is reported separately.

“These LOST and SPLOST increases are important for our county,” Auvermann said. “The LOST funds help pay county salaries, keep the lights on and pay for a host of services provided to our citizens. The SPLOST funds help build roads, bridges and new buildings.”

The Authority has done studies that indicate most of the SPLOST and LOST taxes collected are from shoppers who live outside the county. At the same time, with all the new stores opening in Dawson County, local shoppers can spend their dollars at home instead of traveling to Hall and Forsyth counties.

Auvermann said as stores and businesses continue to be attracted to Dawson County the economy will continue to be robust.






Commissioners Approve Property Revaluation


Dawson County Board of Commissioners

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. –  For the first time in 11 years, Dawson County will conduct a comprehensive revaluation of real property in the county that will include 15,000 parcels of land, 12,000 residential homes, 1,800 commercial/industrial improvements and 200 mobile homes.

The purpose of a revaluation is not to increase county revenue but, to ensure equity and uniformity of assessment. The process includes new projects and will reflect market changes (up or down) in property values.

Tax Appraiser Kurt Tangel

Commissioners voted unanimously to award the project to GMASS at Thursday’s meeting. Chief Tax Appraiser Kurt Tangel said it will take two years to complete and cost approximately $588,300, not including the cost of appeals. The county budgeted $600,000 for the project.

Bill Ross of Ross & Associates gave a presentation regarding updating the county’s Impact Fee Program. Impact Fees are fees charged to developers to pay the costs of providing public services to a new development.

There are two elements involved in the update. The first is updating the program itself. The second is preparation of a Comprehensive Plan 5-Year update. Ross said his firm could provide both elements at a cost of $98,650.

Once the update is complete, it must be approved by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and commissioners will be required to hold two public hearings. The board took no action on the presentation.

Commissioners held the first of two public hearings on consideration to move forward with the 2017 Updated Environmental Health Fee Schedule. The second public hearing is scheduled for June 1.

The board unanimously approved a special use permit for Steele Buffalo Butchery on Harmony Church Road to allow for butchering and processing naturally processed products with several stipulations, including upgrading the current septic system, capping the maximum number of animals that can be slaughtered to 25 per week and all refuse to be discarded in a steel container and picked up weekly. There were no objections to the request.

Richard Bourgeois’ request to rezone seven acres of his property from Residential Suburban (RS) to Residential Agriculture (RA) to allow his family to keep horses for their own personal use. There were no objections to the request.

Commissioners also approved:

  • Fire House Subs and Chick-fil-A Dawsonville Fund Raising Opportunities to Support Dawson County Emergency Services;
  • A request to surplus three fire apparatuses;
  • Moving forward with public hearings on June 1, 2017 and June 15, 2017 regarding the Scrap Tire Storage and Disposal Draft Ordinance;
  • Dawson County Rotary Club’s request to contribute handicapped accessible playground equipment for the playground at Rock Creek Park;
  • The FY2017 Legacy Link Addendum #2;
  • The FY2018 Legacy Link Contract;
  • A revised travel policy for mileage and per diem for elected officials and county staff;
  • A budget amendment to account for a private donation of $700,000 to build a new senior center;
  • An application to GMRC for a Community Development Block Grant for the senior center project;
  • Reappointment of Susan Roof 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. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at www.fetchyournews.com



New principal at Robinson Elementary School

Robinson Elementary

Mrs. Arnette is going to be a great addition to our leadership team in Dawson County as the new principal of Robinson Elementary School.  She brings with her a wealth of experience from the entire K-12 spectrum and will be instrumental in helping Dawson County continue to strive for academic excellence.  Mrs. Arnette will take over the principalship on July 1, 2017.

Page Arnette is a native of Hall County and grew up in the community of Oakwood, GA. She began her teaching career as a high school science teacher. She has taught high school chemistry and physical science as well as served as a school and district administrator in all grade levels, K-12.  Prior to coming to Robinson Elementary School, she served students in a variety of areas in Georgia, including Oconee County, Elbert County, Valdosta City, and Forsyth County Schools. From 2010-2012 as Assistant Principal, Mrs. Arnette also helped open Riverview Elementary School here in Dawson County. Although she has worked with students of all ages, her passion is working with elementary children as they experience the excitement of learning and achieve success, in the classroom and beyond.

Mrs. Arnette’s educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Secondary Science Education from The University of Georgia, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Clemson University, and an Educational Specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Piedmont College. 

Mrs. Arnette is married to Jeff Arnette, educator and Head Football Coach at South Forsyth High School. Coach and Mrs. Arnette have two children, Kennedy (13) and Jackson (9).   She enjoys watching sports, listening to music, getting outside for long walks, and traveling.  Although they have a busy schedule, especially during football season, the Arnettes love spending their spare time together just playing in the yard or visiting with family and friends.


Dawson County upcoming events


Dawson County 2017 Events:

Contact Dawson County Welcome Center for all the latest events

44 Commerce Drive, 706-265-6278 or http://www.dawson.org/Calendar.html


2017 Events:

events for dawson

8th Annual Memorial Day Weekend Car Show & Heritage Days Festival

May 27, 2017

Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Location: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame

Website: georgiaracinghof.com


Phone: 706-216-7223


(rain date 5/28 or 5/29/2017)

REGISTRATION STARTS 8:00am – $20 (Must be registered to be judged).


Trophies/Awards given for Top 15, Top Ford, Top GM, Top Mopar, Farthest Traveled, and GRHOF Best in Show. Additional trophies include Top Truck, Street Rod and Most Original.

Heritage craft vendors and demonstrations will be on site as well. We will have a kiddie tractor pull contest bring your own tractor for the race, pie eating contest, Antique tractor and gas engine displays.


Sparks in the Motorsports Park Independence Day Celebration

July 4, 2017

Location: Atlanta Motorsports Park, 20 Duck Thurmond Road, Dawsonville, GA 30534

Website: atlantamotorsportspark.com

Email: info@atlantamotorsportspark.com

Phone: 678-381-8527


Sparks at the Motorsports Park Independence Day Celebration in Dawsonville, GA is the place to be to get your fill of family fun, get a variety of food and see an excellent firework display. No charge for general admission and parking.


dawson bike ride dawon metric bike ride metric bike ride in dawson


‘Shine Pedalers Metric Bike Ride

July 29, 2017

Location: The Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, 415 Highway 53 East, Dawsonville, GA 30534

Website: business.dawson.org/events/details/shine-pedalers-bike-ride-2017-11113

Email: b.mason@dawson.org

Phone: 706-265-6278


Shine Pedalers will start and finish at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, Georgia.

‘Shine Pedalers Ride offers two rolling routes through the beautiful hills Dawson County.

Download PDF of Ride Information

Metric Century – 62 miles, 5261′ of climb https://ridewithgps.com/routes/5487186
Half Metric – 31miles, 2076′ of climb https://ridewithgps.com/routes/5487187
Ride rain or shine! Helmets required
The Ride:

  • Metric riders will climb Burnt Mountain (experienced riders only)
  • Half Metric is for all experience levels
  • Plenty of rolling hills and beautiful scenery to keep riders interested
  • Complimentary continental breakfast, coffee and snacks
  • Well placed SAG stops with snacks, drinks and support
  • Complimentary lunch at the GRHOF (indoors)
  • Complimentary cooling towels at end of ride
  • Friendly and helpful SAG support
  • Goody bag and T-shirt (guaranteed if registered by July 20th)
  • Register Early! Ride capacity is 300 riders.

Address: Dawsonville Municipal Complex
415 Highway 53 East
Dawsonville, Georgia 30534
Ride Day:
6:30 am to 7:15 am—Registration, breakfast and packet pick-up
7:30 am— Metric starts (62 miles 5261’ of elevation gain)
7:45 am— Half-Metric starts (31 miles 2076’ elevation gain)
10:45 am— lunch begins
2:00 pm— all support ends for ride
Questions? contact us at 706-265-6278

2017 Concert in the Hall

August 19, 2017

Time: 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Location: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame

Website: georgiaracinghof.com


Phone: 678-622-0460 for reservations and information


Hits from the 50’s to 70’s

Featuring Mark Pitt’s Tribute to Elvis

Family Friendly

Tickets $15

Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch Opens for the Season

Location: 4520 Highway 53 East

Website: http://www.uncleshucks.com

Phone: 770-772-6223


•Explore the Corn Maze

•Find Your Perfect Pumpkins

•Shoot the Corn Cannon

•Great Food and Fun

•Fall Decorations

•Goat Walk


September Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

Fridays 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Saturdays 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sundays 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
October – Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch
SundayThursday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.


September TBD

Pups in the Park


Location: Rock Creek Park, Dawsonville, GA



Information: Pups in the Park is a day devoted to dogs and their people families and their devotion to one another. The event is open and free to the public. There is a fee for competitions. Proceeds benefit the Dawson County Humane Society.

9 a.m. – 5K fun run

10 a.m. – Dog registration begins

11:30 a.m. – Pup Parade (free to enter)

12 – 2 p.m. – Competitions & Demonstrations

2 p.m. – 4 p.m. – Cow Patty Bingo


October 27-29, 2017

50th Annual Mountain Moonshine Festival

Hosted by: Kare for Kids

Place: Downtown Dawsonville

Information: kareforkids.org

Phone: 706-216-5273

Information: Moonshine Run, Parade of Authentic Moonshine and Race Cars, Vintage Race Cars, Car Show, Arts & Crafts, Great Food, Souvenirs, Swap Meet and Live Entertainment.


Moonshine Run check-in 9 am

Registration 8 am – 8 pm

Car Show 10 am – 8 pm

Swap meet all-day

50/50 Raffle at Kare Booths


8 a.m. – Festival Opening, Car Show and Registration Opens

9 a.m. – Parade begins at Georgia Racing Hall of Fame

10 a.m. – Opening Ceremonies & Live Music Begins                                                                                   ***Autograph session begins directly after

10 a.m. -Live music

2 p.m. – Moonshine Car Awards (at Castleberry Stage)

4 p.m. – Car Show Awards

50/50 Raffle at Kare Booths (Friday/Saturday drawing at 4 p.m.)

7 p.m. – Festival Closes


8 a.m. – Festival Opening & Car Show Registration

50/50 Raffle at Kare Booths

10 a.m. – 5 pm Car Show

12 p.m. – Live Music Begins

3 p.m. – Top 25 Car Show Awards

4 p.m.Sunday 50/50 Raffle Drawing

5 p.m. – Festival Closes

October 31, 2017

Trunk or Treat

Where: Rock Creek Park

When: October 31, 2017

Time: 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Contact: Dawson County Parks & Recreation

Phone: 706-344-3646


Dawson County Parks & Recreation hosts an annual Trunk or Treat event on October 31st at Rock Creek. The fun begins at 4:00pm and ends at7:00pm. The purpose of this event is to provide the children in the community with a safe place to trick-or-treat and enjoy the festivities of Halloween. Rock Creek is a well-lit area that provides plenty of parking, restrooms, and easy access! The event will be in a designated area in the park that is sectioned off from vehicle traffic, providing a traffic-free area for the children.

Admission is free and so are most of the activities; concessions will be available for purchase.

November 11, 2017

Veteran’s Day Parade

Where: Downtown Dawsonville

When: November 11, 2017

Time: TBA




In honor and with respect to veterans and active military, both in Dawsonville, Dawson County, and around the country, an annual Memorial Day Service is held at Veterans Memorial Park in Dawsonville. On Veterans Day, a ceremony and parade honor veterans of all ages and each military branch as part of Dawsonville’s annual Veterans Day celebration. Lunch is held The Veterans Affairs of Dawson County is dedicated to their goals of increasing recognition, honor, respect, and support of Dawson County’s veterans and active military, and to preserve the memory of veterans that paid the ultimate price.


December 2, 2017

Dawsonville Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting

Hosted by: City of Dawsonville, Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism Development

Parade Time: 5:00 pm

Tree Lighting and Festivities: 5:30 pm (Tree lighting will be at dark)

Place: Downtown Dawsonville

Phone: 706-265-6278

Information: http://business.dawson.org/events/details/dawsonville-christmas-parade-2064

Details: Parade will run through Downtown Dawsonville with starting line-up at the Historic Cemetery on Academy Street, proceeding onto Route 53 and ending at the Dawsonville Municipal Complex. Following the parade, City Hall will hold the Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony with lots of fun activities for the family. Music, dancing, pictures with Santa, cookie decorating, face painting, crafts for kids and more.

Dawsonville Jingle Market

December 2, 2017

Time: 3 pm – 8 pm

Place: Georgia Racing Hall of Fame

Contact: 706-265-6278

Details: Arts, Crafts vendors

For vendor information contact: m.mayton@dawson.org

December 2, 2017

Breakfast with Santa / Christmas Bazaar

Time: 8 am – 11 am

Place: Rock Creek Park, Dawsonville, GA

Contact: Rock Creek Park

Details: Breakfast with Santa, Christmas Bazaar, Activities and vendors.



Farmers Market slated to open in April




Beginning this spring, a new farmers market will be open in Dawson County.

The Amicalola Regional Farmers Market is scheduled to open on Friday, April 28. The market, located in the Tractor Supply parking lot, will be open Friday afternoons from 3:30 until 7 p.m. The market is launched by the Amicalola Regional Agriculture Committee, a program of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce.

“Our Agriculture Committee has worked diligently for more than a year on bringing a market together that will offer fresh, local produce to our community,” Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Haynes said. “Our committee is looking forward to introducing this opportunity to our community. We hope visiting the market become a Friday night tradition for many local families.”

Making the market as locally grown as possible was a top priority for the committee. Vendors who participate in the market must show their produce is grown in Dawson County or a county that touches Dawson (Forsyth, Hall, Gilmer, Fannin, Lumpkin). Local artisans offering handmade arts, crafts, soaps, honey and baked goods will also be at the market. Nonprofit organizations are also invited to sell baked goods.  The committee has waived all vendor fees for the first year in order to encourage a wide variety of producers to participate.

Market Manager and Dawson County Extension Agent Clark MacAllister said he is looking forward to Dawson County having more options for fresh produce. “We are excited to expand the opportunities in Dawson County for customers and vendors at our new farmers’ market location,” MacAllister said. “The Amicalola Regional Farmers Market will help connect local farmers with those seeking fresh food and farm-related products.”

Vendor spaces are still available. For an application to participate, contact MacAllister at clarkmac@uga.edu or call 706-265-2442.

The Chamber will kick-off the opening of the market with a ribbon-cutting ceremony shortly before the market opens on April 28th at 3:3 0 p.m. Tractor Supply is located at 6921 Highway 53 East. For more information, visit http://fb.me/amicalolafarmersmarket or call the Chamber at 706-265-6278 for more information.


The Dawson County Chamber of Commerce represents over 450 members in the North Georgia region.  The organization exists to fulfill the mission of “cultivating a successful economic environment and a desirable quality of life for our businesses and community.”  Located just north of the intersection of Georgia 400 and Highway 53, the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce and Office of Tourism Development provides a Welcome Center and visitor and business information to visitors and local citizens and businesses.  To plan a trip or learn more about business and tourism in Dawson County, please visit www.dawson.org.


Commissioners to Vote on New Employee Pay Plan


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — A new county employee pay plan could get an up or down vote when the Dawson County Board of Commissioners meets Thursday at 6 p.m.

A recent study by the Archer Company found that more than 400 employees have left the county for greener pastures in the last six years, costing taxpayers $1.5 million to hire and train their replacements.

The study compared Dawson County’s pay scale to Forsyth, Hall, Gwinnett, Cherokee, Gilmer, Lumpkin and Pickens counties and the cities of Gainesville, Canton and Cumming.

Commissioners are considering several options, including a 2 percent, across-the-board pay raise for all employees, bringing everyone up to the average minimum, bringing everyone up to time in service and class or all of those.

Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond has said, “The plan would bring stability to the workforce, increase productivity and be more cost-efficient for taxpayers.”

The Board tabled the issue two weeks ago but are expected to vote on the issue Thursday.

The station operates six days a week from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m.The current fee schedule has been in place since 2013 and is between $5 and $22 lower than surrounding transfer stations and landfills for bulk garbage and .50 to $1 lower on bagged garbage. Staff has proposed the bulk garbage rate be increased to $44 per ton and a minimum fee of $5 per load weighed. Bagged garbage rates would remain the same.

Other issues to be considered include:

  • Renewal of the contract with Northeast Georgia Probation Services, Inc;
  • A request to place Little Lending Libraries on County Government Property;
  • A request for a budget increase for the Legacy Link Local Match;
  • Board of Commissioners Expenses and
  • Training funds for new members of the Development Authority.


Halloween Safe Zones ~ Have a FaBOOulous Halloween



Come out to Rock Creek on Halloween 4:00-7:00PM to trunk-or-treat with your family! The purpose of this event is to provide the children in the community with a safe place to trick-or-treat. Rock Creek is a well-lit area that provides plenty of parking, restrooms, and easy access! We will designate a specific area in the park for the trunk-or-treat and have it sectioned off so that vehicle traffic will not be permitted, providing a traffic-free area for the children.

Come out for an afternoon of fun for the whole family!!  Admission is free and so are most of the activities; concessions/dinner will be available for purchase.

  • Last day in October When: October 31, 2016
  • 4:00-7:00PM
  • at Rock Creek
  • CANDY, treats/toys, promotional items/freebies, miniature horses, carnival games, bounce house, hay rides, obstacle course, face painting, MORE CANDY!
  • FREE Admission

Sorry, no pets (service animals only, please).


Dawson County Partners with Northeast Georgia Medical Center to Improve Cardiac Arrest Survival



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