City, county officials call for $45 million TSPLOST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maple Street repair ($360,000)

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

Richmond Drive repair ($95,000)

Jack Heard repair ($91,000)

Memory Lane repair ($105,000)

Stegall Place repair ($98,000)

Stonewall subdivision repair ($200,000)

Rain Hill subdivision repair ($40S0,000)

Existing Asset Road Improvement Program ($29,000)

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

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

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

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

Total of city projects $4,050,000

 

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

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

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

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

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

Elliott Road widening ($1,000,000)

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

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

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

Old Henry Grady rehabilitate ($800,000)

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

Hubbard Road Improvements ($1,200,000)

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

Country Crossing Subdivision rehabilitation ($550,000)

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

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

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

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

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

TOTAL $40,950,000

 

 

 

 

 

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Walden replaces Jason Power on City Council

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DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. – The Dawsonville City Council started the New Year by welcoming its newest member, John Walden, to the Monday meeting. Walden replaces former Post 3 Councilman Jason Power who did not run for reelection.

Council unanimously approved Sachinkumar Patel’s has petitioned to annex into the city limits of Dawsonville 5 Acres located at 60 Hwy 136 East and to rezone from County Zoning of Residential Exurban/Agricultural to City Zoning of Highway Business.

A motion by Councilman Caleb Phillips to postpone a decision on the Fall Leaf Residential, LLC request to rezone 25.7 acres on Hwy.53 East across from City Hall, from Restricted Industrial to Multi Family Residential and one acre at the same location from Restricted Industrial to Central Business District was unanimously approved until a called meeting Jan. 14 at 4 p.m. Fall Leaf Residential withdrew its appeal of a Planning Commission decision to deny a request for a variance to the minimum lot width from 28 to 20 feet.

Council then held a first reading of an ordinance to provide a method of adopting and enacting rules and regulations concerning conduct and activities at all City Public Parks and facilities and penalties for violations of the ordinance.

City Attorney Dana Miles provided a review of a proposed Gravel Road Development Ordinance that he said, “Allows a different option for a potential development of mid- to large size lots that we don’t have in the downtown area.”

Under the Consent Agenda, Council approved:

Minutes of the work session and regular meeting of Dec. 6;

Minute of the executive session of Dec. 6, 2019;

Renewal of the IT service contract for 2020;

Amendment to the agreement for construction of Farmer’s Market;

Bid selection of Perimeter Road sidewalk construction.

Former Councilman Jason Power was honored for his eight years’ service on city council.

Sara Beacham was selected Employer of the month, quarter and year.

 

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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Dawsonville City Council meets Monday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawsonville City Council will kick off the New Year with a series of public hearings during a regular session Monday (Jan. 6) in G.L. Gilleland Council Chambers starting at 6 p.m.

A request by Sachinkumar Patel will begin the public hearings. Patel has petitioned for annex into the city limits of Dawsonville five acres located at 60 Hwy 136 East. The applicant has also requested to rezone the property from Residential Exurban/Agricultural to City Zoning of Highway Business.

Council is expected to hold three public hearings on requests by Fall Leaf Residential LLC. The first is a request for a zoning amendment for a portion 25.7 acres on Hwy 53 East from Restricted Industrial to Multi Family Residential.

Fall Leaf Residential has also requested rezoning of one acre at the same location from Restricted Industrial to Central Business District.

The third public hearing for Fall Leaf Residential is an appeal of the decision of the Planning Commission for a variance to the minimum lot width of 28 feet to 20 feet for a portion of the property on Hwy. 53 East.

Council will hold a first reading of a proposed ordinance to provide a method of adopting and enacting rules and regulations concerning conduct activities at all City Public Parks and Facilities and to provide for penalties for violations.

Under the Consent Agenda, Council is expected to approve renewal of an IT Service Contract, an amendment to the agreement for Farmer’s Market construction contract and a bid for Perimeter Road sidewalk construction.

Former Council member Jason Power, who resigned last month, will be recognized for his service to the city.

Items that appear on the Consent Agenda have already been discussed during a public meeting and may be approved without further discussion.

 

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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John Walden sworn in as city council member

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — John Walden was sworn in Monday as the newest member of the Dawsonville City Council. Walden has 20 years’ experience as a design and civil engineer. He ran unopposed to represent Post 3 and will take his seat on the council on Jan 6.

Council approved several issues under the consent agenda, including:

  • Newly elected officials training in the amount of $1,100 for John Walden;
  • 2020 staff appointments of Bob Bolz (City Manager), Beverly Bannister (City Clerk) and Tracy Smith (Deputy City Clerk);
  • 2020 mayor and council board designations and compensation;
  • A budget amendment in the amount of $6,115 to bring City Hall into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • A GEFA loan modification with debt forgiveness that increases the amount of forgiveness the city will receive from $112,200.77 to $134,640.92. The loan was utilized to finance the 2017 water meter replacement program.

A number of professional services contracts were renewed under the consent agenda. But Councilman Mark French requested the contract with City Attorney Dana Miles be voted on separately.

Miles will be a witness in Friday’s Ethics Board hearing in which French is accused of having violated provisions of the city’s Ethics Ordinance. French voted against renewal of Miles’ contract but was outvoted 2-1.

Earlier in the meeting, French also made a motion to remove the executive session from the agenda, stating, “The mayor failed to notify me of what would be discussed. I asked a week ago and have heard nothing.”

In a phone conversation with Fetch Your News Wednesday, Mayor Mike Eason confirmed he did not tell French what would be discussed. “I did not,” he said. “I could have but we don’t always do that. If he would have asked me, I would have told him, but he didn’t ask.”

Council unanimously approved the appointment of Alexa Serrano to the Planning Commission.

A public hearing was held on the request by Sachinkumar Patel that a portion of the five acres located at 60 Hwy at Hwy. 136 be annexed into the city limits. There were no objections and the Board of Commissioners has signaled the city that it will have no objections.

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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City Council to wrap up year-end business Monday

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawsonville City Council will have some year-end business to take care of when it meets in a combined work session and regular meeting Monday at 5:30 p.m. in the G.L. Gilleland Council Chambers.

John Walden will take the oath of office as the new Post 3 council member, replacing Jason Power who did not run for reelection. Council is expected to approve $1,100 for newly-elected official training for Walden which will take place at UGA Hotel and Conference Center in Athens in March.

Under the Consent Agenda Council will approve:

Staff appointments of Bob Bolz (City Manager), Beverly Bannister (City Clerk) and Tracy Smith (Deputy City Clerk);

Renewal of professional services for City Attorney, Auditor, Engineer, Municipal Court Judge, Testing of Wastewater, Geologist, Repair-Installation Water-Sewer Infrastructure, Airport Consultant Engineer Services and Engineer;

Appointment of mayor and council board designations and authorize payment of one meeting per month if attended;

A budget amendment in the amount of $6,115 to bring City Hall into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act;

GEFA loan modification with an increase in the amount of forgiveness the city was to receive from $112,200.77 to $134,640.92. The loan was utilized to finance the 2017 water meter replacement program;

The appointment of Alexa Serrano to fill the unexpired term of Ken Goines on the Planning Commission through Dec. 31, 2021.

There will also be a public hearing to hear a request by Sachinkumar Patel to annex into the city limits a portion of five acres located at 60 Hwy. 136 East.

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Dawsonville Councilman Mark French responds to ethics complaint: “I will fight it with every fiber of my being”

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawsonville City Councilman Mark French said Tuesday he has obtained legal counsel to defend against a complaint that he violated the city’s Ethics Ordinance.

“I believe this is completely frivolous and I will fight it with every fiber of my being,” French said Tuesday in a phone interview with Fetch Your News. “I did not ask for anything improper. I asked the city manager to coordinate with the county attorney to draft a proper response to a citizen’s inquiry.”

The inquiry French referred to was an email sent from Steve Sanvi to City Manager Bob Bolz on Nov. 7 that asked, “How is residency (of an elected official) determined? If you own a home in the district elected and another outside the district, how is the primary residence determined?”

In a Nov. 7 email response to Sanvi, Bolz wrote, “I believe those are legal questions that are outside my expertise.”

Also, on Nov. 7, French emailed Bolz to request that he consult with legal to provide a response to Sanvi’s questions.

Sanvi, a resident of the City of Dawsonville, who – the city council points out in its complaint — is also French’s boss. He was attempting to determine if Councilman Jason Power lived outside the district he was elected to represent. Eleven days after Sanvi raised that question, Power announced his resignation, saying he is building a home outside his district that would be ready for occupancy soon.

The ethics complaint, which was signed by Councilmen Power, Stephen Tolson and Jacob Phillips was filed Nov. 25. It lists nine provisions of the Ethics Code French is alleged to have violated. Every alleged violation is stems from French’s attempt to have city government answer a citizen’s question.

The Ethics Board is empowered to dismiss the complaint if it is found to be unjust, frivolous, patently unfounded or fails to state facts sufficient to invoke the disciplinary jurisdiction of the city council.

Fetch Your News reached out to Dawsonville Mayor Mike Eason for comment Wednesday, but declined our request.

 

 

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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150-unit towhhome development on city council agenda

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Dawsonville, Ga. — The Dawsonville City Council will hear a rezoning request from Fall Leaf Residential, LLC when it meets Monday that could add 140 new townhomes to the city along Hwy. 53.

Fall Leaf Residential, LLC has requested 25.7 acres be rezoned from Restricted Industrial to Multi Family Residential to accommodate the townhome development. The request includes a variance that would reduce the minimum lot size from 28 feet to 20 feet.

Fall Leaf has also submitted a companion request to rezone one acre from Restricted Industrial to Central Business District for a small business on the site.

Ray Strychalski will present information to the council on the amphitheater at Main Street Park.

Under the Consent Agenda, council is expected to approve a contract with Johnson Paving for paving Maple Heights Subdivision at a cost of $153,251.

Council is also expected to approve an agreement with Georgia Mountains Regional Commission (GMRC) for developing city design guidelines. GMRC will hold several public information meetings, create a GIS map and conduct an electronic survey to gather public input.

Council will hold a second reading of an ordinance to provide a method for approving training opportunities for members of all boards, authorities and commissions. The ordinance would also provide for payment of reimbursement of actual expenses incurred for training opportunities and attendance at meetings.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYN attracts 300,000+ page views per month, 3.5 million impressions per month and approximately 15,000 viewers per week on FYNTV.com and up to 60,000 Facebook page reach. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

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City Council approves Main Street Park change order for $42,361

News

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawsonville City Council unanimously approved a change order in the amount of $42,361 for sod and irrigation alternates at Main Street Park for TriScapes during Monday’s council meeting.

City Manager Bob Bolz explained the additional funding would be used to pay for additional sodding and irrigation and would be paid out of General Fund reserves then paid back out of SPLOST VI funds when available.

Bolz said the additional funding would “include taking the original two-foot strip in the original contract and widening to five feet, sodding the smaller portion of the amphitheater, the larger portion of the amphitheater and sodding from the bottom of the grand stairway to the intersection of the sidewalk slope by the retention pond. The change order will take the contract amount from $125,775.51 to $168,137.33.

Council removed a request for approval of a Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG) for milling, paving and striping 4,150 feet of Perimeter Road from the agenda for further discussion. If approved, the city would be responsible for a 30 percent match in the amount of $9,381.91.

Council also tabled a request by Sachinkumar Patel for a five acre parcel located at 60 Hwy. 136 East near the intersection of Hwy. 9 be annexed into the city. Sachinkumar has not closed on the land yet. He told council members that the closing will take place before the city’s next council meeting in November. But City Attorney Dana Miles recommended council wait until the land legally belongs to the applicant before acting.

Council unanimously approved Financial Administrator Hayden Wiggins request to renew an annual software maintenance agreement with Edmunds GovTech in the amount of $10,345. The city has utilized the company since 2015 and the agreement will expire on Dec. 31.

Mayor Mike Eason asked for and received council approval that Clint Harper and Laura Barr be appointed to the city’s Design Guideline Committee.

Council also presented service certificates to John Davis (1-year service award), Clay Moss (1-year service award), Donna Blanton (2-year service award), Hayden Wiggins (2-year service award), Tracy Smith (Sept. Employee of the Month), John Davis (Summer Employee of the Quarter), Clay Moss (for successfully passing the National Recreation and Parks Association Certified Playground Safety Inspector exam.

 

 

 

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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