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.

 

 

 

 

 

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County Employees Health Insurance Cost Increases

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to increase by five percent the amount county employees will contribute to their own health insurance plan with Northwest Benefit Corporation.

In the past, the county has paid 85 percent of the cost while employees paid the remaining 15 percent. The plan approved Thursday calls for an 80-20 split.

Commissioners said it was a very difficult decision, but as Commissioner Sharon Fausett put it, “The cost of health insurance is out of control. We need to be fiscally responsible. I don’t want employees to think we take them lightly because we don’t. I appreciate what you do but we have some very difficult decisions to make.”

Commissioner Jimmy Hamby said, “I do understand the cost coming to the county as well as the employees. But we can’t go to the taxpayers every time we need to increase something in the county.”

Commissioner Chris Gaines said, “Experts say the average split is 75-25 so we’re still well beyond what some surrounding counties are doing both in the public and private sector.”

The total cost to the county is just over $3.7 million, an increase of about $527,386 over last year.

Commissioners voted unanimously to allow Ross & Associates to proceed with an update of the 2009 Methodology Report for the Impact Fee implementation. The county contracted with Ross & Associates to create the report in 2002. It was updated in 2006 and again in 2009. The fees were collected through building permits and construction orders. However, impact fees have not been imposed since then.

Once the update is completed, it will come back to the board for final approval.

Commissioners also agreed to accept a $2,063 grant that will allow Director of Treatment Services for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit Debbie Mott to purchase computers, monitors, scanners, printers iPads and laptops for her office. There is no county match required. Georgia Accountability Court Funding Committee was created in 2012 and has provided local courts with critical funding necessary to support the growth of accountability courts in Georgia to reduce the prison population.

 

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

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BOC Will Review Employee Health Benefits Thursday

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Dawson County Board of Commissioners

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will review the cost of health insurance for county employees when they meet in a work session Thursday at 4 p.m.

Jason Brady and David Asgari, of Northwestern Benefit Corporation, will present three options for commissioners to choose from to renew the benefits.

Director of Treatment Services for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit Debbie Mott will ask commissioners to approve a grant that will award the county $2,063 for the purchase of computers, monitors, scanners, printers iPads and laptops. There is no county match required, however, the county grant must be accepted and approved by the Board of Commissioners before June 30.

Georgia Accountability Court Funding Committee was created in 2012 and has provided local courts with critical funding necessary to support the growth of accountability courts in Georgia to reduce the prison population.

Fleet Maintenance Director Shannon Harben will update commissioners on the sale of 20 surplus items, which they approved last month. A total of 28 items were listed on Gov Deals. The 20 that were sold generated gross revenue of $68,409.12. Gov Deals charges a 7.5% auction fee which totaled $5,130.68, so the county’s net revenue is $63,278.44.

Planning and Development Director Jason Streetman will recommend commissioners authorize staff to proceed with updating the 2009 Methodology Report for the Impact Fee implementation. In 2002, Dawson County contracted with Ross & Associates to create the Methodology Report. In 2006, an update to that policy was conducted by Ross & Associates. In 2009, another update was provided to the Board of Commissioners and adopted. The fees were collected through building permits and construction orders. Since that time, impact fees have not been imposed.

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GDOT Seeks Letter of Support from Commissioners

Business

david-mckeeDAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Intersection work to be performed and funded by the Georgia Department of Transportation along Ga. Hwy 400 took center stage at Thursday’s Dawson County Board of Commissioners work session.

Dawson County Public Works Director David McKee told commissioners that GDOT is requesting a letter of support for installation of Right In Right Out Left In (RIROLI) access controls at the intersections of Kilough Church Road and Ga. Hwy. 400 and Walmart/Home Depot North Georgia Premium Outlets and Ga. Hwy. 400. All improvements will be made within the existing Right of Way.

The work is a GDOT project that does not require Board of Commissioners approval, but if commissioners approve the letter of support, McKee said the work would begin right away.

McKee also asked asked the Board to approve a letter to GDOT requesting funds for the repair of a wing wall off Dawson Forest Road and along Blacks Mill Creek damaged by last winter’s storm. GDOT has a Local Maintenance Improvement Education Emergency Economic grant available for emergencies that could cover the damage which is estimated to be about $180,000.

McKee also asked the Board to approve the purchase of one side arm mower and one utility tractor mower for the Public Works Department to replace three pieces of equipment that are no longer serviceable at a cost of $214,000 to be funded by SPLOST VI.

Dawson County Treatment Services plans to bring the HELP Program under Treatment Court in fiscal year 2018 as a mental health court track and Director Debbie Mott asked the Board for permission to request state grant in the amount of $279,514 which would require a county match of $31,057 would be required from county funds.

County Attorney Lynn Frey asked the Board to consider renewal of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the City of Dawsonville authorizing the county to organize and implement all municipal elections. The IGA is drafted and adopted each odd year and any even year when a special election is called.

These issues and others are expected to be voted on at the regular meeting next Thursday.

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Commissioners to Discuss Drug Treatment Services Grant at Thursday Work Session

News

david-mckeeDAWSONVILLE, Ga. — The Dawson County Board of Commissioners will consider a request to allow Drug Treatment Services to apply for a state grant in the amount of $279,514 when they meet in a work session Thursday at 4 p.m. in the Government Center Assembly Room.

Treatment Services Director Debbie Mott says in fiscal year 2018, the county plans to bring HELP Program under Treatment Court as a mental health court track and would like to make one application for state funding. A match of $31,057 would be required from county funds.

The enhanced funding would be used to continue three counselor positions, to attend the state conference, to employ surveillance officers for home visits and drug screen collection, drug testing and supplies, and a desktop and iPad.

Public Works Director David McKee will ask the Board for a letter of support addressed to the Georgia Department of Transportation to install access controls at the intersections of Kilough Church road and SR 400, and the west side of the intersection of the North Georgia Premium Outlets and Home Depot/Walmart intersection. All improvements will be made within the existing Right of Way, and the work will be completed and fully funded by GDOT or their contractors.

GDOT has a grant available for counties to fund unforeseen emergencies. Last winter’s storm damaged a wing wall off Dawson Forest Road and along Blacks Mill Creek that could qualify for the funding. McKee will ask Board Chairman Billy Thurmond to send a letter to GDOT, requesting the funding. County Staff has acquired engineering quotes and prepared cost estimates for design and construction. The total estimated cost is $180,000.

McKee also will ask the Board for authorization to purchase a side arm mower and utility tractor mower utilizing a state contract to replace two Kubota tractors and a John Deer side arm mower. Total cost for the equipment is $210,000 and, if approved, will be purchased with SPLOST VI proceeds.

County Attorney Lynn Frey will ask the Board to consider renewal of an intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the City of Dawsonville authorizing the county to organize and implement all municipal elections. The IGA is drafted and adopted each odd year and any even year when a special election is called.

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