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.

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County Set to Begin Property Revaluation Process


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Dawson County is about to undertake a massive property revaluation and equalization project that could take up to two years and cost more than half a million dollars. County commissioners will discuss the project during Thursday’s work session which begins at 4 p.m.

Equalization is the process of bringing about conformity to a common standard so the property of one shall not be assessed at a higher or lower percentage of its fair market value than the property of another. Some 15,000 parcels, 12,000 residential homes 1,800 commercial/industrial properties and 200 pre-bill mobile homes will be included in the project.

This will be the first time the county has contracted the work. Georgia Mass Appraisal Solutions and Services (GMASS), the only company to bid on the project, submitted a bid of $588,300.

Chairman Billy Thurmond will ask the Board to consider approval of a professional services agreement with Georgia Mountains Regional Commission (GMRC) in the amount of $1,000 to prepare and submit a Community Development Block Grant regarding Senior Center Expansion. If approved, funding would come from the Grant Fund Contingency for potential grants.

Finance Director Nancy Neikirk will ask the Board to approve a budget amendment in the amount of $869,006, most of which is related to the reimbursement the county received for the 2015 winter storm clean up ($652,994). Approximately $36,000 is related to the 2016 compensation increase approved after the 2016 budget was adopted. About $48,364 is for Risk Management’s Special One-time Return for Safety. The remainder is attributed to donations received in 2016 as well as carryover of donations from the prior year.

Other items on the agenda include:

  • Presentation of Fire House Subs and Chick-fil-A Dawsonville Fund Raising Opportunities to Support Dawson County Emergency Services;
  • Presentation of a request to surplus three fire apparatuses;
  • Presentation of Scrap Tire Storage and Disposal Draft Ordinance;
  • Presentation of Dawson County Rotary Club request to contribute handicapped accessible playground equipment for the playground at Rock Creek Park;
  • Presentation of FY2017 Legacy Link addendum;
  • Presentation of FY2018 Legacy Link contract;
  • Presentation of a revised travel policy;
  • Re-appointment of Susan Roof to the Library Board.

Commissioners do not vote on agenda items during a work session. The purpose of a work session is to discuss items that may be voted on at the next regular meeting.


Commissioners OK County Employee Pay Raise


DAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Hoping to slow the exit of county employees leaving for higher-paying jobs in surrounding counties and reducing the high-cost of training their replacements, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to adopt an enhanced pay plan created by the Archer Company.

The new pay scale will take effect April 8.

Archer conducted a study that showed Dawson County had a experienced a 100 percent employee turnover in the last six years, costing taxpayers about $1.5 million. The company created a plan that compared Dawson County job classifications to Forsyth, Hall, Gwinnett, Cherokee, Gilmer, Lumpkin and Pickens counties and the cities of Gainesville, Canton and Cumming.

Several options were presented for the Board’s consideration. Commissioners chose the option that gives employees a 2 percent across-the-board pay raise, brings current employee salaries up to the minimum salary for their job classification and has an option for longevity with county.

“I’m really proud of the board for taking this step,” Thurmond said. “Our employees are our greatest asset. Over time this will save taxpayers money due to the high cost of training replacements.”

In other business, the Board unanimously approved:

  • Increasing the bulk garbage rate at the transfer station to $44 per ton and a minimum of $5 per load weighed;
  • Renewal of the probation services 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 and
    Board of Commissioners expenses and
  • Training funds of $2,600 for new members of the Development Authority. That vote was 3-1 vote with Commissioner Julie Nix opposed.

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