Commissioners hold work session Thanksgiving Eve

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DAWSONVILLE Ga. – On Thanksgiving Eve, Dawson County Commissioners were asked to consider a number of grant applications during the work session.

Dawson County Chief Deputy Greg Rowan presented a request for a K-9 grant extension for the Sheriff’s Office. The county has received this grant for several years. The current K-9 grant ended June 30, 2018, and a sub-grant extension was granted through the end of the year in the amount of $56,102. It is used to cover the salary and benefits of two K-9 employees. There is no match required. Approval and signatures are all that is needed to activate.

Rowan also asked the commission for approval to apply for grant funding for the North Georgia K-9 Task Force. The sheriff’s office has received this funding in the past and is requesting approval to apply for $112,204 in 2019.

Danny Thompson

Fire and Emergency Services Interim Director Danny Thompson requested the commission accept the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) K-9 Grant Funds. This is a grant through GEMA and the Department of Homeland Security for expenses related to the K-9 program in the Fire/EMS department. The department has received this grant for several years.

The grant year runs from Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2019, in the amount of $14,000 with no local match required.

Thompson was appointed as interim EMA director in July 2018 and provided 90 days by the Board of Commissioners to obtain his Certified Emergency Manager credentials. He received the credentials on Sept. 28 and Wednesday, he requested commissioners appoint him EMA director.

Fleet Maintenance Director Shannon Harben asked commissioners to approve a contract with Townley Construction for repair and maintenance of the Public Works Road Department equipment. Fleet Maintenance performs all repairs and maintenance capable of being completed in-house. Other work is outsourced for performance. The invitation for bids (IFB) was released on Oct. 25, 2018. Two bids were received on Nov. 9. The lowest, most responsive bid was offered by Townley Construction. The rates are $145 per hour in shop, $155 in field plus $180 travel fee for field repair and 2 percent markup on parts.

Senior Services Director Dawn Pruett asked for an addendum to increase funding for the Respite Care agreement with Legacy Link. Legacy Link receives an increase or decrease in funding during the contract year that changes original contract amounts. The addendum would include an additional $16,258 for respite care to be used during the last six months of the FY 2019 contract

Pruett also sought approval of a the continuous grant with Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) for providing public transportation for Dawson County citizens. The grant requires the county to pay a 50% match with federal and state funding for administrative and operating budget.

Issues discussed in a work session are generally voted on at the next voting session of the Board of Commissioners.

 

 

 

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CPA firm Rushton Company declares Dawson County is in good financial shape

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Chris Hollifield of the certified public accounting firm of Rushton Company presented the results of the firm’s 2017 audit during Thursday’s Dawson County Board of Commissioners work session and declared the county to be in “good financial shape.”

Highlights of the audit included these statements:

  • Government assets exceed liabilities at the close of the fiscal year by $86.8 million
  • Government’s financial position improved during 2017;
  • At the end of the fiscal year, the total fund balance was $8.2 million or 36 percent of total general fund expenditures including transfers to other funds. Fund balance increased by $767,000;
  • Government’s total indebtedness decreased by $96,000.

Expenditures by function showed Public Safety at 44 percent, followed by Public Works 17 percent and General Government 17 percent.

Dawson County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Danny Speaks requested Board approval to apply for a Georgia Trauma Commission Grant used to reimburse 911 agencies for the purchase of trauma related equipment used to equip 911 ambulances.

Fleet Maintenance Director Shannon Harben asked commissioners to approve the disposal of four heating and air conditioning units at the Detention Center. He also presented a list of other county-owned items to be placed into the 2018 GovDeals Surplus Sale.

Public Works Director David McKee gave a presentation on the proposed Fleet Maintenance/Public Works Complex with a recommendation the design/build contract be awarded to Charles Black Construction for an amount not to exceed $2,644,127. Four evaluations were received and reviewed for technical responses to establish a high-score prosper and Charles Black received the highest score.

Planning and Development Director Jason Streetman presented a Special Event Business License Application for Carol Stream Amusement Inc. to operate a carnival in the front parking lot of North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall from June 28 through July 15 between the hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Streetman also presented the site plan for John Megel Chevrolet to construct a used car lot on its property which was required by a zoning stipulation.

The Board also will consider the proposed 2018 Land Use District Map presented by Streetman and the reappointment of Joey Bearden to the Department of Family and Children Services.

Items discussed during work sessions are generally voted on during the next 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BOC to hear Chestatee variance request

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – A variance request that has attracted strong opposition from residents of the upscale, lakeside community of Chestatee is at the top of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners agenda when it meets Thursday (June 21) at 6 p.m.

Brian Ferris, on behalf of Chestatee Development Corporation, has made a request to amend the subdivision’s Master Plan to allow lot widths of 70 feet. Currently, lot widths of 100 feet are required. The variance would create higher density and allow the builder to add 11 new homes. The Planning Commission voted 4-1 to recommend denial.

Tony Passarello, a member of the Dawson County Civic Association and a resident of Chestatee, expressed his opposition in an email. “The higher-density lots would result in a reduction of property value, be dramatically different in character than the Master Plan called for and undermine the future development of other sections of Chestatee.”

Citizens will have an opportunity to be heard during the public comment period before the variance is voted on.

Chris Hollifield, of the certified public accounting firm of Rushton Company, presented the county’s 2017 audit report last week. Hollifield said county government assets exceeded its liabilities by $86.8 million and the fund balance grew by $8.2 million.” Commissioners will consider accepting the report Thursday.

Commissioners will also vote on a request by Dawson County Emergency Services Deputy Chief Danny Speaks to apply for a Georgia Trauma Commission Grant used to reimburse 911 agencies for the purchase of trauma related equipment used to equip 911 ambulances.

Other items the Board will consider include:

  • A request by Fleet Maintenance Director Shannon Harben to dispose of four heating and air conditioning units at the Detention Center;
  • Approval of a list of county-owned items to be placed into the 2018 GovDeals.com Surplus Sale;
  • Approval of a design/build contract to be awarded to Charles Black Construction in the amount of $2,644,127 for the Fleet Maintenance/Public Works Complex;
  • Approval of a special event business license for Carol Stream Amusement Inc. to operate a carnival in the front parking lot of North Georgia Premium Outlet Mall from June 28 through July 15 between the hours of 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.;
  • A site plan for John Megel Chevrolet to construct a used car lot on its property;
  • Approval of a proposed 2018 Land Use District Map;
  • Appointment of Joey Bearden to the Department of Family and Children Services.

 

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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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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Road Repair Projects Could Begin as Early as May 1

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DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – Several new road improvement projects are about to begin in Dawson County, pending approval by the Board of Commissioners.

During Tuesday’s work session, Public Works Director David McKee requested approval of a contract with CW Mathews for rehabilitation projects on Tanner Road, Kelly Bridge Road and Steve Tate Highway as part of the SPLOST VI project list for Fiscal Year 2017.

Matthews was the low bidder with a bid of $4,663,404.16. If approved, the work is expected to begin May 1 with a completion date of Sept. 30, weather permitting.

McKee also asked the Board to approve $449,079.91, the cost to complete the final SPLOST V projects which included the renovation of the historic Court House, Demolition of the old jail, roof repairs on the Sheriff’s office and E-911 console upgrades.

Environmental Health Specialist Bill Ringle told the Board the department has not had a fee increase since 2009 and he asked the Board to consider several increases including the fee for residential septic tank permit for a home of five bedrooms or more from $300 to $400, a new engineered site plan review for an individual lot of $100, plus increased fees food service permits for venues of 101 or more seats from $200 to $300 and a new food service site-pre purchase permit of $100.

Commissioners previously approved the purchase of nine (9) replacement vehicles in the 2017 Capital Improvement Budget for county-owned vehicles with at least 150,000 miles or 10 years of age. Tuesday, Fleet Services Manager Shannon Harben asked the Board to approve the low bids of Allan Vigil Ford Lincoln for a total of $50,188 and IKO Business Group of $192,610.

Planning and Development Director Jason Streetman presented a special use business license application for the Cinco de Mayo celebration on May 5 and the Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market.

The Farmers Market application will be vote on during a special called meeting Thursday at 11:30 a.m. All other requests will be voted on at the next regular meeting.

 

 

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Commission Will Have to Amend 2017 Budget to Implement Employee Pay Raise

News

Vickie_NeikirkDAWSONVILLE, Ga. — Dawson County Chief Financial Officer Vickie Neikirk told the Board of Commissioners during Thursday’s work session that implementation of the salary study approved earlier this month would require an increase in the 2017 budget of $374,441.

The salary study calls for a 2% cost of living allowance (COLA) for all employees, placement into range with a moderate progression and a payroll effective date of April 8, 2017.

Fleet Services Director Shannon Harben recommended the Board amend the current Take Home and Vehicle Policy to eliminate future verbal agreements or special conditions. Those verbal agreements currently in effect would still be honored.

Harben also requested Board approval to dispose of surplus items to be sold with the proceeds to be put in a vehicle replacement fund per current policy.
Public Works Director David McKee presented commissioners with a request to issue a purchase order to Bobcat of Atlanta for a Bobcat Excevator in the amount of $64,876.48 through a cooperative agreement with National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA).

Emergency Services Chief Lanier Swafford asked the Board to approve a contract with Lux Mitigation and Planning Corp., the most responsibe, responsible bidder, in the amount if $18,000 for preparation of the Multi-Jurisdictional Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond read a presentation declaring April as LifeLink National Donate Life Month.

The Board is considering the appointment of the following to the Long Range Planning Committee: Gary Pichon (Chairman), Ronnie Adkins, Teri Tragresser, Jane Graves, Hugh Stowers, Jo Brewer, Tim Costley, Mandy Power and Dick Scharf.

Work sessions are held every two weeks for the purpose of allowing commissioners to discuss and debate issues that can be voted on during the regular sessions which are also held every two weeks.

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