Public hearing on county budget set Monday

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – The White County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed fiscal year 2018-19 budget and a land use application regarding property on Dock Dorsey Road Monday, June 11, at 4:30 p.m. to be followed immediately by a called meeting.

The land use application was filed by Donald Almand to redistrict 2.806 acres from C-1 Community Commercial District to C-2 Highway Business District.

Commissioners will also get a report on the damage the flash flooding earlier this month did to the county and the recovery progress. Public Safety Director David Murphy estimated last week the storm did at least $1 million in damage.

Other items to be considered, include:

  • Approval of the intergovernmental agreement with the cities of Cleveland and Helen regarding the proposed 2020 special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST);
  • Approval of the cost estimate to stripe Asbestos Road;
  • Approval of the state’s revocable license agreement for the purpose of widening and paving Joe Franklin Road on state-owned property (Smithgall Woods);
  • Approval of a grant application to the staffing for adequate fire and emergency response (SAFR) program;
  • Approval of the 2018-19 Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) property and liability insurance proposal;
  • Approval of 2017-18 budget amendments; and
  • Approval of appointments to the Family and Children’s Services Board, Development Authority Board, Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Avita Community Partners Board and the Industrial Building Authority Board.

 

 

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Travis Turner elected chairman of GEFA

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BOC Chairman Travis Turner

CLEVELAND, Ga. — White County Commission Chairman Travis Turner has been elected chairman of the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) board of directors effective Jan. 1.

“I am very honored to have been voted chairman by our board of directors,” Turner said Tuesday. “I will have some big shoes to fill in Boyd Austin who has a great understanding of the water issues in Georgia. I hope to continue his strong leadership.”

GEFA provides low-interest loans for water, sewer and solid waste infrastructure, manages energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, oversees land conservation projects and manages and monitors state-owned fuel storage tanks.

To date, GEFA has provided more than $3.7 billion in low-interest loans to cities, counties and infrastructure authorities for improvements to water, sewer and solid waste systems. More than 1,600 projects have been funded by GEFA to date, including solid waste management projects and land conservation purchases and easements.

Turner is currently serving his second four-year term on the White County Board of Commissioners. He also serves as vice chairman of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia’s Group Self-Insurance Workers’ Compensation Fund board of trustees.

 

 

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 FetchYourNews.com

 

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Commissioners Borrow from Fund Balance to Erase a $1.06 Million Budget Shortfall

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Commissioner Edwin Nix

CLEVELAND, Ga. – Shocked by a tax digest that produced only slightly more revenue than it did a year ago and faced with a budget shortfall of $1.06 million, the White County Board of Commissioners elected to keep the millage rate at 9.998 mils, essentially kicking the can down the road for another year when another shortfall is likely.

Keeping the millage rate the same will require three public hearings and commissioners voted to hold two hearings on August 3, one at 8 a.m., the other at 6 pm. The third hearing is set for Aug. 14 at 4:30 p.m.

Commissioner Terry Goodger

The vote to leave the millage rate unchanged was 3-2 with Commissioners Lyn Holcomb, Edwin Nix and Craig Bryant in support and Chairman Travis Turner and Commissioner Terry Goodger opposed.

Goodger proposed a one mil increase but that died for the lack of a second. He then proposed a half-mil increase that was seconded by Turner, but failed to attract the three votes necessary for passage.

Surprised by the fact that the current digest produced only $8,700,101, or approximately $65,000 more than last year, Nix asked County Manager Michael Melton, “On the net digest increase, that is a numerical mistake isn’t it?”

Melton assured him the figure was correct.

To erase the shortfall, commissioners will pull about $1.065 out of the county’s fund balance, leaving only enough to operate the county for 2.3 months in case of an emergency. The Association County Commissioners of Georgia recommends that counties keep enough money in the fund balance to operate the county for three months.

“I’m not comfortable with a 2.3 month balance myself,” Goodger said. “That could affect our bond rating in the long term. We are certainly much stronger with a three-month reserve.” If the bond rating is downgraded, it will mean paying a higher interest rate to finance capital projects.

Turner agreed with Goodger. “We’ve always tried to keep a three-month reserve. We need to do our best to get back to that…2.3 months is a little too skinny for my taste.”

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 FetchYourNews.co

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