Commissioners deny single-family residential development


CLEVELAND, Ga. — Meeting in a combined called meeting and work session Monday, the White County Board of Commissioners voted to deny a request by Tanvor, LLC to rezone 38.59 acres on Georgia Highways 255 and 384 from Agriculture Forestry District to Planned Development to accommodate construction of more than 30 single-family homes.

The Planning Board recommended denial of the request based on its belief the proposed development did not meet Planned Development standards. Commissioners voted 4-1 to accept the recommendation with Commissioner Lyn Holcomb opposed.

Commissioners also approved a preliminary list of 2020 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) projects. Before the one-cent tax can be collected, however, voters will have the opportunity to vote on it in a referendum.

The most expensive projects on the SPLOST list include a $5 million renovation and addition to the county courthouse and payment to the White County Development Authority to pay for Yonah Preserve Park.

The White County Chamber of Commerce was presented with a proclamation declaring April 29 through May 5 as Small Business Week in the county.

Commissioners tabled the approval of spring 2018 county SPLOST road projects and acceptance of Shepherd Drive into county road maintenance.

In other decisions Monday, commissioners approved:

⦁ Purchase of a 2019 Ford F250 and 2018 Ford Explorer for the Road Department at a cost of approximately $55,000. The purchases would be funded by the county’s sale of road paving equipment to Stephens County for $70,000;

⦁ Re-designation of a Local Maintenance Improvement Grant project (LMIG) to construct the Town Creek Bridge at a cost of approximately $1.4 million. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has agreed to pay for the construction;

⦁ Payment of approximately  $95,500 for right-of-way acquisition for replacement of Airport Road Bridge. GDOT will pay for the cost of construction;

⦁ An intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with the city of Cleveland for transfer of ownership of the Oak Springs School building and property. The city plans to re-purpose the building into a community center;

⦁ The fiscal year 2019 budget for Enotah Judicial Circuit at $327,341;

⦁ A contract with CSRA Probation Services to provide services for probate and magistrate courts;

⦁ An addendum to the 2018 fiscal year contract with Legacy Link for nutrition program services;

⦁ A 2018 cooperative law enforcement plan with the U.S. Forest Service for patrol of Forest Service lands in White County; and

⦁ Award of a $170,000 certificate of deposit to South State Bank at a rate of 1.05 percent for one year.



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Rehab of Roy Head Bridge will begin in June


GDOT spokesperson Katie Strickland

CLEVELAND, Ga. – The driving surface of the oldest bridge in White County will be replaced this summer.

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) held an informational meeting in September to discuss the rehabilitation of the 60-year-old Roy Head Bridge on state Route 11/US 129 over Tesnatee Creek north of Cleveland.

Last week, GDOT announced the contract for the work has been awarded to Comanche Construction, of Marietta. The amount of the contract is $969,337. Work, which will include painting the steel beams, replacement of the bridge deck joints and protective overlay riding surface, is expected to begin in June and be completed by the end of July.

At the informational meeting, GDOT spokeswoman Katie Strickland said replacement of the driving surface will help the sub-structure because it is cracking. Strickland said GDOT will place message boards and detour signage and a signal light at the intersection of Tesnatee Gap Valley Road and Hwy. 115 west.

The bridge was named for the first soldier from White County who was killed during World War I.



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Georgia DOT Continues Cable Rail Repair Along I-575 in Cherokee

Press Release

Georgia DOT Continues Cable Rail Repair along I-575 in Canton, GA

CANTON Ga. – A Georgia DOT Maintenance crew resumes today its work on repairing the cable rail along Interstate 575 in Cherokee County.  Work will proceed daily between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., weather permitting.

It is Georgia DOT position that guardrail and cable rail maintenance and repair are essential to keeping our roadways safe for the traveling public.  Our maintenance workers do their best to keep track of the damage to guard/cable rails and make repairs as quickly as possible in order to preserve road safety.

Each day, hundreds of Georgia Department of Transportation employees and contractors work on dozens of highway, bridge and intersection improvements throughout the state.  Their work often brings them and heavy machinery in close proximity to travel lanes. Fifty-seven Georgia DOT personnel and many more motorists, passengers and contractors’ workers have been killed in highway work zone accidents since 1973.  Please help us prevent these tragedies by slowing down; being especially attentive and cautious as you pass through construction work zones; and always driving responsibly.  Safer Driving; Safer Work Zones; For Everyone.  For information on the Department of Transportation, visit  You also may follow us on ( and Twitter (

GDOT Continues Asphalt Repair in Cherokee County

Press Release

Helen Pedestrian Bridge Approved Again


HELEN, Ga. – A contract for the construction of the long-awaited — and now more expensive — pedestrian bridge over the Chattahoochee River along Main Street was awarded to Square Deal Enterprises again at Tuesday’s Helen City Council meeting.

Council originally approved the contract in June for $586,022 but was forced to rebid the project because it will be funded, in part, by federal Transportation Enhancement dollars through the Georgia Department of Transportation. The original bid did not include a provision requiring a portion of the work to be completed by minority or woman-owned business.

The bid approved Tuesday was for $623,022.

The bridge will connect the sidewalks that front The Castle Inn and Café International and is identical to the bridge that exists in front of Paul’s Steakhouse on the opposite side of Main Street.

Four companies submitted bids in June but only one met the federal requirement and it was $270,000 higher than Square Deal’s bid. The council then had to choose between accepting the higher bid or rebidding the project. They chose the latter.

The bid now goes to GDOT for final approval.

City Manager Jerry Elkins was approved to serve on the Northeast Georgia Housing Authority.

Council also approved the addition on another entrance/exit for the city fire department and the second reading of an ordinance to amend Chapter 6 of the city’s municipal code as it relates to alcoholic beverages.

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


Second Phase of the Appalachian Parkway Will be Open Wednesday

Business, News

CLEVELAND, Ga. – Katie Strickland, the District 1 communications officer for the Georgia Department of Transportation said a ribbon-cutting and grand opening of Phase 2 of the Appalachian Parkway will be held Wednesday (July 26) at 10 a.m.

Strickland said the portion of the road north of Cleveland at the intersection of  Highway 129 and Hulsey Road, received the final smooth topping, striping and finishing touches Monday.



Appalachian Parkway Phase 2 Opens


Aerial photo of Appalachian Pkwy. Phase 2 courtesy of Sam Owens

CLEVELAND, Ga. – Phase 2 of the Appalachian Parkway – a potentially life-saving, two-mile stretch of four-lane highway winding its way around the downtown business district of Cleveland, opened today.

State Senator Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) and State Rep. Terry Rogers (R-Clarkesville were on hand along with city and county officials from Helen, Cleveland, Dahlonega and White, Lumpkin and Union counties.

Gooch commented on how the new parkway would reduce travel time dramatically for emergency vehicles transporting patients from Union and White counties to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville.

White County Commission Chairman Travis Turner credited Gooch, Rogers and State Rep. Lee

Hawkins (R-Gainesville) for their effort in the state legislature.

“Without those guys, this would not have been possible,” he said. “On behalf of the citizens of White County and north Georgia, we appreciate their support.”

Georgia Department of Transportation Engineer Brent Cook talked about the cost of the project. Purchasing the right of way for Phase 1 and 2 cost approximately $26 million he said. Construction of Phase 1 cost $20 million. Phase 2 cost $25 million plus $2.5 million for engineering. All told, you’re looking at about $75 or $76 million investment,” he said. “But this product, as you will see when you get to ride it, is a good product.”

State Sen. Steve Gooch (left) State Rep. Terry Rogers speak at ribbon cutting ceremony.

Gooch thanked taxpayers who supported HB 170, The Transportation Improvement ACT passed two years ago.

“As a state senator, I thank you for your support of that tax policy,” he said. “It takes a lot of financial resources to get projects like this done. The taxpayers of Georgia take money out of their pockets every time they put gas in their cars. That’s what paid for this project and so many others like it.”

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


Federal Regulations Will Cost Helen Taxpayers Time and Money


Federal regulations will make replacing the old pedestrian bridge in Helen more expensive.

HELEN, Ga. – As they often do, obtrusive and unnecessary federal regulations have delayed another local project and, in all likelihood, made it more expensive for taxpayers.

Last week, the Helen City Commission approved a contract to build a pedestrian bridge across the Chattahoochee River to Sautee-based Square Deal Enterprises, a company the city has frequently done business with and found to be more than satisfactory. Square Deal built an identical bridge for the city directly across Hwy. 75 and presented a bid that was the lowest of the four received.

But, because the agreement was to have been funded with federal Transportation Enhancement dollars through the Georgia Department of Transportation, it required that a percentage of the work be performed by a minority or woman-owned business. Square Deal did not meet that requirement. Only one bid did and that would cost the taxpayers an additional $270,000.

That left the city with only two options. Either pay the extra $270,000 or rebid the project. On Friday, the commission opted to re-open the bidding process.


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