Family Connection Appeals to Helen for Funding

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(Left to right) Judi Lawson, Annette Boswell and Lindsey Oliver of Family Connection.

HELEN, Ga. — White County Family Connection Executive Director Judi Lawson, Annette Boswell and Lindsey Oliver attended the Helen City Commission meeting Tuesday seeking funds to help the them fulfill their mission.

Family Connection is a local decision-making body that brings community partners together to develop and implement, plans to address the serious challenges facing White County’s children and families. Many are homeless or live in substandard housing.

The organization provides food, clothing, assistance with shelter, school supplies, glasses and help with healthcare needs.
Ms. Boswell pointed out that there are about 90 homeless families in the county and 20-25 reside in Helen either in a camper or doubled up with family members. Some live in storage sheds.

Family Connection depends on funds from the community to allow it to continue to provide those services.

The organization currently receives $10,000 a year from White County and $5,100 from the City of Cleveland to help families. The group asked commissioners to consider including Family Connection when it begins its budgeting process next month.
Commissioners said they would get a preliminary look at the budget in June and would consider including Family Connection at that time.

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White County Mid-Year Finances In Good Shape

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — White County Finance Director Vicki Mays presented the monthly status report at Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting which showed the county’s mid-year finances are in pretty good shape.

Mays reported that by December the county had already collected $11,494,730 or 71 percent of the estimated year long revenue of $16,299,730 and expenditures for the same period of time were only $7,357,964 or just 46 percent.

The county has collected $73,178 in alcohol related taxes and fees (64 percent), $384,541 (52 percent) in Title Ad Valorem Tax and $493,751 (73 percent) in the hotel/motel tax.

Under the Consent Agenda, commissioners voted 4-0 (with Commissioner Lyn Holcomb absent for the second straight week) to approve a request by Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office to apply for the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Agreement Grant in the amount of $359,412, an amendment to the county code associated with the excise levy tak for wholesalers of distilled spirits and the appointment of Judi Lawson to the Department of Family and Children Services.

County offices will be closed Feb. 20 in observance of President’s Day.

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Commissioners’ Work Session Scheduled Monday

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — The White County Board of Commissioners will hold a work session Monday, at 4:30 p.m. followed by a called meeting to consider going into an executive session to discuss personnel and real estate.

Mitchell Posey, Special Agent in Charge of the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office will request board approval to apply for the 2016 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant in the amount of $359,412.00.
White County would serve as the fiscal agent for the grant funds.

Director of Community and Economic Development Tom O’Bryant will propose an amendment to the county code associated with the excise tax levy for wholesalers of distilled spirits in White County.

Patrick Brennam, executive director of the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association will provide an update on programs at the facility. The office is located at 283 SR 255 North in Sautee and is open fro 9 a.m. until 5 p.m Monday through Friday. The Galleries and Historic Museum and Folk Pottery Museum is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

On Feb. 17-19 the center will host the second annual Nacoochee Art Festival in conjunction with the Winter Festival Arts Tour, Alpine Helen Festival and Unicoi Fireside Craft and Art Show.

Commissioners are also expected to consider the appointment of Judi Lawson to the White County Department of Family and Children Services Board for a five-year term to expire June 30, 2021.

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