Cleveland’s new water tank is ready to serve city


Cleveland City Council learned Monday the city’s new water tank is ready for use

CLEVELAND, Ga. – The Cleveland City Council heard from City Engineer Brian Rindt Monday who said the long-awaited water tower is now “substantially” complete and ready for use.

Rindt reported the tank was filled to the five-foot level Monday. The contract called for the work to be completed by Nov. 7, and Rindt said the company had requested an extension of five days due to inclement weather. Council voted unanimously to award the extension, meaning the contract was completed in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

The company now has 30 days to complete a punch list that includes grading, grassing and fencing.

Rindt also informed the board that casing in well no. 7, located on East Jarrard Street, does not meet EPD standards for the thickness of the casing and must be brought up to the agency’s standards.

Council then voted unanimously to spend $7,900 with Lanier Well Drilling to make the necessary improvements.

Beth Truelove requested the city provide services such as police, fire and sanitation for the annual Christmas in the Mountains Celebration scheduled for Dec. 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. Her request received unanimous approval.

Council discussed possible future annexations but decided not to move forward at this time.

City Administrator Tom O’Bryant updated the council on the status of one of the city’s fire trucks that is in need of repair. O’Bryant said the city received two estimates, one for $112,000 and the other for $150,000. He also presented the council with an option to purchase a 1997 fire truck from Brackets Fire Truck Repair for $96,000. The vehicle comes with a six-month, bumper-to-bumper warranty. It has an engine and transmission installed in 2009.

Council gave unanimous consent to purchase the used ladder truck.



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O’Bryant is Sole Finalist for Cleveland City Manager Job


Tom O’Bryant is sole finalist for Cleveland City Manager job.

CLEVELAND — White County Community and Economic Development Director Tom O’Bryant is the sole finalist for the position of Cleveland City Manager.

The city received 29 applications for the position and interviewed four applicants before naming O’Bryant as the finalist.

O’Bryant has been employed by the county since 2006.

A city-issued press release said O’Bryant’s appointment as city manager will be announced at the July 10 meeting.

“This is a wonderful opportunity,” O’Bryant said Thursday. “I look forward to working with the mayor and city council to help move the city forward.”


Commissioners’ Work Session Scheduled Monday


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.


Drug Enforcement Grant, Tax Levy on Distilled Spirit Distributors Discussed at Monday Work Session


CLEVELAND, Ga. — GBI Special Agent Mitchell Posey came before the White County Board of Commissioners work session Monday to ask for approval to apply a $359,412 grant to fund the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO).

Posey explained that the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant from the federal government is the same grant the board has approved for several years. It pays about half the salaries of the agents and does not require any match from local government.

ARDEO is one of 11 multi-jurisdictional drug task forces and is made up of at least one agent employed by a law enforcement agency in White, Lumpkin, Banks, Habersham, Rabun, Stephens or Towns counties.

Director of Community and Economic Development Tom O’Bryant presented a proposal to amend the county code associated with the excise tax levy for wholesalers and distributors of distilled spirits in the county.

O’Bryant explained that when the county adopted a dozen or more amendments to the county code it overlooked wholesalers and distributors.

“Right now, they’re not paying the tax,” Commission Chairman Travis Turner said. “But they will pay 22 cents per liter.”

Sautee Nacoochee Community Association Executive Director Patrick Brennan previewed SNC’s upcoming Winterfest. SNC is partnerning with Unicoi State park & Lodge and Helen Arts & Heritage Center for the inaugural event being held Feb. 18 and 19 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. More than 145 artists will perform live and visitors can win original art and fine craft prizes. For more information visit the Sautee Nacoochee Community Association web site.

The board also discussed the appointment of Judi Lawson to the White County Department of Family and Children Services for a five-year term.
These items are expected to be voted on at the next scheduled voting session.

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