State deeds 1,000-acre Yonah Preserve to White County

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CLEVELAND — White County Commission Chairman Travis Turner opened Monday’s meeting with a blockbuster announcement that will benefit the county for generations to come.

“I have the distinct pleasure of presenting to you, the citizens of White County the official deed — signed by Governor Deal and with the state seal — the 1,000-acre Yonah Preserve.” The announcement drew loud applause from those in attendance.

The county entered into a 50-year lease of the property from the state five years ago.

“Since then, the state of Georgia with Governor Nathan Deal and other state officials have seen White County’s commitment to developing an outdoor destination program from ball fields to hiking and biking trails to fishing,” Turner said. “These activities will not only benefit White County for generations to come, but also give us an opportunity to draw people from outside our area.”

The only caveat attached by the state is the land be used for the public good.

Only about 20-25 percent of the acreage is buildable due the terrain, which consists of mountains and ridges.

“This is a golden opportunity for the county as we move forward if we’re going to be a tourist-based community,” Commissioner Edwin Nix said. “I’m proud the governor has done what he’s done.”

In other decisions, the Board unanimously adopted the annual Legacy Link contract for operation of the Senior Center.

Commissioners also approved:

  • A resolution to request the Georgia Department of Transportation to install a traffic light at the intersection of Hwy. 129 and Tesnateee Gap Valley Road;
  • A resolution issuing a call for a referendum for the 2020 SPLOST;
  • A planting plan to provide a buffer between Yonah Preserve athletic field area and nearby homes;
  • Allowing staff to proceed with rebidding construction work on the two New Bridge Road bridges;
  • Scheduling process for setting the 2018 millage rate.
  • New summer operating hours for Yonah Preserve. Effective July 12, the preserve will be open Thursday through Sunday from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. through Labor Day.

 

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Second public hearing on 2019 budget set Monday

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – The White County Board of Commissioners will hold a second public hearing and consider adoption of the proposed Fiscal Year 2019 budget Monday (June 18) at 4:30 p.m.

The general fund budget is proposed at $18,925,734 combined with a separate fund balance of $4,737,665 for a total budget of $23,663,399, which represents an increase of 11.8 percent in the 2018 budget.

County Manager Michael Melton said during the first public hearing last week the $2 million increase in this year’s budget is the result of adding positions in the fire department, roads and bridges and parks and recreation and a $2 an hour pay raise for employees other than public safety, which received their pay raise earlier this year.

The county has a reserve fund of approximately $4 million and commissioners are considering using about $1.2 million from that fund to balance the budget which would leave about 2.6 months of operational funds to cover an emergency.

Commissioners will also consider approval of a design change presented by Carter & Sloope for the Yonah Preserve football field area, a cost estimate provided by Charles Black Construction for finishing one football field at Yonah Preserve and a lighting service agreement with Georgia Power for Yonah Preserve.

Other issues to be addressed by the Board include the approval of the renewal contract with the Chattahoochee Group for landscaping at Freedom Park and revisions to the current special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) road project timeline.

Finance Director Jodi Ligon will present the monthly financial status report.

 

 

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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Yonah Preserve trails opening postponed

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – The long-awaited opening of the hiking and biking trails at Yonah Preserve will have to wait a little longer.

At their last meeting, the White County Board of Commissioners set Saturday, June 2, as the soft opening date for that section of the 1,000-acre recreation area. However, subtropical storm Alberto has changed that. The opening date has been postponed.

White County, working with the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association, has been working to get the trails ready for a grand opening. However, SORBA project coordinator Clark Neal said today (May 31) the opening will have to wait until he can get out there and make an assessment.

“My biggest concern is how many trees may have fallen,” Neal said. “We’ve had about six inches of rain this week. I would like to say it will be open next Saturday. But I can’t say that until I can get out there and make an assessment. The rain may have soaked in by then. But my biggest concern is how many trees may need to be removed. We removed nine trees last month.”

Neal told commissioners last week he was looking forward to opening June 2 since the day will be celebrated as National Trails Day.

 

 

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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Commissioners Set Series of Monday Meetings

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – The White County Board of Commissioners will hold a series of meetings in the County Administration Building Monday starting at 3 p.m.

The first will be a called meeting to finalize plans for the Yonah Preserve project. During that meeting, commissioners will review current draft plans, receive additional input on design plans and summarize guidance for the project.

That meeting will be followed at 4:30 p.m. by public hearings to consider rezoning applications filed by Mark Byrd for two parcels of land at 36 Cannon Road. The first is an application to rezone 3.5 acres of land from C1 Community Commercial District to C2 Highway Business District. The second is to rezone 1.8 acres of land from C1 Community Commercial District to C2 Highway Business District.

A work session/called meeting will follow the public hearings. Commissioners will consider a request by the Northeast Georgia Veterans Society to fund and erect a statute of the late Private Rondall Glaze at Freedom Park.

Other issues to be discussed during that meeting include:

  • An application for the 2018 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant to fund the multi-jurisdictional drug task force and a memorandum of understanding for the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office;
  • A presentation by Sheriff Neal Walden on recommended improvements to the county courthouse;
  • A final three-year lease-purchase document with BB&T for a 2017 Kenworth 4,000-gallon pumper/tanker for the fire department at a cost of $251,450 plus interest;
  • Quotes for the replacement of Information Technology equipment;
  • A lease with WRWH for tower space at the Long Mountain Tower site;
  • An addendum to the FY 2018 contract with Legacy Link for nutrition program services at the senior center;
  • Bids for certificates of deposit held at Mountain Valley Community Bank;
  • Appointment of the county’s voting delegate for the 2017 ACCG legislative leadership conference;
  • Year-end amendments to the FY 2017 budget.

 

 

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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BOC Called Meeting and Work Session Scheduled Monday

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Manager Kevin Hamby will provide a SPLOST update and Finance Director Vickie Mays will present the monthly financial status report when the White County Board of Commissioners hold a work session and called meeting Monday, July 31 at 4:30 p.m.

 

Commissioners will consider several funding requests, including one from the Friends of Hardman Farm to support the 2017 Fall Celebration and another from the White County Chamber of Commerce for the Spirit of Appalachia Food, Wine and Art Festival.

 

The board will also consider requests from Parks and Recreation for money to purchase a new mower and equipment and from Animal Control to repair or replace the department’s vehicles.

There will also be a discussion about the status of the Yonah Preserve Project.

 

Public hearings on the millage rate are scheduled for 8 a.m. and 6 p.m on Thursday, August 3.

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White County Commissioners Will Discuss Budget Process at Monday Work Session

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – White County Commissioners will get a preliminary look at the 2018 proposed budget and discuss the upcoming budget process when they meet in a work session and called meeting Monday at 4:30 p.m.

There will be a discussion of appointments to several county boards including the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Convention and Visitors Board of Directors, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Region 1 Board, Department of Family and Children’s Services Board and the Water Authority.

Retired Chief Probate Clerk Sandra McAfee will be presented a proclamation in honor of here 34 years of service to White County. McAfee retired at the end of April.

Commissioners will review proposals for the construction-manager-at-risk project at Yonah Preserve when they meet Monday at 4:30 p.m.

The City of Cleveland has proposed annexation of 4.06 acres owned by Woodlands Camp and Conference Center. Commissioners will review that proposal.

Commissioners will also discuss the 2017 Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG).

SPLOST Manager Kevin Hamby will present a monthly SPLOST status report and Finance Director Vicki Mays will present the monthly financial status report.


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 www.fetchyournews.com

 

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Board Approves Nearly $1 Million in SPLOST-Funded Road Projects

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — Meeting for the first time in the new year, White County commissioners addressed a variety of issues, including 2017 road projects, pay raises for Sheriff’s Office personnel and amendments to the county’s land use plan Tuesday.

The Board approved $944,889.20 to improve White County Roads, the largest and most expensive of which is a 1.3 mile section of Mauldin Road at a cost of $345,886, followed by a .72 mile section of Arthur Allen at a cost of $166,436.40. All projects will be funded by the 2014 voter-approved special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST).Other roads approved for prep work and paving include Danny Palmer, Bear Creek and Steve Lewis.

Huntington Road, Hannah Brook Lane, Heather Way and Mountain Meadows were approved for patching and resurfacing. A proposal on Stanley Nix and Sam Craven was tabled until March 2017 for prep work in 2017 and paving in 2018.

Commissioners also unanimously approved an amendment to budget line items relating to compensation for White County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center personnel in the amount of $27, 724 ( in addition to the $103,000 approved in 12/13/16.

During a public hearing, there was no opposition to an amendment to the land use ordinance that establishes a one-acre minimum lot size for all development within the single family residential district (R-1) in the unincorporated area of the county. Commissioners unanimously approved the amendment.

The Reverend Nathan Morgan was granted a conditional use permit to build a parsonage on his property at 176 Mountain Scenic Drive in Cleveland and, after a public hearing in which no one spoke on opposition, commissioners approved a request by Juliet Reeves for abandonment of a portion of Stover Road.

The Board gave special recognition to the White County Sheriff’s Office for achieving Georgia State Law Enforcement Recertification.
Commissioners also approved:

A request by Shirley Wan to redistrict her property at 5642 Hwy. 115 West in Cleveland from R-1 to C-2;

A request by Rev. Nathan Morgan to approve a conditional use permit to place a parsonage on his property at 176 Mount Scenic Drive in Cleveland in a C-2 district;

Adopt a resolution to to execute the contract for the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources Recreation Trails Grant for Phase II at Yonah Preserve in the amount of $100,000 and

The Appointment of Commissioner Craig Bryant to serve another term as Vice Chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

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Commissioners Host Public Hearing on 1-Acre Lot Size Minimum

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CLEVELAND, Ga. — The public is invited to provide input during a public hearing to establish a one-acre minimum lot size for all development within single-family residential district in unincorporated White County when the Board of Commissioners meet Monday at 4:30 p.m. in the meeting room at 1235 Helen Highway.

Commissioners will also hold a public hearing to consider a resolution for the abandoment of a section of Stover Road requested by Mr. Juliet Reeves, who owns property along both sides of that section.

Kevin Hamy of Hamby Management will present an SPLOST update and the county will recognize the White County Sheriff’s Office for obtaining its Georgia Law Enforcement Recertification.

Commissioners will also consider approval of a land use application filed by Nathan Morgan for a conditional use permit in order to construct a single-family dwelling on 1,875 acres located at 176 Mount Scenic Drive in Cleveland.

The Board is also expected to consider:

The application of Ms. Shirley Wan for redistricting of property located at 5642 Hwy. 115 Westfrom R-1 (Single Family Residential) to C-2 (Highway Business District);

Bids received for 2017 road projects;

Adoption of a resolution to execute the contract for the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources Recreation Trails Grant for Phase II at Yonah Preserve;

A FY 2017 budget amanement for the payroll related to budget line items associated with the compensation increase for White County Sheriff’s Office and Detention Center Personnel in the amouunt of $27,724.00 and

The appointment of a vice-chairman for the Board of Commissioners.

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