CLEVELAND, Ga. – The White County Board of Commissioners approved a fiscal year 2020 budget of $24,123,352 Monday. The general fund budget which is made up of agriculture, judicial, culture and recreation, housing and development, general government, public safety and public works is $19,190,827.
Commissioners anticipate $19,190,827 in expenditures and $18,266,105 in revenue with the balance to paid out of the fund balance.
About half the general fund budget ($9,538,610) is earmarked for public safety, which includes animal control, detention center, sheriff’s office, EMA, EMS, 911 and fire services. General government, which includes 12 departments plus the contingency fund will receive 21.25 percent of the general fund.
The Board also approved spending $392,900.40 on road improvement projects for Asa Dorsey Road, F-M Road, Shepherd Drive, Fire Station No. 6 parking driveway area, Yonah Preserve Trailhead Road parking area and Old Blue Creek Road.
Also approved unanimously Monday:
Gary Bowen’s request to rezone 1.66 acres at 4680 Hwy. 115 from C1 Community Commercial District to C2 Highway Business District;
James Penner’s request to rezone 28.67 acres at 5050 Hwy. 129 from C1 Community Commercial District to A1 Agriculture/Forestry District;
James and Sydney Vandiver’s request to rezone 2.23 acres on Asbestos Road from C1 Community Commercial District to R3 Residential District (Seasonal);
Legacy Link Contract 2019-2020 for the operation of the senior center;
The 2019-2020 ACCG-IRMA proposal for liability insurance coverage;
Renewal of the landscape services contract for Freedom Park with the Chattahoochee Group;
Award the contract for propane services with Blossman.
Commission Chairman Travis Turner read a proclamation to Garvis and Judy Kinsey
After 37 years in the ministry, the couple retired Sunday (June 16).
“In honor of Garvis and Judy Kinsey’s lifelong commitment to White County where they have served selflessly for over 40 years, the White County Board of Commissioners hereby expresses our recognition and appreciation for the contributions you have made,” Turner said. “We extend our best wishes o you on the occasion of your retirement.”
The couple met while students at Piedmont College and married in 1971. Five years later, they started a kindergarten in the basement of their home. They began preaching at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in 1982. In 1986, they moved to Cool Springs United Methodist Church and in 1988, the founded the White Creek Christian Academy with a mission of developing students to full potential academically and spiritually.
In retirement, the couple will continue to mentor the new administrators and volunteer at the school.
Fetch Your News would also like to express its gratitude and best wishes to the Kinseys.
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Senate Gets Down to Business
By: Sen. Steve Gooch (R – Dahlonega)
Although the Senate was in session for only two days this week, my colleagues and I were very busy under the Gold Dome addressing budget proposals and a key piece of legislation on the Senate Floor.
The week started with Joint Senate and House Appropriations hearings on the Amended FY18 and General FY19 budgets. Governor Deal kicked off the hearings which included several different agencies presenting their budget proposals. I am happy to say that the state’s budget continues to be in good shape, with the General FY19 budget topping $26 billion for the first time. The General FY19 budget proposals were drafted with an estimated 2.9 percent state fund growth and around 3.8 percent tax revenue growth over the Amended FY18 revenue estimates. Included in the General FY19 budget are increases in funding for education and transportation.
The General FY19 budget addresses the needs for the state to meet determined employer contributions within the Teachers Retirement System with a proposed increase of around $364 million. Additionally, around $120 million would be appropriated for enrollment growth and training. Along with these positive changes in the General FY19 budget, an important proposal in the Amended FY18 budget is adding $15 million to purchase 194 school buses statewide. This will positively impact our students by ensuring that buses are not overcrowded.
The state’s growing need to address transportation infrastructure is also addressed in the General FY19 budget. An additional $31.6 million in projected revenues resulting from House Bill 170 – passed during the 2015 Legislation Session – will be added to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) budget. I am very happy to see that a piece of legislation we passed a couple of years ago is still making positive impacts for GDOT.
Along with attending the budget hearings and carefully reviewing the proposals for the Amended FY18 and General FY19 budgets, my colleagues and I took up a very important piece of legislation in Senate Chamber. On Thursday, the Senate passed the Supporting and Strengthening Families Act, also known as the Adoption Bill, or HB 159. This bill passed with bipartisan support and is now headed over to the House of Representatives for their review. Final passage of this legislation and a signature into law by the Governor would allow our state to update our adoption system which has been the same for nearly 30 years.
The Senate’s version of HB 159 clarifies many of the laws regarding who can adopt, who can act as a legal guardian and the rights held by the biological parents before and after giving their child up for adoption. Additionally, the version the Senate passed on Thursday states that if an agency is not involved in a private adoptive process, living expenses cannot be paid. The only expenses that can be paid in a private adoption are medical and counseling. These are just some of the highlights of the Senate version of HB 159. As this legislation moves through the legislative process, my colleagues and I will work with the Governor and House of Representatives to ensure there is cooperation to address concerns anyone may have. It is imperative that we pass this legislation so that we can assist the large number of children who are in foster care and need a loving and stable home.
The pace of the session is going to pick up quickly with standing committees beginning to hold meetings next week to vet legislation pending from last year along with new bills introduced this year. As we move forward in the session, please do not hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns and feedback. It is always great to hear from my constituents and our door is always open.
State Senator Steve Gooch of District 51 talks legislation for Georgia and Voting Questions.