Commissioners approve funding Mauney Building renovation

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – The White County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved spending $86,500 to renovate the Mauney Building during Thursday’s combined work session and regular meeting.

The county’s planning department and economic development department will move into the facility. The Board also approved a resolution for local legislation to be presented to the Georgia General Assembly for the creation of a Board of Elections and Registration which would also be housed in the building along with 55-60 new voting machines.

Of the $86,500 approximately $54,718 will go to Simco Interiors, Inc. to renovate the interior, install drywall, partition walls, paint and carpet.

Georgia Power Area Manager Brent Edwards presented a check for $10,000 to help the county with its Yonah Preserve Playground Project. He thanked the Board of Commissioners for all they do to improve the quality of life in White County and added, “Yonah Preserve Park is a great example of that,” he said. “It’s something to really be proud of.”

The Board introduced the Sheriff’s Office new code enforcement officer Stephen Sayer.

Commissioners granted a six-month extension for the White County Historic Preservation Committee to complete its development of a historic district overlay.

Commissioners approved a resolution for Fiscal Year 2019-’20 for amendments to the Drug Abuse Treatment and Education Fund (D.A.T.E.)

In other business, the Board:

Denied a request by Shannon Adams to redistrict .58 acres at 325 Hwy. 255 North in Sautee from Community Commercial District (C-1) to Commercial Highway Business (C-2) for the purpose of opening a day care facility for dogs;

Denied a request by Matthew Sieveking to redistrict 4 acres at 76 Ralph Vandiver Road from Residential Single-Family District (R-1) to Highway Business District (C-2)for the purpose of opening a lumber supply company;

Tabled a request by Robert McClure for 6.7 acres at 1111 Satterfield Road in Cleveland to be placed in the short-term rental program because the applicant was not present as required;

Approved a request by Todd Anderson to redistrict 4 acres on Hester Road from Agriculture Forestry District (A-1) to Residential Single-Family District (R-3);

Approved a request by Rolando and Dailis Cabrera to redistrict .5 acres at 20 Kacey’s Lane in Helen from Residential Single-Family District (R-1) to Residential Family District (R-3);

Approved a request by Bryan and Theresa Hamilton for a conditional use permit for 9.45 acres at 6394 Duncan Bridge Road in Cleveland to be placed in the short-term rental program;

Approved a request by Mihai Marin for a conditional use permit for 7.54 acres at 164 Carolina Springs Road in Sautee Nacoochee to use as a wedding/tourism event center;

Approved a request by David Schutt for 3.16 acres at 3215 Hwy. 75 Alternate in Cleveland to be placed in the short-term rental program.

 

 

 

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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Annual audit shows White County in strong financial position

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – Clay Pilgrim of the accounting firm of Rushton Company presented a positive annual audit report to the White County Board of Commissioners during their voting session Monday.

Pilgrim said the county is in a strong financial position. “Nothing came to our attention to prevent us from issuing an unmodified or clean opinion on the financial statement for White County,” he said.

The county’s total net position is $51,328,861, an increase of $1,942,074 from the previous year. General fund revenue increased $1,630,497 while expenditures increased by $935,627. The unassigned fund balance is $3,946,540 which represents about 2.7 months of operating expenses.

Commissioner Terry Goodger said, “The county has come up $11 million in the last five years. That really shows a tremendous amount of growth in the county.”

Kevin Hamby followed Pilgrim’s report with more good financial news about the special purpose local option sales tax.

Commissioners then took time out to recognize two important groups during the meeting – farmers and public safety workers.

“Farming is still the No. 1 economic engine for White County,” Chairman Travis Turner said “It provides food for out tables, more than we realize.” Turner then read a proclamation declaring Nov. 21-29 Farm City Week in White County.

Commissioners then heard from Public Safety Director David Murphy, who paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of the men and women under his command.

Murphy said public safety workers respond to calls covering 242 square miles. “So far this year, they have responded to 1,968 calls, performed eight fire inspections, reviewed 187 pre-fire plans, provided fire prevention education to 4,709 students and community members. We have given away and installed 80 fire detection devices to our most vulnerable population.”

These things have been accomplished with only 12 career firefighters, 45 volunteers and three administrative personnel.

Murphy singled out the county fire chief for special recognition. “The leadership of this group came from Norman Alexander,” Murphy said. “He has served as fire chief and assistant fire chief since 2004. He has led these individuals from an all-volunteer to the combination department we have today. Under his leadership style and integrity he has moved this department forward into a position where the goals of protecting lives, property and the environment can be accomplished with excellence.”

Many of the members of his department — both career and volunteer — attended the meeting and Murphy said “I would like to publicly thank them for their service to White County and the diverse communities we serve today.”

The Board unanimously approved all consent agenda items, including a request by Truett McConnell University to authorize a revenue bond issuance through the White County Development Authority. The bond issue does not obligate White County taxpayers in any way, but will allow the university to refinance its existing debt at a more favorable interest rate.

Under New Business, the Board approved a request by Clyde Fleming for a conditional use permit for 2.77 acres located at 672 Foothills Drive in Cleveland to be placed in the county’s short-term rental program. The vote was 4-1 with Commissioner Craig Bryant opposed.

The Board also approved two annexation requests. One is for property located at 1847 Hwy. 129 South to be annexed into the City of Cleveland. The other is for 4.55 acres located at 52 Comer Circle to be annexed into the City of Helen.

The Board also approved amendments to the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget and fiscal year 2019-2020 budget establishing a pooled account for jail telephone commissions.

 

 

 

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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Rushton Co. to present 2018-2019 audit report Monday

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – The White County Board of Commissioners will meet in a regular voting session Monday at 4:30 p.m. in the County Administration Building.

Clay Pilgrim of the Rushton Company will present the annual financial audit for the fiscal year 2018-2019 and Kevin Hamby, the county’s special purpose local option sales tax (SPLOST) manager, will have a monthly SPLOST status report.

Commissioners have placed several issues on the consent agenda, mostly dealing with rezoning requests for the purpose of authorizing short term rentals. A consent agenda allows commissioners to approve issues they have discussed during a work session as a group rather than individually to expedite meetings.

Also on the consent agenda is a request by Truett McConnell University to authorize a revenue bond issuance through the White County Development Authority.

TMU would like to refinance its long-term debt tied to a major project in 2011 that included construction of a new dormitory, expanding the dining hall and administration building and the addition of a new student wellness center.

The current bond is being paid back at a rate of between 5.75 and 6.0 percent. If the Board approves the request, TMU would be able to refinance at a rate of 3.6 percent.

The bond issuance would not encumber Cleveland or White County taxpayers in any way.

Jason Graffagnino, TMU Vice President for Finance and Operations, told commissioners last week, “The collateral is the university. We are taking financial responsibility. It will be a tax-exempt offering. For that to be something the public can invest in, and buy tax exempt bonds, we need a government authority to be the issuer so that is why we are coming before you.”

Other items on the consent agenda include a request by Public Safety Director David Murphy to sell some obsolete equipment at surplus and the awarding of two 12-month certificates of deposit currently held by United Community Bank.

Under New Business, the Board will consider a request by Clyde Fleming for a conditional use permit for 2.77 acres located at 672 Foothills Drive in Cleveland to be placed in the county’s short-term rental program

Commissioners will also be voting on two annexation requests. One is or property located at 1847 Hwy. 129 South to be annexed into the City of Cleveland. The other is for 4.55 acres located at 52 Comer Circle to be annexed into the City of Helen.

Commissioners will read a proclamation to the White County Chamber of Commerce declaring Nov. 21-29 Farm City Week in White County and another in recognition of White County Fire Services Personnel.

The Board will also consider resolutions to approve fiscal year 2018-2019 budget amendments and fiscal year 2019-2020 establishing a pooled account for jail telephone commissions.

 

 

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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TMU asks commissioners to authorize tax exempt bond issuance

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – White County Commissioners heard a request from Truett McConnell University Vice President for Finance and Operations Jason Graffagnino at Monday’s work session to approve a bond issuance that would allow it to refinance its long term indebtedness at a considerable savings.

The issuance would be through the White County Development Authority and must be approved by the Board of Commissioners but it does not obligate county taxpayers.

“We are looking into refinancing long-term debt tied to a major project we did in 2011,” Graffagnino said. The project included construction of a new dormitory, expanding the dining hall and administration building and the addition of a new student wellness center.

Graffagnino said the current bond is being paid back at a rate of between 5.75 and 6.0 percent.

“In the current economic environment, we have done our due diligence and through a public bond offering, we are able to ascertain a long term rate for 30 years at 3.6 percent,” he said. “As Mr. Chairman (Travis Turner) said and Mr. Manager (Michael Melton) said, this does not encumber the citizens of White County or the citizens of Cleveland. The collateral is the University. We are taking financial responsibility It will be a tax-exempt offering. For that to be something the public can invest in, and buy tax exempt bonds, we need a government authority to be the issuer so that is why we are coming before you.”

The Board generally discusses issues during work sessions then votes on them at the next regular session.

Commissioners also discussed future options for the administration of county elections since Probate Judge Garrison Baker, who currently oversees elections, will retire at the end of 2020.

A number of agenda items were placed on the consent agenda for the next meeting, including:

A request by Director of Public Safety Director David Murphy to place some obsolete equipment belonging to his department to be sold as surplus;

Bids received for two certificates of deposits currently held by United Community Bank.

Most of the rezoning requests on Monday’s agenda also will be placed on the consent agenda.

Commissioners will place one request for annexation into the city of Cleveland and another by the City of Helen under New Business and vote on them separately at the next meeting.

 

 

 

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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Busy agenda set for Monday’s BOC work session

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CLEVELAND, Ga. – Monday’s White County Board of Commissioners work session could be a lengthy one with 18 items — including eight zoning issue — on the agenda. The meeting will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Work sessions are for commissioners to discuss items they will vote on during regular voting sessions.

Five of the zoning requests are for the purpose of operating as short-term rental units. One proposed use is for operation of a wedding/tourism event center.

Commissioners also will address two requests for county property to be annexed into city limits. One of those is located at 1847 Hwy. 129 in Cleveland. The other is 52 Comer Circle (South Main Street) in Helen.

A representative from Truett McConnell University will appear before the Board to request a revenue bond issuance through the White County Development Authority.

2020 being an election year, commissioners will discuss the administration of next year’s elections.

Other items to be considered, include:

A surplus resolution for disposal of obsolete public safety equipment:

Bids received for two certificates of deposit currently held at United Community Bank;

Fiscal Year 2018-19 budget amendments;

2020 Board appointments to the Board of Assessors, Building Authority, Planning Commission, and the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

 

 

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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BOC public hearing on proposed tax increase Monday

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CLEVELAND, Ga.—White County Commissioners will hold the third public hearing on the proposed millage rate of 10.75 Monday, Aug. 5 at 4:30 p.m. in the County Administration Building at 1235 Helen Highway.

The proposed rate is the same as last year, however, keeping the millage rate at the same level represents a tax increase of .204 mils. Without the tax increase, the rate would be no more than 10.546 mils.

The proposed tax increase for a home with a fair market value of $160,000.00 is approximately $12.65 and the proposed tax increase for non-homestead property with a fair market value of $130,000.00 is approximately $10.61.

Commissioners will consider adopting a resolution to approve the 2019 millage during the regular meeting that immediately follows the public hearing.

During the regular meeting, commissioners will also consider:

  • Bid proposal for deep patching and overlay of Truelove Road;
  • Deep Patching of Post Road and Old Hwy. 75 South;
  • Purchase of a bucket truck;
  • A proposal for the installation of a security camera system at Yonah Preserve;
  • Designation of the ACCG voting delegate for the 2019 ACCG Legislative Leadership Conference.

 

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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White County Commission approves $24.1 million budget

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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.

 

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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BOC will hold public hearing on FY 2019-20 budget Monday

News

CLEVELAND, Ga.  White County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the fiscal year 2019-20 budget when the Board meets in a called session at 4:30 p.m. Monday (June17) in the county administration building.

Following the public hearing, commissioners will consider adopting a resolution to approve the budget.

Commissioners will also consider several land use applications, including 1.66 acres at 4680 Hwy. 115 East in Cleveland from C-1 Community Commercial District to C-2 Highway Business District.

James Pender has filed an application for 28.67 acres at 5050 Hwy. 129 North in Cleveland to be redistricted from C-1 Community Commercial District to A-1 Agriculture Forestry District.

The Board will also consider James and Sydney Vandiver’s request to redistrict 2.23 acres on Asbestos Road from C-1 Community Commercial District to R-3 Residential District (Seasonal).

Other agenda items commissioners will consider at Monday’s meeting include:

Approval of the 2019-20 Legacy Link contract for operation of the senior center;

Awarding a bid for road improvement projects on Asa Seay Road, F-M Road, Shepherd Drive, Fire Station No. 6 parking and driveway area and the Yonah Preserve Trailhead Road and parking area;

Approval of the 2019-20 ACCG-IRMA inter-local risk management agency proposal for liability insurance coverage;

Awarding a contract for landscape services for Freedom Park to Chattahoochee Group;

Awarding a contract for propane supply for county facilities;

Consider appointments to the White County Department of Family and Children’s Services, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities Board and the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission Council.

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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