Council to vote on a resolution to maintain self-determination relating to local design standards

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — The Dahlonega City Council will vote on a resolution proposed by Councilwiman JoAnne Taylor that expresses opposition to bills now in the Georgia General Assembly when it meets Monday March 2 at 6 p.m. City Hall,465 Riley Road.

The bills prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances that regulate building design elements as applied to one or two-family dwellings.

Taylor’s resolution states: “Appropriate local design standards and land use policies, established by local citizens in each community, create a diverse, stable, profitable, and sustainable residential development landscape” It further states: “State legislation eliminating locally-tailored approaches to design standards would harm self-determination of citizens to establish community standards.”

If approved, a copy of the resolution will be delivered to each member of the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate representing the City of Dahlonega and be made available for distribution to the public and the press.

Council is expected address the following:

Ordinance 2020-19: Squaretail, LLC Rezoning to R-2 (Multi Family Residential

Ordinance 2020-07: An Ordinance to include Regulations and Procedures for Mobile Food Service;

Public Notice Meeting Dates for work sessions;

Contract Award Recommendation for Project #2020-005 Asphalt Leveling and Resurfacing City Streets;

Contract Award Recommendation for Project #2020-010 Barlow Road Improvements;

LMIG Project #2020-001 Asphalt Leveling and Resurfacing City Streets.

 

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Taylor says design standards bill in Gen. Assembly would harm citizens’ right to self determination

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – City Council will consider a resolution presented by Council member JoAnne Taylor in support of locally-established building design standards for residential dwellings during the Tuesday (Feb. 18) work session. The meeting begins at 4 p.m.

Taylor’s resolution is in response to two bills now in the Georgia General Assembly (HB 302 and SB 172) that would prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or regulations relating to or regulating building design elements as applied to one or two-family dwellings.

The resolution states: “Appropriate local design standards and land use policies, established by local citizens in each community, create a diverse, stable, profitable, and sustainable residential development landscape” It further states: “State legislation eliminating locally-tailored approaches to design standards would harm self-determination of citizens to establish community standards.”

If approved, a copy of the resolution will be delivered to each member of the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate representing the City of Dahlonega and be made available for distribution to the public and the press.

Council will also consider a resolution to change its regular meeting dates to the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. with the exception of the month of September when the meeting would be held Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. If approved, work sessions would move to the third Thursday of each month at 4 p.m.

An ordinance (2020-07) to include regulations and procedures for mobile food truck services operations in the city will also be considered. The ordinance, if approved, would provide for the application procedures, duties of the permit holders, liability and insurance regulations, suspension or revocation of permit and penalties and limitations. It would also outline general public safety aspects such as removal of litter, disposal of liquids, trash receptacles, eating area displays, health department regulations, assignment of locations, power sources, unattended units and fire safety.

Council will also consider an ordinance (2020-11) to regulate parades, assemblies, demonstrations and rallies in public places. If approved, it will amend the qualifications for special events as well as consolidate the ordinances currently in place regarding parades, assemblies, demonstrations, rallies and special events.

Council will consider a staff recommendation to award two separate contracts to Colditz Trucking, Inc. for road work. The first is a contract for (project #2020-005) asphalt leveling and resurfacing of city streets in the amount of $66,917.52. The second contract is for the (LMIG Project #2020-001) for asphalt leveling and resurfacing of city streets in the amount of $100,219.93.

Council will also consider a staff recommendation to award a contract for Barlow Road Improvements (Project 2020-10) including grading complete, erosion control, construction of curb and gutter, drainage structures, pipe and flumes to Townley Construction in the amount of $228,764.60.

Agenda items considered during a work session are generally voted on during the next regular 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

 

 

Early voting for Dahlonega City Council underway until Nov. 1

News

Early voting is underway for the City of Dahlonega Nov. 5 General/Special Election. Registered voters may cast their ballot Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. through Nov. 1 at the Lumpkin Couunty Elections and Voter Registration Office at 56 Short Street in Dahlonega..

Tony Owens and Johnny Ariemma are competing for the Post 4 seat on the City Council currently held by Bruce Hoffman who will not run for reelection.

Dewey Moye is challenging incumbent Ron Larson for the Post 6 seat while incumbent JoAnne Taylor is unopposed for the Post 5 seat.

There is also a referendum question: Shall the governing authority of the City of Dahlonega be authorized to permit and regulate Sunday sales of distilled spirits or alcoholic beverates for beverage purposes by the drink from 11 a.m. until 12:30 am.

Taylor announces plans to run for re-election in 2020

Election, Politics

DAHLONEGA, GA

Current Post 5 councilwoman, JoAnne Taylor, has confirmed that she will run for re-election for Dahlonega City Council in 2020.

Taylor told FYN that her most important accomplishment during her current term was, “Tax reduction of 5.14% for the proposed 2020 budget.” She further explained that the City Council will hold a public hearing on Thursday, August 15, at 4:00 p.m., followed by a City Council meeting on September 3 at 6:00 p.m., “to adopt the budget resolution.”

According to Taylor, water, sewer, sanitation, and recycling costs for in-city residential customers will not increase, “We will continue a high level of service, make needed infrastructure improvements, and deliver new amenities to our community within the proposed budget.”

Taylor credits the tax reduction to the “teamwork and focus by the Mayor, City Council, and dedicated Staff on reducing costs,” and she also explained that her main focus item was reducing costs, “I have participated in all budget meetings. I also lent my business expertise to the staff in evaluating much-needed new financial application software…The new application, when fully implemented, will increase overall efficiency and improved citizen communication.”

Taylor also expressed to FYN her appreciation for being voted into the City Council, “I have been enormously privileged to be a public servant to Dahlonega. My $400 salary, net taxes, has been donated to local not-for-profits. I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to serve.”

If re-elected, Taylor said her main focus would be, “Containing costs and managing growth while preserving the very special place we call home, Dahlonega.” Taylor further explained that she would focus on continuing to add amenities to Dahlonega, such as the Gold Adventures All-Abilities Playground in Hancock Park, the Farmers Market, and the Wimpy Mill picnic area, “We need to balance the significant costs of infrastructure, such as stormwater management, with providing improved amenities…I will continue to welcome feedback from our citizens, a vital form of government. Thanks in advance for your support!”

Gold Adventure All-Abilities Playground in Hancock Park.

City Council votes in favor for Occupational Tax amendment

Community, Police & Government

DAHLONEGA, GA

The Dahlonega City Council voted in favor, 6-0, of the amendment to “increase occupation tax rates to defray general fund expenses,” after a public hearing held on Monday. City Councilman, Bruce Hoffman, motioned for the proposed ordinance, and Councilwoman, JoAnne Taylor, seconded the motion.

The cost of a business license in Dahlonega is based on the number of people employed by the business. Taylor explained to FYN that, “The City’s fee structures are all being examined since some have not been changed in over 15 years. This fee change does not affect businesses with one employee. The change puts Dahlonega in the average for cities our size. We expect a small impact to our General Fund revenues.” 

A public hearing was held on Monday, August 5, before the City Council meeting to, “accept comments on the proposed new occupation tax schedule to be incorporated into the City’s code pertaining to occupation taxes.” According to Taylor, “We held a  public hearing on this topic [proposed Occupational Tax amendment] but to date have received no feedback.”

According to the ordinance outline, the tax increase is expected to bring in an additional $13,900 in revenue to help alleviate the “increased cost for general fund operations.” Changes went into effect on Tuesday, August 6, 2019.

 

 

 

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“Sunday Brunch Bill” on city council agenda Thursday

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — When former Gov. Nathan Deal signed the “Sunday Brunch Bill” or “Mimosa Mandate” in May 2018, it gave cities and counties the right to allow the sale of alcohol at restaurants in their communities on Sundays beginning at 11 a.m. via a local referendum.

Dahlonega City Council members will discuss whether to put that question before the voters next November when they meet in a work session and special called meeting Thursday (July 18) at 4 p.m.

Council will also consider amending the hours of operation for Class D, E and F licenses for Sunday alcohol sales and adopting a small cell code.

Bryan Garris, Acting Chairman of the Dahlonega Arts Alliance, will ask council to allow the organization to host an exhibition and live art show in the park from noon until 6 p.m.

Approximately 10-20 artists would set up 10′ by 10′ tents to demonstrate their art live and respond to questions. The event would be free to everyone. Purchases could be made through Canvas and Cork, adjacent to the park.

The event is the Alliance’s first and no city services will be required so organizers are asking that the city’s fee be waived

There will also be departmental reports by the Marshal’s Office, Community Development/Historic Preservation Commission, Downtown Development Authority, Finance, Administration, Public Works and Water and Wastewater.

 

 

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

 

 

Controversy brewing over Tea and Spice Exchange

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – A new franchise that is expected to open on East Main Street in September was the focus of a lengthy discussion and some controversy at the Dahlonega City Council meeting Monday evening.

 

Some local business owners along with the Downtown Business Association and Downtown Development Authority believe Main Street is no place for a franchise like The Spice and Tea Exchange.

 

John Clower, president of the Downtown Business Association, addressed council during the public comments portion of the meeting to say, “I encourage council to consider ways to mitigate franchise businesses from coming into down town.”

Clower said his association is not opposed to the Tea and Spice Exchange, but, “There is concern about what this means for the character of our city.”

Tina Lucas, proprietor of The Cool Collective, located at 84 Public Square North, said it is hard enough to be a mom and pop (business) without having to compete with corporate run businesses and the unique properties and characteristics of these shops.”

Councilman Mitchell Ridley said, “We do not have anything in place that stops businesses from opening here. I’m not advocating for franchises. I’m just saying, how do you process it that you can’t have a franchise.”

Mayor Sam Norton said there are some things on the books that have somewhat deterred franchises in the past. “Parking ordinances somewhat deter franchises,” he said. “The historic district is sometimes a bar too high for franchises and our sign ordinances. Most franchises won’t conform to our sign ordinances. A combination of those three things and a willing landlord that values small city values have been successful in the past.”

Norton added that sometimes the landlord is the controlling factor.

Tony Owens, chairman of the Downtown Development Authority said, “I don’t know that we can make ordinances that stop businesses from happening. I think Sam (Norton) nailed it when he said we have to work on the sign ordinances and other ordinances that will limit the interest of these franchises.”

Norton agreed to place the issue on a future work session agenda and to make it a high priority.

 

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

 

 

Council green lights Garrett-Green downtown hotel Parks and Butler buildings to come down

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – After a three-year standoff with Roberta Green-Garrett and her attorney, the Dahlonega City Council approved a consent order Tuesday that will allow her to build a hotel that will replace the old Butler and Parks Buildings in Dahlonega’s historic downtown.

The vote was 4-2 with District 1 Councilman Roman Gaddis and District 4 Councilman Bruce Hoffman opposed.

“People who were against the consent order assumed the council folded but we stopped it dead in its tracks for three years at a lot of time and expense,” Mayor Sam Norton said. “I don’t think either side is particularly satisfied with the agreement but we did the best we could do given the circumstances.”

But as councilwoman JoAnne Taylor stated in last month’s work session, ““We’ve either got to put our thumbprint on this design with Mrs. Green-Garrett, or roll the dice and see what the judge will say,” something most councilmembers were unwilling to risk.

During the public comment period, half a dozen citizens stood up and spoke out forcefully against the project. Ken Akins said, “This is our history, our heritage. This is what we’re all about and we are destroying that.”

The city and Green-Garrett’s attorney Joey Homans engaged in a lengthy mediation period and agreed to several conditions. For example, the premises can only be used as a hotel and must include an exercise facility, a lobby, a small outdoor pool, a breakfast lounge area and parking.

In other business, council unanimously approved a request to rezone 2.97 acres on Torrington Drive from B-1 (business) to R-3 (residential) to allow for the construction of apartment units.

Council denied Lynn Allred’s appeal of a Historic Preservation Commission decision that pertains to the construction of a fence at her Appalachian Gold business.

Council also agreed to move forward with plans to construct a kids play area at Hancock Park.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dahlonega Finance Department earns Certificate of Excellence

News

Chris Hollifield of Rushton & Co. CPA

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – “The numbers look very good for the city.” That is how Chris Hollifield, of Rushton and Company CPA, assessed the city of Dahlonega’s financial status at this week’s City Council meeting.

In presenting the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), Hollifield said the city had earned the Certificate of Excellence from the Georgia Finance Officers Association (GFOA), something achieved by less than 30 percent of municipalities nationwide and only one percent of those in Georgia.

Finance Director Melody Marlowe said, “I’m most proud of the city’s stability in financial trends, strong earnings and our solid reserves.”

The city has a fund balance of $4.2 million, with about $2.6 million being unassigned, which represents approximately 10 months of reserves.

CAFR is a set of U.S. government financial statements comprising the financial report of a state, municipal or other governmental entity that complies with the accounting requirements promulgated by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB).

City Council gave unanimous approval to:

  • The appointment of five cemetery board members;
  • A special event alcohol license for the Bear on the Square Festival April 20 to 22;
  • A special event alcohol license for the Dahlonega Arts and Wine Festival May 19 to 20;
  • Creation of a holiday that coincides with the county when Veterans Day falls on a weekday; and
  • Amending the alcohol license fees for Class 1 wholesale wine sales.

Council also awarded certificates to Ralph Prescott and Jimmy Anderson in recognition of their work with the Historic Preservation Commission.

There was also a discussion about the need to make improvements to Wimpy Mill Park and to come up with an appropriate name. No decision was reached.

Dahlonega City Council presents certificates to Ralph Prescott (center left) and Jimmy Anderson in recognition of their work for the Historic Preservation Commission.

 

 

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

City to consider opioid epidemic resolution Monday

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The Dahlonega City Council will consider approval of a resolution to help increase public awareness of the opioid crisis that has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. when it meets Monday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m.

Opioid addiction and abuse is a growing problem with devastating consequences. Since 1999, the sale of prescription opioids has nearly quadrupled in the U.S. In 2015, nearly 40 percent of Americans were using prescription painkillers. Approximately 91 Americans die daily from opioid overdose and 17.7 percent of Georgia’s high school students report taking prescription painkillers.

The resolution states: “The City of Dahlonega, acting through the City Council supports local, state and federal efforts to combat the opioid crisis and will seek to raise awareness within its jurisdiction regarding this public health emergency.”

Spring festivals are fast approaching. Two of Lumpkin County’s most popular spring festivals — the Bear on the Square Mountain Festival April 20 through 22 and Dahlonega Arts and Wine Festival May 19 and 20 – have applied for special event alcohol licenses. Those applications are expected to be voted at Monday’s meeting. Council also will consider amending the city’s alcohol regulations to allow Sunday sales beginning at 11 a.m.

A representative from Rushton & Company CPA will present the Audit and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2017.

Wimpy Park is back on the council’s agenda. Residents of nearby Sky Country have expressed concerns regarding parking hazards. Council is awaiting the results of its grant application that should help address those concerns.

 

 

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

 

 

Dahlonega City Council to discuss special event fees

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The election of a mayor pro tempore, appointment of an ethics board and the establishment of special event permit fees in the city will be among the items to be decided at a meeting of the Dahlonega City Council Monday, Feb. 5, at 6 p.m.

Special event permit fees to be considered include permit application fee ($300), refundable damage deposit ($500). Additional fees may be charged for the use of water and electricity at the Hancock Park Pavilion as well as an hourly fee for city employees who assist in coordination of special events.

Council will consider a repurposing of the 2020 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) and is expected to take action to call an election on May 22 for the purpose of submitting to the voters of the county for their approval of the SPLOST to commence on April 1, 2020.

State law requires that prior to the voter referendum, municipal projects be authorized through intergovernmental contracts with the country.

Other items to be considered include:

  • A declaration of Official Intent to Reimburse Costs of Acquiring Equipment with Tax Exempt Financing;
  • An amendment to the resolution regarding employment contracts for department heads;
  • A joint city/county proclamation recognizing and honoring Brian Denney for his service as chairman of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau;
  • The appointment of Karl Goellner to the Historic Preservation Commission;
  • A report from the Dahlonega Downtown Development Authority; and
  • The appointment of DeEnna Walters and Sabrina Walker to Dahlonega Downtown Development Authority 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. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

New mayor, council members take oath of office

News

Judge Raymond George administers the oath of office to Dahlonega’s new Mayor Sam Norton.

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The Dahlonega City Council will take on a slightly different look in 2018.

Mayor Gary McCullough officially ended nearly three decades of service to the city, including three terms as mayor, during Tuesday’s council meeting. Sam Norton was sworn in to replace him. Norton served as the Post 5 councilman before stepping down to run for mayor.

Norton paid tribute to his predecessor, saying, “The city and all its accolades are a direct reflection of previous governments, which you were an important part of, and I want to thank you again for your service.”

Norton also thanked Mayor pro tem Bruce Hoffman for taking over after McCullough suffered a stroke.

“I want to thank Mayor pro tem Hoffman,” Norton said. “He was a very good mayor pro tem for the last couple of years. He got leaned on a lot more than I think he signed up for. You did a very good job and thank you for doing that.”

Helen Hardman, retired tourism professional and grant writer, is the newest addition to city council.

She took the oath of office along with incumbent councilmen Roman Gaddis and Mitchell Ridley.

Jeff Brannon was sworn in as city marshall. He has a strong background in law enforcement, having worked for sheriff’s offices in Hall, Clarke and Lumpkin counties and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

During the first meeting of 2018, council unanimously adopted a new eight-page ethics ordinance.

Council also reappointed Vivian Morse to the Lumpkin County Board of Health and Janet Tolbert to the Dahlonega Housing Authority.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

JoAnne Taylor will be sworn in as newest councilwoman during Monday meeting

News

JoAnne Taylor joins city council Monday

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The Dahlonega City Council will ratify the results of the Nov. 7 election when it meets Monday at 5 p.m. at City Hall, 565 Riley Road.

JoAnne Taylor, a local volunteer and retired corporate executive, will be sworn in as the new representative for Post 5. Taylor worked for IBM for 32 years where she was vice president of the global telecommunications industry segment.

Council also will take care of some year-end business like approving the meeting dates for 2018, which remain unchanged, and renewal of the probation contract with Northeast Georgia Probation Services from Jan. 1, 2018, through Dec. 31, 2018.

Staff has recommended, and council is expected to vote on, approval of an event permit for the first Dahlonega Science Festival, to take place at multiple locations within the city limits. The permit will be subject to the new event fees council will establish later this year.

 

 

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

 

 

City council discusses new permit fees for 2018

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Dahlonega’s City Council failed to achieve a quorum at last week’s scheduled work session and, instead, held what it called a “community meeting” to discuss issues to be voted on during the next regular meeting.

Council members discussed a change in special event permit fees to take effect in 2018. City staff recommended a three-tier, permit fee system based on the following: Type A events (5,000 or fewer attendees) would require a $500 permit fee and $300 parking fee; Type B events (5,000 to 25,000 attendees) would require a $1,000 permit fee and $550 parking fee; Type C events (more than 25,000 attendees) would require a $1,500 permit fee and $1,750 parking fee.

One organization that will apply for a special event permit in 2018 is the Dahlonega Science Café (DSC). According to the group’s Facebook page, it is dedicated to bringing fun, informative, thought-provoking meet-ups and talks from real working scientists to the community. Those talks are held in the Bourbon Street Grille on the square in Dahlonega.

The group is planning the Dahlonega Science Festival for March 23-25 to take place at multiple locations in the downtown area, including Hancock Park and Holly Theater. Organizers say their goal is to bring together University of North Georgia faculty, students, local businesses and organizations and people within the community to provide a stimulating environment for informal science learning.

Event activities would include the UNG faculty presenting a series of Science Café talks along with other invited speakers and UNG science students hosting hands-on science activities for children.

Staff also recommended renewal of the city’s probation services contract with Northeast Georgia Probation Services, Inc.

These and other issues are expected to be voted on at the next regular council meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Council to Vote in Intergovernmental Agreement Today

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — An intergovernmental agreement between the City of Dahlonega and Lumpkin County to conduct municipal elections, departmental reports and consideration of alcohol beverage permits will highlight Monday’s meeting ot the Dahlonega City Council at 6 p.m.

Council will hear reports from the Historic Preservation Commission, the Planning & Zoning Department, Code Enforcement, Finance and the Downtown Development Authority.

Alcohol Beverage Licenses will also be under consideration for Kaitlyn Vanhoff, Jody Meldon and Tyler Barnes of Four Country Vineyards d/b/a Accent Cellars, Farm Winery Manufacturing and Farm Winery Tasting Room, Chestatee Artists, Inc. d/b/a Dahlonega Arts and Wine Festival Special Event Alcohol Permit Wine Tasting and Wine Package Sales, Georgia Farm Wines, LLC d/b/a Taste Dahlonega for Wine Package Sales and Ancillary Wine Tasting , Sur De La Frontera for Beer, Wine and Distilled Spirits for Consumption on Premises and Aramark Educational Services Off Premises Alcohol Catering Permits.

Freddy Welch will appeal a decision rendered by the Historic Planning Commission February 15, 2017 denying his request to paint a building at 198 North Grove Street.

Council will also consider approval of the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

City, County Agree on Service Delivery Strategy

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — The City of Dahlonega and Lumpkin County have reached a verbal agreement on a service delivery strategy (SDS). The SDS determines which services the county will provide for the city and what the city will pay for those services.

The strategy, which awaits the signatures of Mayor Gary McCullough and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners Chris Dockery, calls for the city to pay Lumpkin County $50,000 annually for supplementary fire services, $8,000 annually for supplementary law enforcement services and a 10 percent court add-on fee for jail construction and staffing for housing inmates and to cover medical expenses.

At Thursday’s City Council meeting, Cumming attorney Dana Miles, who served as a neutral arbiter between the two governments, said, “I’d like to congratulate city and county officials for coming together so flawlessly in getting this done. This is the way government should work.”

The next item on the council’s agenda — a proposed policy change for festivals and parades — met with a little more resistance. City Manager Bill Schmid presented the draft proposal as representatives of Gold Rush Days, Arts & Wine Festival and Trail Fest listened intently.

The policy, which represents a recommendation of the Planning Department and Downtown Development Authority. It takes into consideration the impact these events have on downtown businesses and the cost of city services needed to support them. It recommends festivals be divided into three categories based on the number of people in attendance and implements permit and parking fees.

Category A would apply to attendance of 5,000 or less and would cost organizers $500 for the permit and $300 for parking. Category B would apply to festivals with an attendance up to 25,000 and would impose a permit fee of $1,000 and parking fee of $550. Category C would apply to events over 25,000 and would impose a permit fee of $1,500 and parking fee of $1,750.
Festival organizers argued their events benefit the local economy and help to promote the city in a positive way.

A representative of the Arts & Wine Festival pointed out that their event is strictly non-profit and that their advertising and budget for this year had already been spent. She objected to the parking fee, saying the city doesn’t charge a parking fee for other visitors. She also pointed out that their fest did not bring food vendors purposely because they wanted visitors to frequent local restaurants.

Representatives of Gold Rush Days suggested that the fees not be imposed until 2018 and that a committee be formed with city officials, business leaders and festival organizers to write the final draft.

Schmid stated the proposed policy is just a first draft and more input would be sought before any action was taken.

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