City Council will hold public hearing, work session, called meeting Monday

News

 

LUMPKIN COUNTY, Ga. –The City of Dahlonega City Council will hold a  public hearing, work session and special called meeting Monday (Aug. 17) starting at 3:30 p.m., at City Hall, 465 Riley Road.

The public hearing regards potential amendments to the Official Zoning Map that could impact the establishment of districts, outdoor sales, storage and displays, farm winery tasting rooms, and height limitations in the Central Business District.

Items to be discussed during the work session include the FY2021 Budget and 5-Year Capital Improvements Program, the 2020 Tax Digest and Millage Rate, an intergovernmental agreement with the Downtown Development Authority,  the City of Dahlonega Master Fee Schedule, reallocation of budget for the New Development Standards Manual, and a resolution to adopt the Stormwater Utility User Fee Rate.

There will also be reports from several boards, committees and departments, including the Cemetery Committee, Downtown Development Authority, Tourism, City Marshal, Community Development, Water & Wastewater Treatment Department and Public Works Department.

 

 

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

 

 

City Council meeting set Monday, June 1

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The Dahlonega City Council will hold its Monday (June 1) meeting via teleconference utilizing Zoom. To join the meeting, go to – https://dahlonega.gov/mayor-and-council/city-council-meetings/  Find the meeting invite you would like to attend, OR—Click on the hyperlink.

Council is expected to approve a resolution to move forward with the creation of a Stormwater Utility Enterprise Fund to be established in conjunction with the FY21 budget. The resolution authorizes city staff to continue to work with its stormwater consultant in development of a Stormwater Utility User Fee Credit Manual and Ordinance and to continue meetings with key potential customers and conduct public information meetings. A formal vote on adoption of the appropriate ordinance will occur concurrent with the adoption of the 2021 budget.

Mark Buchanan will provide an informational update on the Columbarium project. The Columbarium Committee has completed reviews of the proposals submitted resulting in the selection of Eickoff Columbarium as the vendor for the procurement of an Ossuarium.

The 80 niche Canterbury with Ossuarium is approximately $46k. However, there will be some add-ons and room for negotiation for a slightly different product. The Ossuarium is a deviation from earlier plans, but the lure of the 180 Ossuarium sites and 80 niches, as opposed to 48 niches, offers more opportunities while remaining under budget.

Procurement of the 80 niche Ossuarium will utilize approximately $47k of the $57,653.00 budget set for a Columbarium. Site prep work will be funded with the remainder of that budget as well as funds from the cemetery budget not utilized.

Buchanan will also present an update on the Wimpy Mill Pedestrian Bridge and Kayak Launch Project.

The State of Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently amended the grant to extend the completion deadline to Oct. 15, 2021. The projected completion date is July 2, 2021. The long lead item will be the fabrication of the pedestrian bridge and its installation.

The grant award of $134,501.72 remains the same. The Wimpy Mill Pedestrian Bridge and Kayak Launch Project, partially funded through the Recreational Trails Program grant consists of five major components: Parking lot construction, Pedestrian Bridge manufacture and delivery, Bridge installation, ADA compliant dock construction & delivery and sediment removal at the reservoir.

Staff has collected quotes for each of these components which will be presented during the meeting.

An update of the Morrison Moore Pedestrian Bridge and Sidewalks Project will be presented. A vendor ranking has been established and staff is beginning the negotiation phase with the highest-ranked engineering firm for Preliminary Engineering services, in accordance with GDOT guidelines.

Financial Director Melody Marlowe will present the 2020 amended 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. 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 begins opening facilities Monday

News
DAHLONEGA, Ga., –– On May 12, Governor Kemp issued a new 30-page executive order further detailing Georgia’s steps for reopening and returning the state to normal business activities. Among many additional guidelines for essential and non-essential businesses, the order also extends the state of emergency through mid-June, requires those 65 and older as well as medically fragile populations to continue sheltering in place through June 12, and Georgia bars, live performance venues and nightclubs remain closed through 11:59 p.m. on May 31, unless otherwise extended. The full order is available on the state website here.
The detailed order provides specific guidelines for summer camps to resume operations with overnight camps prohibited for now. Also prohibited are large gatherings of 10 or more people unless there is at least six feet between each person with exceptions for critical infrastructure, cohabitating persons or family units, transitory or incidental grouping, and dining rooms and restaurants with no more than 10 patrons per 300-square-feet.
In follow-up to Governor Kemp’s announcement, the Dahlonega City Council held a special called meeting on May 13 to discuss reopening city facilities and resuming non-essential business functions.
• City Hall will officially reopen to the public on Monday, May 18, with the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. dedicated to serving visitors 60 years of age and older and the balance of the day through 5:00 p.m. available to anyone. Residents are encouraged to continue using online payment options and the drop-boxes located at City Hall and old BB&T lot on West Main as a preferred social distancing option. Visitors to City Hall will have access to hand sanitizer and courtesy disposable face masks as well as individual water bottles as opposed to public fountains. While inside City Hall, social distancing requirements—a minimum of six feet—will be observed.
• City Park, located behind City Hall, remains closed to the public as it is undergoing previously scheduled renovations. City staff anticipate reopening the park to the public in several weeks.
• The Wimpy Mill picnic area remains open and will undergo additional daily cleaning as part of COVID-19 response efforts.
• Hancock Park, diving bell and pavilion are open for passive use by individuals, but not organized social gatherings of ten or more. The public restrooms, and the Gold Adventures playground equipment, remain closed to the public at this time. City staff are working through the logistics and obtaining the supplies necessary to clean and safely maintain these high-contact public facilities. The anticipated park reopening date is Saturday, May 23, but may be limited to weekend use only.
The city will increase its regular cleaning schedules for all city facilities and all Dahlonega staff will be wearing cloth face masks while on-duty in and outside city facilities, unless working on-site at an active construction or repair site. Resumption of regular trash pick-up will be announced at a later date.
“We want to encourage residents who aren’t feeling well or who are running a temperature to remain at home,” said City Manager Bill Schmid. “Our staff are ready to assist you by phone at 706-864-6133 and by email at [email protected] in the event you are not well and need to conduct city business.”
“I am encouraged by the data for Lumpkin County and remain hopeful things are moving in the right direction,” said Mayor Sam Norton. “Let’s all be safe, practice good common sense, and get through this together!”
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Northeast Georgia Health System COVID-19 information – https://www.nghs.com/covid-19
FEMA’s Coronavirus Rumor Control – https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-rumor-control
Georgia Department of Public Health – https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus
District 2 Public Health Department – http://phdistrict2.org/

Dahlonega City Council approves FY’20 budget adjustments

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – In light of the COVID-19 impact on the local economy, City Council unanimously approved a series of recommended adjustments to the city’s FY’20 budget during Monday’s called meeting and work session.

The adjustments call for a reduction in projected revenue of approximately $2.5 million over six months. Each is subject to further review in light of new information obtained over time. Examples include implementation of the recent pay study, and previously approved FY20 annual performance-based adjustments to pay, which are eliminated to make the numbers work and retain trained personnel.

Development of the FY21 budget will be concurrent with actual results for the balance of FY20. If revenues improve during FY21, subsequent budget amendments will be recommended

Predicting revenue and expenses for the next 18 months is a guessing game even in more stable times. But these days are hardly stable. Just as council began contemplating the proposed changes, Gov. Brian Kemp made an announcement that will have a major impact on revenue projections.

Kemp announced plans to restart the state’s economy before the end of the week. Gyms, hair salons, barber shops and other businesses can reopen as long as owners follow strict social distancing and hygiene requirements.

“We recognize this is a very changeable plan,” City Manager Bill Schmid said.

The changes include the following projected revenue reductions:

  • General Fund from $5,029,035 to $4,605,584.
  • Water/Sewer from $8,545,963 to $7,368,441.
  • Solid Waste $1,419,025 to $948,070
  • Dahlonega Development Authority $391,841 to $307,841
  • Hotel/Motel $456,038 to $269,000
  • SPLOST $476,900 TO $313,965
  • TSPLOST $704,834 to $594,244
  • General Fund Capital Projects $2,742,083 to $2,890,719

The city has received numerous calls and emails from customers requesting extension of due dates for paying utility bills because of an inability to pay related to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Council unanimously approved a temporary suspension of late fees and disconnection service for two months, April and May 2020 for both residential and commercial customers.

 

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 City Council meeting Monday

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — Utility billing late fees and disconnection of services will be an important topic for discussion when the Dahlonega City Council meets in and combined work session and called meeting Monday (April 20) at 4 p.m. at City Hall.

Financial Director Melody Marlow reports that calls and emails have increased from customers requesting extension of due dates for paying utility bills because of inability to pay related to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Council will review requirements of the Water and Sewer Rates Ordinance and determine if action is warranted to temporarily suspend late fees and disconnection of service. In the past, a penalty of 10% or a minimum amount of $2 was added each month to any delinquent utility bill that has not been paid by the tenth of each month. Any utility bill delinquent on the 20th of the month has, in the past, resulted in service being discontinued, and a service charge of $75. added to the bill.

Since Council’s adoption of the emergency declaration in March, there have been no service disconnections or penalty charges for non-payment of utility bills.

On average, the city collects $7,800 a month in utility penalties and fees each month. The 10 percent penalty charged on the 10th of the month averages $3,800. The $75 fee charged on the 20th of the month averages $4,000.

Council may temporarily suspend the requirements to charge penalties and disconnect services for non-payment. Any grace period would apply to all residential and commercial customers.

Staff recommends a temporary two-month suspension suspend charging late fees or disconnecting service because of inability to pay utility bills for two months starting in April.

Council also will review a request for approval by the University of North Georgia to install an exterior sign on property owned by the City of Dahlonega at Barlow Road. If approved, UNG will bear all capital and maintenance costs for the new sign and the sign will be up lighted from an external source.

Due to recommendations by the CDC during the Coronavirus crisis, this meeting will be conducted via teleconference. To join the meeting, go to https://dahlonega.gov/category/news/

 

 

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 supports Gov. Kemp’s extension of shelter in place order

News

Mayor Sam Norton

PRESS RELEASE

DAHLONEGA, Ga., –– During his 4:00 p.m. press conference on April 8, Governor Brian Kemp announced he was extending Georgia’s state of emergency declaration through May 13, and extended his original statewide shelter-in-place order set to expire on April 13 through April 30. The public health state of emergency declaration helps ensure that the state is eligible for any emergency federal assistance and programs offered in response to the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The Governor and state public health officials detailed the importance of adhering to the sheltering-in-place order to help prevent further spread of the Coronavirus as the next two weeks will be critical for Georgia. Total cases in Georgia have risen to 10,204 with more than 2,000 hospitalized and 370 deaths reported as of the April 8 daily report offered by the Georgia Department of Public Health. With additional testing centers opening, these numbers will continue to rise as more patients can be readily diagnosed. As of that same report date, Lumpkin County now has nine confirmed cases of COVID-19.

“We support Governor Kemp’s decision to extend the shelter-in-place order,” said Mayor Sam Norton. “These aren’t easy decisions, but they are necessary if we are going to save lives.”

Gov. Brian Kemp

Governor Kemp also announced a new executive order prohibiting residential vacation rentals. The order is in effect as of 12:00 a.m. on April 9 and ends at 11:59 p.m. on April 30, unless otherwise extended by executive order. It does not include vacation rentals fully paid for prior to the April 9 start date and time, nor does it apply to property leases where the location is used as the person’s primary place of residence.

This new mandate was offered by state officials in response to local government leaders from North Georgia as well as coastal Georgia who in recent days have formally objected to state parks and public beaches being open and accessible to the public during the public health crisis. Local elected officials from both regions of the state, noting visitors traveling from hotspot areas, recently sent letters to Governor Kemp urging action to curtail metro-area residents and visitors from other hotspot areas around the US. Leaders noted the limited resources typically available in more rural areas and healthcare systems that are unequipped to respond to an overrun of patients.

“I was pleased to see this new executive order,” said Norton. “That being said, the Council and I remain concerned about increased traffic at nearby state parks, but appreciate the Governor’s assurances that park rangers are closely monitoring attendance numbers.”

The state also announced more aggressive measures at all Georgia assisted living and nursing homes, following the recent outbreak and deaths at an Athens-area nursing facility. The mandates require more sanitary measures by workers, and prohibits all visitors and non-essential workers from entering the facilities except in end of life circumstances.

All executive orders are available on the Governor’s website here.

CDC’s “What to do if you are sick?” – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

Northeast Georgia Health System COVID-19 information – https://www.nghs.com/covid-19

CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html

FEMA’s Coronavirus Rumor Control – https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-rumor-control

Georgia Department of Public Health – https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus

District 2 Public Health Department – http://phdistrict2.org/

 

 

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

 

City Council teleconference set Monday

News

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — The City of Dahlonega will hold a work session Monday, April 6 at 6 p.m. Due to recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control during the Coronavirus crisis, this meeting will be conducted via teleconference.

The public is invited to connect to the teleconference by calling 1 646 558 8656 then dialing ID Code 757 455 858.

Council is expected to read a proclamation declaring April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Finance Director Melody Marlowe will provide an employee compensation and benefit review for council and there will be a discussion regarding renewal of the City Attorney’s contract.

 

 

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 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.

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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