Pickens Report – August 2019

Community, News



The fall season is approaching and for locals we know that means the Georgia Marble Festival is coming soon! A local favorite that brings in travelers from all corners of life to the marble capital on the first weekend of October. The two-day festival will consist of art and craft vendors, a free children’s fun zone, delicious food, local art displays, musical entertainment, quarry tours, and much more. The festival will take place on Saturday, October 5th from 10am until 6pm and Sunday, October 6th from 10am until 4pm. On Saturday, the Road Race will begin at 8am followed by the festival parade at 10am on Main Street. If you’re interested in being a festival vendor, sponsor, volunteer, or parade participant contact the Chamber of Commerce at 706-692-5600.

The month of September is National Preparedness Month. Pickens County Emergency Management encourages all citizens to have an emergency plan for your home. Make sure that everyone who lives in your home knows the plan. Have a small gathering of necessities on hand always like medications, first aid kit, small tool kit, flashlight, batteries, food, and bottled water. All citizens are encouraged to sign up for free Code Red Weather Warnings at pickenscountyga.gov and follow Pickens Emergency Management Homeland Security Agency on Facebook for updates. Also, the annual flu shot clinic for Pickens County residents 18 and up will be on Tuesday, October 8th 8:30am until 3:00pm at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

During the month of August, the 911 Operations Center received 1,746 total calls, 766 were medical responses or fire related. The Water Department installed 17 new meters. The Department of Planning and Development issued 48 new building permits. The Pickens Animal Shelter brought in 89 new animals, and 92 went out through various forms of adoption. Animal control responded to 13 cases. Subcontractor crews resurfaced Appalachian Court, Appalachian Circle, Johnson Road, Bethany Road, Upper Dowda Mill Road and Cagle Road. They will next resurface Parker Road, Keeble Creek, Quail Walk, and a portion of Bent Tree Drive to complete phase one of the paving projects. Bids are currently being accepted for phase two of paving projects. Phase two includes: Pleasant Hill Road, Hill Circle, Willow Lane, Pinhook Road, Ludville Road, Family Acres, Meadow Lane, Hillcrest Drive, Jay Moss Lane, Roper Road, Gibson Trail, Black Knob Church, and Upper Bethany Road. PCRD basketball registration is now open until October 13th. Instructional league (4-6 years old) costs $35, all other leagues (7-8 years old and above) costs $75. Late registration will be available October 14-16 for a $10 late fee. The Pickens County government departments continue to stay busy working for the citizens of Pickens County. The Pickens County Board of Commissioners continue to do a great job of leading these efforts. As work progresses, and projects continue, I will do my best to keep you informed of these developments.

Until the next time, stay safe, and shop local!


Pickens Report – July 2019

Announcements, Community


JULY 2019

Pickens County Government, like many other government entities is taking full advantage of the hot summer months to pave as many roads as financially possible. All paving projects are funded through LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) and SPLOST (Special Local Option Sales Tax) dollars. During the month of July, Pickens County Public Works tar and graveled Martin Road and next plan to tar and gravel Mineral Springs South. They resurfaced Headstart Road and Smokey Hollow Road. Additionally, they patched and sealed Davis Road West and created a turnaround to accommodate school buses. Public Works will be resurfacing Pendley Road and resealing Monument Road in the coming weeks. Once the Grandview Dam project is complete, they will also repair Grandview Road. Subcontractor crews are currently working on phase one of the paving projects. They resurfaced Camp Road (from AW Lawson Blvd. to Hwy 53 W.), Mineral Spring Street, and Hobson Road. Next they will resurface Appalachian Court, Appalachian Circle, Johnson Road, Parker Road, Keeble Creek, Quail Walk, Cagle Road, and Bethany Road. Phase two paving bid will go out at the end of August. 

During the month of July, the Water Department set 11 new meters. The Department of Planning and Development issued 60 new building permits. The 911 Operations Center received 1,829 total calls, 771 were medical responses or fire related. The Pickens Animal Shelter brought in 86 animals and 77 went out through various forms of adoption. Animal control responded to 26 cases. The Recreation Department concluded another successful year of Summer Camp with an average of 60 kids per day. Currently, UFA Soccer is underway at PCRD. Pickens County government departments continue to stay busy working hard for the citizens of Pickens County. The Pickens County Board of Commissioners continues to do an excellent job of leading these efforts. As work progresses, and projects continue, I will do my best to keep you informed of these developments. To stay up to date like us on Facebook and Twitter, and check out our website www.pickenscountyga.gov.   

Until the next time, stay safe, and shop local!    

County finds funding for Jones Mountain Road slide


JASPER, Ga. – The citizens of Pickens County breathe a sigh of relief today as County Commission Chairman Rob Jones shares information on funding for repairs of the damage that has shut down Jones Mountain Road close to two months ago.

Citizens have been avoiding the area since February 22, 2019, when the county closed the road after major storms washed out the ridge under the road and caused part of the pavement to crumble away. The road is still closed today, but Jones says this will change soon as the funding will allow them to move forward with a proposal from GeoStabilization International to reopen the road.

The county has secured $1.3 million in funding from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank with the SRTA (State Road and Tollway Authority as well as an additional $500,000 from the state’s emergency LMIG (Local Maintenance Improvement Grant) to cover the estimated $1.8 million project. These estimations came when Chairman Jones called the event a “major disaster” in early March.

Jones says that additional companies have spoken with the county about their own proposals for the repairs. But utilizing these funds requires the project to meet and adhere to DOT guidelines. Additionally, operating under the emergency status for the county, they will not wait for a bid process that could take up another two months before any repairs begin. Instead, the county is moving forward under the proposal with GeoStabilization International.

While the road will take upwards of two months to fully repair, Jones reiterated his intentions, as he explained in the March Commissioners’ Meeting, to get the road open for use of a single lane within the next two weeks. As part of the proposal, this quick turnaround will address the extra 4.7 miles that both citizens and emergency services must travel to go around the slide area.

While some points of the project are still up for negotiations in the upcoming pre-construction meetings, Jones asserts that the funding will cover the entirety of the project. However, he did note that the county could reach into the $100,000 contingency funds should the need actually arise.

Jones noted that receiving the state funding would not have been possible without a major concerted effort. Pickens County Finance Director Faye Harvey in conjunction with state representatives Steve Gooch, Rick Jasperse, andChuck Payne worked alongside Emily Dunn on the State Board to make a last-minute push for state involvement to bring funds to relieve the citizens from such a major financial impact from this emergency.

Citizens of Pickens should begin seeing the repairs and construction beginning soon and in a matter of weeks, access through the entirety of Jones Mountain Road should be returned, if only a limited one lane access.


LMIG discussion arises in County Meeting


JASPER, Ga. – Addressing the 2019 LMIG (Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant), the Pickens County Board of Commissioners Work Session discussed the project at their August Work Session as to what they could accomplish on the list.

The list, used for the discussion, totaled $2,083,467 estimated in materials cost for every one of the forty-one roads included. The list is prioritized according to Pickens County Commission Chairman Rob Jones.

While the board estimates close to $577,000 from the grant, they also noted the increasing prices of asphalt saying the slight increase in funding over last year would not even cover the cost difference.

Jones said in the meeting they would be looking to fund the difference in the LMIG and the rest of their paving would come from SPLOST. However, the list as it stands is for discussion and subject to change before their final decisions coming at the August 16 Regular Session.


The list as it stands is as follows:


Upcoming Roads To Be Paved


Jasper, GA – Pickens County Public Works is well into its paving projects having completed Old Tate Road and Burnt Mountain Road last week and currently paving Cain Trail, and Thompson Lane (Hwy. 53 West side). They also plan to be moving on to Tilley Road and Swan Bridge Road in the coming weeks.

Additionally, subcontractor crews are paving through both the Local Maintenance Improvement Grant and SPLOST funds on behalf of Pickens County. However, these roads and their timing could change due to weather and other variables.

Currently they are paving Old Philadelphia Road, Grady Street, Jackson Street, John Street, Northside Drive, Gordon Road, Myrtle Street, Arminda Street, Glyness Street, W. Gordon Road, Golden Springs Drive, and East Golden Springs Drive.

Citizens will also see work beginning soon on Firetower Road, Ray Road, Brooks Road, Lukes Path, Pineview Court, Twin Oak Court, Mountain View Court, Mountain View Drive, Collins Road, Hopkins Lane, Scenic View, Twin Oaks Circle, Camp Road (53 to Refuge Road section), Still Hollow Road, West Laurel Trace, East Laurel Trace, West Boling Road, East Boling Road, Turner Road, and Turner Road Extension.

This is not necessarily all the roads that will be paved, as some could be added in the months to come depending on the timing of the current roads that are being paved and other various factors according to Public Information Officer Tucker Green.

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Nelson Says “No” to Grant Money

Featured Stories, News

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County Gets LMIG, Starts Paving Season

Featured Stories, News

With the help of State Funding, the county will begin paving numerous roads soon. (more…)


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