Jasper receives Audit for city and chamber

News

JASPER, Ga. – Jasper saw the presentation of the 2018 Audit for both the City and Chamber during the June City Council meeting with reports for each.

Presented by Rushton and Company, CPA’s, the Audit held an unmodified opinion for the city, meaning Rushton did not have to change or alter anything with their opinion and the financial records.

Ending the year of 2018, Rushton’s presentation reported $530,252 of “Revenues over Expenditures.”

The report also noted the city could currently operate about one-third of the year on their fund balance. Council member Dr. Sonny Proctor questioned the fund balance asking if the city was in a “healthy” spot with that operational buffer in the fund balance. To which the city was told that many cities only have one to two months of operational balance, so Jasper would be better than many of those cities.

The report also presented an internal controls opinion. With no material weakness, the presentation did note a comment on a “significant deficiency” with regards to segregation of duties. While Rushton’s representative did say that he felt the two people handling the alchohol licenses were doing a great job, the standards would suggest three employees. He also noted that he didn’t expect the city to change this, but the note was put into the audit.

As the city gives money to the Picken’s County Chamber of Commerce, the city also heard an audit presentation for their funds in the Chamber. The report stated that Rushton and Company found the expenditures were properly spent and spent during the proper timeline.

The report did note that they found one note as the city noted no written policy on allocation percentages for joint costs. While they tested the funds and found the allocations reasonable, they simply thought that having a written policy could improve upon the area.

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BOC considers vending contract in Recreation Dept

News

JASPER, Ga. – The Pickens County Board of Commissioners began considerations for their vending contracts at the Recreation Department.

During their monthly work session, the commissioners listened to details presented proposals from Coca-Cola Company and Pepsi Co. While Pickens has used Pepsi for the last few years, this year’s bid packages were presented to the commissioners with a quick comparison.

That comparison showed that Pepsi has offered a $5,000 check to the Recreation Department and Coca-Cola has offered to either fund two scoreboards plus maintenance or provide a $6,000 check.

Additionally, the county’s ‘commission on vending sales’ with Pepsi would be 30 percent while Coca-Cola would be at 35 percent, Pepsi is proposing to go from $1.50 in price to $1.75 while Coca-Cola’s proposal is priced at $1.50.

Part of the contract with Pepsi is a required truck sale that the county does in the spring, Coca-Cola’s contract holds the truck sale as optional. Selling this miniature trucks functions like a fundraiser for the recreation department according to information in the commissioners meeting.

The county will not vote and decide on the proposals until the county’s regular meeting on June 20, this also gives citizens time to contact the commissioners and weigh in on what they would like the county to chose.

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Kickoff 4 Kids

Announcements

BOE Investigates allegations of segregation

News

Jasper, Georgia – The Pickens Board of Education has made a public statement about allegations from a recent chorus concert.

Pickens Junior High School and Pickens High School chorus groups performed in a joint concert last evening. The district office is aware that some members of the audience have expressed concerns on social media based on their perception that a student was “separated, segregated, and alienated” during the performance.

Superintendent Wilson wants to assure the community and public that the allegations circulating on social media are serious in nature and are being investigated. The district is working with all individuals involved to ensure the concerns are resolved and that any misunderstandings are made clear. We appreciate your patience as we work through this process.

Author

Pickens year-end budget review

News

JASPER, Ga. – January’s meeting of the Pickens County Board of Commissioners brought with it the final budget report of FY 2018.

Entering the new year showcases departments both over and under. Most notably, the budget sat at 97.92% ($25,648,382) of total revenue collected.

On the other side, total expenditures came in at 92.72% ($24,287,881).

Individual Departments and Offices over-budget at the end of December include:

  • Sheriff was budgeted at $6,663,915. The 2019 Actual was $6,759,370, achieving 101.43% of the budget.
  • Probation & Drug Abuse Funds was budgeted at $27,500. The 2019 ACtual was $58,984, achieving 214.49% of the budget.
  • General Gov Buildings was budgeted at $420,728. The 2019 Actual was $522,158, achieving 124.11% of the budget.
  • Superior Court & Grant Admin was budgeted at $365,124. The 2019 Actual was $395,334, achieving 140.14% of the budget.
  • Economic Development was budgeted at $56,273. The 2019 Actual was $56,768, achieving 100.88% of the budget.

Be sure to see the full budget provided by Pickens County below.

December Summary Pg. 1

December Summary Pg. 2

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Pickens Schools’ weather and early dismissal procedures

Dragon's Corner, News

JASPER, Ga. – The Pickens County Board of Education wishes to inform citizens of the procedures for Inclement Weather and Early Dismissal. The following is an official release from the BOE concerning parents and students.

INCLEMENT WEATHER AND EARLY DISMISSAL PROCEDURES

Do you know how your child is getting home?

Jasper, Georgia – Now that it seems we have definitely entered into winter, the Pickens County School
District wants to make sure you are aware of how we will proceed in case of inclement weather. Our
number one priority is to make sure our students and staff are safe.

EARLY RELEASE / DISMISSAL

At the beginning of every school year, each parent completes a form where a choice is made regarding what
your child will do in case school is released early. Should school ever be released early, your child will go
home based on your selection on the form. Following this procedure allows us to account for all students
and make sure they are safe, which is the most important part of what we do.

If you need to make changes, those need to be handled before inclement weather takes place. This can be
done by sending in a note to the school along with your child’s name, whether your child will be a car rider or
bus rider (include their bus number), your signature, and a telephone number. We have specific protocols
and procedures we follow because it is extremely difficult for our school office staff to handle large volumes
of calls and notify teachers with last minute changes. Also, we ask that you not email teachers with changes
in how your child should be transported for early release. There is no way to guarantee a message is
received.

HOW YOU WILL BE NOTIFIED

In the case of early release, start time delays, or school closings, the school district will utilize the Infinite
Campus Messenger service to notify parents and guardians. The Messenger service sends phone calls,
emails, and notifications to your Infinite Campus account. It is critical that you notify central registration or
the school if your phone number changes.

If there is a need for a delayed start time, we will make that call as early as possible, and hopefully no later
than 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. Weather is unpredictable, so there may be an occasion that the call comes a little
later.

For school closings, you can also tune in to Atlanta news stations, district and school Facebook pages, and
local news media – Know Pickens, Pickens Progress, and Fetch Your News.

Again, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our students and staff. We want everyone to arrive
safely to their destination. Also of great concern to the district is the number of inexperienced high school
drivers who are new to driving in inclement weather.

Make certain that you take care of updating telephone numbers and transportation directions before a
weather event occurs.

Author

Continuing operations in Pickens BOC

News

JASPER, GA. – Much of the Board’s meeting focused on continuations of present items as they reappointed members to boards and authorities and continued as the agent for a grant.

Family Connections requested the continuation of the Board of Commissioners acting as the fiscal agent of the Family Education Grant. Finance Director Faye Harvey said that either the Board of Commissioners or the Board of Education has to be the agent on the grant. She also noted that the expenses for the grant are reimbursed quarterly.

County Commission Chairman Rob Jones stated that the county has “done this for a few years now.” The motion came for approval by giving the chairman the authority to sign the agreement.

The Board also reappointed John Tatum, Phillip O’Bryant, and Jack Brown to the Pickens County Water and Sewer Authority and Lee Thrasher to the Pickens County Planning Commission.

Also continuing previous work, a resolution was passed by the board confirming the use of the land where the Veteran’s Memorial currently is and the land south of that as well as the property west of the parking lot for honoring veterans of Pickens County.

The Veteran’s Memorial currently in place stands as an achievemnt for both Pickens County and the City of Jasper, but continuing further developments are possible with the confirmation of this property.

Though this doesn’t guarantee the land for any one organization, it is set aside for that use.

Author

Chairman Jones optimistic after meeting with Dawson County Chairman

News, Press Release

JASPER, Ga. – A press release from Pickens County could indicate a positive movement on the recent troubles and issues of Dawson County Fire Station 8.

Pickens County Commission Chairman Robert Jones and Dawson County Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond met on Wednesday the 12th to discuss the recent discrepancies involving Fire Station 8 located off Monument Road. The meeting was productive in making clear the desires and expectations of both counties. The Chairmen agreed the most crucial aspect is to provide adequate fire protection for both counties’ citizens. The two men representing their respected Boards tentatively agreed to work together to solve these discrepancies and guarantee proper service to this area. The Chairmen also tentatively agreed to begin renegotiating a new Intergovernmental Agreement that will reflect the desires of both government agencies as well as the citizens in the affected community. Chairman Jones believes the meeting was in good faith from both sides and is appreciative for Chairman Thurmond’s willingness to build constructively on the partnership between both counties. Chairman Jones is optimistic in the direction this situation has taken and believes the result will be beneficial to all involved.

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