County opens Tate Fire Station with Ribbon Cutting

Community, News

 

JASPER, Ga. – Pickens saw celebrations and attendance from many officials as all three members of the Pickens County Board of Commissioners met to cut the ribbon on the new Tate Fire Station.

The new facility is the second-largest fire station in Pickens County now that it is open and hosts larger drive-through bay doors to accommodate future plans for equipment and hosts the fully drive-through bay area to prevent the larger trucks from needing to back out.

Pickens Fire Chief Sloan Elrod said, “I want to thank all the citizens that voted on SPLOST, without SPLOST this would be very tough to be in this building, to have our new trucks.”

Several officials from across the county were also in attendance including representatives from the Pickens Board of Education, Cherokee Fire Fighters, the Copeland family who sold the land to the county for the station, the Pickens Sheriff Office, and Jasper Fire Department among others.

With those wider bay doors on the new fire station, Pickens Commission Chairman Rob Jones said this is part of a direction towards housing a Quint. A quint is a multi-use fire truck that serves multiple purposes based on needs including pump, water tank, fire hose, aerial device, and ground ladders.

Jones said that the board is looking at better and bigger equipment for the community. Part of the opening of this station and the continuing goal that Jones noted is lowering the ISO Rating. This insurance rating, as noted in previous fire station openings and other counties, affects the insurance costs.

Fire Chief Sloan Elrod left and Commission Chairman Rob Jones speak at Fire Station 2 ribbon cutting in Tate Fire Station

Fire Chief Sloan Elrod, left, and Commission Chairman Rob Jones, right, speak at the Fire Station 2 ribbon-cutting in Tate on January 28, 2020.

With Tate’s upgrade into the new station, Jones said the county’s rating is down to a four. Continuing along with past years planning to increase the fire department and lower the rating.

Additionally, the new station will also see the change to constantly hosting three paid firefighters every day according to Elrod. Jones echoed this saying they are still relying on volunteers in the county and want to continue utilizing them even though they will constantly have three on staff in Tate at Fire Station 2.

Possible closure of Old Grandview Road at The Salvation Army Camp Grandview

Business, News

JASPER, Ga. – During the Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, April 18, 2019 the board heard from members of the Salvation Army Camp located on Old Grandview Road in favor of closing the road for the safety of the children, as well as members of the community who are opposed to the closure.

Those in favor of the closure cite that closing off the road would make the camp much safer for the children who cross the road to get from one side of the property to the other.

Camp Director of Camp Grandview.

According to the camp director present, they’ve been having trouble with people speeding on the road for quite some time now, and there’s also a terrible blind spot on the road, making it difficult to see who’s approaching.

There’s also a problem with people who shouldn’t be on the camp property gaining access because of the road.

The closure wouldn’t shut down the road indefinitely. Members of Camp Grandview say that they are simply wanting to place electronic gates on either side, making it possible for those who use the road to come and go in the event of weather-related closures of other roads utilized as a bypass, as well as allowing those who use the road for activities such as walking their dogs to continue doing so, as there are currently no plants for any sort of walls or barriers aside from the gates.

Community Member against the closure of Old Grandview.

There were many opposed to the closure of the road, however. A big concern was how difficult it would be for those who use the road regularly to do so in the event of storm damage causing closure to other roads in the area.

There could also be potential issues with delivery drivers, as well as those using a GPS to navigate the area.

Having painted crosswalks, moving traffic signs further away from the crossing area, implementing speed bumps, and having more sheriff presence in the area were all proposed solutions to the problems at hand.

Those living in the area also simply do not want to have to travel further to get to where they’re going, especially when they’re paying taxes that help keep the road maintained.

 

Camp Grandview Personnel.

Members of Camp Grandview state that the children are always supervised, but that the crosswalk from one side of the property to the other was paved over by the county.

A point made was also that people simply disregarding signs meant to slow vehicles down.

With little law enforcement presence in the area, especially during the Summer months, both sides seem to agree that more presence would be a huge step forward.

It was stated during the meeting that the camp does have security guards, speed limit signs, etc. But that there have been several near-misses regarding the safety of the children.

Community members against the closure of Grandview Road.

No decisions have been made yet. It’s been said that there would be someone available to open and close the gate at all times, making it possible for those who live in the area to utilize the area as needed. Members of the camp have also considered having the closure only during the Summer months, as this is the busiest time of the year for the camp.

The next meeting isn’t currently scheduled, but, this issue will continue in future meetings. These meetings are open to the public, and take place at Suite 168 of the Administrative Office Building located at 1266 East Church Street.

The debate on the closure of Old Grandview can be seen from the beginning of the video until (28:49), at which time the board recognizes employees of the county.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiRQWjYrHGI[/embedyt]

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BoC Recognizes Jim Harvey, Christy Fisher, and Shane Callahan!

Community, News

JASPER, Ga. – During the Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, April 18, 2019 several employees of the county received recognition for their services.

Jim Harvey and Christy Fisher received awards for service to the county! (Harvey is on the left, Fisher is in the middle).

Jim Harvey received an award for 10 years of service as the county Marshall, while Christy Fisher received an award for 20 years of service with Pickens 911 services.

Shane Callahan, Life Safety Coordinator for the school system program, received an award as Pickens County Fire Marshall, though he also received his badge during the meeting. This badge allows him to conduct fire safety inspections, conduct fire scene investigations, and prepare and submit reports to the state, among other duties.

The awards ceremony portion of the meeting may be viewed from (29:25) until (33:45) in the video below!

 

 

Shane Callahan, Pickens County Fire Marshal.

Congratulations from Fetch Your News to all who were recognized during this meeting, and thank you for your service to the county!

 

 

 

 

 

 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiRQWjYrHGI[/embedyt]

FetchYourNews.com attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month for ad server. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and has between 15,000 to 60,000 per week Facebook page reach. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or visit advertise@FetchYourNews.com.

Pickens Board of Commissioners Discuss Jones Mountain Road Repairs and Roundabout Lighting Assistance

Business, News

JASPER, Ga.- The Pickens County Board of Commissioners met on Thursday, March 21, 2019, to discuss repairs to Jones Mountain Road, Roundabout Lighting Assistance, and the Pickens “Ferst” Reader Proclamation.

Pickens Board of Commissioners Chairman Robert P. Jones

Due to inclement weather in the area, there was a landslide on Jones Mountain Road, resulting in damage to the road itself. A retired employee from the Department of Transportation served papers to the Commissioners (8:24) regarding information received from contractors, as well as comments towards said contractors. It was made clear that the county seeks to have a single contract that will cover everything, from drainage and runoff to erosion, using emergency funding from the state.

At this time, however, the board awaits a final projected amount required to properly fix the damages.

Chairman Robert P. Jones states that the board currently has the priority of salvaging the road until it can be fully repaired, so that at least one lane can be opened back up for travelers. It would take approximately 4.7 miles to go around the road for emergency services, and it will likely take 30-50 days to fix the road completely.

However, it is currently unknown as to which potential contractor could finish the project the fastest. Geostabilization International, a potential contractor being looked at by the board, does “in-place stabilization”, in which they would utilize soil nails to stabilize the road enough to use barricades and barrels to get at least one of the lanes open for traffic.

Both potential contractors should respond to the board’s questions by Tuesday, March 26, 2019, or Wednesday, March 27, 2019, of this coming week so that a decision can be made in a special meeting as to which contractor to go with, and how much the final bill will be. Jones states that overall price is important, but also goes on to say that getting one lane open and obtaining a five year warranty for the project are his biggest concerns.

Right to Left: Board members Jerry B. Barnes, Becky Denney, and Faye Harvey.

Starting at (26:14) in the video, Jones discusses the Roundabout Lighting Assistance for the 136 Connector at Blane’s Store and the White Talking Rock area of Old Highway 5. The Department of Transportation would like to place a roundabout at the White Talking Rock area of Old Highway 5, but would like the county to take care of the lighting.

The county isn’t actually expected to pay for the lights themselves, but rather the electricity and the maintenance. Solar electricity isn’t an option, but LED lights are being considered to save money on the electrical cost. The concern is that it would likely take more LED light fixtures, and some feel that the cost of the fixtures wouldn’t make the difference in price matter as much.

The Pickens “Ferst” Reader Proclamation (found at the beginning of the video) was also on the agenda during the meeting. This proclamation states that Wednesday, March 20, 2019, through Wednesday, March 27, 2019, is the FERST READERS WEEK throughout the county of Pickens, States of Georgia, and USA.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhdCaDaIxA8[/embedyt]

FetchYourNews.com attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month for ad server. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and has between 15,000 to 60,000 per week Facebook page reach. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or visit advertise@FetchYourNews.com.

Commissioners’ finances see Tax Anticipation Note and fundraiser in April

News

JASPER, Ga. – The Pickens County Board of Commissioners saw a work session and immediate subsequent called meeting to finalize TAN Documents and bids for the county’s 2018 Tax Anticipation Note (TAN).

Having sent requests to five banks, the county received responses from two, Community Bank of Pickens and United Community Bank. The interest rates on the two bids saw Community Bank with 2.15 percent and United Community Bank at 3.36 percent.

Being a work session, the board had to leave its work session and officially open a called meeting in order to field a motion to accept Community Bank’s 2.15 percent TAN and a motion to approve Pickens County Board of Commissioners Chairman Rob Jones to execute the documents.

Additionally, the board was presented with a $10,000 check from the Wildcat Community as a reimbursement for their work on the Wildcat Community Fire Station. With a major ISO rating drop from 10 to five with the facility, the addition has proven more than effective. The station has constant need for water as it has responded to 191 incidents with six of those being major structure fires (four in Pickens County) since its opening in 2009.

This is part of the support for which the community is thanking the county, helping provide a tank for 45,000 gallons of water, which is half of the total 90,000 gallons now available in the area. The community offers its thanks to the Pickens BOC for its leadership and recognition of need for the area.

The community stretches across Pickens and Dawson counties and has received support from both counties. They continued raising funds for the original and a replacement fire engine better suited for the winding roads on the mountain.

The community has raised over $100,000 in support of fire services for the station and its need. That fund raising is what allowed them to provide the “reimbursement” to the county.

Protect Pickens Pets Confronts Board of Commissioners

News

JASPER, GA – Protect Pickens Pets and supporters filled the room at this month’s commissioner meeting. The group made plans to bring their concerns and requests to the board about the conditions at the animal shelter coming together after the firing of former shelter employee Judy Moody.

Before the meeting adjourned Commissioner Jones made the announcement that anyone with questions or comments could speak one at a time. Hands went up in the air one by one to speak on the situation of the shelter and Moody.

Lisa Kelly commented first,

I am concerned the animals are not being took care of. There is 11% left on the budget that could go towards the shelter. Why is the money not being spent? Feces are in cages and there are empty bowls. When you question the staff they say they are overwhelmed and understaffed.

Linda Ross followed asking,

Who is in charge of hiring? Do they have a background? Sanitation procedures need to be in place. It’s great to have volunteers, but that’s not enough. We need a better staff. The shelter conditions are bad.

Lori Taylor told Jones,

There is a networking to running a shelter. We can’t leave things how we are. We need a company that could deal with the dogs that some fear to help them. Chihuahuas bite more than pitbulls! You’re out of your league with us people. We need to make a committee with rules and regulations.

The members of the board were silent throughout most of the comments and this bothered supporters who came to hear an answer.

Board member Becky Denny spoke to the crowd,

I have been to the shelter and been pleased with it. Legally we can’t speak about an employee. I would be happy to go to the shelter and look around.

Commenters mentioned Denny has been the only one to come to the shelter.

As comments and questions kept coming, Commissioner Jones adjourned the meeting. FYN spoke with Judy Moody after the meeting closed for a statement. Moody replied with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi,

The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

Commissioner Jones also gave us a statement on how he felt the evening went,

I think it went really good and I believe some of the commenters have great ideas such as creating a board or committee for the shelter. I have had the shelter inspected by the Department of Agriculture and we received an A.

Protect Pickens Pets will be having a protest Monday, July 24 at 11:00 A.M. in the Burger King parking lot. They encourage all supporters to come out to the protest.

The group left this message on their page last night,

Sadly we attended the Pickens County Commissioners meeting last night to witness the painstaking process (sarcasm) of a new Pickens County Tax Assessor being selected. The commissioners discussed how this new candidate owned a Pickens County business with his father and the fact that a commissioner knew who he was. We learned that this new candidate just happened to be the son of the former Pickens County Tax Assessor who was stepping down from the position.
What was never discussed by the commissioners was this new candidate’s education level, experience, resume, his qualifications, or any other candidates that may have applied for this same position.
Now the person approved last night to be your new Pickens County Tax Assessor may very well be qualified. But this would be a simple roll of the dice as our fine commissioners certainly did not put forth any effort to guarantee this.
Is it too much to ask that a person appointed by our Pickens County Commissioners to decide how deep to reach into your pocket be competent to do the job?
How many other Pickens county officials are deciding the daily direction of the county and our lives with their only qualification being a Good Old Boy Certification of Approval?
Is it any wonder that the Pickens County Animal Shelter Directors have all been unqualified and completely inexperienced?
It’s time for a change!

FYN will follow this story as it progresses, or read “Animal Shelter Employee Fired” and “Animal Shelter Situation Escalates”.

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

Board of Commissioners August 2017 Meeting

News

Jasper, GA – The Board of Commissioners were excited to announce the approval of the new fire station in Pickens County off of Carlan Road. The county will be purchasing two acres for $13,500 per acre. Board Member Jerry Barnes states this is an ideal location.

Members approved the signing of the credit card resolution. This states that elected officials who have a credit card through the county are responsible for their own credit card accounts.This will hopefully prevent any unforeseen problems for the county.

The Board of Commissioners currently have two cards, the Sheriff’s Office has three cards, and the Magistrate Court has one card.

The Good Samaritan Clinic Construction contract was also signed to begin construction for an additional building at the clinic. This will allow for more space and care at the Good Samaritan. Cooper and Co. are moving forward with construction of the project.

Under old business the board signed the Capital Lease for new sheriff’s office vehicles. This will allow the purchase of ten more patrol vehicles. Our county SPLOST dollars will cover the expense.

The board discussed the approval of the Gilmer Water Agreement, allowing our two counties to connect water lines for purchasing or selling water to each other.

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

Pickens County Board of Commissioners Meeting 10/20/16

Videos

 

Counties Curtail Defenders’ Benefits

News

“State Benefits were just out of control”

(more…)

Pickens Looks Ahead to Road Project

Featured Stories, News

Sole Commissioner Robert Jones passed a resolution at the September 22nd meeting for a new road project. The decision

“enables the Georgia Department of Transportation to take the necessary steps to revise the Federal Highway System.”

The resolution is two fold.

(more…)

BOC Opens Educational Incentive Fund

Featured Stories, News

At its September 22nd meeting, Pickens Sole Commissioner Robert Jones announced that the county opened an Education Incentive Fund at Renasant Bank—the resolution for the fund was passed on June 23rd. The fund is designed to assist students

“who are found in need of basic educational supplies, personal supplies or special educational incentives…monies from the said fund may also be used to aid in meeting the objectives or the attendance protocol committee as they relate to compulsory school attendance.”

The fund is fed by money from parents of truant students, who pay fines for the offence. According to County Attorney Phillip Landrum III, the idea here is that, since one of the leading causes of truancy is poverty (the inability to buy school supplies), the money from truancy fines is used via the Educational Incentive Fund to prevent truancy. (more…)

Fire protection and fire for celebration: Pickens County BOC Meeting

News

After approval of August 26th’s “Minutes”, there was little business to discuss at what
an audience member described as Pickens County Commissioner Robert Jones’s “new
record” for the shortest meeting ever held at around seven minutes. (more…)

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