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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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]

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County finds funding for Jones Mountain Road slide

News

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.

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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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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.

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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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Jones publicly addresses Fire Station issue in Work Session

News

JASPER, Ga. – The Pickens County Board of Commissioners held their December work session for department updates. With nothing else but General Discussion on the agenda, no action was discussed for later this month.

However, one point arose as Chairman Rob Jones took a moment in general discussion to address Post Commissioners Becky Denney and Jerry Barnes about a rising issue on the eastern side of Pickens County. Though nothing was set for specifics, Jones noted he wanted to get training sessions for Authority Boards in the county. With some Boards able to bond and perform other tasks in the county, Jones said he wants the people on these boards to know “what the process is and what it does to the tax base of the county or city.”

Jones also took time to address (25:25 in video) a rising issue in Pickens as he spoke pubicly that the Board has been approached about taking control of a Fire Station on Burnt Mountain. The issue has been rising between Dawson and Pickens Counties over the recent months. Dawson County Fire Station 8 is located inside of Pickens County and operated under an intergovernmental agreement. The area served by this volunteer fire station actually reaches across both counties.

Jones noted he still wants to maintain the automatic aid agreement between the two counties even as the Board goes forward with requests from several in the area. Jones stated, “Our main goal is for the protection and cooperation of the citizens in that community.”

Stay with FYN as we sit down with Rob Jones to speak about the rising issue between the two counties.

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