The Pickens Report – May 2019

Community

THE PICKENS REPORT
MAY 2019

Another busy month has passed for Pickens County with lots in store for the Summer. Currently, local contractor Jimmy Stewart is working on constructing the new Tate Fire Station through SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) funding. Local contractor Noland Construction is removing the outdated building and grading the property off Camp Road that houses Public Works. The new property layout will be more suitable to the needs of Public Works. After that phase of construction is complete bids will go out to construct a new facility to house Public Works. Paving bids for phase one are currently being accepted. The bid deadline is June 20th at 1pm. The county will be resurfacing roads in two phases this year, phase one in the summer and phase two in the fall. Phase one includes 10.36 miles of roads to be resurfaced. Additionally, the stabilization of Jones Mtn. Rd. is on schedule with plans to have both lanes open to traffic in July.

During the month of May, the Pickens Animal Shelter brought in 79 new animals, and 84 went out through various forms of adoption. Animal Control responded to 20 cases. The Department of Planning and Development issued 48 new building permits. The Water Department installed six new meters. The 911 Operations Center received 1,677 total calls, 705 were medical responses or fire related. Public Works paved Town Creek Trail and are performing routine road maintenance throughout the county. The Pickens County Recreation Department started its annual Summer Camp which will run through August 2nd. Also, the county pool is now open with hours of operation Tuesday – Saturday from 11am until 5pm and on Sunday from 12pm until 6pm. For additional information about Summer Camp or accessing the pool contact PCRD at 706-253-8863. Pickens County government departments continue to stay busy working 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.

Kids at Summer Camp enjoying a movie break

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

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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City addresses Adult Entertainment sign

News

JASPER, Ga. – Citizens are still in confusion about a sign appearing at the Shops of Jasper announcing “Adult Entertainment” coming soon.

According to City Manager Brandon Douglas, the City has no application or permitting for an adult entertainment business or signage at this location. He went on to note the property owner has also told him he has no intent to pursue this kind of business.

Douglas said that the City has reached out to the property owner about the sign and has received acknowledgment about the sign and it will be coming down. While no fine or official action is being taken because of this acknowledgment, Douglas said the city will be following up with the property owner if the sign does not come down.

As for the possibility of an Adult Entertainment type of business, the city does have zoning where it could be allowed, but Douglas said it is restricted to industrial areas and is also listed as a conditional use permit. This means that if a business like this would be created, it would have to go through zoning and come before the Mayor and City Council for approval. Douglas assures citizens that this type of business would be well advertised, as all conditional use permits are, well in advance of the business opening.

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Pickens County Animal Control Officers Exposed to Rabid Cat

Announcements, Community

Pickens County Animal Control Officers Exposed to Rabid Cat
Undergoing Rabies Post Exposure Vaccinations

Jasper (GA) – Two Pickens County Animal Control Officers have begun post exposure rabies vaccinations due to exposure to a cat that has now tested positive for rabies.

Three weeks ago, a stray cat was found on Lambert Street in downtown Jasper, Georgia and brought to the Pickens County Animal Shelter. Other than having a bite mark, the small adult black and white female cat seemed healthy until it started exhibiting neurological symptoms. It was then sent to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory for rabies testing on Tuesday, May 21. The following day, the lab reported the cat tested positive for rabies.

The two animal control officers are believed to be the only ones exposed to the cat while it became symptomatic for rabies during a 21-day quarantine it had been placed under since arriving to the shelter. Therefore, no other recommendations or warnings are being issued related to this case.

Health officials continue to urge the public to avoid all unfamiliar animals and to report bites or scratches from any animal that could potentially be unvaccinated against rabies to a healthcare provider and to the local environmental health office immediately. The Pickens County Environmental Health Office phone number is (706) 253-0900. If calling after hours, please call the Georgia Poison Control Center, toll-free, at 1-800-222-1222.

For more information about rabies and its prevention, please log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.

The Pickens Report – April 2019

Community

THE PICKENS REPORT

APRIL 2019

A great deal of activity is ongoing across the county a testament to the pretty weather and good economic times. Pickens County Government is experiencing no shortage of these activities. The SPLOST (Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax) funded construction of Moss Fire Department off Carlan Road is complete excluding a few finishing touches and a grand opening is imminent. Bids to construct a new Tate Fire Station were opened on April 30th and the winning bid will be awarded at the next Board of Commissioners meeting. Additionally, Pickens County Public Works is accepting bids for site work at their location off Camp Road. The bid deadline is May 23rd at 2pm with a mandatory pre-bidders meeting on May 13th at 1pm.

During the month of April, the 911 Operations Center received 1,725 total calls, 702 were medical responses or fire related. Furthermore, the 911 Operations Center has acted to access data from RapidSOS Clearinghouse through RapidLite a secure tool available at no cost. This RapidLite resource will allow dispatchers to receive fast and accurate location data from 911 callers who are using iPhones and Android phones. This will allow Pickens County 911 to provide the best possible service to the citizens.

Also, in April, the Water Department installed five new meters. The Department of Planning and Development issued 52 new building permits. The Pickens Animal Shelter brought in 65 animals, and 54 went out through various forms of adoption. Animal Control responded to 26 cases. Public Works is continuing to prep roads and replace pipes for the upcoming paving season. The Recreation Department is concluding successful baseball, softball, and t-ball seasons. The PCRD swimming pool is scheduled to open on May 30th. PCRD will also offer Summer Camp beginning on June 3rd. The Camp is open Monday thru Friday from 7am-6pm (closed the week of July 4th). The cost is $25 per day or $75 per week, for additional information about Summer Camp or concerning the swimming pool contact PCRD at 706-253-8862 or visit their website pickrec.com. Pickens County government departments continue to stay busy working 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.   

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

911 Operators

Sheriff’s Office responds to rumors of officer injury

News

JASPER, Ga. – Rising concerns from citizens and added confusion over incidents tonight have prompted the Picken’s County Sheriff’s Office to respond with details and assurances that there was not an officer involved in a shooting.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, earlier tonight deputies received a call of shots being fired near the area of Big Ridge Road in West Pickens County. Officers were dispatched to the scene. The Sheriff’s Office has stated, “While attempting to respond, a Deputy was involved in an accident near Bent Tree when his vehicle left the roadway and collided with a tree. The deputy was transported to the hospital and is being treated for minor injuries.”

Though authorities have made one arrest in relation to the shots fired call, and a continuing investigation is underway by detectives, the Deputy who collided with the tree was a separate incident.

Authorities went on to say, “As the event unfolded, many who were listening to police scanner traffic believed it to be an officer involved shooting. This was NOT the case.”

Author

The Pickens Report – March 2019

Community

THE PICKENS REPORT

MARCH 2019

Spring has arrived in Pickens County. This time of year is marked with beautifully blooming foliage across the county. In the spirit of the season, Pickens County Government is collaborating with Keep Pickens Beautiful for “Tire Amnesty April”. This recycling program allows for any Pickens family to recycle four tires (off the wheel) for free. The tires can be recycled at the Pickens Recycling Centers off Camp Road and Cove Road throughout the month of April. Additionally, during the month of April, Pickens County Government is taking bid applications for the construction of Tate Fire Station. This is a SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Options Sales Tax) funded project. Bid packets can be picked up at the Pickens County Administrative Building. All bids are due by 2:00 p.m. on the 25th day of April.

During the month of March, Public Works and Utilities departments completed renovating the historic “Marble Building” formerly the Convict Camp off Camp Road. This facility will house both departments until a new maintenance facility is built on the compound. Additionally, the Water Department installed four new water meters. The Department of Planning and Development issued 40 new building permits. The Pickens Animal Shelter brought in 26 animals, and 74 went out through various forms of adoption. Animal Control responded to 27 cases. The 911 Operations Center received 1,640 total calls, 770 were medical responses or fire related. The Pickens County Recreation Department is in full-swing with their spring sports season. PCRD is also currently accepting applications for summer camp counselors and life guards. Please contact PCRD at 706-253-8863 for more information. Pickens County Government departments continue to stay busy working for the citizens of Pickens County. The Pickens County Board of Commissioners continues 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!

Photo courtesy of Mari Livsey – Knowpickens.com

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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