Health benefits discussion ends in Jasper’s March meeting


JASPER, Ga. – On the agenda since January, Jasper City Council has been discussing self-funding for medical insurance versus insuring normally as they have been for years. They have had both Matt Bidwell, of MSI Benefits, and Kevin Godfrey, of Godfrey-Downs, looking through their contacts and markets to bring forth proposals to the council for insurance.

The city ultimately went with the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) recommended by Bidwell and MSI Benefits. Though the original recommendation was a $1,500 deductible plan, the council’s motion approved an alternate plan with a $1,000 deductible. The new plan’s premiums for the city would come to $1,104,163.00, around a $52,000 increase, which is far less than the near $300,000 increase the city was originally looking at during the beginning of the year. According to Bidwell, this plan is just above a 4 percent increase over the $1,500 deductible plan for the city.

The plan also allows, according to Bidwell, for any employee receiving compensation in the form of workman’s comp or a salary from the city to be covered under the insurance. This covers the issue the city had with their current insurance preparing to drop an officer from coverage who was injured in the line of duty.

The city may be closing down North and South Main street once a month in favor of a recurring Chamber event. Setting the events as May through August, the Chamber is attempting to establish the Saturday Social in the Mountains as a tourism event. The issue came before council to close South and North Main Street for the social events. While representatives had no set point of exactly what every event would entail, they did suggest they could include live music, children’s events, food, and other activities. Ultimately approved, the item passed with two votes, as Dr. Sonny Proctor and Anne Sneve abstained due to their involvement with the Chamber.

The council also approved a number of previously budgeted expenses including $14,000 to swap out the Cove Well emergency generator, $11,900 to rebuild pump four across from Shiloh Church, and the previously discussed 3 percent raise for city employees.


Nechvatal named as Chamber Executive Director

Community, Pickens County Chamber

Jasper, GA – The Pickens County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Gerry Nechvatal to lead the Chamber as Executive Director, effective Thursday, September 1, 2016.

From Board Chair Amberle Godfrey: “Gerry is a known commodity in our community. He brings a vast amount of experience and needed stability to the Chamber and its members.” The position had been vacant since the May resignation of the former Chamber president.

Gerry has served as the Pickens County Economic Development Director since 2008. He has worked diligently to bring new industry to Pickens County and the City of Jasper. His efforts have also benefited local small business favorites such as Mary Ann’s where he helped facilitate their initial lease agreement. Gerry’s work supporting Georgia Department of Economic Development initiatives earned Pickens County the Georgia Work Ready designation, as well as the awarding of the ‘Camera Ready’ title enabling the community to participate in the recruitment of film and entertainment based economic development opportunities. Gerry will continue to serve in this Economic Development role with the full support of City and County officials, all Development entities, and the Chamber Board.

Nechvatal attended the University of Georgia where he majored in Marketing and graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration. His civic activities include serving on the Chattahoochee Technical College Local Board as the Chair-elect, functioning as the County appointee to the Workforce Development Board, and participating on the Pickens High School CTAE Advisory Committee. Gerry and his wife Anne have two children, Olivia and Evan.


Governor Deal visits Jasper as Orlaco opens and creates jobs

Featured Stories, News

Anniversaries don’t come every day. Twenty-fifth anniversaries are a rarity. But after being in business 25 years, Orlaco has grown into a global company that has chosen Jasper as its first North American headquarters. Bringing around 65 jobs to Pickens County, the heavy equipment camera operation is proud of their new “home.” (more…)

Global Company Bringing Jobs to Jasper

Featured Stories, News

Mayor John Weaver was all smiles when asked about the economic news that Orlaco, a camera solution outfit for large equipment, was choosing Jasper as it’s first American-based warehouse. (more…)

Jasper’s 2012 Finances Completed, Council makes Amendment

Featured Stories, News

The city of Jasper’s 2012 finances have now been finalized and were presented at the council meeting Monday night. The city’s finances, when presented in a businesslike format, show a net position of $3,991,000. (more…)

Unemployment Rises Despite Glimpses of Hope

Featured Stories, News

The Georgia Department of Labor released its monthly employment report this week. (more…)


A Step Backward or Forward? Georgia’s Unemployment Ticks up to 8.6 Percent

Business, Featured Stories

Just as Georgia’s economy seemed to be improving, the most recent report from the Georgia Department of Labor seems to suggest otherwise. (more…)


Mayor Weaver Rebukes Rating System

Featured Stories, News

Jasper Mayor John Weaver this week said he wished state lawmakers would change the Georgia’s tier rating system. (more…)

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