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.
2018 In Review
Pickens County Government concluded a busy and productive year with several projects ahead in 2019. Elected officials, department heads, and staff implemented policies and launched new resources to increase the efficiency of operations. The county government improved services provided to the citizens, and increased services offered. The collaboration amongst various departments, and the dedicated public servants paved the way for many accomplishments during 2018.
Pickens County Public Works resurfaced 27.66 miles of road across the county, in addition to tar and graveling 3.245 miles of dirt road. This brought a total of roughly 31 miles of road that were asphalted or tar and graveled during the year setting a paving record for Public Works. Additionally, Public Works cleaned up over 500 down trees on right-of-way, installed 111 drainage pipes county-wide, and constructed a new parking area at the Tate Depot. The Water Department installed 77 new meters and installed over 17,000 feet of new water line along Jones Mountain Road that will connect to Gilmer County’s water main. Also, the Water Department and Public Works have been working in conjunction to start an in-house brine operation which will allow roads to be pretreated more efficiently during the winter months. The project will be completed in early 2019. The Department of Planning and Development issued 475 building permits, 123 new business licenses, and renewed 605 business licenses for the year. Also, Planning and Development received 16 rezone requests and revised two county ordinances. The 911 Operations Center received 19,976 total calls marking their busiest year in department history. 8,899 of the total calls were medical responses or fire related. Pickens Fire & Rescue acquired property in Tate to rebuild Fire Station #2. Groundbreaking on the project is set for this Spring. Construction on Carlan Road Fire Station #12 continued throughout 2018 and is expected to open within a couple of months. Further, Pickens Fire & Rescue received an impressive upgrade of ISO ratings that indicates fire service readiness and is used to calculate homeowners’ insurance. The Pickens County Recreation Department had roughly 1,000 kids participate in youth sports and 185 kids attended PCRD Summer Camp. Additionally, with the help of an EMA grant a new Thor Guard lightening detection system was installed around the ball fields, the U6 and U8 soccer fields were redone, and new playground equipment was installed with the help of Pepsi and Southeast Outdoors Solutions. PCRD continues to offer many activities for the citizens: the popular adult sport Pickelball, fitness, karate, and dancing classes. The Pickens Animal Shelter brought in 1,006 animals and adopted out 1,001 animals during 2018. The Pickens County Board of Elections and Registration oversaw four successful elections during 2018. Currently, they are preparing for the 2019 election cycle of city races to be held on November 5th.
Overall, Pickens County Government made great progress in providing quality services for the citizens. The Pickens County Board of Commissioners did an excellent job of leading these efforts. As a new year begins, Pickens County Government looks forward to improving our overall operations further for the benefit of our citizens and our county. Stay connected with us by liking our Facebook page: Pickens County Ga Government, follow us on Twitter: @pickensgagov and monitor our website: www.pickenscountyga.gov for updates throughout 2019. 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!
The holiday season has arrived; marked by cool weather, and festive decorations. This is a busy time of year for most, and especially for those in the Pickens County Tax Commissioner’s office. The group has been working particularly hard this tax collection season. The total 2018 collections as of December 17th, equivalate to 87.47 percent, an above average and successful collection thus far. The collections are from taxes levied on heavy equipment, mobile home, personal property, real property, and timber. Also, the 2019 county budget public hearing has taken place, and all advertised requirements have been met. The budget is set to be approved at the Board of Commissioners meeting on December 20th. The 2019 budget can be viewed online at www.pickenscountyga.gov or a detailed version is available for review at the Pickens County Administrative Building.
During the month of November, the Water Department installed five new meters. The Department of Planning and Development issued 30 new building permits. The Pickens Animal Shelter brought in 100 animals, and 121 went out through various forms of adoption. Animal Control responded to five cases. The 911 Operations Center received 1,448 total calls, 680 were medical responses and fire related. The Road Department is maintaining and pretreating roads for the winter weather. They are also working to clean up debris and the over 200 down trees from the recent winter storm. Public Works expects to have all right of ways clear within a couple of weeks. The Pickens County Recreation Department is currently midway through basketball season. All games will break for Christmas starting December 22nd and will resume on January 5th. Additionally, new playground equipment will be installed later this month at Roper Park with a gracious donation from Pepsi. Overall the Pickens County government departments are working hard for the citizens of Pickens County. The Pickens County Board of Commissioners continue 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. On behalf of Pickens County government, have a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!
Until the next time, stay safe, and shop local!
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.
Gainesville Company Pays Tax Reform Benefits Forward
GAINESVILLE, Ga.—As President Trump delivers his first State of the Union address today, a northeast Georgia company is announcing its plan to deliver bonuses to its employees as a direct result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Mincey Marble was established in 1977 in Gainesville as a manufacturer of cast marble products for hospitality, healthcare and other markets around the country. Donna Mincey, President and CEO of Mincey Marble, says that the tax reform package signed into law last December will directly benefit her company’s bottom line, which allows her to further invest in Mincey’s more than 300 employees, many of whom are hourly workers.
“As the owner of a family business, I want to share how tax reform is benefitting Americans at every level. Companies big and small are passing along tax savings to the workers who help build our economy. I hope that the bonuses Mincey Marble is providing encourage other businesses in our great state to pay it forward, because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is the kind of meaningful change that can help transform communities by bringing relief to American workers and families,” said Mincey.
“Mincey Marble has been part of our community for decades, and their decision to pass along the company’s tax benefits to our hardworking neighbors is outstanding. I supported the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act with President Trump knowing it would lead to lower taxes and higher paychecks for northeast Georgians. We’re already seeing the economic benefits of tax reform happening at corporate and grass-roots levels, and I’m always thrilled to hear individual stories of how smaller government helps people—like the team members at Mincey Marble—invest in bigger dreams,” said Collins.
Employees at Mincey Marble will receive bonuses of up to $1,000 depending on their length of service with the company. Even employees hired this year will see a bonus, and the checks are scheduled to arrive during the week of Valentine’s Day as a sign of the company’s appreciation for its associates.
Due in large part to their confidence in the Trump Administration’s pro-business agenda, Mincey Marble’s management team also made the decision in January 2017 to expand the size and operations of a new facility that is currently under construction in Gainesville.
Other Georgia companies that have increased employee benefits in the days since President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law include Aflac, Home Depot and Yancey Bros. Caterpillar Dealer.
Senator David Perdue Talks Tax & Immigration On Kudlow Radio Show
“President Trump has been instinctively in line with the American people on immigration all along”
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-GA) joined Larry Kudlow on The Larry Kudlow Show to discuss how President Trump’s agenda has been instinctively in line with the American people, particularly on tax and immigration.
Starting Point: “A year ago, Tom Cotton and I started the conversation about fixing our legal immigration system, when we introduced the RAISE Act. This would move us to a merit-based immigration system, similar to that of Canada and Australia.”
Brilliant Move: “President Trump issued a brilliant framework for an immigration middle ground. I think he has been instinctively in line with the American people on immigration all along. Two-thirds of America want a DACA solution, but only if you provide for border security with a wall, end chain migration, and end the visa lottery.”
Real Opportunity: “When will conservatives ever have this kind of opportunity to solve the causes of the immigration problems we have now, including ending chain migration? Also, if Democrats are serious about solving DACA, how can they be against this reasonable solution the President laid out?”
Americans Agree: “Chuck Schumer offered up $25 billion for a wall. That tells me that Democrats are now admitting Americans want border security. They are seeing these polls showing that up to 80% of Americans want a wall. They know we need border security. President Trump isn’t going to give in on that point.”
Providing Certainty: “The President has done the right thing and put this back in the lap of Congress, which is where it should have been. President Obama just kicked the can down the road by providing temporary status. President Trump has said he’ll offer certainty for the DACA recipients.”
Solving Underlying Problem: “We want to ensure we aren’t back here in five years with the same problem. To do that we have to secure the border with a wall, end chain migration, and eliminate the outdated visa lottery.”
Economy Responding: “The more people and American companies we see responding positively to the tax bill, the more this is a generational change that will be simulative for our economy.”
Tremendous Impact: “We’ve had eight years of the federal government with its boot on the neck of small businesses with overregulation and policies that were anti-business. When you take that off, that has a tremendous impact.”
Assuring Our Allies: “Around the world they see an America reengaging after 8 years of disengagement. In Davos, President Trump said, ‘America first doesn’t mean America alone.’ I think that is sending a strong message to our allies and others around the world.”
Senator Perdue is the only Fortune 500 CEO in Congress and is serving his first term in the United States Senate, where he represents Georgia on the Armed Services, Banking, Budget, and Agriculture Committees.
Collins Answers Questions at Tax Reform Final Passage
WASHINGTON—Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) joined Fox News today to address questions as the House voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s final passage.
Collins also said of today’s vote, “The House just took the final, confident step to send pro-family, pro-growth, pro-hope tax reform to President Trump’s desk. This process started in the House, and I’m excited to have voted to keep our promise to the American people—again.”
On who will see the benefit of tax reform:
“The majority of Americans are going to see money in their pockets. . . . That’s the kind of growth we’re looking for, that’s the kind of thing that, come February—when they see their paychecks—they’re going to know that what we’re talking about here actually matters to the American public.”
On Democrats’ claims that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is a bad bill:
“The problem here is not the tax code. The problem here is that [Democrats] want to politicize the tax code because they believe that the government is a much better way to spend people’s money. . . . Come February, let them look some of their constituents in the eyes and say, ‘You know, I really didn’t want you to get that money back in your paycheck. We could spend it better.’ That will be an interesting argument.”
Tax Incentives, Why?
So, Marco Rubio is the newest wannabe ‘Judas’ in the Republican stable. In the GOP Tax reform plan he demands that the tax reform plan must increase child tax credit incentives to the poor, or he won’t vote for it. This is so he can get re-elected in a Florida now filling up with refugees from hurricane wrecked Puerto Rico, not to mention Obama’s islamists, poverty fleeing Haitians and third worlders swarming across our southern borders to join in the fray.
We would expect Join McCain to do it. He would claim to see some imminent danger to the Republic if he deigned to support a Trump initiative that would allow Americans to keep more of their own earnings so, he would vote against it. But, little Marco? Naw!
Everything government does is based on a supposed “crisis of human affairs.” Who, exactly determines what that crisis is or should be? Why, politicians of course! California forest fires might fit the definition but people should have fire insurance and not build homes in foothills covered with brush that has the flashpoint of gasoline. The flooding and destruction that comes with hurricanes, unusual storms, zombie apocalypse and etc. could be a concern for government, but not the federal government. It’s not in their job description (the Constitution)! If you want to live in a flood zone, buy insurance. “Ya pays your money you takes your chances.”
What little Marco wants is that you and I, as wage earning tax payers, and we do pay our taxes in order to avoid going to jail, allow the government to take a bit more of those taxes we pay and squander it on other people, basically third worlders unqualified to be productive Americans anyway. Why are they allowed to receive incentives from us the the plight of our veterans is ignored. Why should illegals be rewarded without expending the effort required to get it?
As I understand it, Puerto Rico needs to be rebuilt. So does Haiti. Why are those people here in our country then, living nearly for free? We can’t afford ‘em anymore. Politicians are solely responsible for this near financial disaster of good intentions we are now facing yet, like lil Marco, they keep adding on “benefits” that we can no longer afford. Admittedly, right now, some Americans exult at the rising stock market earning big bucks. When the Europeans stop sending their money here to avoid their own coming EU collapse, and the cash pool available for our government to dip into ends and then we’ll have to face the consequences. It will not be happy.
I should think that welfare, including child incentive tax credits, should have strict, enforceable limits. Recipients of government welfare should be absolutely limited to three children and NO more. Besides, I cannot find one amendment in the US Constitution that permits government to dispense taxpayer money for any other purpose than those enumerated therein. I do read in the 10th Amendment, words that precisely limits what the federal government can and cannot do and that includes doing good deeds. Doing good deeds should belong to the states.
This form of thinking, spending our money outside that permitted by the constitution, is done by politicians who want to keep their jobs by showing favoritism to the abundant numbers of poor voters who will, naturally, vote to maintain free government stuff. If welfare was totally returned to the States, as the 10th amendment allows, the federal deficit and debt, will depress, along with the taxes they steal, and we will all be happier. Taxpayers in states near financial collapses, like California, Illinois and Connecticut are now experiencing, would also put an end to that foolishness. So would term limits for federal politicians. We should have the incentive to spend or save our own money not give it to government to spend foolishly. Remember, freedom is the goal, the Constitution is the way. Now, go get ‘em! (15Dec17)