TOWNS COUNTY CIVIC ASSOCIATION
Board Meeting Minutes
December 10, 2020 3 p.m.
Old Recreation Center, Main St., Hiawassee
1.Opening Remarks: Michael welcomed all to the meeting. Thanks to the County Commissioner for the use of the Center.
Present: Michael Courey, Joan Crothers, Anna Denton, Larry Dietsch, LaJean Turner, Sue Astley.
Excused absence: David Best.
David Tinsley sent an email Letter of Resignation to the Board members on Monday, December 7. 2020. A copy is in the Secretary’s book.
2. Secretary’s Report: Larrymade a motion to accept the Minutes of 11/11/20; seconded and passed.
3. Treasurer’s Report: Larry reported a balance of $4,229.87 as of 11/30/20. Anna made a motion to accept; seconded and passed. A suggestion was made to consider an increase in future donations which will be considered in the 2021 budget. Donation to MountainTrue in Feb. 2021 pending (David Best).
4. Membership Report: Anna’s report shows 117 individual members, 65 households, and 7 business members. After further consideration, Anna made a motion to delete the establishment of a Business Member Category as made and passed during the 11/11/2020 Board meeting. Discussion followed. The preface work conducted by Anna enabled proper consideration of this topic. Larry seconded the motion, followed by an affirmative unanimous vote.
5. Old Business
a. Web Site Update: Tabled.
b. Pandemic: Social restrictions continue preventing a January 2021 Membership meeting.
c. Drug abuse Community Address: Communication with the Commissioner and the Sheriff Elect
indicated that the Civic Association effort will be addressed in January.
d. Sign Ordinance compliance & enforcement: Tabled.
e. Bell Mtn. Road: Follow-up road risk mitigation will be addressed at the Commissioner’s monthly
meeting on 12/15/2020.
6. New Business
a. Newsletter: Sue submitted the draft newsletter. Well done. Will be sent to all Board members for
b. Memorandum on Hamilton Gardens: Considerablediscussion took place. The Gardens have been a Civic Association Community Project since 2016. The letter sent to us dated 12/8/2020 from Terry Taylor of the Georgia Mountain Fair Authority (GMFA) (which was in response to the memorandum dated 11/18/2020 to the Civic Association membership) was reviewed. The 12/8/2020 GMFA letter was determined to be unprofessional and unacceptable as a Community publication. The Board concluded that such a negative and irresponsible communication does not serve the County and as such, the Civic Association will not participate in its publication. The Civic Association memorandum in response to Mr. Taylor of the GMFA was reviewed and unanimously accepted with the suggestion that it end on a positive note. The suggested ending will be included and sent to Mr. Taylor of the GMFA.
A meeting on 12/15/2020 is scheduled with the County Commissioner; Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge, LLC (HG) Board Members; GMFA Representation; GMF Board Members, with legal representation from each group. This meeting is to address the continued presence, function, and authority of Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge, LLC in the Management of Hamilton Gardens as located in the Towns County Park which is not within the GMF nor GMFA designated land area. A positive outcome to enable HG to continue its presence and function is deemed in the best interest of Towns County. However, only the County Commissioner can make that decision. A negative decision against Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge, LLC by the Commissioner, will result in a great loss to the County.
Page 2, TCCA Minutes 12/10/2020
7. Committee Assignments:
a. City of Hiawassee –LaJean: reported that T.C.Water & Sewer Authority settlement is still in progress; they reached agreement on Alcohol Ordinance; The AirMed Care contract was signed for another year; Property taxes on Hiawassee City residents and businesses are now being done by the City Administration rather than County Tax Commissioner.
b. City of Y.H.- Anna: reported that sewer rates increased 28% to create a 7% contingency fund for sewer needs; Water and sewer contracts with USDA Rural Utilities Service indicate that the City is required to meet their financial budget obligations or USDA can set the rates. $16,983.43 was spent for gravel and dirt for an easement to 2.23 acre piece of land-locked property donated to the City by Zell Miller 32 years ago enabling proper access. A security fence around the area was installed. Anna provided a map of the property (attached to minutes). The Mayor asked the City Council approve a grant application for $450K for the development of this property.
c. Commissioner-Joan: No meeting in November. Next meeting will be on 15 December 2020.
d. T.C. Water Authority- Michael: The annual fiscal audit report was presented to the Board. The report indicated a sound financial status. However the employee retirement fund is underfunded. The agreement with the City of Hiawassee was conducted in closed session with Mr. Courey asked to leave for the discussion and subsequent Board vote on its acceptance. After such review and vote, Mr. Courey was allowed to reenter the meeting. He was informed that the agreement was accepted, however details and any information of the agreement and subsequent vote was withheld from the public at this time.
Meter reading software needs updating.
e. Chamber of Commerce-LaJean: A Santa Drive-thru at Hiawassee Family Pharmacy is planned; Sending flowers to Chatuge Nursing Home patients; Truck Show in March or April is in planning.
f. CVB: No report.
g. BRMEMC- No report.
h. Co. Planning Commission: No report.
i. Health Dept-Larry: Next meeting is1/21/2021
8. Other Business: None.
9. Adjournment: There being no further business, a motion to adjourn was made.
Next Meeting: Thursday,14 January 2021, at 3 p.m.at the Hiawassee United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.
Joan Crothers, Secretary