March 2023 Board Meeting Minutes

Towns County Civic Association

Hiawassee City Hall – Upstairs

March 8, 2023

1. Present: John Clemens, Larry Deitsch, Anna Denton, Joan Crothers, Gordy Jones, Jim Olson, David Best. Absent: Michael Courey (out of town).

  1. Welcome: John greeted all at 2:05 p.m..
  2. President’s issues for discussion:

I .Quarterly Newsletter: John showed a new first page which everyone approved. He also is writing an article on the Mountain Protection Act to include in this issue. Anna will contact the Sheriff to do a short article on their new drone, and/or get Fire Chief Harold Copeland to write something. John would like the newsletter to go out before the end of March.

2. Board Officers reports:

a. Secretary’s Report-Joan: Larry made a motion to approve the February minutes, which had been emailed to members earlier; seconded and passed.

b. Treasurer’s Report-Larry: Checkbook balance as of 2/28/23 is $3,965.36; includes $50 dues; and expenses (Jan. mtg.) $55.87. Gordy made a motion to accept; seconded and passed.

c. Membership Report: Paid memberships: 55 Households (95 individuals); 1 Homeowner Assn.; 2 Businesses; Total 58 members. Anna also passed out a current expired membership list. BOD members agreed to contact those they knew. Larry made a motion to inform those on this list that before they are purged from membership they can pay $25 now and that will go to June 2024; seconded and passed.

d. Website-David: No report.

3. Committee Reports:

a. City of Hiawassee-Joan: 2/27 meeting: New Chief of Police and Council members discussed wanting to work with the Sheriff’s Office for the safety of all Towns County citizens. Mayor discussed “Hikeawassee”—City fixed up a County van to bring hikers from Unicoi Gap & Dick’s Creek into City 3 trips/day by volunteers from 3/I to 4/30. Rushton Auditors gave their report of City audit; total city revenue increased by $153,670, property taxes decreased by $43,959, local option sales tax increased by $38,965, expenditures increased by 154,340; “City is in much better shape than 5 years ago- $191K balance compared to $528K now.” Barrett insurance showed Blue Cross having a 90% price hike so now has City with UnitedHealthCare. This was approved at 3/7 regular meeting. New drain for rain runoff installed at Lloyd’s Landing, & daffodils for Holocaust Memorial Garden are in full bloom. At Mayor’s Park, fence was mended and 10 loads of gravel brought in to fix potholes in road. Hiawassee Garden Club did 28th Annual Arbor Day planting at Mayor’s Park on 2/24.

b. City of Young Harris-Gordy: Members of Mt. Zion Church again present talking about permits. Council approved permits so construction can start. Council will now have a work meeting a week before scheduled monthly meeting to go over business. New water meters will alert any leaks. Y.H. Parks & Trails System was discussed.

c. Commissioner-Joan: 2/21 meeting: At the County-owned Campground, West Hwy.76/Lakeview Cr., the underground electric plug-ins for campers has been changed from 30-amp to 50-amp—cost $70K. T.C. Daycare Center has had windows replaced, vinyl siding replaced with Hardie board siding, and it will be completely repainted; they have around 50 kids. Courthouse renovations are on schedule; bids are out for a new backhoe. The Transfer Station is working better with drivers on the job and not sick. Recycling there takes aluminum cans, cardboard, #1 & 2 plastics, and all paper with a white basis (i.e. no brown bags or cereal boxes); working on someone to take glass. Remodeled & upgraded Sheriff’s Office and Jail and put in new light bulbs at parking lot there and at old Rec. Center (temporary County offices). Bradshaw signed a number of contracts: Nelson Tractor for generator at West EMS-$194.31; Landfill monitoring services (methane gas); 1st reading to amend Chap.34 of Sign Ord. to allow digital sign for a business (32 sq. ft. per side), no flashing & no more than 10’ off ground; 2022 Audit, should be done by June, cost:$48-52K.

d. T.C. Water & Sewer Authority-Jim: Director congratulated Derrick Moody and Nathan Noblet for selection by the T.C. Grand Jury to serve on the Authority for three more years. Financials were reported to be good. After weeks of searching locally, there were only two applicants for an urgently needed, experienced person to hire. Qualifications are extensive. Both applicants were deemed unqualified. The Board decided to expand their search area.

e. Convention Visitors Board (CVB)-Jim: No meeting. Last update on the website is January of ’20. Facebook page has minimal activity, but is current.

f. Board of Education-Jim: Will Connell awarded STAR student with plaque and trophy and picked Coach Ken Camp to be his STAR teacher. Shannon Moss, T.C. Elementary, accepted PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports) recognition certificate. Because of this program, the T.C. Elementary School was one of 23 schoold in the state awarded “Distinguished School” title. The resignations of several staff members were approved. Thirty-five returning staff and several new staff were also approved.

g. Chamber of Commerce-John: Postponed to next week.

h. BRMEMC-Michael: No report.

i. County Planning Commission-David: No report.

j. County Health Dept.Larry: Next meeting in April.

New Business

  1. Gordy is now helping 3 days/week in the high school welding class.

Adjournment: Motion duly made at 3:50 p.m.

Next meeting: Wednesday, April 10, 2 p.m. Upstairs City Hall.

Joan Crothers, Secretary