June 2023 Board Meeting Minutes

Towns County Civic Association

Board Meeting – Upstairs City Hall

June 14 2023 – 2 p.m.

Present: John Clemens, Larry Dietsch, Anna Denton, Joan Crothers, Michael Courey, David Best, Gordy Jones, Jim Olson.

Guest: Mayor Liz Ordiales, who informed us on the latest City news: The City closed on the Berrong House yesterday, 6/13/23. After needed repairs it will be used as an Event Center with the T.C. Historical Society helping the City restore it. She passed out flyers to the DDA fund-raiser, “Jimmy Buffet Sons of Sailors” event at the Ridges on 7/15/23, 6-9 p.m. This coming Monday work will start again at the Paris Business Center. The Boardwalk construction will begin in October after the lake is down. Liz also passed out information on a “Utility Awareness Project” that she wants to start with TCCA. This will cover 3 days–Day 1–Water Treatment Plant; Day 2– Wastewater Plant; Day 3–Wrap up. We will discuss and let her know, which we did after she left and agreed it would be something of interest to us all. John will let her know and a definite date will be decided.

1. President’s report: John Clemens,

a. Welcome

b. Discussion on President’s issues

1. Newsletter: It’s ready to go–everyone has checked it so John will send it out. Flyers are also checked and members will distribute.

2. Membership Meeting: Thursday, June 29, 6-8 p.m. at the Senior Center. It was suggested State Rep. Stan Gunter be invited by the Commissioner. Joan will contact her minister to give the Invocation and will put an article re: meeting in next 2 weeks paper. Duties of Board: Come at 4:30 to set up tables; Larry- order sandwiches & chicken tenders from Ingles, John bring chips, plates, cups and utensils and small soft drinks, Michael – ice, & Joan – bowl and ice dipper, Jim – Fruit tray. Anna & Joan will be at the sign-in table to welcome, take dues and new memberships.

2. Board-officers reports:

  1. Secretary’s Report: Minutes of May 10th meeting were emailed and Larry made a motion to approve; seconded and passed.

b. Treasurer’s Report-Larry: We have a balance of $3,935.36 and the P.O. Box has been paid for a year. Motion to approve was made by Jim; seconded and passed.

c. Membership Report-Anna: No change.

d. Web site-David: Even though we don’t pay for WordPress support I decided that the new “Fatal Error” message was their issue, not Cornerstone. After all, not being able to access the admin. site because their automatic upgrades broke seems like something they should resolve. We’re not the only ones with the same issue. Anyway, here is anew development. The WordPress support dude looked at our site and said that if we pay $79.99 for technique support they can fix the issue(s) and make the site operable again.Larry made a motion to pay for the tech support; seconded and passed.

3. Committee Reports:

  1. Chamber-John: Upcoming Events: Made in GA, 6/24-25; Summer Heat, 6/17 @Rec.Cntr., Benefits T.C. 1st Responders; Hiaw. DDA fund-raiser @ Ridges for Paris Business, 7/15; Corn-hole Tournement, Beal Event Center, Hayesville; Rotary Casino Night & Reverse Raffle, 9/23, 5-9:30; July 4th Boat Parade, GMF boat ramp 10 a.m. CVB advertising funds of $10, 435 have been paid; received $2K from City. Advertising will be on 2 local and one Athens radio stations, plus newspapers. Larry Hedden will give the County an estimate on the Chamber building repairs.

b. City of Hiawassee-Joan: May 22 Work. session: Public Hearing held on budget before the meeting; 2nd Reading & approval of Budget @6/6/23 meeting. Mayor Liz said the City has paid off the $4.7 million in loans in her 7 yrs. in office, but new debt coming soon for expanding the Water Treatment Plant. A third filter and building to house it is needed @ cost of $3 mill. City will match $30K to State’s grant of $72K for sidewalk revitalization. June starts new hotel-motel tax rate increase from 5% to 8%. This additional revenue will go for signage, fishing piers, parks & recreation and the Chamber to help bring in tourists. Our present 2 liquor stores brought in more than $2.4 mill. over a 1-year period–”That money had been going to Hayesville.” Hiawassee DDA is still raising money for the Paris Business Center; costs have ballooned. It will feature a 4K sq. ft. seafood restaurant w/rooftop bar and dining area plus a business incubator and 2 retail storefronts with a rotating roster of new local businesses. Hogsed Lane resident Janet Oliva was present to discuss Noise Ordinance/Bacchus loud music. 24 two dose packs of Narccam will be in City Police cars–no cost to City.

c. City of Young Harris-Jim: Good water report was in the T.C. Herald. The new Financial Administration Ordinance was approved to raise the city’s $30K bidding threshold to $100K; the Zoning Ordinance was changed to include situations relating to adoption & repeal, and a new regulation gets rid of a minimum of 7 acres to develop a PUD (Planned Unit Development). The latest Timberline booster pump project includes building an additional station w/smaller pump that will move the water to the main pump; the bladder tank will work as an in-between connecting the upper and lower pumps. The cost is still being discussed. The Franchise Fee is still being discussed. Shirley Miller donated 4.45 acres of land to the city for park expansion and was thanked by the Council.

d. Commissioners Meeting-Joan: A number of papers were signed: Proclamation for “Public Safety & 1st Responder’s Day” on 6/17/23 @ Foster Park; Marty Roberts explained agreement w/Lux Planning to prepare Hazard Mitigation Plan update–GEMA/FEMA Grant, every 5 yrs. w/meetings starting in August, #1 thunderstorms; agreement w/GMRC for preparation of Land & Water Conservation Fund Grant Application–Denise McKay explained enhancement of w/$316K grant; signed Local Share Commitment Agreement to fund Legacy Link re: operation of T.C. Senior Center for FY 2024; Senior Center appointments: Gail Bradley, Director and Teresa Stephens & David Lamon, Representatives. 1st Reading of Ordinance providing for Criminal Penalties for Violation of Rules & Regulations of GA Dept. of Public Health (re: quick response for septic tank leaking, etc.).

e. T.C. Water & Sewer Authority-Jim: No website yet; finances are good; only 2 small leaks this month; new employee is past probation and doing good. Frog Pond residents met w/each other–one now has his own well and another reclaimed a nearby well.

f. CVB (Convention Visitors Board)-Jim: Five members on new Board, talked about ad in Southern Living; no minutes of last meeting; no record of filing taxes in 2021.

g. Board of Education-Jim: ESPLOST on Nov. ballot, raising Sales Tax to 8%.

h. BRMEMC-Michael: No increase in EMC price–TVA raised their price; 1½% growth in May

i. County Planning Commission-David:

j. County Health Dept-Larry: Towns County Board of Health met April 20, 2023. They reviewed the Environmental Reports, Nursing Report and Financial Reports. The financials are in good shape. The fund balance is $542,754. FY 24 Budgets were proposed and approved. A Comprehensive Ordinance being proposed by Towns County was presented; it was not yet adopted at the time of the meeting. Apparently, it provides the ability for local court proceedings for enforcement of department of health issues, instead of having to travel to state courts outside of our area. A presentation was made from the district health directors office explaining the WIC (women, infants and children) program.

4. New Business from Board Members: TCCA donations will be discussed next meeting. Gordy Jones said he is stepping down from the Board. You will be missed.

5. Old Business: None

Adjourn: Duly motioned at 4 p.m.; seconded and passed.

Joan Crothers, Secretary

Next meeting: July 12, 2 p.m. at City Hall, 2nd Floor.