August 2023 Board Meeting Minutes


Wednesday August 9, 2023; 2:00 pm

City Hiawassee Conference Room 2nd Floor

1. President’s Remarks\Report – John

a. Welcomed those present & introduced two guests who would like to speak at the end of our business meeting.

2. Board Officers Reports

a. Secretary Report – Joan

i. Minutes July 2023 Meeting: After making the info under EMC clearer, Larry made a motion to approve; seconded and passed.

b. Treasurer Report – Larry: July 31st balance is $3,857.86. He mailed payment for the box and it was lost in the mail, making a late charge–$188 rental went to $213. He will look into a box at Going Postal. Other expenses: Godaddy repair-$79.99; Godaddy LLAR Plugin-$69.99. Anna made a motion to approve; seconded and passed.

c. Membership Report-Anna: Two new members were added, making 61 Households, 1 HA, 2 Businesses.

d. Web site Update/Maintenance – David: Website is up to date and working well since version 6.2.2 maintenance. There is a new way to post the newsletters that allows the viewer to scroll through it rather than have to download and open it. The Limited Login Attempts Reloader plugin has been renewed for another year at a price of $69.99. It blocked 120 failed login attempts in July.

3. Committee Reports:

a. Chamber of Commerce – John: Today’s meeting postponed to next Wed.

b. City of Young Harris -Jim: Most significant event was discussion and decision regarding water system supply repair/upgrade for Timberline. Of two engineering options available, the council chose the one that provided a redundant supply capability at less cost.

c. City of Hiawassee – Joan: 7/24/23 mtg.: Dunkin opened next to GA Vision Center. The Overlook project behind Dunkin needs a variance to go from 45 to 54 units on 5 acres; HOA there $100/yr; units are for sale, not rent and are to be no second homes. Feather signs reviewed; they are only to advertise your business-take down when closed, and only 3-4 signs of any kind per business. Berrong House roofing project $76K max. w/SPLOST money. City purchased dump truck for Water Dept. $78,500; Water Treatment Plant vehicle-$48K. Paris Building/Boardwalk grant-$63 mill. (last yr.). Economic Dev. Report: Jimmy Buffett event @ Ridges brought in 700 people, grossed $52K. 2 First Fridays left-Sept./Nov. At 8/1 mtg. all above items were approved and Monica McKenna was re-appointed to DDA Board for 1 term.

d. Towns County Commissioner – Joan: The old benches from the Courtroom will be used in the new Probate Judges Courtroom upstairs. A plaque was presented to Candice Lee for her work with the Chamber of Commerce. County Agent Jacob Williams gave a report on taking T. C. students, 4th-7th graders, on a farm tour, doing 18 stops in 4 days.

e. Towns County Water Authority – Jim: Six meters were repaired and there were no major service failures. 110 high usages were reported and the consensus analysis was that such usage is primarily rentals using water “like crazy” as well as pools, gardens, and other relief related to the heat wave. Financials reported to be “very, very good.” The new payroll company, Serveline, is to meet with the board in August. Discussion continues about the use of remote/auto water cut-off valves. Board to consider offering such devices to customers.

The TCW&S website is reported to be up and operating. Expansion of online content is a project in progress.

f. Convention and Visitors Bureau-Jim: Financials are not reconciled as of this date. New treasurer is implementing a spreadsheet plan to better manage records, funds and other resources. Previously approved by the CVB, “Georgia’s Great Places” periodical has presented billing for an upcoming issue. 2 Board members presented complex market analysis and professional media commercial proposals to target a 2024 advertising campaign. Various features; travel trends, viewing habits, content delivery, seasonal sporting events, etc. are offered for consideration. For videos, voicing, and other productions, they offer to use local talent, both local amateur and professional. The geographic area to be covered includes much of NE Georgia beginning in the Atlanta area.

g. Board of Education – Michael:

h. BRMEMC – Michael: Storms in July posed a difficulty due to line and pole damage; however, each issue was resolved with relative moderated down service time. The average household electrical use is approximately 885 kWh; there are currently 14900 fiber internet accounts; growing at about 250/month; there are 630 Smart Fiber Subscribers. The EV fast charging stations in Blairsville are operational at a cost of 42 cents per kWh; the State is expected to add a “road tax” of 8 cents per kWh. The BRMEMC annual Membership meeting is on 9 September at YHC with the business meeting starting at 10 a.m.

i. County Planning Commission – David:

j. County Health Department – Larry: No meeting.

4. New Business Submitted from Board Members:

a. Barbara is not ready to join us yet.

b. David talked about the two invasive weeds seen growing last year in the lake; TVA and MountainTrue-Callie Moore-hoped freezing weather would kill them, but Parrot’s Feather has been seen again this year. David will check further and report in September.

c.Utility Awareness Project: Water Treatment Plant–Friday, 8/17, 2 p.m. meet at City Hall; Wastewater Treatment Plant–8/24, 9 a.m. meet at City Hall; Wrap up– 8/31, 9 a.m. City Hall.

5. Speakers: a. Vernon Dixon – of the local chapter of Citizens Climate Education (CCE) – a national, non-partisan, volunteer organization concerned about climate change. He showed a short video and had several flyers for us to take.

b. Tracey Rathmann – of the citizens concerned about Affordable Housing or Low-Income Housing in Hiawassee. Discussion followed and we tried to answer her questions.

6. Executive Session: Voted to go into Executive Session.

7. Adjournment: Duly voted to adjourn at 4:20.

Next Meeting: September 13, 2023, 2:00 Hiawassee Conference Room 2nd Floor