December 2023 Board Meeting Minutes


Board Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, December 13, 2023, 5:30 p.m.

Joan’s Villa, Big Sky Dr., Hiawassee

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

Absent: Michael Courey

Guests: Nancy Clemens and Cathi Dietsch.

1. President’s Remarks/Report: John

  1. Welcome
  2. Newsletter ideas: Parrot Feather in the lake is the hot topic currently. Commis. Bradshaw is on board to have TVA representative and Callie Moore (MountainTrue) invited to our January meeting (TVA’s call on date) to discuss what can be done. Jacob Williams, Towns-Union Extension Agent, was also mentioned. Moore was talking about this weed in our last newsletter.
  3. Prepare for Membership meeting in January: John also will get in touch with those he knows in TVA and work with Commis. on who and when, after the holidays.

2. Board Officers reports:

  1. Secretary-Joan: November 8th minutes were emailed; Larry made a motion to approve; seconded and passed.
  2. Treasurer-Larry: Checkbook Balance as of 11/30/23 is $3,538.20 which includes payment for website GoDaddy for 3 yrs.–$431.64. Jim made a motion to approve; seconded and passed.
  3. Website Update-David: Home page content is up to date, along with Dec. events. 32 failed login attempts in the last 2 wks. were neutralized.
  4. Membership-Anna: 41 Households, (71 individuals), 1 HOA (Ridgeview), 1 Business (GMF), Total 43. 14 memberships are prepaid for fiscal years beginning July 1, 2024 and July 1, 2025.

3. Committee Reports:

  1. Chamber of Commerce-John: Dec. 13 mtg. Holiday Bazaar (11/4-5) final report–$10,221 profit. Annual mtg. at YHC had 100 members attend. Silent Auction made $3145, the event had an overall profit of $875.17. Two events planned for January–Burgers, Brew & Bball at YHC and Chatuge Burger Wk. Plus. Repairs at Chamber building still in progress.
  2. City of Young Harris-Jim: 12/7/24: Following a Public Hearing on a Zoning Ordinance amendmentre: PUD (Planned Unit Developments), Council voted to enact the amendment. This will allow better control by requiring complete site plans up front. Council accepted City’s rollback millage rate of 2.335 mills for 2023 property tax bills. Special election will be held in 2024 for Steve Clark’s position on Council; he did not qualify for re-election and Dana Cable, who qualified unopposed to start her 4-yr. term in Jan. dropped out at the Dec. 5th mtg. Clark will remain in his seat until replaced. Sewer rates will go up 5% sometime in the spring. A new idea for Timberline booster pump, a submersible pump in a tube in the ground, was discussed. No action taken.
  3. City of Hiawassee-Joan: Nov. 27th mtg.: Two amendments to the 30 year old City Charter Home Rule Ordinance were made: 1. Allow officers to be removed from office with cause with the City Council to provide the procedures; 2. Elected officials who miss 4 meetings/year will automatically vacate their seat; first reading at 12/5 mtg., 2nd reading at the 1/9/24 mtg. at 6 p.m. Council members also ratified the contracts with the GMRC for grant administration services re: Paris Business Center Project & the Boardwalk Project, but 3 council members voted this way “under duress.” The contract was signed without the Council’s approval and is now doubled in price. But not voting for it could cancel any future loans. Larry Sorgin was voted to replace Jonathan Wilson on the Ethics Committee for the remainder of his term, May 2024. During one of their recent meetings, Hiawassee Building & Planning Committee member, Paul Scherer, was cleared of an ethics violation complaint. Council members approved new employee health insurance effective 1/1/24 with lower deductibles; however $85/mo. more for premiums.
  4. T.C. Commissioner.-Joan: Reported Courthouse construction is going well, should be completed in February; the Chamber will have new windows and new paint job, ongoing now. Several people were present to talk about Parrot Feather in the lake. Bradshaw is working on a public meeting soon with TVA, MountainTrue-Callie Moore, and possibly our Sen. Bo Hatchet & Rep. Stan Gunter. Shirley Hooper is retiring and was presented a plaque and will have a playground named for her at the T.C. Daycare Center for 47 yrs. of service. County owned Chatuge Campground will have slightly higher rates for 2024 and some different rules.
  5. T.C. Water & Sewer Authority-Jim: Very short meeting. Frog Pond had 2 water breaks–Cost of $500K paid by property owners @$14K each.
  6. Convention Visitors Board (CVB)-Jim: $108,290.23 has been spent to date for direct marketing, $279,135.03 Balance in bank as of 11/14/23. $171K to spend by 12/31/23. Grants were approved for GA Mountain Fair and Lake Chatuge Chamber.
  7. Board of Education-Michael or Jim: High School Principal Bryan Thomason received Title I Reward School Award for making more gains than any other Title I school in GA in assisting children most in need of educational help. They outlined what the recently passed ESPLOST will be used for in the 46 yr.-old school (1977).
  8. BRMEMC-Michael: No report.
  9. County Planning Commission-David: Two agenda items involved requests to combine more than one lot into a single property. Both had either potential or actual opposition from Homeowners Associations. The president of one association spoke against merging lots because it set a bad precedent and would reduce the amount of the homeowners’ fees, which are based on a per lot basis. Upon advice of the County Attorney, both were approved because the Planning Commission only has the authority to enforce government laws and regulations, not homeowner association covenants, the latter being a matter that the courts would have to decide. In other business, the consent agenda included five Mountain Protection Act permit requests that were approved because all met the requirements of the act.
  10. County Health Dept.- Larry: Next meeting in January.
  11. 4. New Business: None

4. Adjourn: Duly approved at 4 p.m.

Joan Crothers, Secretary

Next meeting: Wednesday, January 10, 2023 2 p.m. at the Hiawassee City Hall upstairs meeting room.