April 2024 Board Meeting Minutes



Wednesday April 8, 2024; 2:00 pm

Hiawassee City Conference Room 2nd Floor

Present: John Clemens, Larry Dietsch, Joan Crothers, Anna Denton, Michael Courey, David Best, Jim Olson, Joe Liguori. Guest: Steven Harper

Absent: No one.

1. President’s Remarks-John:

a. Welcome

b. Official vote: Motion was made to have Steven Harper be a TCCA Board member; seconded and carried.

c. Membership Meeting

i. Election of Officers: Nominating Committee formed at the last meeting (Chair-John Clemens, 2 Volunteers-Larry Dietsch and Michael Courey), will send a ballot to members before the June meeting to vote on officers and directors that have all agreed to run again; or write in a candidate.

ii. The offices of Sheriff and Clerk of Court are the only two that have opposing candidates. They will be invited to speak, as well as Jay Chastain, running for Hiawassee Mayor.

Board Officers Reports:

a. Secretary’s Report: Minutes of the March 2024 meeting were emailed; Motion to approve was duly made, seconded and passed.

b. Treasurer’s Report: Larry reported a March 29 balance of $3,208.87. Income: $50-dues, Expense: Website, Go-Daddy-$44.34. A motion to approve was duly made, seconded and passed.

c. Membership Report: Anna gave out her report of 46 total memberships-72 individuals; she will send out postcards closer to the Membership meeting.

d. Website Update: David said the website is up-to-date.

3. Committee Reports

a. Chamber of Commerce-John: April had 103 visitors and 78 calls, 6 new members. President Julie Payne spoke at Movers & Shakers on 4/5. 10th Annual GA Mountain Story Telling Festival- April 12 & 13 at the Ridges Resort. 2nd Quarter 2024 Business After Hours, 5/14 @ United Community Bank in Hiawassee, 5:30pm, Door prizes.

b. City of Young Harris-Joe: 3/5 mtg.: Timberline booster pump project after many setbacks, will have 2 alternating submersible pumps in underground cans made from high-density polyethylene & have added protection from an insulated aluminum box. Byers Well Drilling is doing the work, cost: $83,639. Mineral Springs Rd. will be partially paved (915’). Following development of Kaiser-Dean property, the rest of the road will be paved. 800 new water meters are being installed; City insurance is due May 1st, but no bids yet.

c. City of Hiawassee-Joan: 3/25/24: Third filter at the Water Plant should be done by mid-April; the full-compliance Water Quality Report is on line (@City of Hiawassee. BoJangles opened the middle of March. Hydrant flushing will be done from mid-April to mid-May. Lift station near the Sand Bar will have a study by EMI, which will cost $28,800. The SPLOST money of $60,997 will pay for the restaurant part of the building and 17.65% of the private use part. The public portion of $85,580 will be covered by a grant and then a line of credit. The DDA owned Shook House is now available for an incubator space. The Accessory Structure Ordinance now requires these structures to be placed at the side or rear of principal buildings (due to dragon structure controversy last year).

d. Commissioner’s Meeting-Joan: Steven Harper was appointed to fill the Chairman of the Board of Elections now that Roy Perren resigned to run for a position on the Board of Education. April is the 50th Anniversary of Mountain Community Chorus and Bradshaw signed a Proclamation to that effect. Bradshaw presented Jerry Taylor with a plaque for serving 25 years as Towns Co. Historian. Taylor & Tyler Osborn presented a short slide show on the 165th birthday in March of the County. A 2024 Budget Amendment was adopted to transfer $65K from the Jail Fund to the Sheriff’s Office for a patrol car and body cameras. A Grand Opening of the renovated Courthouse should be coming soon.

e. Towns Co. Water & Sewer Authority-Jim: Chairman Noblet conferred with parrot feather TVA contractor regarding concerns about water inlet. Contractor suggested that a 6-hour inlet shutdown has been used successfully on 16-20 invasive treatments per year with no errors. Chairman Noblet expressed ongoing effort to hire new talent primarily to work on leaks. Encouraged all staff and board to keep alert for good prospects. Manager Nichols expressed considerable distress over USPS foul-up in mailing customer paper bills. Many customers either didn’t receive their bill or incurred late charges as a result. In a related issue, she states that some customers “never pay” their bill. Manager Nichols also ran point with the State of Georgia to insure that T.C.W&SA licensing was secured. Attorney Eddie Corn to meet with Frog Pond parties on March 27th at 10 a.m. for contract settlement and signing.

f. Convention Visitors Board (CVB)-Jim: 4/9 MTG: John Peels, Gen.Mgr, Brasstown Valley Resort, is a new member. Andrea Anderson, Treasurer, reported net revenue of $24,366. The new Towns County welcome signs, a work in progress, is expected to cost approximately $52,500. Board approved an advertising package from Mnemonic to include radio, TV, billboards, and more to cover 17 surrounding counties. Fairgrounds will reallocate the funds to an upcoming bazaar. Fairgrounds reports that there are very few weekends without scheduled events through 2024. Mr. Scott Newton, a local media producer, presented audio/video promotion productions as examples of his work that is Towns County oriented. He has a resume that includes many other Towns County government entities. It was pointed out that the CVB website is in need of updating.

g. Board of Education-Michael: Jeff Langley provided info. on an off-campus Bible Study Course: voluntary, credit approved, not tax-funded, not on Govt. property, parent-approval, non-denominational, non-political, free tuition, only High School. This is legal, already in surrounding counties. Starts in Towns Co. in January 2025. Ground was broken for the Ag building at the school on this date, April 8, 2024.

h. BRMEMC-Michael: A solar rooftop installation in YH is in process. Additional power line for the Caldwell Detention center will enable welding classes there. Most customers pay on-line, and approx. 10,000 calls to the office were handled during March. There are significant delays in the mail delivery by the PO. Any customer charged a fee due to a late payment caused by the poor mail service will be reimbursed. New Fiber customers are continually being added; 57872 electric meters are in service. Power outages are promptly handled ranging from 30 minutes to about 6 hours duration depending upon the complexity.

i. County Planning Commission-David: Meeting is tomorrow.

j. County Health Dept.-Larry: Meeting will be April 18th.

4. Old Business:

a. Banner: John said it was still a work in progress.

5. New Business: None

6. Adjourn: Motion to adjourn at 3:40 p.m., seconded and passed.

Next Meeting: Monday, May 13, 2024, 2 p.m. at City Hall, upstairs meeting room.

s/s Joan Crothers, Secretary