August 13, 2020

1.  Opening Remarks:  Michael welcomed all to the meeting at Hamilton Gardes Paris Pavilion.

Present:  Michael Courey; Joan Crothers; Larry Dietsch; Jan Kowalsky; David Tinsley; LaJean Turner; Guest, Sue Astley.

2.  Secretary’s Report:  Larry Dietsch made a motion to accept the Minutes of July 9, 2020; seconded and passed.      

3.  Treasurer’s Report:  Balance as of 7/31/20:  $3,443.20.  A motion was made by LaJean to approve; seconded and passed.

4.  Membership Report: Anna Denton is working on membership.  She will send out a revised application and letter via postal mail as well as a post card to encourage renewal. here are currently 84 family memberships.

5.  Old Business

      a. Hiawassee City Package Referendum:  Insufficient signatures for the November ballot.

      b. Web Site Update:  The membership application as included within the web site needs revision to enable printing. LaJean will consider site work. Certain software applications may help the process.

      c. Association Direction: Topics for Association consideration: Drug abuse in the County and the County Sign Ordinance compliance. These issues will be considered by the Board as to the possible impact we could make.  

6. New Business

      a. Jan. 2021 Meeting:  Tentatively plan for Thursday, Jan. 28th; LaJean will check on Rec. Center availability.

      b. MountainTrue presentation, “Dear White People”:  LaJean will communicate with Callie Moore for clarification of the program intent with a report at the next meeting.

      c. Bell Mtn. Park:  The Commissioner is waiting on the report from of a professional evaluation of the road and area attraction as to what mitigating steps can be taken to decrease the tourist impact on local residents.

      d. Hiawassee Night Market:  First Friday in August was a big success. However, not an advantageous format for the Association. Joan will take our brochures to Farmers Market for distribution.

      e. Donations:  Board members will distribute donations. Photos to be taken to be put in the paper: LaJean-Hamilton Gardens ($200): Jan-Enotah CASA ($200): Dave-Food Pantry ($100).  Joan will submit photos and an article to the Herald.

      f. Board member nomination:  Michael read bios of Sue Astley and David Best.  Dave Tinsley made a motion to accept Sue; seconded and passed.  LaJean made a motion to accept David Best; seconded and passed. Welcome new Board members.

7. Committee Assignments: 

     a. City of Hiawassee – LaJean and Joan reported on August meeting still being streamed on FB. Mayor Ordiales now serves as GMA District 2 President. Mayor stated that Towns County was 1 of 110 counties in GA (out of 159) that is in the “red zone” for COVID-19 because of increase per          capita.  City approved a Water Treatment Plant intake repair of $239,274. The barge to lift up the whole intake to replace/fix bottom of it is $229K, fixing is only $10K.  City’s sewer service moratorium was extended another 3 mos. Al Fickle appointed to city’s Ethics Board, replacing Susan Phillips.

b. City of Young Harris – The first reading was held for the establishment of the Rural Enterprise Zone.  Industrial chemicals to stem foul odors at the sewer plant cost $3,045.15, and after 2 weeks of use the odor issue has been resolved.

c. Towns County Commissioner Meeting – Joan reported that 10 people were present in the courtroom.  The County still cannot use the detainees, so the road crew is doing that work. ACCO Property & Liability Insurance Company was signed for renewal at a saving of $27K. The savings was dispersed to the County employees. Janet Oliva, Board of Elections Chair, talked about the Aug. 11 runoff election. Michael Anderson is the GOP replacement for J.C. Berrong contending for the Tax Commissioner Office in the Nov. election.

d.  Towns County Water Authority – An increase in water fees is expected.

e.   Chamber of Commerce –  LaJean reported that they are meeting at the Rec. Center. The golf tournament was well attended. The Chamber is also conducting  a variety of on-line sessions. The “Made in Georgia” event has been canceled due to the pandemic.

f.    Convention Visitors Board (CVB) – No recent meeting.

g.   BRMEMC – The Annual Meeting in Sept. will be a drive-thru at their YH property. Voting for Board members will be on line and by mail.

h.   County Planning Commission – No recent meeting.

 i.   County Health Department – Larry submitted several reports of their last meeting to the Board which included a discussion of the Health Department budget and activities.  

8. Other Business: 

    Absentee Ballot Security: Clarification resulted from communication with the Board of Elections. This issue was a matter of a door that did not latch properly when a staff member left for the day. However, there was no lack of security of records or ballots as they were locked in another office and     within a locked safe. The door and lock have been replaced. Certain inaccuracies on the topic were circulated due to social media speculations.

9.  Adjournment:  Motion to adjourn was made.

Next Meeting: Thursday, September 24, 2020 at 3:00 to be held at the Hamilton Gardens Pavilion. 

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