February 13, 2020 Board Meeting

President Michael Courey opened meeting at 3 p.m.

Present:  Michael Courey, Joan Crothers, Jan Kowalsky, LaJean Turner, Noel Turner, Larry Dietsch; Guest:  David Tinsley, Retired Sharp UMC Minister.

Absent: Herb Bruce, Barbara Carew, John Clemens.

Michael welcomed Tinsley and he gave a short bio to group.

Minutes: Motion to approve the December 12, 2019 minutes as emailed was made by La Jean; seconded & passed. January Membership meeting was covered in the T.C. Herald article.

Treasurer’s Report:  Jan passed out copies of her report; it showed a balance of $3,923.70. Motion to approve made by Larry; seconded and passed.

Membership:  LaJean reported total membership at 197 with 114 families. Motion to approve made by Jan; seconded and passed.

Old Business

  1. Review Jan. Mtg.: Members signed in 42, Guests approx. 20, total of 62. We had food left over & less than budgeted ($300). The speaker agenda was modified as Ronnie Phillips was unable to attend.
  2. County Ordinances review: Tabled
  3. Donations remaining:  Student grant in April 2020 for $100. TCCA will also donate $300 to MountainTrue (Hiawassee River Watershed Coalition). Attendance to the upcoming GALA was discussed.
  4. Hamilton Gardens Celebration Plaza Stone: No small stones available, so Michael paid $100 in addition to the $200 allocated for a medium stone. Larry made a motion to reimburse Michael; seconded and passed.
  5. Website:  Website edit format change–$220. John Clemens to address web maintenance.

New Business

  1. Downtown Development Authority (DDA): The buildings recently purchased from Dan Paris were declared blighted in a resolution passed at the 2/4/20 meeting so the city can apply for grants to repair them from several different agencies. USDA–$99K; Com-munity Block Grant–$500K.
  2. Newspaper error: They reported Michael encouraged a vote for SPLOST at our Jan. meeting, but he stated there would be a vote for SPLOST on 5/19/20 and voters should be informed without suggesting a pro or con on the subject. A retraction was printed.
  3. Candidates’ Forum:  Candidates qualify March 2-6; TCCA will have a forum on March 31st for all candidates in collaboration with Chamber.

Committee Meetings:

City of Hiawassee: Change in budget:  Ability to temporarily borrow and transfer funds from one City account to another in case of emergency (breakdown of equipment, etc.). Appointed to JDA Board (Joint Development Auth.) under Denise McKay, City: Joe Ruf, Josh Alexander, and  Vicki Constantinides appointed to represent the City of Hiawassee.

City of Young Harris: Dr Van Horne requested to lower the minimum water use from one million to 600k gallons per month. The City donated $6,000 to the Library. Remove the building on the NW corner of SR 66 and SR 76. Replace with a parking lot. Accept the participation of the City into the Joint Development Authority and assign three members in representation. Construct a new pavilion at a budget amount of approximately $80,000.

County Commissioner Meeting:  Read Credit Card Ordinance for T.C. Elected officials, only 1 card to be used with Commissioner’s approval; Election Board members demonstrated the new machines we will be using in upcoming elections; David Sellers had a power-point of History of Fire Dept.

CVB:  Michael attended and spoke about the need to decrease or eliminate the restriction requiring that advertising be conducted at least 60 miles away. Also, the restriction that prevents grant money to be used for advertising on the internet should be deleted. It is interesting that the CVB uses tax funds to support its web site but prevents others from doing the same. Charles Burton stated that grantees web site expenses for advertising is just the cost of doing business and voiced objection to any change. The Board took no action.

BRMEMC:  Michael attended: They’ve added 500 new meters since June 2019 and provide service to 5 counties; Plan to have broadband for those having no internet as a State initiative; promoting electric cars with an average power use of 450kWh per month; Pole charge fees to be discussed. Energy cost from the TVA= 7.9 c/kWh; Sold at 13.5c/kWh; January storm cost at $700k.

TCW&S Auth.; Planning Commission:  No reports.

Health Dept:  Larry attended: meeting 1/23/20.  They reviewed Environmental Reports, Nursing Report and Financial Reports. In the comments from the District Health Director the main disease issues in Georgia are Hepatitis A (903 GA cases), Flu (1019 in hospital, 31 deaths GA), and Measles (11 cases in GA, 1282 cases USA, highest in 10 years).  At the time of the meeting the coronavirus was not yet understood, and little information was available. The financials look good with a fund balance of $315,420, which is 9 months of operation funds. 

Other business

Nominating Committee: LaJean Turner and Larry Dietsch were appointed. Ben Lily will be asked to serve on this committee. Michael has been President for two years, so time for a new president with two new directors, all at June meeting. Jan & Joan volunteer to remain and be nominated as Secretary and Treasurer.

Other: The Membership is encouraged to participate in the “Meals of Hope” program on Saturday 14 March 2020 at 9 a.m. at the TC Recreation Center.

Adjournment: A motion was made to adjourn the meeting at 5 p.m.

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