TOWNS COUNTY CIVIC ASSOCIATION
Board Meeting Minutes
November 11, 2020 3 p.m.
Hiawassee United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall
1.Opening Remarks: Michael welcomed all to the meeting and thanked Joan and HUMC for the use of their fellowship hall. He also welcomed Herb Bruce, former Board member, and Grace Howard, Executive Director of Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge, Inc.
Grace asked us to support the 501(c)3 Board of Hamilton Gardens in their effort to obtain an agreement with the County ( Hamilton Gardens is a Towns County Park Property) by sending individual letters to the Commissioner about the importance of the Gardens. She will send information suggestions for the communication to the Commissioner. LaJean made a motion to this effect; seconded and passed.
Present: Michael Courey, Joan Crothers, Anna Denton, Larry Dietsch, LaJean Turner, Sue Astley, David Best. Excused: David Tinsley.
Guests: Herb Bruce, Grace Howard.
2. Secretary’s Report: Larrymade a motion to accept the Minutes of 10/8/20; seconded and passed.
3. Treasurer’s Report: Larry gave a balance as of 10/30/20 of $4,168.20 which includes 60 new memberships fees. New deposits bring balance as of this date to $4,229.80.
4. Membership Report: Anna’s report shows 116 individual members which represents 65 households, as of this date, up from 85/46 in September. Also 7 corporate/HOA Members, up from 3. She also passed out details on a proposed Corporate Membership Program. She was asked to construct a brochure with an application form on it and it was agreed that a fair membership fee would be $35.
Sue made a motion to establish a Corporate Membership section in our By-Laws; seconded and passed.
A quarterly newsletter to the general membership was discussed and Sue will draft one for approval to be sent in January. Larry made a motion to do this; seconded and passed.
5. Old Business
a. Web Site Update: Jan and David Best did get together to work on the website before Jan left town. David will continue to see what he can accomplish. TCCA has $200/yr. budgeted for this. Larry will reimburse Jan for the amount she spent on the web site.
b. Association Direction: Drug abuse in the County— After the Sheriff returns from training, Michael and Anna will schedule a meeting with him and Commissioner Bradshaw to address the community drug problem, especially getting students involved in a program they help conduct. Larry inquired as to a drug program at the T.C. Health Dept. That is not an activity they participate with. There seems not to be a County function which addresses the drugs of abuse issue.
c. Sign Ordinance compliance: Tabled. Will be addressed upon the return of Dave Tinsley. Perhaps in January 2021.
d. Bell Mtn. Road: The Commissioner plans to correct certain roadway conditions, but not enough to suit homeowners on Shake Rag up to Bell Mtn. Park. County mitigation of the safety/community concerns to follow.
6. New Business
a. Jan. 2021 Membership Meeting: The January Association assembly meeting is still not permitted at this time.
b. Donations: David Best will present to Callie Moore in February 2021 for the $100 MountainTrue donation from TCCA.
Page 2, TCCA Minutes 11/11/2020
c. Service Expo: Rescheduled for March 2021.
d. GA Mtn. Fair Authority Annual Mtg.: Michael attended. They reported that the campsites have done well this year. They have paid off a $343k loan during the last 3 years while remaining financially sound; their loans are secured by the Fairgrounds property via TVA. Michael suggested they advertise their annual meeting in the paper so the public would know they could attend.
e. Joint Dev. Authority (JDA): They are currently focusing on affordable housing and increasing light industry/work force for the county.
7. Committee Assignments:
a. City of Hiawassee – Joan and LaJean reported that Hiawassee has been designated as a Rural Zone by Dept. of Community Affairs. This provides investors w/tax credit for employment, purchase and rehabilitation of buildings. 9 businesses paid the $2500 fee for alcohol licenses; the second reading of the Alcohol (Spirits) Ordinance was tabled; T.C.Water & Sewer Authority settlement is still in progress.
b. City of Y.H.- Anna reported that the last meeting was on Zoom. Mayor is upset about their water meters currently using Windows 7&8 which will not working with their software. They will further address this issue at a 11/17/20 meeting.
c. Commissioner-Joan: 10/20/20 meeting. Covid infections have decreased in the County; New Hwy. 66 Fire Station#2 opened which will have a helipad; 2 battery-operated stretchers will be obtained; County Financial status remains sound due to an active tourism season; The ad valorem millage tax rate will not be raised; Towns County has a new and state of the art 911 system. Director Marty Roberts has been appointed to the State Next Generation 911program. Several Shake Rag Rd. residents voiced their concerns over safety conditions on the road up to Bell Mtn. Park. Catherine Luckenbach-Henson’s dog was recently killed. County mitigation is pending.
d. T.C. Water Authority: No report.
e. Chamber: LaJean will determine if we can use their mailing list for membership purposes. The County is doing well on filling rentals during the tourist season. There were 550+ at the Halloween drive-thru at Rec. Center. Made in GA is scheduled for June, 2021.
f. CVB-David Best: He reported that they seem to be doing their due diligence at following State statutes. They want heads in beds for the money they give out; Grant funds may not be used for internet; however, they use the tax revenue for the same. Seems contradictory.
g. BRMEMC- No report.
h. Co. Planning Commission: No report.
i. Health Dept-Larry: At the 10/22/20 teleconference a new director for Dist. 2 Public Health, Dr. Zachary Taylor, was introduced. Covid cases in our nursing home now under control. They recommend everyone gets a flu shot. Towns had one case of rabies. Financials look good. Next meeting is1/21/21.
8. Other Business:
Transfer Station: David Best passed around some pictures taken at the Transfer Station, causing his concern. Joan said she talked to Steve Youngblood, who is in charge of the transfer station. The County receives funding for the transfer to the waste site. Operational improvements could be made; however, specific recommendations need to be identified.
9. Adjournment: There being no further business, a motion to adjourn was made.
Next Meeting: Michael will check on the Civic Center for the 10/10/20 meeting.