City Council votes to allow alcohol sales on New Year’s Eve, a Sunday, Mary Ruth Cook sworn in, 2018 budget approved

News

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – The Blairsville City Council convened on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, for their December meeting at City Hall. Mayor Jim Conley, City Attorney David Barrett, City Clerk Kaye McCann and Council Members Rhonda Mahan, Betty Easter, Tony Dyer and Mary Ruth Cook were present. Buddy Moore was absent due to illness.

City Attorney David Barrett (L), Mayor Jim Conley (R)

Councilwoman Mary Ruth Cook

The Council voted unanimously to allow Blairsville restaurant establishments that hold alcohol licenses to sell alcohol on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, New Year’s Eve. The one-time relaxation of the Sunday restriction on alcohol sales at restaurants in the city of Blairsville will run from 11 a.m. Sunday until 2 a.m. Monday. This only applies to licensees who sell alcoholic beverages to be consumed on their premises. It does not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores and the like.

Barrett presided as Cook was sworn into office beginning her first term as a Blairsville City Council member. Cook is the sister of Martha Cone, who passed away last April, leaving the vacant seat that Cook won in November.

The Council unanimously approved the 2018 Blairsville city budget (Budget Summary). Dyer questioned whether the three percent cost-of-living salary increase was in the budget, to which he was answered in the positive. Comment was made by Dyer that the blossoming of the budget during his time in office is due to progress in Blairsville. Conley added that growth was a big factor as well.

Councilman Tony Dyer

The Council voted unanimously to grant all full-time employees a three percent pay increase based on current employee evaluations, as designated by the Mayor, to be effective as of Dec. 15, 2017.

Council members unanimously approved the annexation of 83 Conley Road, Blairsville, Georgia, Tract 070 028 Union County Records (13.15 acres). Approximately five acres of that tract will be purchased by Fellowship of the Hills Church for their new facility. The remaining acreage will accommodate an apartment project similar to the new Overlook Apartments completed this year behind the Butternut Creek Shopping Center.

Conley convened a public hearing and second reading of Alcohol Ordinance #2017-04. There were no public comments and no questions or comments from the Council. The new ordinance was unanimously approved by the Council.

Department head reports were as follows:

• Larry Stephens, superintendent of the water treatment plant, reported: the actuators are in place and working properly; meters are calibrated for this year; air compressor is fixed; the water storage tanks have been cleaned and inspected; and William Young, an employee, passed his Class II licensing exam. The Council unanimously approved a $1/hour increase in pay for Young.

• John Hamler, Blairsville Airport manager, reported: a new 32-inch flat screen had been installed at the new airport building, which now displays aviation fuel and oil prices and loops an informational video of the airport; the fire marshall will be on site on Dec. 21 to mark out the location of the new Jet-A fuel tank; the security cameras have been installed and will be operational in a day or two; the grounding crew for the Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) completed their work; the Blairsville Civil Air Patrol (CAP) held the swearing-in ceremony for their new commandant in the conference room of the new terminal building; the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) will have their Christmas Party at the new terminal building; and last, but not least, The Beach Boys flew into Blairsville Airport on Friday, Dec. 1, in a chartered jet for their performance at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee, Georgia. Hamler said the airport is staying busy (65 landings and takeoffs in one day about two weeks prior), and that he is now keeping a record of all air traffic, which will be turned into McCann monthly.

• Jody Cook, superintendent of the wastewater treatment plant, said, since his last report, everything was going well.

• Darren Harper, program manager for the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), reported that the next DDA meeting would be Tuesday, Dec. 12, from noon to 1 p.m. at City Hall. He said the Light Up the Square event, which included the Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 2, was a great success. He said the after-dark venue seemed to be a winner. He said the Light up the Square decorating contest is ongoing between eight merchants in the immediate vicinity of the Square. Harper said this is bringing people into the downtown area which, ultimately, brings in revenue for the merchants and the city alike. He named off the upcoming events planned for 2018: the Spring Arts & Crafts Music Festival on Memorial Day Weekend; Corner Concerts on the Square running from May through October; downtown Blairsville Outdoor Movie Nights, also May through October; Heritage Festival on Labor Day weekend; Hometown Halloween on the Square in October; and Light Up the Square in December. Harper asked the Mayor and Council if they might have some interest in hosting a Taste of Blairsville event in mid to late August in which all the restaurants would participate plus some from our region. Conley and the Council agreed that they would take it under consideration.

Tobie Chandler

Tobie Chandler, of the Blairsville/Union County Chamber of Commerce, addressed the Council regarding the instillation of a 12-by-25 digital billboard on the north side of Hwy. 515 between the Pat Haralson Drive overpass and United Community Bank. She said the sign could be used for a variety of things besides advertising, like time and temperature, driver alerts, weather alerts and such. She said that the Chamber would allow the city of Blairsville permanent space for the life of the billboard. The Council voted unanimously to allow the signage contingent upon approval by Barrett of the license or contract with Allison Outdoors.

Daniel Liberatore, owner/operator of the Blairsville Chick-fil-A, addressed the Council regarding the recent city-wide boil-water alert that lasted several days and caused his restaurant to be shut down from Monday until Thursday of the previous week. Liberatore urged the Council to institute a more timely system of notification of such alerts. Dyer said that the city did “drop the ball” by not following protocol and apologized to Liberatore, but, he said, there is a protocol in place. Conley said there will be some changes to streamline the protocol. He also said that the city of Blairsville has offered to reimburse Blairsville businesses for the cost of water, ice and sodas that were purchased for their continuity of operations during the alert.

There was lengthly discussion concerning various ways of alerting Blairsville and Union County citizens of emergencies like the recent boil-water alert. Barrett suggested that Notla Water send out a request in billing statements that customers provide their phone numbers for emergency notification purposes. It was agreed that the City would announce via newspaper, radio and Internet that citizens can sign up for alerts from Blairsville by providing their phone numbers. This would be voluntary and not infringe on anyone’s privacy.

Blairsville Alcohol License renewals for 2018 were unanimously approved by the Council contingent upon their state of Georgia license renewals being issued.

Conley recited a resolution for the award of a contract to the low bidder, Townley Construction Co. Inc., 24 Laina Bennett Road, Dawsonville, GA 30534, for the Cook Street Water Project for the base amount of $142,660.25. The Council unanimously approved.

The mayor reviewed a letter from Union County Fire Chief and EMA Director David Dyer to the city of Blairsville inviting the city to participate in updating the multi-jurisdictional mitigation plan by providing available staff to assist with local fund requirements. Conley summed up the letter by saying that Dyer is requesting the city provide personnel to attend their planning meetings. The Council voted unanimously to approve city participation.

The Truck Ordinance was mentioned but is still a work in progress.

An Occupational Tax Certificate Application was approved for KTP Insurance, dba Bill Potts Insurance, 281 E. Young Harris St., Cheli Collins, owner.

A sign permit application was approved for Rustic Mountain Décor, 38 Merchants Walk, Suite D, James C. McEldowney, owner.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com.

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Christmas cheer fills the air again in Blairsville

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BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – The 2017 Blairsville Christmas Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade took place this past Saturday evening, Dec. 2, 2017, around the Blairsville Square under an almost-full moon. The weather cooperated beautifully with just a few clouds and temperatures in the low sixties.

Downtown Blairsville businesses and restaurants kept their doors open for the event to serve Christmas revelers. Well over a thousand people, about half of them children and many with their pets, gathered around the Square for the event.

The Blairsville Christmas Parade was typical of small town parades in rural America. Santa Claus was in full swing. Blairsville Mayor Jim Conley and Union County Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris appeared. The Union County Sheriff’s Department and Union County Fire Department participated along with the Union County High School Marching Band and the Woody Gap Band of Steel. The Blairsville Cruisers made a good showing with their vintage cars, though one of them, a 1957 Thunderbird, had a bit of a mishap. Several floats depicted various Christmas themes. And everyone in the parade threw candy to the kids in the crowd.

 

As with all other public celebration events in Blairsville, this year’s Tree Lighting and Christmas Parade was good, wholesome fun for everyone, especially the kids.

 

 

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com.

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Union County Schools Superintendent to retire

News, Update

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Dr. Fred H. Rayfield Jr., superintendent of Union County Schools, tendered his retirement request to the Union County Board of Education (UCBOE) on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. The UCBOE accepted his request. Dr. Rayfield will officially retire as of June 30, 2018.

FetchYourNews.com will have updates as they become available.

Update:

FetchYourNews has obtained a copy of Dr. Rayfield’s Public Statement regarding his request for retirement. Please see picture.

The Union County Board of Education will now begin the process of searching for a replacement.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com.

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Paris says Wal-Mart intersection still problematic

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BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – Union County Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris convened the November Commissioner’s Meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 at the Union County Courthouse.

Paris said in his Commissioner’s Comments that some Wal-Mart patrons are trying to defeat the blocked left turn at the lower Wal-Mart exit on Hwy. 515 in an effort to avoid making the U-turn at the intersection of Hwy. 515 and Kiutuestia Creek Road (K-Rd), even though a concrete curb has been installed and road markers are in place directing them to the right. The gallery agreed that this is not only inconsiderate of and dangerous for the drivers attempting to avoid the U-turn, but also a major hazard for unsuspecting traffic traveling east on Hwy. 515 to Blairsville. Also mentioned were the hazards of people driving while distracted with cell phones. Paris said plans are in place to rework the K-Rd./Hwy. 515 intersection because of this and because of the limited turning area for semi-trucks leaving Wal-Mart and attempting to make the same U-turn. Wal-Mart patrons leaving the store and wanting to travel to Blairsville are urged to use the K-Rd. exit.

The commissioner explained the purchase of 1.784 acres of land behind the Union County Fire Department Station 1/Headquarters Building on Shoe Factory Road. Paris said this involved a limited warranty deed between Union County and the Union County Development Authority and was the culmination of a property line problem that has existed since before he took office in 2001. He said a corner of the fire station had encroached over the property line when it was originally built and, after many years of attempting to correct the problem, was finally resolved with the purchase of Tract 2 (0.860 acre) and Tract 3 (0.924 acre) for a total cost of $33,344.40 (see aerial map and video).

Paris approved the Notice of Award and Contract to Stahlman-England Irrigation, Inc. for the Butternut Creek Golf Course irrigation upgrades at a price of $636,000. Paris said the irrigation would significantly improve the look and health of Butternut Creek Golf Course, as is evidenced by the increased rainfall over the last two years. He said two other companies bid on the job and Stahlman-England came in lowest.

The commissioner approved an agreement between Union County and the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) for the period July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018, in the amount of $30,960. The Agreement calls for Union County to bear 50 percent of Union County Transportation costs. GDOT will pay the other half. Paris said the county runs two buses for the benefit of those who do not have their own transportation.

Paris approved a contract between Union County and Paragon Consulting Group, Inc. in the amount of $75,000 to provide pavement condition assessment on all Union County roads. Paragon, he said, will provide Union County with the ability to more accurately prioritize road maintenance.

Paris declared October 24, 2017, “World Polio Day” and encouraged all citizens to join him and Rotary International in the fight for a polio-free world.

The commissioner approved the 2018 schedule of county meetings which are as follows: Jan. 18, Feb. 15, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21, July 19, Aug. 16, Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15 and Dec. 20.

Paris approved the following two Union County Business Licenses:

  • Mountain Escapes Property Management, Inc. at 319 Chicory Drive E
  • Mountain View Bed & Breakfast at 261 Track Rock Gap Road

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com.

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Union County Schools, VSO’s Honor American Veterans

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American Veterans

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – Students from all of Union County’s Schools, parents, teachers, Union County residents and guests gathered at the UCHS Mike Colwell Memorial Football Stadium to honor American Military Veterans on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The program was hosted by UCS students and local Veterans Service Organizations (VSO’s). (Featured picture: Missing Man Table)

Union County Schools Choir and Band

The UCHS Choir and Band came together for the National Anthem, America The Beautiful, Amazing Grace and many more patriotic and heartfelt renditions. The choir even featured Kelly Helton’s sign language class that signs for the deaf.

Civil Air Patrol Color Guard

Madelyn Hood, graduating UCHS senior, was MC for the event. John ‘Buddy’ Viera, Union County FFA Member, Panther football team member and graduating UCHS senior, was the guest speaker who delivered a most honorable message to the veterans, students and guests gathered on the field and in the bleachers.

Union County Schools Students, teachers, guests.

Three Union County veterans were given quilts handcrafted by Quilts of Valor in appreciation for their military service. Sgt. Adam Kish of the Georgia Army National Guard explained the meaning of the Missing Man Table. The Army National Guard Honors Platoon provided the nine-gun salute.

Union County is a very fortunate, very blessed community to be home to such gifted, upright and worthy young people who can show their respect for our American veterans without reservation and who realize, as Buddy Viera said in his address, “Freedom is not free”.

God bless all American veterans this day and every day. Thank you for your service.

Please see the video for the entire event.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com.

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Alcohol Ordinance Violation Resolved; City Council Talks Annexation, De-annexation

News

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – The Blairsville City Council convened on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, for their monthly meeting, one day early this month in anticipation of the Nov. 7 local election. Mayor Jim Conley and all council members were present as were City Attorney David Barrett and City Clerk Kaye McCann.

The Georgia ATF Agency, during the latter part of October 2017, sent an underage person into The Wine Shoppe in Blairsville to buy alcohol. The clerk made the sale to the minor in violation of Georgia State Law and the Blairsville Alcohol Ordinance. The Wine Shoppe was closed down, and local and state licenses to operate the business were confiscated. William McGlamery, owner and license holder of The Wine Shoppe, addressed Mayor Conley and the Council following a statement by Blairsville Police Lieutenant Rusty Walker that all restitution had been made in connection with the Alcohol Ordinance violation. McGlamery expressed deep regret and took full responsibility as the owner of the establishment for the violation, even though he was not present at The Wine Shoppe when the violation occurred. McGlamery was fined $150 (first time violation), his licenses were returned and The Wine Shoppe was allowed to reopen the following day. (See video for McGlamery’s full statement.)

Paul Thompson and Bo Conley requested that an approximate 13-acre tract of land adjacent to the Butternut Golf Course on the south side of Pat Haralson Road near the Sawmill Restaurant be annexed into the city of Blairsville. Thompson and Conley never stated why they were making this request, but speculation is that they want access to Blairsville Water and Sewer services. City Attorney Barrett informed Thompson and Conley that they would need to make their request in writing and to include plat maps with their request. (See video  for discussion.)

City Attorney David Barrett (L), Mayor Jim Conley (R)

A motion was made by Councilman Buddy Moore, seconded by Councilwoman Rhonda Mahan with Moore, Mahan and Councilwoman Betty Easter voting yea and Councilman Tony Dyer voting nay to approve a resolution urging the Georgia General Assembly to oppose De-annexation Legislation to Create New Municipalities. Developers of Eagles Landing want to de-annex a large part of the city of Stockbridge, Georgia, (Henry County) for their development. Neither the governing body  nor the voters of the existing municipality, Stockbridge, Georgia, have consented to this legislation. This resolution supports the governing body and voters of Stockbridge and opposes forced de-annexation of Stockbridge or any other municipality in the state of Georgia. (See video for discussion.)

The Blairsville Airport will be getting a new 5 MP security camera surveillance system. Mahan stated that she had observed both the 3 MP (megapixel) and the 5 MP systems and the 5 MP system had significantly better resolution. Kristian Burks, installer of the system, said the 5 MP system comes with 4 terabytes of memory, which would cover about two months. The cost of the system is $8,195. Motion to approve was unanimous. (See video for discussion.)

The Blairsville Airport will also be getting a new 12,000 gallon Jet-A fuel tank. Airport Manager John Hamler described an elevated need for another Jet-A fuel tank, citing increased jet traffic which is driving higher fuel sales sufficient to warrant the tank’s purchase and installation. Motion was made by Easter, seconded by Mahan, to accept a bid from Charles Nobles in the amount of $151,000 for the tank and a proposal from Laney Construction in the amount of $7,600 to construct a concrete pad for the tank to rest on. The motion was unanimously approved. (See video for discussion.)

W. C. Nelson, co-owner of a building (rental property) in downtown Blairsville at 126 Blue Ridge Street, requested that the Council grandfather the building in prior to the September 1988 Water Sewer Ordinance requiring each unit of a building to have separate meters. Nelson said the building was built prior to the passage of the ordinance. He said the sale of the building hinges on this because of the cost to comply. Motion was made by Dyer, seconded by Mahan and Easter with Moore voting nay to approve Nelson’s request. (See video for discussion.)

Conley opened a public hearing for the First Reading of Alcohol Ordinance 2017-04 to amend Ordinance 2017-03. Mitch Griggs asked what the changes were and Conley read the proposed changes to the ordinance. There were no other public comments. Conley then declared the First Reading done and closed the hearing. When queried for questions from the Council, Dyer asked for clarification of the Special Event License change. Copies of the proposed Ordinance may be requested from Blairsville City Hall.

Motion to approve a new sign for the Old Blairsville Cemetery in the amount of $2,700 was unanimously approved.

Motion to approve the hiring of part-time airport employee Justin Alexander at the rate of $12 per hour was unanimously approved.

The 2018 Occupational Tax Certificate Renewals were unanimously approved as a whole.

Truck Ordinance is still a work in progress.

Department Head Reports were as follows:
• Police Chief Johnny Carroll distributed the October Blairsville PD report and commented that there was an increase in fender-bender type accidents, mainly in parking lots.
• Waste Water Treatment Plant Manager Jody Cook reported that the North Georgia (NGTC) Lift Station repairs are completed and the SBR pump is operational.
• Downtown Development Authority Manager Darren Harper distributed the DDA report and reported that the Fall Festival on the Square was a big success. No activities are planned for November, he said, but December is right around the corner.
• Airport Manager John Hamler reported significantly increased Jet-A fuel sales along with a significant increase in jet traffic. He said the new terminal building is working out well. Hamler then introduced Storman Glass, the new Assistant Airport Manager who took Chris Dyer’s place.

The following Sign Permit Applications were unanimously approved:
• South State Bank, 458 Hwy. 515 East, Josh Intoppa/Signart, Applicant
• Seasons Inn Motel & Plaza, 94 Town Square, Unit N, Chris and Colleen Urbaniuk
• Hayes Appliance, 94L Town Square, Michael Hayes, Owner
• Made with Love Marketplace, 94L Town Square, Angela Hayes, Owner

The following Occupational Tax Certificate and Sign Permit Applications were approved:
• Paci’s Brooklyn Pizza, 417H Blue Ridge Street, Salvatore Paci, Owner
• Dovetail Historic Restorations LLC/Dovetail Roofing, 160 Rogers Street, Scott Glosson, Owner

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com.

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UCBOE Gets Schooled on ESPLOST Renewal Process

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Elena Griggs

Blairsville, GA – The Union County Board of Education (UCBOE) convened for their October Workshop and Meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the UCBOE Building in Blairsville, Georgia. Union County Schools (UCS) Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield and all Board Members were present.

The sole Discussion Item on the Workshop Agenda was an Overview of the ESPLOST (Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) Renewal Process. Gabe Agan and Todd Barnes, Associates with Raymond James (financial advisors), addressed the Board. Agan explained the renewal process bond issues, based on historical data, in terms of the estimated future financial position of UCS (please see video for the full presentation). Dr. Rayfield advised the Board to consider the possibility of a bond issue (incursion of debt) as an emergency measure, in light of the fact that UCS currently practices ‘Pay-As-You-Go’. He said he felt it would be wise to have the authorization language included in the referendum to be used strictly as an option. Agan said that putting a bond issue on the May 22, 2018 ballot, if it passes, does not obligate the Board to issue bonds. The Board indicated they would take this under advisement and thanked Agan for his presentation.

Student 4-H Board and Representatives

In other UCBOE news, Timothy Jennings, head of the Union County Extension 4-H in Blairsville, introduced senior members and staff from the UGA Extension Office. He then presented the Student 4-H Board. Elena Griggs, President of the 4-H Board, gave a presentation on what 4-H does in the community and a short description of after-school 4-H programs.

Sheriff Mack Mason (L), Dr. Fred Rayfield (R)

 

Dr. Rayfield presented Sheriff Mack Mason with the 2017 Partner in Education Award.

Dr. Rayfield recommended that the Board approve the June, July, and August 2017 Financial Reports. The reports were unanimously approved.

Following an Executive Session, the Board approved all new personnel recommendations.

With no further business to conduct, the Meeting adjourned.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com.

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Sorghum Festival Attracts Thousands

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Blairsville, GA – Over a period of two weekends, Oct. 14 & 15, and Oct. 21 & 22, the Sorghum Festival, held at Meeks Park in Union County, GA, just west of Blairsville, attracted thousands of people from as far away as California and Arizona. According to Sorghum Festival Treasurer Kim Bridges, over 10,000 people visited the Sorghum Festival this year. She said Saturday Oct. 14 was a record day for visitors.

Several bands played music throughout the four days of the Festival. There was abundant food, children’s games and arts and crafts of all sorts to entice customers. Not only did visitors come from all over the country; so did vendors and craftsmen.

The weather held for the duration of the event… just. The last day of the Festival was mostly clear and topped out at a temperature of about 70 degrees F (21 C). The next day there was over 1 1/2 inches of rain (3.81 cm).

Bridges said the purpose of the Festival is to raise money for several local causes, both yearly and one-off. Money raised from ticket sales and vendor fees, after expenses, goes to fund the Ball Scholarship at Union County High School (UCHS) as well as individual UCHS scholarships; donations to Union County Family Connection; the purchase of firewood for families that need it during the winter months in Union County; the care of needy families in Union County, the purchase of candy for kids to bring when visiting local nursing homes for Halloween and donations to other civic groups that service the Blairsville/Union County community.

The Sorghum Festival is a really fun time for both children and adults. See ya’ there next year!

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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