Commissioner Paris: ‘It could have been so much worse!’

News

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – Union County Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris convened the January commissioner’s meeting Jan. 18, 2018, at 6 p.m. at the Union County Courthouse.

Union County Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris

In his commissioner’s comments, Paris, referring to the winter weather and extremely low temperatures that plagued Union County this week, said, “As difficult as this has been, it could have been so much worse”. Paris said, incredulously, there was not one structure fire (only a very few chimney fires) and there were a great many automobile mishaps, but no serious injuries associated with any of them.

The commissioner recognized and thanked the Blairsville City and Union County agencies and their personnel that braved the snow and cold: the Blairsville Police Department, Union County Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and Union County Road Department. Paris said there was one hiker up on the Appalachian Trail in Suches that called in at approximately 3 a.m. Wednesday morning requesting assistance. He was told, said Paris, since it was not a life or death emergency, to either shelter in place or that a team would meet him at the trail exit. The hiker managed to find his way out on Wednesday morning, Paris said.

Paris approved Resolution R-2018-01 setting the qualifying fees for the 2018 Election as required by the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) 21-2-131. That fee, he said, is set at $108 per candidate. Paris said the only seats up for election in May are three Union County Board of Education seats.

The commissioner approved Resolution R-2018-02 amending the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia 401 (a) Defined Contribution Plan for Union County Employees. As discussed in the July 2017 commissioner’s meeting, this amendment increases the matching percentage the county pays out to employees who participate in the 401 (a)/ 457 (b) employee savings program (similar to a 401 (k)). This plan will go into effect in February 2018. A defined contribution plan limits any liability to Union County for future retirement benefits, as opposed to a defined benefit program, which does entail future liability.

Paris approved a Shared Well Water and Easement Agreement between Rachel L. Hancock, Worley E. Scogin (by Rebecca J. Scogin), and Rebecca J. Scogin for access to a well located on Union County property. There will be no cost to either party, said Paris. The property, he said, is located at Union County Fire Station 12 in Choestoe on Highway 180. Paris said a verbal agreement had existed for years and this written Agreement makes it official.

A business license for Cathy Brackett Rental was approved by Paris.

 

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.

Author

Union County Board of Education approves Hill to succeed Dr. Rayfield, ESPLOST Resolution

News

Dr. Fred Rayfield

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – The Union County Board of Education (UCBOE) convened for their January workshop and meeting at the Board of Education (BOE) building on Jan. 16, 2018, at 6 p.m. All board members were present as was Union County School (UCS) Superintendent Dr. Fred Rayfield.

John Hill

BOE Chairwoman Cynthia Odom addressed the board describing the search process implemented since Rayfield’s retirement was announced in November 2017. Odom said, out of several qualified candidates considered, John Hill, who is already familiar with the intricacies of the Union County School System, was considered by all involved to be the best choice. Odom asked for a motion to approve Hill to succeed Rayfield as UCS superintendent on July 1, 2018. The motion was made, seconded and unanimously approved.

Cory Kirby

Immediately following the approved motion, Hill’s Superintendent Employment Contract was approved and signed by Hill and each board member.

Cory Kirby, of Harben, Hartley and Hawkins, legal counsel for UCS, addressed the board regarding the Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) resolution and ballot question. Kirby reviewed the parameters of ESPLOST V, which had already been discussed and agreed upon by the board. Kirby recited the parameters: five-year term, $21 million cap, and project itemization as discussed in the November 2017 BOE meeting of only maintenance, upgrades and upkeep tasks to keep UCS a smooth running, state-of-the-art facility. Ten more new buses over the next five years were also listed as a result of the past deficiency over the last 10 to 15 years in keeping the bus fleet up to date. Along with the resolution to put the continuation of the 1 percent sales and use tax (ESPLOST) in Union County on the May 2018 ballot was the question of whether to include language authorizing the board to approve the issuance of up to $13.5 million in bonds in the event of a dire emergency or catastrophe. Rayfield recommended the resolution with the ballot question as submitted. A motion made to approve the ESPLOST resolution as submitted was unanimously approved.

Dr. Rayfield, left, and Timothy Jennings.

Larry Garrett, left, and Union County Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris.

Partner in Education awards were presented to Union County and to the Union County Co-Op Extension. Union County Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris and Union County Manager Larry Garrett accepted the Award for Union County. Timothy Jennings accepted the Award for the Union County Co-Op Extension, which is part of the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environment.

Due to what Rayfield referred to as the “Trifecta of Events”, that is, an eclipse, a hurricane and a winter storm, which kept students out of school for more days than planned for, he recommended that the 2017-2018 school calendar be revised to make Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, a make-up day to get back on track. The superintendent also recommended that the board accept the 2018-2019 school calendar as submitted, which allows for the maximum number of weather days. Rayfield said next year’s calendar is very similar to that of this year. The board unanimously approved both recommendations.

Rayfield recommended that the board approve the November 2017 financial report. The board unanimously approved the report.

Megan Hayes’ petition for early graduation, submitted by Casey Jones and signed off on by Rayfield and Hill, was unanimously approved.

An alternate board training date of Jan. 30, 2018, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. was unanimously approved.

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.

Author

Union County Schools will be closed on Friday, Jan. 19

News, Update

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – Union County Schools will be closed again on Friday to both students and staff because of hazardous road conditions on secondary roads. The only major road that remains closed in Union County is the Richard Russell Scenic Parkway. However, there are many secondary mountain roads that remain dangerous because extremely low temperatures have not enabled the ice formed from the light snow last Tuesday night and Wednesday morning to melt completely. What did melt will again become slick overnight Thursday into Friday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a Special Statement.

 

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.

Author

Union County Schools closed Thursday, Jan. 18

Announcements, News, Update

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Update – The Richard Russell Scenic Highway is the only road in Union County that was closed due to weather. It remains closed. FetchYourNews.com will update when this road is reopened.

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Union County Schools will be closed again on Thursday, Jan. 18, due to hazardous road conditions, extremely low temperatures and the state of emergency issued by Gov. Nathan Deal. Government offices and businesses will be opening late on Thursday in Blairsville because of concerns about driver safety due to the probability of black ice on roadways in the early morning hours. Blairsville was brought to a standstill on Wednesday due to the weather. Some lesser traveled roads were, and still are, iced over, making travel extremely dangerous. Here is the latest updated National Weather Service weather advisory.

 

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.

Author

Union County Schools closed Wednesday, Jan. 17

Announcements

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – Due to inclement weather, Union County Schools will be closed on Wednesday, Jan. 17. At approximately 8 p.m. Tuesday, snow was observed in Blairsville and the northern part of Union County. Several places on Pat Colwell Road and Hwy. 325 were very slick, and Hedgecock Road was almost impassible because of ice. It is likely several roads in the county will become impassible overnight if the National Weather Service prediction of below zero wind chill temperatures occur.

 

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.

Author

Be advised: Blairsville/Union County in for more frigid cold weather

News, Update

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Update: As of 8:00 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12, Weather Underground (WU) is predicting a significant drop in temperature beginning about 3 p.m. The low Saturday morning is predicted to be 22 degrees. This, according to WU, will kick off another week of deep freeze weather for Union County. Lows mid-week are predicted to be in the single digits. Act accordingly.

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – Update: As of 10:17 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, weather forecasts are now calling for rain on Thursday, Jan. 11, and Friday, Jan. 12. Temperatures will drop off overnight Friday night to between 25 and 30 degrees Saturday morning. There is the possibility at this time of snow early Saturday. See Weather Underground and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for current forecasts. Weather Underground, owned by Weather Channel, has spotters and private weather stations in every north Georgia county, whereas the closest official NOAA station is at the Murphy, North Carolina, airport. (NOAA does have private spotters in north Georgia.) This accounts, in part, for the differences in their weather forecasts for zip code 30512.

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – According to Weather Underground, at 9:29 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, another winter storm is on the way. Temperatures are expected to drop overnight Friday night, January 12, into the mid-twenties beginning another week of low temperatures in the teens and twenties and highs in the thirties and low forties.

The forecast from NOAA also warns of an approaching winter storm but with less dramatic temperature drops.

With the drop in temperatures, the storm front will bring rain possibly tomorrow, Jan. 11, Friday, Jan. 12, and, especially, Saturday, Jan. 13. Given the possible temperature drops, ice may be a concern.

Make sure your pipes and pets are covered. Plans for a hiking trip into the north Georgia mountains this weekend and next week would probably not be a good idea. Above all, drive with care.

 

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.

Author

Union County Schools, government offices closed Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 for inclement weather

News

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. –  Union County Schools will be closed on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018, because of the possibility of freezing rain and sleet.

Governor Nathan Deal has declared non-essential government offices closed in the state of Georgia; therefore, the Union County Courthouse and other non-essential government offices in Union County will be closed on Monday per the Union County Fire/Rescue Facebook page.

Along with the recent extreme low temperatures in Union County that brought in the new year, humidity has dropped causing the area to dry up. The resulting dryness in the area has significantly increased fire danger. Use extreme caution when burning trash, dumping fireplace coals, and the like.

National Weather Service warning.

FetchYourNews.com will keep updates posted as they appear.

 

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.

Author

Union County Tax Assessor’s office reports banner year for building permits

News

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga. – Susie Phillips, Union County chief appraiser and chairwoman of the Board of Assessors, convened the December meeting of the UCBOA on Dec. 27, 2017, at 1 p.m. at the county courthouse. Board Members Jack Parker and Jeff Carlin were present as was Amy Arrowood as secretary.

Parker requested a summary of building permits issued during 2017 at the Nov. 29 meeting. Arrowood presented the report, which stated that, through November of 2017, 162 housing permits (142 custom/20 spec) had been issued. According to the report, this is 19 more housing permits than were issued in 2016 (132 custom/11 spec) and that does not include December 2017 activity. Also included in the January to November 2017 summary were 16 mobile home permits and 24 commercial permits.

Union County Board of Tax Assessors L-R: Jeff Carlin, Jack Parker, Susie Phillips, Asst. Chief Appraiser Jackie Chatham at the November 2017 UCBOA Meeting.

The report summarized building permit activity in Union County month by month back to 2002. Across the board, activity dropped off significantly in 2007 when the mortgage-backed security crisis and government-mandated relaxed mortgage lending guidelines caused near-Depression Era conditions in the United States. The report stated November 2017 activity was the highest in Union County since November 2006, as was evidenced by the supplementary spreadsheet.

Union County Tax Assessor’s Budget

In other business, Phillips informed the Board that the 2018 Union County budget had been approved by Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris, which included the Budget for the Union County Tax Assessor’s office. Phillips presented copies of the tax assessors’ budget to Parker and Carlin. Phillips stated that, beginning in January 2018, there would be monthly budget meetings, as requested by Laura Driskell, Union County director of finance, to more closely monitor activity affecting the budget.

Phillips asked for approval of the of the Union County 2018 Mobile Home Pre-Bill Digest values. The digest showed a fair market value (FMV) of mobile homes in Union County of $18,969,292. The Board approved the digest values. Phillips also asked for approval of the ACO summary (account corrections or errors and releases). The ACO summary was approved.

The tax assessor’s office has recently been considering a re-evaluation of real property in Union County. Phillips stated in the November 2017 UCBOA meeting that she had observed houses selling in Union County for significantly more money than what they are valued at in the tax schedules. She said that a proposal for re-evaluation was submitted during the week of Nov. 12, but Paris declined the proposal because he felt the price was too high. She said Gregg Reese, who submitted the proposal, had submitted another proposal which was still under review in the commissioner’s office. Phillips said she was going to set up a meeting with Paris and the UCBOA in January 2018 after the Christmas season was over. The plan, she said, is for Reese and Union County appraiser Larry Harkins to randomly check over 100 properties in Union County (land and buildings).

The next meeting of the UCBOA will be on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.

 

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.

Author

FetchYourNews.com - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

News - Videos - TV - Marketing - Website Design - Commercial Production - Consultation

Search

FetchYourNews.com - Citizen Journalists - A place to share “Your” work. Send us “Your” information or tips - 706.276.NEWs (6397) 706.889.9700 chief@FetchYourNews.com

Back to Top