Blairsville, Ga – Commissioner Lamar Paris approved the contract with BM&K Construction to build the new Union County Recreation Center.
The facility will include a double gym and will be located next to the Health Department. Construction on the recreation center should be completed by March 10, 2020. The contracted amount for the facility is $3,320,00.00
“It’s going to be a beautiful facility, and the contractor should start right away. We’re excited about that,” said Commissioner Lamar Paris.
Also, the new entrance to the Farmer’s Market will be opening soon, hopefully by the June 1 opening of the Farmer’s Market. The pavements complete, and striping still needs to be finished.
“Department of Transportation has to come and make the three-way light a four-way light at the by-pass intersection and 515, explained Paris, “They’ve assured us that they will let us know that they thought with a two-week notice that they can get it done.”
Additionally, the county approved a resolution to reapply for a non-operational Army Tank through the Army Tank Automotive and Armaments Command for display at the Leon Davenport’s Building. It’s the third time that the county has applied for a tank.
“We’ve been totally frustrated for five years solid, and the gentleman who started the process just died a few months ago. We’re very sad about that and we’re trying to increase our efforts, go our congressman and maybe go down to the army depot to find out why we’re not being considered for a tank,” said Paris.
Blairsville, Ga – Proposed gun range on Hwy. 180 close to moving ahead in the process if the final public hearing on May 30 goes well.
The May 30 public hearing will take place at the Civic Center at 6:00 p.m. and will be the last required hearing for the public to attend and voice concerns about the new gun range.
“We’re making steady progress on the gun range on Hwy. 180,” said Commissioner Lamar Paris, “Similar to the range in Towns County, but much better and much different range. We’re now going through the process with the Forest Service, and they’re conducting their environmental studies.”
The Forest Service wants a third public hearing to ensure that the public has ample opportunity to come forward to learn about the project.
Blue Ridge District Manager for the Forest Service Andy Baker and Union County Sheriff Mack Mason will direct the meeting. They will give their presentation and field any questions attendees might have about the gun range.
After this hearing, the public can file questions with the Commissioner’s Office and the Blue Ridge Forestry service.
“Sheriff Mason’s been the park behind the gun club, getting it organized, finding a sufficient property, and working with the Forest Service. All the tests out there have been positive so far, said Paris.
Another public hearing will be held on May 23 at 4:30 at the Union County Courthouse about transferring the surplus property on Hwy. 515. This property was originally purchased for a shotgun range, but environmental studies and growth of residential property has deemed it unsuitable. The hearing will discuss transferring the property to the development authority because the county can’t sell it.
Blairsville, Ga – Missing 5-year-old autistic child found by neighbor and deputy at 7:07 p.m. in a wooded area near Hwy. 180.
“A nearby neighbor and Deputy Josh Bridges found Brett in a wooded area near the house almost simultaneously,” stated Deputy Daren Osborne, “Once found, he was taken to be examined by medical services and his parents were notified.”
Union County Sheriff’s Office led an exhaustive search for the little boy, who wandered away from home sometime between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Brett was last seen asleep in his bed by his father when he left for work. The boy’s mother went to look in on Brett at 11 a.m., and the child had disappeared.
Brett normally sleeps for two hours at a time and then wakes up because autistic children commonly experience chronic sleep problems.
The parents conducted a search of their own before calling the authorities at 1:18 p.m. Upon arrival, Deputies thoroughly searched the house. After, they set up a command center on Hwy. 180 and started canvassing the surrounding area.
The Sheriff’s Office also contacted A Child Missing Foundation immediately after the report came in, and the organization started calling neighbors to ask if they had seen Brett and to search around their homes.
Union County School Board alerted the community with a robocall.
“People also called wanting to volunteer, but we wanted our specialized units to have the first look through the area,” said Osborne.
K-9 Units from Union County Schools Police Department and Woodstock Police Department explored the area. The dogs did hit a track close to a pond. Towns County and Georgia State Patrol (GSP) dive teams were then called, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR) lent their sonar unit to check the pond.
Ground search teams included Union County Fire and Rescue, Union County EMA, Blairsville Police Department, Union County EMS, GSP, GDNR, Georgia Department of Community Supervision, GEMA, Woodstock Police Department, Union County High School Police Department, Towns County EMA, and a few volunteers.
GSP also furnished air support with their air patrol helicopter.
“We want to thank everybody that came and assisted with the search. Everyone knew exactly what to do and were very professional during the entire search. We greatly appreciate all the help,” expressed Osborne.
No foul play is suspected in this case just a scary incident for the family and the community. The parents will not be charged with anything.