BLAIRSVILLLE, Ga. – Union County Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris approved city annexation from the city of Blairsville for a tract off of Pat Haralson Memorial Drive and approved several proclamations in his monthly meeting Thursday, April 19.
Paris explained a senior-living apartment development and a Fellowship of the Hills building project will be the main beneficiaries of a property annexation by the city of Blairsville. The city approved its end of the proposed annexation Tuesday, April 3, after two months of talks and negotiations between property owners falling within the annexation route, the developer of the proposed apartment complex and Fellowship of the Hills church.
The annexation route follows a 50-foot wide path from the current city limits through a portion of Butternut Creek Golf Course to the tract of land off of Pat Haralson Drive. As Paris explained, the annexation allows the city to provide and extend utilities to the tract of land to be annexed.
Paris also signed six proclamations during the meeting. The first officially designated May 3, 2018, as Union County Day of Prayer. According to the proclamation, in 1988, federal legislation, passed by both Houses of Congress and signed into effect by President Ronald Reagan, set aside the first Thursday in May each year as a National Day of Prayer. On hand for this year’s proclamation were Blairsville Mayor Jim Conley and civic leader Sharon Morrison. Of the day, Morrison stated, “Prayer changes things … (the nation) is very divided right now, among the country and the churches, and we just ask God to heal that.”
Peggy Deyton speaks of the importance of raising awareness of Parkinson’s Disease.
A proclamation declaring April to be Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month in Union County was announced by Paris. Local resident Peggy Deyton, who has Parkinson’s, spoke about the need for awareness and education of the disease. Deyton, who previously worked as Paris’ executive assistant, stated, “Parkinson’s Disease is one of the fastest growing diseases on the planet … to the extent that some have suggested it will soon become a pandemic.” Deyton continued to say that the number of people suffering from the disease has doubled in the last 25 years with approximately 6.9 million globally with Parkinson’s. Also, by 2040, it is projected that 14.2 million will have Parkinson’s world wide, and at present, the cause of the neurodegenerative disease remains unknown.
Paris also signed a proclamation declaring April to be National Donate Life Month in Union County. According to the proclamation, in Georgia alone, over 5,590 people await a life-saving or life-enhancing organ transplant and each day 22 people die while awaiting an organ transplant. However, more than 4.7 million Georgians have registered their decision to Donate Life via an organ transplant at www.donatelifegeorgia.org or when receiving or renewing their driver’s license at a local driver’s license office.
Jennifer Addington, center, speaks of the dangers of food allergies as Union County Commissioner Lamar Paris, right, prepares to sign a proclamation declaring May 13-19 to be Food Allergy Awareness Week in Union County. Jennifer’s daughter, Abigail Addington, left, suffers from a severe food allergy.
A proclamation declaring May 13 through 19 to be Food Allergy Awareness Week in Union County was presented by Paris. On hand for the proclamation were Jennifer Addington and her daughter, Abigail, who has a severe food allergy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 200,000 ambulatory care visits involving children under 18 in the U.S. are due reactions from food allergies. Jennifer Addington spoke of her own daughter’s allergy to certain foods and the overall importance of raising awareness saying, “Some people dismiss it as just an intolerance, but it’s a matter of life and death.”
Paris presented another proclamation declaring April to be Child Abuse Prevention Month in Union County. Paris spoke of the “sobering display” by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), currently located on the lawn of the Historic Courthouse on the Blairsville Town Square. “This display consists of … 291 blue pinwheels, which represent the number of children in our district – I think it’s an 11-county district – who had to be removed from a home due to abuse or neglect this past year,” Paris stated.
Lastly, Paris announced a proclamation declaring April to be Confederate History and Heritage Month and April 26 to be Confederate Memorial Day in Union County. “It has been the practice of Georgia governors since 1984 to proclaim April 26 as Confederate Memorial Day,” Paris stated. “The month of April bears special significance since it marks both the beginning and the ending of the War Between the States.
Commissioner Paris signed an agreement with CHA Consulting, Inc. to provide design services to the county for the new access road to be located at the intersection of U.S. 76 and Glenn Gooch Bypass. The cost for the services are to exceed $44,513.00, according to the agreement. The access road will provide enhanced access to the Farmers Market and youth sports complex, and Paris stated, “Probably after the season, or maybe even during the season, we hope to have (the road) completed.”
An agreement with AMR Business Products was approved by Paris for remote software maintenance and services for system failures of the recording equipment at the 911 dispatch center. The cost of the agreement is $2,834 and the agreement is valid from March 12, 2018, to March 11, 2019.
Paris also approved an agreement for Indigent Defense Services from the Public Defender Office of the Enotah Judicial Circuit, which consists of Union, Lumpkin, White and Towns counties. Paris explained Union County’s share was $95,563 for services for fiscal year 2017-18.
An agreement with Air Methods Corporation for emergency air medical transport services for the county was approved by Paris in the amount of $57,320. The agreement will take effect June 1, 2018, and will run through May 31, 2019. Paris explained the county is only responsible for half of the total amount of the contract and stated, “We want to thank everyone involved in this decision, especially Air Methods and Union General Hospital. Without this assistance, this invaluable program to assist our citizens would not be possible.”
Paris approved an agreement between the county and Legacy Link for the required local share of $95,000 during the 2019 fiscal year. “These funds are used by the Area Agency on Aging as match to draw down the federal and state monies for administration, coordination, information and referral, employment and training of older workers and volunteer programs. This program is provided through the Union County Senior Center … We really appreciate all the work they do,” Paris stated.
An Accountability Courts grant in the amount of $30,000 for Family Drug Court was accepted by Paris.