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City considering building for local non-profit organizations

POSTED: April 22, 2009 4:00 a.m.

The city of Dawsonville is considering building a 9,000 square foot building for several local non-profit organizations.


Dawsonville Planning Director Steve Holder said discussions of the proposed project are still in the preliminary stages.


Early designs indicate a more than 6,000 square feet area for RIC Rack’s thrift store and food bank, as well as a storage facility for KARE for Kids.


The city of Dawsonville is considering financing through the United States Department of Agriculture to construct the building, which would then be leased to the non-profit organizations, Holder said.


“The city would acquire the financing with an agreement with RIC Rack and other local non-profit agencies to make payments on the loan,” Holder said.


Both RIC Rack and KARE for Kids have expressed a desire for additional space to help better serve the growing public in need.


“We knew they needed it, and we’re looking into this,” Holder said.


Calvin Byrd, president of KARE for Kids, which provides Christmas presents, school supplies and other essentials to children in Dawson County, said he has seen the number of families requiring assistance increase tremendously in the last few years.


“The organization has grown so much in the last several years, creating a bigger need for us. We need more space so we can give out more toys,” Byrd said.


The thrift store and food pantry has also almost outgrown the current building at the intersection of Hwy. 9 North and Perimeter Road.


RIC Rack has also seen record numbers of people seeking assistance with their grocery needs.


“We’re very excited about this. If it works out, it’s not only good for RIC Rack, but for the whole community,” said Ken Newell, director at RIC Rack. “The location would be wonderful and allow us to stay downtown.”


The two-story building would sit adjacent to the Dawsonville Municipal Complex, along Hwy. 53 on more than 1.5 acres owned by the city of Dawsonville.


“Those organizations provide a much needed service to the citizens of Dawson County. If we can help out by providing the land, then they can use their funds for the building only,” Holder said.


The building, in its preliminary sketch, would cost between $1 and 1.5 million.

Mayor Joe Lane Cox said the city sees the project as a win-win.


“These agencies are about helping all of our citizens. We just feel like it is the right thing to do,” he said. 


The project has not been approved by the city council.


“Once there is something to formally present, it would be brought before the city council,” Holder said.


E-mail Michele Hester at



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