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Emergency services deserves recognition

POSTED: November 16, 2008 5:00 a.m.

I have been on the job as your county manager for six months now.


During that time, I have had the pleasure of working with the many wonderful employees, department heads and elected officials in Dawson County government.


One of these departments, emergency services, is under the fine leadership of Billy Thurmond. Several months of work came together recently when the board of commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement with Pickens County to build a joint fire station at virtually no cost to the Dawson County taxpayer.


This agreement will allow Dawson and Pickens county residents, who live in the Burnt Mountain area, to have improved fire protection. This will be the first joint station and will result in lower home insurance rates and improved safety.


We are planning for improved fire service in the eastern part of Dawson County.


The board of commissioners will consider a recommendation to approve Carter Watkins as the architect for Fire Station 2, located near the Tractor Supply Store on Hwy. 53. 


Plans call for the fire station also to house a sheriff’s office precinct, a tax commissioner’s annex and a recycling center. 


We have already collected these funds under SPLOST IV so the current economic downturn does not affect this project. 


This facility will allow convenient access for area residents and businesses to purchase tags, pay taxes and access the sheriff’s office in addition to having a state-of-the-art fire station nearby.


Our fire department recently purchased two new service trucks with impact fee money (requiring no property tax or sales tax dollars). 


In addition, the fire department, along with the assistance of our fine public works department, just completed the construction of a burn tower at Fire Station 7 located on Dawson Forest Road. 


This training tower will be used for real life training and was paid for by impact fees.  Both the service trucks and the tower will help to lower the ISO rating and home insurance rates for homeowners countywide in the near future.


With the leadership we have in emergency services, we will continue to work together to improve the safety for all Dawson County residents and visitors. 


We can all be proud of this department. 


Remember, this is your county government, and we are here to serve you.

  Kevin Tanner is the Dawson County manager.


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