The Dawson County Board of Commissioners voted last Thursday to allocate $135,000 to the Development Authority of Dawson County so that it can continue to operate throughout 2018 in partnership with the chamber of commerce.
The partnership includes moving the authority under the same roof as the chamber and hiring a new economic development director to work under the supervision of chamber President Christie Haynes.
District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines motioned to give the authority the funds.
“Being that this is an organization that potentially brings in additional funding to the county through economic development I make a motion to approve that $135,000,” Gaines said.
The motion was approved unanimously, with District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix not in attendance.
The authority previously requested $150,000 for operations and salary and $25,000 for renovating the basement of the chamber building.
Development Authority Chair Sherry Weeks says she is in the process of obtaining three quotes for the renovations, and the board of commissioners is expected to fund the project once Weeks presents the bids.
In other business:
SPLOST VI update
At the board’s Jan. 23 work session Public Works Director David McKee presented an update on SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) VI projects, both completed and proposed.
Collections for SPLOST VI began in July of 2015, with expected revenue of $46 million over the next six years.
To date, approximately $15,067,286 has been collected and allocated to county projects, which included work on Dawson Forest Road, new soccer field lights at Rock Creek Park, 24 sheriff’s office vehicles and three fire ambulances, roads equipment, demolition of the old pool house at Veterans Memorial Park and design of a new one, road rehab projects on over 17 miles of county road and more.
Proposed projects include a new public works and fleet building, public works equipment, construction of the pool house, gym renovations and repaving at Veterans Memorial Park, design and property acquisition for fire station no. 9 and purchase of 12 sheriff’s office vehicles, among others. The county has budgeted $6 million in SPLOST VI revenue for the proposed projects.
Cothrans Creek bridge detour approved
The board approved a detour around the Hwy. 183 bridge over Cothrans Creek, which the Georgia Department of Transportation has scheduled to be replaced.
According to McKee, the proposed project will construct a replacement bridge, and the closure of the roadway during construction will require all traffic to be detoured.
Construction is proposed to start in the first quarter of 2020, closing the bridge for six to 12 months.
McKee presented Keith Evans Road as the detour route, which will create a detour of 9.95 miles. The board approved the proposed detour.
Dawson Forest and Hwy. 9 roundabout
The roundabout at Dawson Forest and Hwy. 9 that McKee referred to as “fast tracked” by the Georgia Department of Transportation was also discussed at the board’s Feb. 1 meeting.
The board voted to approve an agreement with GDOT that states that Dawson County will be responsible for the payment of the energy cost to light the intersection following completion of the project. The BOC currently pays for the energy on all the traffic signals and overhead lighting throughout unincorporated Dawson County, McKee said.
A full estimate of the yearly cost has not been determined, but McKee estimated the cost will not exceed $3,000 a year.