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6 variances approved by board
7ESN Screen shot 2015 09 22 at 1.30.11 PM

The Dawson County Board of Commissioners Thursday said yes to six of seven variances that will bring Dawson Marketplace one step closer to reality.

"Dawson Marketplace wants to vary from the stipulations given to them by the Board of Commissioners in 2007," Rachel Burton, director of planning and zoning for Dawson County said.

Documents indicate Dawson Marketplace approved variances include:

varying the minimum setback from the right-of-way for Georgia 400 to 90 feet from 100 feet; vary the building facade composition from 80 percent to 50 percent; varying the maximum number of off-street parking spaces to one per 50 square feet of gross floor space; varying the number of monument signs from one to five; varying signage for multi-tenant buildings from two to one and allowing for minor signs, and varying the screening of mechanical equipment from the street for only rear facades facing Lumpkin Campground Road.

The board denied the variance for wall signage with the stipulation that it could be addressed at a later date.

Separately, the board approved two agenda items pertaining to the Margie Weaver Senior Center: a request to hold a raffle and an addendum to the FY 2016 Legacy Link contract.

"Dawson County contracts with Legacy Link each year for our meal service for our seniors," Senior Centor Director Dawn Pruett said. "They are our facilitator for funding for state and federal grants. We are in a district with Hall, Lumpkin, Forsyth and a few others. This is an addendum to the contract that was originally approved months ago."

In other county business, the following requests passed by unanimous vote:

Dawson County Emergency Services Director Billy Thurmond was granted approval of the Hazard Mitigation Plan Update Grant. Each county in Georgia is required to update their hazard mitigation plan and have it approved by GEMA and FEMA. By doing so, Dawson would be eligible for federal and state funding in the event of a disaster declaration. The total amount is $24,000 ($18,000 federal, $2,400 state, $3,600 county in-kind).

"The grant allows us to be eligible for funding in the event of an emergency like we had last February with the ice," Thurmond said.

Lori VanSickle and Duane Wallace were appointed to the Dawson County Library Board by the commissioners, replacing Kay Black and Eydie Stegall, respectively. VanSickle brings twenty years of leadership and management experience to the board. Wallace has been a licensed counselor for nearly fifteen years both professionally and in a volunteer capacity.

October has been proclaimed 'Clean Water Month' and Dawson County citizens are encouraged to participate in "Imagine A Day Without Water" Oct. 6-8. Other observances include River Clean-up Oct. 14 and Shore Sweep for Lake Lanier Oct. 27, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at War Hill Park.

Separately, the issue of a new fire station was addressed on behalf of Sandra Bryan, a resident of Rainbow Lake Dr. Bryan's residence received a fire rating of 10 due to its considerable distance from a fire station. The implication for those who receive a rating of 10 is higher insurance costs.

Anybody that is beyond five road miles from any of Dawson County's eight fire stations is classified as a ten, according to Thurmond.

"When and if we build a fire station at the Etowah water tank on Elliott Family Parkway, Ms. Bryan would be within the limits," Thurmond said. "We have property, but we don't have funds."

The Board will meet next on Thursday, Sept. 24 in the Assembly Room of the Dawson Government Center, 25 Justice Way at 4 p.m.