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Board to vote on annexation request
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Dawson County commissioners are expected to decide Thursday whether to object to an annexation request from the city of Dawsonville.

At a commission work session this past Thursday, County Attorney Joey Homans presented the board with a proposed letter of objection to besent to Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan.

The property is owned by Byron and Barbara Hutson and is located off of Duck Thurmond Road. The requested annexation is for a total of about 37 acres.

In the letter, Homans states that the annexation would create a zoning that does not fit the countys current land use plan.The proposed change in permissible land use will result in a substantial change in the intensity of the allowable use of the property, the letter states. Or a change to an allowable use that differs substantially from the existing uses and density suggested by the Countys Comprehensive Land Use Plan and permitted for the property pursuant to the Countys zoning ordinance and land use ordinances.

If the city approves the annexation, the letter also seeks reimbursements for recent right-of-way improvements made toDuck Thurmond Road in the area of the annexation. The county seeks reimbursement for costs and expenses for the citys portionof the road improved if the city approves the annexation request, Homans said.

Commissioner Gary Pichon told the board he opposes the annexation request, calling Dawsonville a welfare city.

The city of Dawsonville lives off the LOST and SPLOST funds which are generated primarily from the 400 corridor area, an area serviced by county funds, Pichon said.

Pichon said he thinks the city should collect property taxes to fund its services the way other county seats do, for example cities in Lumpkin,Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Cherokee and Hall.

It is easy to see why a property owner would want to be in the city of Dawsonville, Pichon said. They dont have to pay any more for the privilege than being in the county. And a few hundred citizens get to set the agenda so that they get more and moreof the money. People out in the county dont get a say about the land development next door to them. They dont get to vote forthe mayor or council members. It really is taxation without representation. It is government without representation.

Mayor James Grogan said the city doesnt ask people to join its city limits. We dont solicit people to annex into the city, he said. People come to us and ask to annex in.

The commission will vote on the objection at its meeting Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Dawson County Government Center, 25 Justice Way.

Also at the work session:

The commission heard a presentation from Dawson County Development Authority Director Charlie Auvermann for a request for thecounty to send a letter to the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission seeking assistance in pursuing grants for the development of the Shiery Project.

The grants Auvermann requested help with would be for road, water, sewer and broadband infrastructure developments surrounding the property located off of Ga. 400 and across from Arbys. The development is being eyed as a potential retail center.