UPDATE: Here’s when you can expect to get your bloomin’ onion fix at Dawson County’s first Outback Steakhouse
The Australian-themed restaurant will soon open its first location in Dawson County.
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City holds 3-hour, back-to-back meetings
HVYZ Screen shot 2015 08 18 at 1.57.55 PM

In the government equivalent of the Boston Marathon, the City of Dawsonville ran three, one-hour meetings Monday, hitting the pavement hard with votes on issues ranging from animal control to two failed water filter systems and rezoning requests.

First up at 4 p.m. was the citys work session and animal control.

After months of haggling with the county over the cost of its animal control services, the city dumped them in favor of a neighboring county.

Lumpkin County has agreed to do an IGA (intergovernmental agreement) for $45 an animal, and we got about $935 worth of equipment we need to buy plus a $4,500 truck being covered for the department of agriculture , Council Member Caleb Phillips said. Itll be a whole lot cheaper than what the county proposed to us.

Figures given to the city from County Commission Chair Mike Berg were $297 per animal.

Phillips said he inspected the county animal facility in Lumpkin with Dawsonville Public Works Director Gary Barr, and Trampas Hansard, the citys code enforcement officer and roads associate.

It was very nice, clean, Phillips said. We should make a resolution to adopt their rules for our citizens to pick up their dogs up once we hand it over to them.

Council Member Angie Smith made a motion allowing City Attorney Dana Miles to draft an IGA to present for a vote at its next meeting in September, which was approved unamiously.

The council also agreed to send an email to Mayor James Grogan listing their priorities for the citys capital improvement projects, which range from including a park for handicapped children, moving power lines away from downtown, surveying the citys streets, and getting drawings from a regional commission on its 18-acre park concept.

Id like something to look at by September, Grogan said. Weve got SPLOST and a little extra cash.

Specifically, the city will bank $7 million-$9 million over six years from SPLOST. The city also has $2.1 million of unrestricted money in its general fund.

You cant borrow money from SPLOST, but the general fund can go ahead and start doing some of those SPLOST projects right now, Bryan St. Pierre, the citys auditor, said. In the short term, if you want to spend a million dollars on capital outlay, you can amend the budget.

Grogan said he wants to get projects started with the councils approval.

I think we all want to see some dirt moved, Grogan said.

City water is atrocious

After more than three years of complaints by a resident in the Pigeon Creek subdivision, the city approved emergency funds to fix two failed water filtrations systems.

Besides the chlorine not testing good, the smell that every neighbor has is atrocious, Pigeon Creek resident Colleen Simrell told council members. When I open the dishwasher or the washer machine some call it sulfur I call it rotten eggs. It overwhelms you.

And my white plates are coming out with a brown film on them.

Public Works Director Gary Barr explained.

Our (filter) run time dropped from 10 hours to six, Barr said. We didnt realize these filters were starting to fail until we got doing all this testing

Barr received approval to spend $34,680 on two filtration systems ($19,000 and $15,680, respectively) to be installed upon arrival.

Simrell has concerns.

If we get it next month, I dont want it to take six months to get it installed Simrell said.

It wont, Barr said. Ive got help.

Simrell also said Barr and Russ Chambers of the water department have done stellar work.

Gary and Russ have gone above and beyond, she said. They are awesome.

In November 2014, the city was awarded $1 million in a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan from GEFA.

According to Grogan, money was being used for replacing older water lines, a new well and refurbishing a water tower.

If the city uses all the funds, GEFA forgives up to $300,000 of the loan.

It is unclear if all funds have been spent.

See next weeks edition for details on rezoning applications and guidelines for business grant applications.