BREAKING: Georgia Supreme Court upholds Dawson County man’s conviction for Hannah Bender’s 2019 murder
The district attorney recognized the "horrific” nature of Bender’s death, thanking those involved in the judicial process and stating that “justice was well served” in the case.
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Conditional annexation request approved
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Following a public hearing Monday night, the Dawsonville City Council approved an annexation request from Michael and Nancy Eason to bring a one-acre parcel into the city limits.

The approval, however, carries with it two conditions: the Easons must agree to be part of the Gold Creek Planned Urban Development (PUD) to eliminate any chance of using the property for high-density development, and they must not request any change in zoning or land use for one year.

...When we bought the property, we actually thought we were moving into the city of Dawsonville, property owner Michael Eason said. ...We feel wed be better served to be a member of the city. We have no plans to change our residence to build a high rise or apartments, to bring in cattle, or do anything other than what we do now.

City Attorney Dana Miles explained the county opposed the annexation request. However, after Miles met with County Attorney Joey Homans, the two conditions were proposed to resolve the matter.

The annexation is not final until the Dawson County Board of Commissioners approves it. If approved, current county RPC (Residential Planned Community) zoning would be changed to Planned Unit Development (PUD) zoning.

...Obviously Mr. Homans cant commit on behalf of the county commissioners, Miles said. ...If it is not resolved, we would have to go through the arbitration procedure, future court procedure. We view that as significant legal cost over something that (we) shouldnt be arguing about. I hope they will take it in good faith and approve it.

Thayer Spencer, who is running for the District-1 county commission seat, expressed his approval.

Im all for it, he said.

The city also approved Premier Landscapes bid of $8,995, the lowest bidder, to design plans for installation of landscape as part of the citys revitalization process. All previous bids, including Premiers, were deemed improper, and a new RFP (Request for Proposal) was issued. Council members made it clear Premiers bid is only for plans and not installation. The previous RFP issued was unclear. The council voted 3-1 with Angie Smith, Jason Power and Mike Sosebee in favor. Council Member Chris Gaines recused himself because of a relationship with Premier Landscape.

Low crime in city

Sheriff Billy Carlisle and Maj. Tony Wooten told council members the citys crime rate is low.

We dont have a lot of statistics to tell you, Carlisle said. Actually, the crime rate in the city is not bad. We dont want to react to crime, we want to prevent it.

Carlisle announced that Maj. Wooten had been in charge of the patrol division of CID (Criminal Investigations Division) and was moved voluntarily into crime prevention.

Tony is working with the county and city in hot areas and hitting those areas hard, Carlisle said. We dont want to react when someones home or car is broken into, we want to prevent it.

Mayor James Grogan acknowledged the sheriff departments work.

Its comforting to know my 17-year-old daughter can walk the sidewalks to town and not be bothered by things that go on in other cities, Grogan said. I feel safe in Dawsonville. Thats a great feeling.

In other business, the council:

Voted to split with the homeowners association the $8,000 cost to clean a retention pond in the Howser Mill subdivision. Each entity will pay $4,000. The city plans to place a lien on the property to recover costs if the property is sold.

Approved combining two leases for the Dawsonville Moonshine Distillery into one monthly fee of $3,000.

Approved reimbursement to Farmington Woods of $129,534.76 for water and sewer lines.

Proclaimed the first week of March Exceptional Childrens Week.