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County audit results shared with commissioners, public
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audit

Dawson County's Fiscal Year 2014-15 financial audit was presented to commissioners during its Thursday work session.

Highlights of the audit included a Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) given by Chris Hollifield, managing partner of Rushton & Company, a Gainesville CPA firm.

"We have no serious issues to talk about," Hollifield said. "The numbers look good."

Holifield noted the two largest generators of revenue in Dawson County are property tax and sales tax.

According to Hollifield, sales tax makes up about 42 percent, or $12.4 million, of total revenue for governmental funds. Property taxes make up about 31 percent, or $9.2 million.

"Most counties rely on property tax to fund government functions," Commission Chair Mike Berg said. "One of the facts about SPLOST that helped it pass is that 85 percent of the sales tax comes from people outside the county. Non-residents pay for government services. This has enabled the board of commissioners to keep the same millege rate for 11 years."

The most significant expenditures are debt service of 26.45 percent or $8.7 million and Sheriff/Jail/E911combined with 21.04 percent or $6.9 million.

Also Thursday, Charlie Auvermann, director of the Dawson County development authority, asked the board to approve a request for Community Development Block Grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The funds would help with the fees involved with MESH Engineering tapping into existing Etowah systems as the firm prepares to move to Mountain View Industrial Park in Dawson County.

"They have 16 acres up there," Auvermann reported. "They've broken ground for sewer and water infrastructure to connect into existing Etowah systems down the hill toward Applebee's and Arby's."

There is no financial obligation from the county on the grant, which is estimated at $132,000, according to Auvermann.

Two required hearings are required in order to move forward with the process. Both will be held on June 25 with Heather Feldman with the GeorgiaMountains Regional Commission facilitating one at 4 p.m and Berg holding the second immediately following. Both will be at the Judicial Center, 25 Justice Way.

Separately, there was mention of possible replacements for two board members for the Dawson County Department of Family and Children Services. Geneva Bearden and Mary Hulsey currently hold the positions, but their terms end June 2015. It was recommended that Joey Bearden and Tina Brady be appointed as replacements.

Also during the work session, a request was made for a special event alcohol permit for the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce Reverse Raffle. The event will be held at Dixieland Stables, which is zoned Residential-Agricultural (R-A). Since the property is not in a commercial zone, the commissioners must vote on grant approval.

It was announced that the first of two public hearings for the social hosting ordinance will be June 18.

In other county business, it was announced that debris removal continues on schedule and the recent EMS boot drive raised $7,523.

The next meeting of the board of commissioners is scheduled for June 18 at 6 p.m.

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