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Fireworks show gets fired up
CR1Q fireworks

The City of Dawsonville on Monday amended its budget and approved spending money to help sponsor an upcoming Fourth of July fireworks display.

The newly formed Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is taking the lead in hosting the event, which will be held at the Atlanta Motorsports Park.

Theyve (the DDA) asked for $7,500 from the council to have money available to pre-pay the fireworks people, Mayor James Grogan said. The whole idea is get our community out there and show what we can do, and to celebrate the Fourth of July.

A motion made by council member Jason Power was seconded by Chris Gaines and passed unanimously.

Dawson County had previously hosted the event with support from the community.

The fireworks display alone is expected to cost $12,500.

Jeremy Porter, owner of Atlanta Motorsports Parks, said earlier the total cost for the event is upwards of $18,000.

The cost to rent my facility for half-a-day is $6,000, but I will donate that to the community, Porter said. We should celebrate and remember our Independence Day.

The development authority continues to raise funds for the event. To date, it has collected additional donations totaling $3,600 with more coming, Grogan said.

Cindy Elliott, wife of famed NASCAR driver Bill Elliott, was voted in as a new member of the development authority.

Separately, the city council approved spending $482,800 to purchase 14.2 acres of property located behind the Food Lion in downtown Dawsonville. A contract on the property was previously submitted with three contingencies, which were cleared. Those included a survey, an appraisal and title search.

All three contingencies have been satisfied, City Attorney Dana Miles said.

The motion by Council Member Angie Smith was seconded by Jason Power and passed unanimously.

The property is being purchased and financed through the Downtown Development Authority and United Community Bank.

My recommendation is the city engage in a long-term lease of the property with the thought process of funding the acquisition and development through the SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax), Miles said. We are currently negotiating with the county on this. ... This project, Main Street Park Project, is one of the keynotes of our SPLOST provision.

If approved by voters in November, and if negotiations go well with the county, SPLOST VI could add more than $4 million to the citys bank account.

In other city council action:

Approved purchasing hand-held computers and software for reading water meters. Cost: $16,792

Reviewed preliminary drawings for streetscape improvements in downtown Dawsonville. The city applied for a $50,000 Gateway One grant to fund the project, which was not approved. The city, however, may reapply in 90 days, which Grogan said it will do.

Held the first of two public hearings on its $2.67 million budget for 2014-15. The second hearing is scheduled for Monday, June 16, 5 p.m., at City Hall located next to Food Lion in downtown Dawsonville.

The city will also have a special called meeting to discuss its budget and proposed changes to its sign ordinance on Monday, June 16, 4 p.m. at city hall.