An application that first was brought to the attention of the Dawsonville City Council in March has made its way back before the council after spurring attempts to oust the mayor as well as the creation of a new annexation fee.
On Sept. 4, 18 homeowners in the Gold Creek subdivision announced their intent to re-apply to annex into the city, requesting their county “islands” be brought into the city at a discounted rate if all applied simultaneously.
The homes are “islands” as they are surrounded by property that has already been annexed and zoned into the city.
When the initial application was brought to the board March 6 by Mayor James Grogan, it was discovered that multiple homeowners in Gold Creek had annexed property into the city and paid a lower rate for rezoning than city ordinances at the time permitted. The 18 property owners were just requesting what they said had already been done for their neighbors.
The application was dropped as the council began an investigation into Grogan’s reported actions and started the process of creating an annexation fee.
A new fee schedule for annexations and zoning amendments was approved by council on July 10, but not without some small backlash by Gold Creek residents who would now be paying even more than their neighbors should gave paid to become city residents.
The group came back before the council Sept. 18 to ask that they be allowed to annex in at a reduced rate, an action that the council can vote to approve.
According to numbers calculated by Planning Director Casey Majewski, the cost to annex and rezone 18 properties would be $6,910, or $384 per property, as opposed to the $13,600, or $755 per property, if each property owner applied separately and paid according to the fee schedule.
That’s still more than the residents want to pay.
“Obviously we’d like to pay nothing, but we can’t turn our applications in until we know what dollar amount to write the checks for,” said Gail Horne, who lives on Gold Creek Drive. “We need a vote: if they want to do something out there where we live, to try to make that a trailer park or something, we need to make sure we have a voice.”
Majewski plans to bring the request back before the council at its Oct. 2 meeting.
In other business:
Draft peddler’s license ordinance questioned
A peddler’s license drafted and presented to the council for its first hearing was met with some backlash by local event organizers for the extra cost it would place on vendors.
K.A.R.E. for Kids president David McKee said that the additional cost the peddler’s license requirement would place on vendors would harm the annual Mountain Moonshine Festival by causing vendors not to come back.
Dawson County Chamber of Commerce President Christie Haynes mirrored similar concerns, stating that for vendors at the Jingle Market held each year at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame would be turned off by the extra $58 fee, especially when some of them only make around $100 during the event.
Council member Caleb Phillips said that the ordinance originally had not been intended to stifle vendors at city approved festivals, but to place regulations on door-to-door peddlers.
The council agreed to work on revising the
ordinance before the next hearing Oct. 2.
New city clerk appointed
Former Deputy Clerk Beverly Bannister was appointed by the board Sept. 18 to be the new city clerk, replacing Bonnie Warne, who worked at the city for 12 years and recently left to take a position as city clerk in Tucker.
Water meter project near completion
Utilities Director Gary Barr reported that a current project to replace all of the city’s water meters with electronically-read meters is months ahead of schedule and expected to be finished within the week.
Original estimates stated that the project, which includes installing new meters and mapping them for GPS location, would take six months to complete. The project began July 31.
Barr said that last Monday the department was able to read 1,270 meters electronically, leaving only about 50 or 60 to do by hand. He said the process normally takes six employees two days, but took one person a little over three hours.
City accepts $80,000 LMIG grant
The council voted to accept a Local
Maintenance and Improvement, or LMIG, matching grant that, according to Public
Works Operations Manager Trampas Hansard, will go a long way to funding
sidewalks projects around the city.
The grant is for $80,000, with the city to contribute $24,000 for a total of $104,000.