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BOC avoids arbitration
Board agrees to city annexation requests
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During Thursday's meeting, the board also:

•Approved Family Connection's request for the county to serve as the group's fiscal agent for 2015;

•Approved a bid on elevator maintenance in a 3-1 vote with Julie Hughes Nix voting against;

•Approved automatic aid agreements with Lumpkin and Cherokee counties;

•Approved the fiscal year contract with the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce;

•Appointed James Swafford to serve as the board's vice chair for 2015 in a 3-0 vote with Swafford abstaining;

•Reappointed Glenda Ferguson as County Registrar for four years;

•Reappointed Danielle Yarbrough as county clerk, Joey Homans as county attorney and Cindy Campbell as county manager for 2015. The vote for county manager was 3-1, with Hughes Nix voting in opposition. She declined to comment on her vote after the meeting.

All votes were 4-0 unless otherwise noted.


The Dawson County Board of Commissioners has avoided going into arbitration with the city of Dawsonville over an annexation dispute.

The board on Thursday approved the contentious request by Byron Hudson, who wants to have his property on Duck Thurmond Road, across from Atlanta Motorsports Park, annexed into the city.

Had the request not been resolved, the matter most likely would have gone into mediation and cost the county as much as $20,000.

"I cannot spend taxpayer money in the amount of $15,000 to $20,000," said County Commissioner James Swafford, who made the motion to approve the measure.

The annexation passed with a 4-0 vote.

Earlier this month, it appeared the dispute would go into arbitration for resolution.

At issue was the more than $31,000 in road repairs county crews made on Duck Thurmond Road near the property.

According to an intergovernmental agreement, the county will pave or make repairs to a one-mile stretch of roadway inside the city each year.

The dispute came to a head when county officials suggested the .35 miles of road repairs on Duck Thurmond Road count as the full one mile.

Commission Chairman Mike Berg said the amount of money it costs to make repairs to the rural road is more equivalent to the cost the county would have ensued on a more urban city street.

The problem, according to Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan, was that the county had previously presented a proposal to the city that included only the .35 miles of roadwork.

"Usually when someone makes a proposal to somebody and you agree to that proposal, it's a done deal," he said.

With the vote to approve the annexation, the county will make road improvements to an additional .65 miles of city roadway in accordance to the agreement.

Under state law, the county would have been required to pay at least 75 percent of the cost of arbitration proceedings, while the remaining amount could be assessed against the county if it was determined their objections were unfounded.