Family and friends gathered Thursday at the intersection of Hwy. 53 and Maple Street in Dawsonville for the unveiling of the KH Long Government Center.
“This is a sad but proud day for us all,” said Kayron Conner, whose father Kenneth H. Long served as Dawson County’s last sole commissioner from 1993-1996. “We’re all so proud.”
Formerly and unofficially called the Fouts building for many years, the county owned facility, which housed the sheriff’s office and 911 center until last year, was renamed last week in Long’s honor.
Long was sole commissioner in 1995 when the county acquired the property after paying a property debt on the federally-seized building.
The building, seized as part of a federal drug probe, initially served as the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office and 911 Center. It was recently renovated and now houses the county’s public works, information technology, environmental health and drug and alcohol treatment court offices, as well as the Red Cross, Family Connection and No One Alone.
Long, who died Sept. 12, 2007, made the decision to buy the seized property for $139,000. It’s now valued at more than $800,000, according to tax records.
Long’s friend Clark Beusse said Long was always a good steward in saving taxpayer dollars and would be proud the county had taken the initiative to remodel an existing building rather than building from the ground up.
“Renovating this building so the county can continue using it is something he would have been pleased with,” Beusse said.
Dell Conner, Long’s son-in-law said the family was humbled by the dedication.
“I’m proud to live here in this county and I’m just thankful for all you folks, I mean every one. We’re overwhelmed with this crowd,” he said.E-mail Michele Hester at firstname.lastname@example.org.