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County withdraws annexation objection
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County leaders last week agreed they would not a fight a recent annexation into the city of Dawsonville.

In a unanimous vote, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners withdrew its objection to a request by George and Pam Power, who petitioned to annex their nearly 30 acre home and cattle farm at the intersection of Hwys. 9 and 136.

The Powers have applied for a conservation easement that would prevent any changes to the property for 10 years, according to Commission Chair Mike Berg.

"So there won't be anything that will be added or taken away from that," he said.

George Power, the father of city councilman Jason Power, has said the family has no intention of building on the property, located at 488 Hwy. 136 East, once it is annexed into the city.

"We are just looking to keep it like it is," he said.

Withdrawing the objection keeps the matter out of mediation.

Had the matter gone into arbitration, the county would have been required to pay at least 75 percent of the cost of arbitration proceedings, according to state law.

The remaining amount could also be assessed against the county if it was determined the objections were unfounded.

The Dawsonville City Council approved the annexation on Feb. 2. Councilman Power abstained from the vote.

Annexations have been a contentious issue between the city and county in recent months, with several hinging on the verge of arbitration.

A disagreement over an annexation on Duck Thurmond Road could have cost the county as $20,000 if had gone into mediation.

"I cannot spend taxpayer money in the amount of $15,000 to $20,000," County Commissioner James Swafford said at the time.

Similar talks resumed as the commissioners considered their vote last week.

The topic of annexation also stirred debate between the city council and former council member Chris Gaines, who had applied to annex county property he was buying into the city.

His request was denied, which forced him to resign from the council since he would no longer live within the city limits of Dawsonville.

Gaines was in attendance last week when the council approved the Powers' annexation.

He declined to comment on the matter.