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Hamby announces final year in District 3 commission seat
BOC tables development authority funds, approves amended animal ordinance
Jimmy Hamby
District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby. - photo by Jessica Taylor

At the end of the Dawson County Board of Commissioners voting session last week, District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby announced that 2018 will be his last year as a commissioner and that he would not be running for a third term.

“I’ve decided to impose a two-term limit on myself,” Hamby said. “I’ve enjoyed working with all of you.”

“We appreciated Jimmy’s service for seven years now, and he’s not done yet, he has another year. But we appreciate what he’s done for Dawson County,” said District 4 Commissioner Julie Hughes Nix.

The district 3 and district 1 seats will be up for election at the end of this year. The qualifying fee has been set at $288.

Development Authority budget request tabled

The board of commissioners tabled a budget request by the Development Authority of Dawson County last week after asking that the authority get a bid for a remodel they have planned.

The authority has proposed to move into the basement of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce building, and has asked for $32,500 for the remodel.

Chairman Billy Thurmond previously stated that said he would recommend the board vote to give $135,000 to the development authority, which has requested $150,000 for salaries and operations for the rest of the year.

District 2 Commissioner Chris Gaines said he wanted to see more concrete numbers on the renovation before voting, and made a motion to table the vote for a few weeks. District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby agreed, and the vote was tabled.

Revision of animal control ordinance approved

Planning and Development Director Jason Streetman recently presented the BOC with text amendments to the county’s animal control ordinance that he said will improve animal control services and help make the jobs of enforcers easier.

The proposed additions to the ordinance define adequate food, adequate shelter, adequate space and adequate water as well as outline that while animals must be kept under restraint while on an owner’s property, tethering dogs is not a means of primary restraint.

The amendment adds “activated invisible fences” to the list of primary means of restraint along with fences and enclosures that keep the animals from leaving the property limits and states that it is unlawful for the owner of any dog to utilize a “tether, chain, cable, rope or cord” as the primary method of restraining a dog. Tethering shall be used only as a temporary restraint, according to the proposed changes.

Also in the amendments, language has been added that would make it unlawful to tie, stake or fasten any animal within any right-of-way while off the owner’s property.

The current animal control ordinance states that any person who violates the ordinance is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine between $100 and $1,000, an amount to be determined by a judge, and/or subject to jail time not to exceed 60 days.

The board voted unanimously to approve the amendments.

Request to abandon portion of Powell Road denied

Powell Road

The commission held the second of two public hearings over a request to abandon a portion of Powell Road between Amicalola Church Road and Colly Lane.

Jeffrey Runner, who lives across from Amicalola Church Road, made the request, and wrote that the section of the road in question did not provide access to any residences, had no legitimate traffic and was an unnecessary burden on taxpayers to maintain.

“It is a place for people to dump trash, 'drag race' and for people to park and congregate for whatever nefarious activity they can come up with,” he wrote.

Arguments from both sides spoke during the hearing, including Chris and Natalie Cowart, who own 67 acres on both sides of Powell Road, and spoke in favor of the abandonment because they feel the road attracts activity that makes them fear for their children to go out on the property without an adult. They also said that the road is not kept up.

“If we closed every road that there was some kind of activity on, and beer cans, we wouldn’t be able to go anywhere in this county,” said District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Hamby.

The board voted unanimously to deny the request to abandon the road.

Fausett appointed Vice-Chair

District 1 Commissioner Sharon Fausett was appointed 2018 vice-chair of the BOC in a unanimous vote.