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Dawson County’s search continues for a new public works director
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File photo. - photo by Julia Hansen

After an initial search to fill the lead role, Dawson County government officials are going back to the drawing board to find a new public works director.

This story continues below.

This position offers an annual salary of $74,076, and applications will be accepted until Jan. 4, 2023, according to the Dawson County job posting

The Director of Public Works has purview over the department’s administration, engineering, roads and bridges, solid waste and stormwater/environmental divisions. 

Prior director Jeff Hahn departed at the end of November, according to his resignation letter DCN obtained by an open records request.

Another records request showed that three people applied for the Dawson County position after it was first posted in mid-November. 

The candidate to whom the county originally made an offer decided to stay at their current position rather than take the Dawson County job, interim county manager Vickie Neikirk said in an email to DCN.

Transfer station

In other public works news, the county’s Burt Creek Road transfer station will no longer accept recyclable items effective Dec. 28 as the county plans for repairs to the facility.

In August 2022, the Board of Commissioners authorized $350,000 for the first round of fixes to the transfer station to repair its building and retrofit the facility with a pull-in and drop-off recycling system, similar to Pickens County. 

With the new system, Dawson County customers will have separate areas to dispose of household trash and place recyclables. Bins or divided compactors would bear signage showing what is and isn’t acceptable.

During the board’s Dec. 1 meeting, chairman Billy Thurmond suggested nixing the proposed contract to “temporarily halt” the recycling and “save money until we get the other system up and running.”

There is no estimated timeline on when those renovations are expected to be complete and recycling can resume, according to a Dawson County Government Facebook post. 

Road projects

During his presentation at the Dawson County GOP’s Nov. 14 meeting, Thurmond said Dawson County has multiple infrastructure fixes on the horizon over the next five years, from roundabouts to several widening and resurfacing projects.

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In coordination with GDOT, Dawson County anticipates a number of road projects through 2028. Graphic submitted to DCN. - photo by Julia Hansen

At the meeting, Thurmond also mentioned his desire to see a one-penny transportation special local option sales tax passed in 2023 to help finance projects like the state-led ones.

Previously in 2020, Dawson County voters rejected a TSPLOST referendum. 

“Funding is the key,” Thurmond said. “When you’re talking about road projects, you’re talking about multiple, multiple, multiple millions of dollars to make those kinds of things happen.”