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How you can learn more about this key Dawson County public safety project
new courthouse
The Dawson County Government Center is located at 25 Justice Way in downtown Dawsonville.

A major change could come to one of Dawson County’s biggest capital projects if information set for discussion later this week points to a more viable option. 

This story continues below.

After development consultant Jim King raised the issue Feb. 17, the Board of Commissioners will hear an update this Thursday on the site for the county’s future emergency operations and E911 Center. 

The board will hold their March 2 work session starting at 4 p.m., and a voting session will promptly follow. These meetings will be held in the second-floor assembly room of the Dawson County Government Center, located at 25 Justice Way in Dawsonville.

BOC March 2 2023 agenda

Voters approved Dawson County’s special purpose local option sales tax in 2021. The SPLOST VII measure included a planned $5.5 million for the EOC and E911 center and $3 million for a radio system upgrade, a total of $8.5 million.

King, who’s on the E911 center’s design team as a subcontractor to the architect, pointed out a potential problem with the project’s current planned site on Ga. 53 West–utilities aren’t hooked up to it. 

Anybody who’s listened to developers or local residents planning to build on a property knows hooking up utilities can be costly. During public comments at the board’s Feb. 17 voting session, King explained that neither water lines, power or internet service have been established for the site, though all of those services are near enough to be extended. 

“We came up with the idea of possibly looking at the Fire Station 2 site for relocation of the 911 center,” King said. “It seems like it’d be a big savings to the county to move it to the Fire station 2 site.”

King volunteered his time to scope out the Fire Station 2 site, which is located off of Liberty Drive and noted that the building, parking and whatnot would fit given what’s already there. Grading would be about the same as compared to the Ga. 53 West location, King said.

In related news, Dawson County Fire and Emergency Services has now resumed offering CPR classes. 

Classes will be offered the second Tuesday of each month, starting on March 14. March’s class will be held at Fire Station 2 beginning at 5:30 p.m. Station 2 is located at 145 Liberty Drive.

If you are not able to attend the March class, people can register for the April one, which will be held at Fire Station 8, located at 3145 Sweetwater Juno Road. 

For more information and to register, people can contact Anthony Buttram with DCFES at

Other requests

A local law enforcement agency will help one Dawson County doctor continue his heartfelt mission to help Ukrainians fighting in their country’s ongoing war with Russia. 

The Dawson County Sheriff’s Office intends to surplus expired ballistic gear and work with Dr. Larry Anderson to ship these items to Ukraine “in support of their efforts to protect themselves against the Russian invasion,”according to the board’s March 2 agenda. 

Although that equipment retains “much of its intended protective properties,” it’s considered no longer serviceable once its warranty expires, and the gear is taken out of service, the agency’s request stated. 

“If approved, these items will be donated with the clear understanding that these items are expired per the manufacturer’s dates,” DCSO’s request added. 

Since the end of 2023’s first quarter is approaching, multiple Dawson County departments are taking BOC Chairman Billy Thurmond up on his suggestion that they request more staff.

Parks and Recreation is asking for a full-time athletic assistant and a maintenance worker, citing

40% usage growth since 2018 and the county’s proposed takeover of three lakeside parks. 

The Dawson County Coroner’s Office is requesting a current county employee be appointed as a new deputy coroner. 

Dawson County Treatment Services is likewise asking for re-approval of a grant that would pay for two counselor and multiple surveillance officer positions, among other department needs. 

Discussions are also expected to continue on a review of the county’s vape ordinance. The board voted to table a decision on the ordinance at their last meeting, citing the need to gather more information.

Voting session

The BOC will again have the opportunity to vote on proposed changes to Dawson County’s Land Use Resolution on March 2. The suggested updates to the land use rules were part of what convinced the commissioners to extend the moratorium on residential zoning applications. 

BOC March 2 2023 agenda 2

These proposed land use rule updates cover stream buffers, allowed home structures, lot widths and mixed-use regulations, among numerous other items. 

As with prior meetings, the board may amend their voting session agenda to include items moved up from the work session. DCN will provide follow-up coverage of these BOC meetings.