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Proposals for War Hill Park will once again be heard by Dawson County commissioners
War Hill Park sign
File photo.

Following a community meeting held last month, the Board of Commissioners will also hear details on a proposed long-term master plan for Dawson County’s War Hill Park when they meet next week.

This story continues below.

Work session

Parks and Recreation Director Matt Payne is set to present the proposal during the board’s June 15 work session, according to a meeting agenda. 

Dawson County Board of Commissioners
What: Work and voting sessions
When: Thursday, June 15 starting at 4 p.m., promptly followed by the voting session
Where: Dawson County Government Center; second-floor assembly room; 25 Justice Way in downtown Dawsonville. 
How: Attend in person or watch live via the Dawson County Government's Facebook page 
The board’s work session will start at 4 p.m. next Thursday, June 15, and a voting session will promptly follow that meeting.

Suggested improvements for War Hill Park include improved campsites and hiking trails. Dawson County manages and operates the park alongside Lake Lanier as part of a long-term lease with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

On Thursday, the board has the option of either moving the matter to the voting session immediately afterwards or opting to decide at a future meeting. 

If the county ultimately adopts the proposed plan for War Hill Park, it would then go before the 

Corps of Engineers for approval through a process that includes an environmental assessment and a public comment period.

In terms of road projects, Dawson County commissioners are also expected to hear a resolution formally granting a request to donate right of way for the upcoming replacement of the Shoal Creek Road bridge that traverses the creek of the same name. 

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is in the planning stages of obtaining the required land for the bridge’s construction. 

GDOT is preparing to seek bids for the bridge project this fall. A contract probably won’t be awarded until or just after the year’s end, Public Works Director Robert Drewry said in April.

Voting session 

People can sign up to speak about a particular agenda item in the middle of the voting meeting or sign up toward the end to speak about anything not specifically listed on the agenda. 

On Thursday, the board will be able to decide whether to move forward with a $3.9 million bid from Blount Construction for road paving and full-depth reclamation (FDR) projects along Kelly Bridge, Goodson and War Hill Park roads.

If approved, the projects will be paid for using money from the county’s sixth and seventh Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax or SPLOST funds.  

The BOC is also set to vote on a $735,455 bid from Townley Construction for culvert projects along some of those same roadways Thursday. 

If approved, funding would come from SPLOST VII and finance three culvert replacements along Kelly Bridge Road, two on Goodson Road and one along Indian Cove Road. 

The board will also be able to consider multiple requests from Fire and Emergency Services. 

That department is asking for two SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) fill stations

at a cost of $141,489.76, Fire Chief Troy Leist said at the board’s June 1 work session. 

Being well past their service lives, those fill stations don’t meet the current safety standards and can’t adequately fill the industry-standard SCBA cylinders, which can cost firefighters time, Leist told the board.

The issue with the fill stations became apparent when Leist helped conduct updated quarterly air sampling tests to test for contamination. 

Having updated fill systems at Stations 1 and 2 would be more cost-effective in the long run than stockpiling cylinders, partnering with a neighboring county on a fill station or having a mobile fill station, the fire chief added. 

Leist also asked for the county’s approval to order two Pierce fire engines using SPLOST VII funds, for a total cost of $1,412,956. These fire engines, as well as a third engine, were planned as part of the SPLOST. 

“Replacing emergency vehicles on a schedule is essential to being mission ready,” stated a memo with the June 15 voting agenda. “As call volumes increase and vehicles are being pushed it is imperative to have a reliable fleet. Down time with no vehicle to put in its place can leave gaps in coverage.”

Just over $706,000 will be due when the order for the fire engines is placed, and the rest will be due when they’re  delivered, the memo stated.

These two new engines would be in line with the other two the county last purchased. The Pierce engines would replace engines 1 and 7, with the older ones going into reserve status. 

Paying money up front will put the county “into a quicker queue” of 17-20 months instead of three years from ordering to delivery, Leist said on June 1.  

Ordering in this way will also save the county a little over $38,000, according to the memo. 

If the county opts to order a third fire engine, that could save them “at least $150,000” given that the engine motors in line with the EPA’s new emissions standards cost more, Leist said. 


Two different local roadways will soon temporarily close for construction work, according to previous notices from Dawson County’s government. 

Starting on Thursday, June 15, Dawson Forest Road at its intersection with Ga. 53 will be closed until Aug. 1 for construction of the planned roundabout there, but Ga. 53 will not be closed, stated an updated Dawson County Government Facebook post. 

Thompson Creek Park Road will remain open for residents and park visitors.

Blacks Mill Road from Blacks Mill Creek Bridge to Dawson Forest Road will close starting Monday, June 19 for sewer line and water main installations.

This closure is expected to last about three months. During this time, Blacks Mill Road will be closed to through traffic. 

Maps shared by the Dawson County Government show detour information for both the Blacks Mill and Dawson Forest Road closures. 

Detour signage for the roundabout project has been posted along Ga. 400 northbound approaching Dawson Forest Road. 

DCN will provide follow-up coverage after the Board of Commissioners’ meetings.