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Dawson County OK’s funds for health department fixes
Health department SPLOST 7
The current Dawson County Health Department building sits at 54 Ga. 53 in downtown Dawsonville. - photo by Julia Hansen

After previously hearing about a mounting list of maintenance needs at Dawson County’s 70-year-old health department, the Board of Commissioners unanimously approved money for the fixes during their Nov. 17 voting session.

The county plans to use $60,968 from the general fund balance to cover repairs for the health department, located at 54 Ga. 53 in downtown Dawsonville. Of that amount, $5,000 is allotted for contingency funds. 

At the board’s Nov. 3 work session, Facilities Director James Tolbert said his staff will manage the contracting in-house to keep costs down.

Some of the health clinic’s needed fixes include replacing its carpet with non-slip vinyl flooring, swapping deteriorating door frames for more secure ones, updating the electrical panel and adding more electrical outlets to the clinic’s WIC offices.

These repairs will serve both as a holdover while Dawson County prepares to fund and build a new health department and as improvements for future building occupants.

In particular, the electrical fixes would allow clinic staff to move medical refrigerators to secure locations in those spaces and avoid an overload to the building’s power system, which BOC Chairman Billy Thurmond pointed out was a fire hazard. 

“I know we’re building a new health department,” Thurmond said on Nov. 3. “But we’ve got to keep what we have up until we do, and that’s going to be a couple years down the road.”