City Hall to re-open June 1 with restrictions
Hiawassee City Hall plans to re-open June 1 with measures in place to keep the environment safe. The front door will be unlocked, but the second set of doors will remain locked. When someone enters, a city employee will open the second set of doors to take the visitor’s temperature and ask contract tracing questions. All visitors are encouraged to wear a mask and the city will provide one as well as hand sanitizer.
The city decided to open back up because court will be in session on June 8 and June 19.
“There is a whole plethora of hurdles to jump through for the courtroom,” said Liz Ordiales. Mayor of Hiawassee.
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Those attending court will follow the same guidelines plus some court-specific ones. For instance, according to Ordiales, there will be one person before the judge, one person in the courtroom, and one waiting outside the courtroom. Other attendees will have to wait in their car after checking in.
Budget presented, with downfall due to pandemic
The City of Hiawassee presented it’s budget Tuesday prior to the work session. Mayor Liz Ordiales said while she expects the city to have some loses due to the pandemic, she expects the city to pull through.
The proposed budget is around $3,131,650 in income and $3,363,350, leaving a deficit $231,700. The deficit is seen in the police department budget, which is part of the general fund, but shown separately to for clarification.
The police department has a projected income of $150,200 and expenses of $381,900 for a deficit of $231,700, which will be covered by the general fund, said Ordiales.
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The general fund shows income and expenditures at $646,525. Motel and hotel fund showed a decrease to $115,400 from 183,400. The $68,000 difference is anticipated losses due to COVID-19. The Special Local Option Sales Tax, which is not longer generating revenue, has $22,500 in its account and the remaining projects will be finished this year.
- Total Police Income $150,200 4.8%
- Total General Income $646,525 20.6%
- Total Income – Hotel $183,400 5.9%
- Total Income – Water $941,000 30.0%
- Total Income-Sewer $585,200 18.7%
- Total Income-WTP $625,325 20.0%
- $3,131,650 100.0%
- Total Police Expense $381,900 11.4%
- Total General Expense $646,525 19.2%
- Total Expense – Hotel $183,400 5.5%
- Total Expense – Water $941,000 28.0%
- Total Expense-Sewer $585,200 17.4%
- Total Expense-WTP $625,325 18.6%
- $3,363,350 100.0%
In other Hiawassee news:
- The city also discussed a package alcohol sales ordinance and how to develop one that would meet the city’s needs without overrunning it. No action was taken but topics discussed were limiting the number of licenses allowed, refundable deposits, and a lottery system. The winner of the lottery system would not receive their deposit back as it would be converted to their bond.
- The Water Department found and repaired major leaks at Sneaking Creek, where 850,000 gallons of water leaked out per month for four months. Another leak was repaired at Bugscuffle Spur.
- Music on the Square returns on June 20 at 7p.m. with the Cloggers
- Remembered James “J.C.” Cecil Berrong, a very active member of the Hiawassee community and was running for tax commissioner when he was killed in an accident.
- Remembered Ron Schott who was instrumental in planning Music on the Square but died recently.