Towns County prepares for summer months

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Towns County COVID-19 summer

HIAWASSEE, Ga – Towns County’s gearing up for summer season, scheduling the beach’s opening day, and using local detainees to clean county property.

The county beach and associated bathrooms will officially open on May 15. By mid-May, the weather should be warm enough.

Sheriff Ken “Ode” Henderson implemented a jail detainee road crew since Colwell Detention Center detainee crews still aren’t available. Colwell hasn’t been able to send out crews since the pandemic started. Last year, the road department cared for all the local property, but that’s not a sustainable solution on top of their usual responsibilities.

The county hired a company to care for the courthouse property alone and the sheriff’s office hired a full-time deputy to watch the jail crew. This way the crews can work five days a week.

Colwell hopes to have detainee crews back by July 2021, but it still depends on if someone tests positive for COVID-19.

Sole Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw stated that Towns is in good shape financially and sales taxes are up again this year.

Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw

Towns County Commissioner Cliff Bradshaw

Bids are out for the concrete helicopter pad at the new Young Harris Fire Station. A grand opening for the facility will be scheduled sometime this summer depending on COVID-19. Speaking of COVID-19, Towns has administered over 8,000 vaccine doses. Bradshaw asked everyone to continue to follow the CDC guidelines.

Sheriff Ken Henderson’s office was officially issued a county credit card after the second reading and adoption of the ordinance. Henderson approached the county about the necessity of a credit card for training and accommodations that require cards to hold rooms. The credit card funds will come from the sheriff’s office budget and can’t exceed $750 charge per day or $5,000 per month.

Henderson’s responsible for every dime spent on that card and developed an office policy that detailed authorized users, purchases, and procedures for the credit card.

Towns County Fire Department hopes to purchase a brush rescue truck at some time in the future. The vehicle will enable the department to fight brush fires, respond to medical emergencies and car wrecks. For now, the county will continue to let SPLOST funds build up before moving forward with a purchase. The truck will cost around $140,732.

Marty Roberts was named the Safety Coordinator for Towns County as part of its Safety Policy Statement for ACCG. He will investigate accident prevention and how to make the county safer.

Bradshaw signed the 2021 Economic Development Strategy Resolution with Hiawassee and Young Harris. The three governments will work together to attract businesses and foster prosperity in Towns County.

Hamilton Gardens will continue its plant sale every weekend until they sell out. The sale runs Saturday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The new gazebo has opened in the garden, and the first concert of the season is scheduled for April 29.

Towns County Historical Society plans to have its first meeting since 2020 on May 10 at 6 p.m.

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