Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 4/5 – 4/11

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 3/28 – 4/4

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 3/22 – 3/28

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 3/15 – 3/21

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 3/8 – 3/14

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 3/1 – 3/7

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 2/21 – 2/28

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 2/15 – 2/21

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

 

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 2/8 – 2/14

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 1/25 – 1/31

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Hiawassee earns good opinion for 2020 audit

News
Hiawassee coronavirus

HIAWASSEE, Ga – Rushton and Associates gave the city of Hiawassee a clean or unmodified opinion for their 2020 audit. It’s the second year in a row that Hiawassee received this rating.

The 2020 audit showcased how city revenues dropped and expenditures increased for the year too. Revenues were down $55,012 (5.4 percent). Expenditures were up $73,922 (8.8 percent).

The following revenue areas decreased for the year:

  • Motor Vehicle Tax – $49,779
  • Franchise Tax – $12,447
  • Intergovernmental Revenues – $56,457

However, four departments increased revenue:

  • Property Tax – $13,360
  • Local Option Sales Tax – $10,402
  • Alcohol Beverage Tax – $6,296
  • Fines, Fees, and Forfeitures – $24,352

On the expenditure side, the administration increased by $82,997 due to capital outlay.

The unassigned fund balance grew from 2019 to 2020 to $389,653 or 47.6 percent of expenditures. The city has 5.1 months of operating expenses on hand in case of emergencies. It’s recommended to keep at least three months of expenditures stored away.

Copy of the Hiawassee general fund 2020 audit.

In 2020 the city also paid off one loan in the amount of $697,996 and paid $287,585 in principle on other loans. Since 2017, they reduced the debt by 41 percent. Currently, $2,694,778 in debt is still outstanding.

Hiawassee received $47,000 in CARES Act Funding, $3,000GMA Safety Grant from LGRMS, $68,000 USDA Rural Development Grant for the Paris Building, $17,000 LMIG grant from GDOT, and $8,000 mural grant.

Water and Sewer

The water and sewer operating revenue grew by $279,015 (14.4 percent).  $114,559 came from a payment made by the water treatment plant. According to Rushton and Associates CPA Chris Hollifield, the remaining amount, $164,456 came from revenue growth.

Operating expenses for 2020 increased by $69.352 (4.2 percent). From 2019 to 2020, operating income shot up by $209,663.

Water Treatment Plant

Revenue for the water treatment plant decreased by $12,211 (1.65 percent) and expenses increased by $192,110 (46.4 percent). The payment made to water and sewer accounted for the majority of the change. In 2019, the water treatment plant made $327,838 in income. In 2020, the plant’s income was $123,512.

Copy of 2020 water and sewerage fund audit.

Police Year in Review Report

In 2020, Hiawassee Police Department filed 274 reports, issued 308 warnings and 325 tickets. It made 75 arrests: 10 misdemeanor drug offenses, 18 felony drug offenses, 44 other misdemeanors, and 3 felonies.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 1/18 – 1/24

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Towns County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Report 1/4 – 1/10

Arrest Reports, Police & Government

Arrest report with photos provided by the Towns County Sheriff’s Office.  The Georgia Open Records Act (O.C.G.A. 50-18-70) allows for FetchYourNews.com to obtain and post the arrest records of any and all individuals arrested in Towns County. Those arrests are posted on FetchYourNews.com for viewing pleasure. Please remember that all individuals listed have been arrested and charged, however, they are presumed innocent until guilt has been proven in a court of law.

Hiawassee questions Halloween options for city

News, Police & Government
halloween

Hiawassee invites guests to the fundraiser to raise money for Shop with a Hero.

The City of Hiawassee discussed whether the city should host Halloween on the Square in light of the pandemic, modify it, or cancel altogether. The discussion began in their work session and they agreed to revisit at Tuesday’s regular session. The city has been following CDC guidelines for interaction since the pandemic started.

They were unable to come to a decision on whether to host it or not and have opted to renew the discussion at their next work session on Sept. 24.

Jennifer Garner, city clerk, told the council that the Chamber of Commerce had researched what other municipalities were doing and presented “Drive-thru Halloween.”

“Businesses would donate candy to City Hall and we’d bag it and hand it out as cars came by,” said Garner.

The idea was met with questions and concerns, including the extra work involved.

“If you look around, our employees aren’t exactly needing extra work,” said one council member.

Another member pointed out that because Blairsville and Hazel were not having Halloween events, there would be no way to know if they had enough candy.

VISIT THE CITY OF HIAWASSEE’S FACEBOOK PAGE.

“It’s a great idea, but it will be a lot of work,” said Garner.

The council agreed to continue to look at options later.

READ ABOUT THE TAG RENEWAL'S AND THE PITFALLS OF THIRD-PARTY VENDORS

In other Hiawassee news, the council:

  • Approved contracting with Freedman Design Group for new email and Microsoft contract at $4,650 or $18.50 a month per user.
  • Approved the set the technology fee for police citations at $20.
  • Held the first reading of the new alcohol ordinance.
  • Approved the alcohol license for the Tilted Cafe.
  • Approved the contract of the Turf Care contract.

Alcohol ordinance at Hiawassee’s work session

News, Police & Government
alcohol ordinance

Mayor Liz Ordiales showed the council a picture of five rattlesnakes found in meter vault by city employees.

Alcohol ordinance first reading Tuesday

The proposed alcohol ordinance will have its first reading Tuesday and the Hiawassee City Council discussed some of the issues with it before putting it on the agenda, including a free-market approach versus regulating the number of package stores, and rewording the brown bag portion. The first reading will be at

Anne Mitchell voiced concern about limiting the number of licenses granted for package store.

“I don’t see why the free market system can’t control how many liquor stores we have,” said Mitchell.

The alcohol ordinance established one store per 30,000 people.

alcohol ordinance

The intake area at the water plant needs repair. The council will discuss this at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

“I know Liz (Ordiales) doesn’t like the notion of a business failing,” Mitchell said. “If we put a limit on it, I feel like we are going to a place we don’t want to go.”

Another council member countered. “As a business owner, I agree with (Ordiales),” she said. “With a lot of our vendors, they have a security thing in place that you can’t sell certain products within a certain mile radius as other businesses.”

Council member Amy Barrett said she saw both sides of the issue. Although concerned the city would have a lot of package stores, she said that Barnett made a “valid point.”

“We don’t regulate any other business,” she pointed out.

As for the brown bag provision, Ordiales posed a question.

“It only states wine is allowed. What if I want an ale? A stout?” she asked.

alcohol ordinance

Only two more Music on the Square events are left.

“Then you should have one,” Barrett said.

The alcohol ordinance will be reworded prior to Tuesday’s meeting. A second reading and vote will happen in October.

Property tax collections moving to the city

The city is transitioning tax collection from the tax commissioners office to the city, an effort that has been a little bumpy.

“We received the five-year history and the tax rollback,” said Liz Ordiales, mayor. “I haven’t had time to review them and the folks at the tax commissioner’s office have been less than helpful in transitioning.”

Still, she said Jennifer Gardner, court clerk, has been leading the effort and doing a good job.

“We’ve got a meeting Wednesday with the GMA (Georgia Municipal Association) tax guru’s who will teach us how to properly do this and make sure we transition everything over,” said Ordailes.

On Tuesday’s agenda

  • Discussion on applying nitrogen to Town Square as part of maintenance. The cost is  $85 per applications with six to seven applications per year, running $510-$595 we’ll vote for it on Tuesday
  • Discussion on how to repair the intake which is sinking at the water plant. Ordiales said renting a barge for three days would cost $229,000, however they received an estimate for a temporary repair for $50,000 followed by a permanent fix in the winter for $50,000 for a total of $100,000
  •  Voting on Alcohol License for Tilted Caféon.
  • Voting on CARES Act resolution. The city qualified for $46,000 and a resolution is needed to collect it. The CARES Act allows the government to recoup expenses related to the pandemic.
  • Discussions will continue on whether or not to hold the Halloween event.
  • A final discussion on the technology fee.
  • Discussion of a new email contract using a company out of Oregon. The cost would run $4,600 a year including Microsoft updates.
  • First reading on a Two Readings at One meeting resolution. This would allow the city council to read and vote on agenda items in one session instead of two.
READ ABOUT TOWNS COUNTY'S FINANCIAL STATUS HERE.

Old Business and announcements

  • The county has 184 cases of COVID-19, including five deaths. The city offices continue to be closed to the public, who can use the drop boxes or call 706-896-2222.
  • Added the outside stair case to the sewer plant.
  • Found 32 places that had a substantial leak; 14 turned out to be legitimate leaks, the remainder were actual-use.
  • Cautioned residents about their meter vaults after crews found five rattlesnakes in one vault.
  • The kayak ramp should be finished within days.
  • The city is working with Towns County High School to build an arch leading into the park with picnic area and kayak ramp.
  • Music on the Square has two shows left September 5  and September 12.
  • Yoga on the Square every Saturday at 10, bring a mat and stretch for free.
  • A rock with a plague paying homage to J.C. Berrong by his Sunday school class
  • Lions club is having a shred day sat September 12 9-11 a.m. at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds Parking Lot for Towns County residents.
  • Census closes on September 30.
  • September 11 will be Patriots Day celebration at 9:45 on the square.
alcohol ordinance

Tuesday’s agenda for the regular session of the Hiawassee City Council.

Get a copy of Tuesday’s agenda here.

Hiawassee City Hall to re-open June 1 court resumes June 8

Police & Government
hiawassee city council meeting

The City of Hiawassee has been looking for leaks in their water system one was found on Bugscuffle Spur and another on Sneaking Creek Road.

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.

WATCH THE MEETING HERE.

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.

EARLY VOTING CONTINUES IN TOWNS, READ THE STORY HERE.

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.

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