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Local News Archives for 2023-08

History Cherokee is offering Free Admission Saturday, September 9

Free Admission Saturday

September 9, 2023 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Did somebody say free admission? That's right! On Saturday, September 9, all guests visiting the Cherokee County History Center can explore the history museum free of charge! CLICK HERE

If you haven't had a chance to visit the History Center, or you've been meaning to show the museum to your friends and family, now's your chance!

Friday Night Football Game Delayed

Friday nights game vs @etowahhs will be delayed until 8pm. Gates will now open on Friday night at 6pm. Please purchase Game and parking tickets early to avoid long lines. #WarriorsPride

WLJA 101.1 FM Broadcasting Live, Streaming the Game of the Week on a Computer Near You. Etowah Eagles vs Cherokee Warriors. Go Teams!

Cherokee County Board of Commissioners | Highlights from the meeting on August 15

Highlights from the Aug. 15
BOC Meeting

(AUG. 15, 2023) -- Land adjacent to the fire station in the Free Home Community will be purchased at the beginning of 2024 for a future satellite office for the Tax Commissioner’s Office and additional parking for the community center.

At its Aug. 15 meeting, the Board of Commissioners approved, 5-0, purchasing 2.15 acres for $355,000 using Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds. Closing on the property is expected to occur after Jan. 1, 2024. District 1 Commissioner Steve West made the motion, which was seconded by District 2 Commissioner Richard Weatherby.

The additional land provides space for a satellite Tax Commissioner’s Office and expansion of the parking lot for the community center located inside Fire Station No. 4.

The County has identified a need for a temporary mobile location in the Free Home Community until a permanent facility can be constructed. SPLOST 2018 funding is covering costs for both the land purchase and the mobile facility.

West has been working to expand county services in the Free Home Community, which is in the district he represents. The County purchased 91.89 acres in 2020 at the corner of Ga. 372 and Ga. 20 for the future E.W. and Edith Cochran Park, which has been designed as part of the Northeast Cherokee Parks Master Plan. The County and the Cherokee County School District have since exchanged acreage to give the District road frontage for the Free Home Elementary replacement school, leaving plenty of land for the future park.

At the time of the parkland purchase, West indicated a desire to expand other county services, including a satellite office for the Tax Commissioner’s Office so residents did not have to drive to Canton. Current offices for the Tax Commissioner’s Office are located in Woodstock and Canton, with kiosk locations for tag renewal in Towne Lake and Hickory Flat. He has been working with county staff and Tax Commissioner Denise Mastroserio to find a suitable location.

“I’m happy to see action being taken to provide more convenience to the residents of the Free Home Community,” West said. “Residents currently have to navigate construction on Highway 20 to drive to Canton to take care of business at the Tax Commissioner’s Office. This decision will provide them with a convenient option.”

Once the county takes ownership of the property in early 2024, design and construction will begin.

During the Aug. 15 meeting, the Board also:

  • Heard Fire-ES Chief Eddie Robinson present outstanding employee awards and recognitions.

  • Proclaimed Aug. 15, 2023 as Youth Sports Champions Day in Cherokee County.

  • Approved, 5-0, the minutes from the Aug. 1 special called meeting, work session, executive session and regular meeting. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter.
  • Held a public hearing on a Board of Commissioners-initiated rezoning for property at 5385 Drew Road to rezone 0.45 acres of the 15.66-acre property from Neighborhood Commercial to Agriculture. Staff indicated the rezoning is board-initiated due to a zoning mapping error from the 1980s. The property owners, David and Sheryl Neary, are proposing a minor subdivision on the AG zoned parcel. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Held a public hearing regarding Scott Brassard’s request to modify 2004 zoning conditions at 211 Highland Village Lane to remove the requirement for a 50-foot exterior zoning buffer. Several residents of the Arbor View subdivision spoke in opposition, saying a precedent would be set if the Board allowed encroachment on the 50-foot buffer. The resident who filed the application indicated he received permission from his neighborhood HOA to level the yard and remove dead and diseased trees, as well as trash, on his property. He told the Board he did not have any malicious intent with his actions. He apologized to the Arbor View neighbors and told the Board he would be willing to plant screening trees along his fence line. Commissioner Carter, who represents the area, motioned to table the decision until Sept. 5 to work out a compromise between the property owners. Commissioner Weatherby seconded the motion. The vote was 5-0.
  • Held a public hearing on Daniel Panfil’s appeal of a June 2023 Zoning Board of Appeals decision regarding a variance to encroach up to 35 feet into a platted 50-foot undisturbed buffer at 104 Arbor Hill Trail to build a pool. The previous owner of the property removed the trees in the buffer. Mr. Panfil had support from the HOA board who spoke in his favor, as well as surrounding neighbors. Commissioner West made the motion to approve the appeal of the ZBA decision due to the most affected neighbors being in support of the action. Commissioner Weatherby seconded the motion. The vote was 5-0.
  • Held a public hearing related to a Zoning Ordinance amendment concerning C&D Transfer Stations. The amendment allows closed construction/demolition waste landfills in Light Industrial zoned districts that meet criteria to be used as transfer stations for the same type of waste with a Special Use Permit. No one spoke. District 4 Commissioner Corey Ragsdale made the motion to approve the amendment, which was seconded by Commissioner West. The vote was 5-0.
  • Held a public hearing to consider extending the moratorium for the I-575 and Sixes Road Interchange Area. Staff indicated that with the approval of the Comprehensive Plan, they are amenable to allow the moratorium to end Friday, Aug. 18 as planned. The Board took no action, and the moratorium will end Aug. 18.
  • Approved, 5-0, adopting the 2023 Comprehensive Plan. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Tabled, 5-0, a decision on Barry and Dawn Scott’s appeal of the Zoning Manager’s decision to reject the zoning review of a business license application for Dallas North Lawn Sprinklers, Inc. for property located at 11397 Bells Ferry Road. The case will be put on the Sept. 5 agenda. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 5-0, the consent agenda, which included: a subrecipient agreement in the amount of $600,000 with the Canton Housing Authority for the Tippens Place Project from the county’s 2021 ARPA allocation; an updated Safe Kids and Wellness Program partnership agreement with Northside Hospital; the conveyance of right-of-way deeds for the construction of a joint access roadway for both the new Free Home Elementary School and the future Cochran Park; amendment one to the construction agreement with RDJE, Inc. for the Etowah Valley Estates Drainage Improvement Project in the amount of $23,450; amendment one to the Design Services Agreement with Volkert, Inc. to prepare a stream buffer variance and coordination with FEMA for the East Cherokee Drive at Avery Creek Drive Intersection Improvement project in the amount of $23,801; the 2023 CDBG and HOME Annual Action Plan submission to HUD; reallocation of aging CDBG funds and submission of corresponding update of the 2022 Annual Action Plan to HUD; calling a public hearing for Sept. 5 to receive comments regarding the abandonment of an unnamed street off West Putnam Ferry Road; calling for a public hearing for Sept. 5 on the abandonment of a permanent slope easement on a portion of Woodstock Parkway; calling for a public hearing on Sept. 5 to consider transmittal of the 2023 Annual Impact Fee Update and Community Work Program to the Atlanta Regional Commission and Georgia Department of Community Affairs; calling for a public hearing on Sept. 19 regarding possible amendments to the Cherokee County Zoning Ordinance and Cherokee County Development Ordinance concerning Minor, Rural and Major Subdivision requirements; calling for a public hearing on Sept. 19 for review and adoption of an amendment to Article 16 – Overlay Zoning District Regulations; calling for a public hearing on Sept. 19 regarding the use of motorized carts on approved streets in the Southlands subdivision; calling for a public hearing on Sept. 19 regarding the use of motorized carts on approved streets in the Crabapple Falls subdivision; calling for a public hearing on Sept. 19 regarding the use of motorized carts on approved streets in the Falls of Cherokee subdivision; and calling for a public hearing on Oct. 17 to consider adopting the final version of Article II Noise Ordinance amendments. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, an agreement with Digitech Computers, LLC for EMS billing services for three years with the option to renew two additional one-year terms for a 3.55 percent of net revenue collections. This is a new vendor with reduced costs to the county. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, amendment two to the Design Services Agreement with Southeastern Engineering, Inc., for additional road design and environmental services for the Ga. 92 at Trickum Road Intersection Improvement Project. The cost is $208,368. The project is a Local Administered Project that follows all GDOT processes and is a joint project with the city of Woodstock. The county is responsible for all project management and project design costs, and the city of Woodstock and the county will share the required 20 percent federal match for right-of-way acquisition and construction phases of the project. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, an agreement with Corblu-Deerleap Preserve LLC to purchase habitat mitigation credits for the Shoal Creek Road over Puckett Creek Improvement Project. The cost is $39,720. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, a Professional Services Agreement with Eventmark LLC for the continued operation of the Conference Center. The cost is $142,000 plus commissions and eligible reimbursable expenses as defined in the agreement. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, amendment two to the Design and Construction Agreement for SW Cherokee Park with TSW to add services related to relocation of park elements within the park. The cost to amend the agreement is $26,500. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, the purchase of a vibratory tandem roller from Reynolds-Warren Equipment Company for $30,199. Public Works is in need of a small roller to be used on minor paving projects like deep patches, parking lots, and driveways. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, the purchase of one 2022 Ford F-250 utility body truck from Courtesy Ford for Recreation and Parks. The cost is $55,900. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, a resolution to authorize the Tax Commissioner to waive the mailing of, preparation of and/or sending of any tax bills for any ad valorem tax bill equal or less than $1. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, the fifth amendment to the agreement with Trinity Services Group to extend the Food Services Agreement at the Adult Detention Center for an additional year at the request of the Sheriff’s Office. The expected cost is $753,045. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, purchasing Illuminate 911 QA and Higher Ground Recorder for E 9-1-1 from Replay System. The cost is $153,826. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 5-0, a petition to install five speed humps on Wrights Mill Road. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, ratification of a proposed consent order resolving claims against the county by Home Care Partnership in the acquisition, through condemnation of certain real property interests for Parcel 10 of the Ga. 140 at East Cherokee Drive Intersection Improvement Project (a 2019 Superior Court Civil case). Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.

WLJA 101.1 FM's Top 10 Hits for August

WLJA Radio 101.1 FM

Top 15 Gospel Hits

1. “Old Country Baptizing” Zoe & Cloyd

2. “I Will Not Cry Today” The Chuck Wagon Gang

3. “Dust On The Altar” McKamey Legacy

4. “Beautiful” The Nelons

5. “Way Up On The Hill” Eagle’s Wings

6. “Lost and Found” Southbound

7. “He Still Does” 11th Hour

8. "I Know My Savior Cares” Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

9. “Golden Road” Promised Land Quartet

10. “Been Blessed” Whisnants

11. “All Things” The Sound

12. “Never Have To Wonder If I’ll Ever” Troy Burns Family

13. “Ready For The Change” Kingsmen

14. “Jordan” Darin & Brooke Aldridge

15. “Calvary’s Touch” Perrys

#WLJA #Gospel #GospelMusic #WednesdayWisdom #Top10 #Top15 #GospelHits #Enjoy #EnjoyPickens #EnjoyGilmer #CherokeeCountyGA #PickensGA #GilmerGA

Navy Office of Community Outreach

230815-N-AB310-1112 PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 15, 2023)

Aviation Electronic Technician 2nd Class Colin Henderson, from Canton, Ga., conducts a safety check on a vacuum cleaner aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway conducting routine operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brittney Camacho-Pietri)

History Cherokee Announces 2023 Historic Preservation Award Winners

CANTON, GA – History Cherokee held its Historic Preservation Awards at the Timbers on Etowah on August 10. The annual event honors owners of historic properties in Cherokee County their outstanding work in historic preservation. Award recipients receive a plaque to display at their property recognizing the accomplishment. This year, the following six properties and property owners were recognized: 

Rusk Family Cemetery, Woodstock

The Rusk Cemetery was established in 1841 and has been cared for by the family since then. The family has maintained the headstones, built a fence and gate to secure the property, and established a benevolent fund to ensure that it is taken care of for future generations.

Roberts Lake Dam and Power Generation
Facility, Ball Ground

Roberts Marble Company built the dam in 1923 on Long Swamp Creek to provide electric power for their marble finishing mill. It was later sold to Georgia Power and destroyed in the 1930s. The City of Ball Ground recognized the historical significance of the ruins and acquired the site. They have stabilized the structure and built walking trails so that its history can be enjoyed by the public.

Dot's Fine Wine & Craft, Ball Ground

Celebrating the time the building was operated by Dorothy Byrd as a restaurant, Todd Martin and Cindy Shera have created a new destination for downtown Ball Ground with Dot’s Fine Wine & Craft. They showcase historic features such as doors, brick walls and windows in the new shop.

Downtown Kitchen Building, Canton

The building now known as Downtown Kitchen was built in the early 1900s. Over time, the structure housed stores and even a mortuary. When Chef Zach Kell noticed the building in 2003, it was a three-story brick shell with no roof and a dirt floor. Over the years, Zach, along with his parents, Bill and Tina, rehabilitated the structure into a restaurant and residential loft.

Wilson-Clark Home, Canton

Originally built by the Forrester family in 1955, this brick ranch retains many original features such as the hardwood floors, doors, hardware, bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Cory Wilson and John Clark have celebrated the home’s existing features while making a few modern additions.

Cox-Luman Homeplace, Waleska

The two-story farmhouse is believed to have been constructed circa 1860 and features the original stone foundation and chimney, hand-hewn log walls and fireplace mantles. The Cox-Luman family have lovingly cared for the property since 1906, including the circa 1840s barn and other outbuildings.

 

The Historic Preservation Award recipients are determined by a committee of volunteers who spend time over several months visiting nominated sites, talking with the property owners, and learning about the sites. The 2023 Historic Preservation Committee is chaired by Beth Ingram and includes Sylvia Bowles, Kathy Day, Bob Gamble, and Frank Niemeir.  

History Cherokee also honored longtime volunteer Chuck Douglas with the Judson Roberts Lifetime Service Award. The award’s namesake was a native of Ball Ground and a monumental force for historic preservation in Cherokee County. Douglas was honored with this award for his dedication to historic preservation, which began in the early 1980s when he helped Roberts raise money to preserve and renovate the Rock Barn. 

This year’s History Preservation Awards were sponsored by Mark and Peggy Moore and Tri-State Communications.


About History Cherokee

History Cherokee operates the Cherokee County History Center and the Historic Rock Bark. History Cherokee’s mission is the collection, preservation, and interpretation of Cherokee County history.

Free Activities for Adults 55+ at the North Georgia State Fair

MARIETTA, GA (August 3, 2023) – Cobb County Senior Services is once again partnering with the North Georgia State Fair for Senior Day! Adults age 55+ are invited on Friday, September 22 for a morning of fun and free activities. 

Admission, parking, and special activities for seniors are FREE and will take place from 9 am – 1 pm before the fair opens; when the fair opens at 4pm, everyone age 55+ gets in FREE. 

The schedule includes: 

  • 8:00 am: Breakfast (while supplies last)
  • 9:00 am – 1:00 pm: Petting Zoo and Barn 
  • 9:00 am – 1:00 pm: Non-commercial exhibit hall 
  • 10:00 am: Bingo 
  • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm: Ride the Georgia Mountain Lift 
  • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm: Food vendors open for lunch (on your own)
  • 11:00 am: Rosaire’s Royal Racers
  • 11:30 am: Sea Lion Splash
  • 12:00 pm: Ready Go Dog Show
  • 12:00 pm: Bingo 

The North Georgia State Fair takes place at Jim R. Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta, GA 30008. More information about the senior activities may be obtained at www.cobbseniors.org or 770-528-5355. For information about the fair, visit www.northgeorgiastatefair.com or call 770-528-8989 after September 4th. 


About Cobb County Senior Services 

For more than 50 years, Cobb County Senior Services (CCSS) has served older adults (55+) and their families with programs and resources such as Meals on Wheels, transportation, veteran connection, and volunteer opportunities. CCSS operates seven senior center locations throughout Cobb County, offering fun activities and classes, workout rooms, educational presentations, special events, day trips, and more. For more information, please call visit www.cobbseniors.org or call 770-528-5355. 

The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners unanimously lowered the overall BOC-controlled millage rate from the 2022 rates.

CANTON, GA (Aug. 3, 2023) – The Cherokee County Board of Commissioners unanimously lowered the overall BOC-controlled millage rate from the 2022 rates.

At its Aug. 1 meeting, the Board approved, 5-0, setting the Maintenance & Operations rate at 4.954 mills, the Fire District rate at 2.764 mills and the Parks Bond at 0.319 mills, for a total BOC-controlled rate of 8.037 mills. District 1 Commissioner Steve West made the motion, which was seconded by District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter.

The approval also included ratifying the rates set by the Board of Education, which were 16.45 mills for the School Board M&O rate and 1.5 mills for the School Board Bond rate. 

More than 60 percent of residential property owners in Cherokee County will see lower tax bills this fall due to lower BOC-controlled rates and a one-time state rebate. In addition to the $5,000 standard homestead exemptions, homesteaded properties values are frozen for the county maintenance and operations tax when homestead applications are filed. The state of Georgia is using excess funds in state coffers to provide property tax relief to homesteaded property owners, equaling to a reduction of $18,000 on the property’s assessed value. 

The two final public hearings for the BOC-controlled rates were held at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Aug. 1. A total of 12 people spoke during both hearings, focusing on the senior tax exemption threshold for school taxes, property assessment values and the overall taxation methods, but nothing specifically related to the millage rates under consideration. 

A home valued at the median home value of $475,000 with the standard $5,000 homestead exemption and homestead freeze filed in 2015 would pay $614 in county M&O tax, $525 in Fire Tax and $60 for the parks bond, for a total BOC-controlled tax bill of $1,199. The tax bill for this example property would additionally be reduced by $435.02, as homesteaded properties will receive the same state rebate amount. For those who get the Senior Exemption, the rebate amount will vary depending on their situation.

During its Aug. 1 meeting, the Board also:

  • Announced the burn ban has been lifted to allow the burning of storm debris from severe weather that affected Cherokee County last month. The burn ban will be lifted until Oct. 1, when it was already scheduled to expire. Cherokee County Fire & Emergency Services and the Cherokee Emergency Management Agency requested and received permission from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency. 
  • Approved, 5-0, ratifying the declaration of the State of Emergency related to the severe thunderstorms on July 20. District 2 Commissioner Richard Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Heard Chairman Harry Johnston appoint Ken Ball to the Board of Ethics. 
  • Approved, 5-0, the minutes from the July 18 work session, executive session and regular meeting. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Held a public hearing related to Bowman Engineering’s request (on behalf of Kevin Williams and Canton Farms) to rezone 2.984 acres at 4563 Hickory Flat Highway from R-80 to Office/Institutional and 11.401 acres from R-80 to Agriculture. Several nearby residents spoke in favor of the project but did not want the O/I zoning. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion to zone the entire property Agriculture with conditions that all new building construction will be limited to 10,000 square feet and access to Pinyan Lane will be limited to emergency vehicles, property maintenance and property owners. The applicant now needs to apply for a Special Use Permit for the property. Commissioner West seconded the motion. The vote was 4-1, with Chairman Johnston dissenting, as he felt the rezoning should have included the O/I. 
  • Postponed, 5-0, Barry and Dawn Scott’s request to appeal a business license decision by the zoning manager for Dallas North Lawn Sprinklers, Inc. at 11397 Bells Ferry Road. The case is expected to be heard at the Aug. 15 meeting. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Remanded back to Planning Commission, with a 5-0 vote, Elite Hardscapes LLC’s request to rezone 5.705 acres at 14050 Cumming Highway from Agriculture, General Commercial and R-40 to General Commercial, as well as a concurrent variance to reduce the minimum amount of parking spaces from 32 to 17. Commissioner West said he spoke with the applicant who is developing a new plan. He indicated the process needed to start from the beginning. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Denied, 5-0, Mike Tehrani’s request for a Special Use Permit for a car dealership at 6871 Highway 92. District 4 Commissioner Corey Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, Etowah Land Partners LLC’s request to rezone 1 acre on Teague Drive from R-40 to RZL. The parcel will be added to an already zoned RZL property for a maximum 200-lot residential development. A condition was added that caps the number of lots to 200, the same maximum number from the 2016 rezoning case. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Postponed, 5-0, a request by the Estate of Ovalene Cagle to rezone 7.94 acres at 301 Lower Union Hill Road. The applicant was seeking a rezoning from Agriculture to General Commercial and a concurrent variance to allow an existing telecommunications tower to not be set back from the property lines a distance equal to the height of the tower. The case is postponed until the Sept. 5 meeting. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, Charles Corbin’s request to rezone 35.4 acres at 2250 Jep Wheeler Road from R-80 to General Agriculture, as well as concurrent variances to reduce the 75-foot building setback to 30 feet from Jep Wheeler Road and to remove the required deceleration lane. The property is planned for a riding arena. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 5-0, a request for an appeal of a Zoning Board of Appeals case. A property owner is appealing a ZBA decision regarding the addition to their neighbor’s property. The BOC approved hearing the case and calling for a public hearing on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, text amendments related to accessory uses and structures in Article 5. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale. The motion included that staff adjust wording related to an exemption of design standards and the accessory structure’s proximity to the property lines.
  • Approved, 5-0, a deannexation request of 55 acres at 1355 Ball Ground Road from the city of Ball Ground. The property is zoned Agriculture and would remain AG in the county. No development is proposed. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, the consent agenda, which included: a second encroachment agreement with Atlanta Gas Light Company for encroachments into an existing AGLC easement for the construction Technology Ridge Parkway Phase I; for the Sheriff’s Office to apply for the FY2023 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) in the amount of $13,466, authorize the Chairman to executive the Local Chief Executive Certificate, authorize a public comment period of 30 days and authorize a budget amendment of $13,466 to the Multiple Grant Fund; an amendment to the Professional Services Agreement with South Data, Inc. to extend the term for an additional three years in the amount of $85,000 per year; the renewal of a lease agreement with the State Properties Commission for the Department of Juvenile Justice for 220 Brown Industrial Parkway; a resolution in support of the Cherokee County Art Competition; acceptance of a Quitclaim Deed from the Georgia Department of Transportation to transfer side road rights of way back to Cherokee County for maintenance along Highway 92 from I-75 to west of Wade Green Road; calling for a public hearing on Aug. 15 to consider extending the moratorium of the I-575 and Sixes Road interchange area to Oct. 31; calling for a public hearing for Aug. 15 to consider a zoning ordinance amendment concerning C&D Transfer Stations; calling for a public hearing on Aug. 15 to consider a board-initiated rezoning for property at 5385 Drew Road; calling for a public hearing on Sept. 19 to consider a request to modify zoning conditions for BMT JV Owners LLC (Soleil at Belmont); a Memorandum of Understanding with the Cherokee Office of Economic Development in the amount not to exceed $750,000 from County ARPA grant funds for the Workforce Aid Program and an amount not to exceed $750,000 for the Be Pro Be Proud campaign; and calling for a public hearing for a future date concerning an update and potential modification to a project timeline for Blake’s House of Independence. Commissioner West made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, the purchase and installation of equipment from ProLogic for two Ford Interceptor Utility vehicles for the Marshal’s Office in the total amount of $27,455.40. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, purchasing equipment to upfit five 2023 Ford Police Interceptors for the Sheriff’s Office. The total cost is $86,046.76. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, a Professional Services Agreement with A Secure Force Inc. for the installation of fire alarms, cameras and an access system for 181 East Main St. The cost is $50,086.15. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter.
  • Approved, 5-0, awarding a Standard Construction Services Agreement to Vertical Earth, Inc., the low bidder, for the construction of the Galts Road at Rocky Lane, Bells Ferry Road and Kingsland Street, North Briar Ridge Road Drainage Improvement Projects in the amount of $888,920.84. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner West.
  • Approved, 5-0, condemnation resolutions authorizing the county to proceed with the condemnation process for Parcels 76 and 78 of the Bells Ferry Road Widening Project. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, a Health Service Agreement with First Class Healthcare for inmate medical services at the Adult Detention Center for a three-year term in the amount of $17.7 million. The cost will be $5.7 million for year one. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, a Professional Services Agreement with Business Information Systems, Inc. dba BIS Digital for the purchase and installation of a Digital Court Recorder System for Superior Court in the amount of $92,500. Commissioner Carter made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
  • Approved, 5-0, improvements to the Justice Center for securing the Jury Assembly Room. The Superior Court Judges’ Office has requested a secure measure to block the windows of the existing Jury Assembly Room at the Justice Center so it can be used as a courtroom for the trying of cases with a large number of defendants. Commissioner Ragsdale made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Weatherby.
  • Approved, 5-0, the purchase of drug detection equipment for the Sheriff’s Office. The cost is $67,681.35. Commissioner Weatherby made the motion, which was seconded by Commissioner Ragsdale.
 

ABOUT CHEROKEE COUNTY

Located 30 miles north of downtown Atlanta, Cherokee County is part of the 11-county metro-Atlanta area. Cherokee County boasts a population of more than 281,000, according to the July 2022 Census estimates. It is the one of the fastest growing counties in the metro region and its overall Board of Commissioners-controlled tax burden per capita is one of the lowest in the region.  Cherokee County has award-winning parks and recreational facilities, is a destination for corporate headquarters and is a great place to live, work and play. Cherokee County is the best of both worlds because it’s where “Metro Meets the Mountains.” Learn more at cherokeega.com.

This Ain't Your Fathers Backyard BBQ – Red White and Blue BBQ

American Legion Logo

Canton, Georgia – August 2, 2023  – Again this year, the RED White and Blue BBQ is coming back to the American Legion Fairgrounds at 160 McClure Street in Canton the last weekend in October. For those who have watched BBQ Pitmasters on TV this event is even better as this is a Georgia Sanction BBQ event that will showcase BBQ competition of some of the best BBQ cookers from across the state and region. This annual BBQ competition is sponsored by the over 15,000 Veterans who live here in Cherokee County and all donations and proceeds from the event will help fund Mental Health programs to help awareness and prevention of Veteran Suicide in our community.

Cherokee County is the 6th largest Veteran community in Georgia.  Georgia is the 3rd largest State for Veterans as we have over 750,000 Veterans living in Georgia. Georgia is also the #1 State for female Veterans.  

The Professional flight of the competition pits the teams against each other in the traditional Pork BBQ for pork loin, ribs, and butt for both trophies and $12,000 in prize monies. Winning and placing also helps the teams, who have been competing across the state for months, gain points toward being named BBQ team of the year for 2023, https://www.bbqga.org/. Each week of competition in the annual Georgia BBQ Association events does not have the same winner so each team will bring their best to the event which last year showcased over 40 teams from across four states.

Secret sauces, years of honing their skills and selecting the right meats for the competition are just some of the skills that these Pitmasters will bring to the event.  To challenge their skills will be 40+ Georgia BBQ Association trained judges who will judge the entries for all three areas over many criteria to finally select the overall winner in each category and ultimately name of the Pitmasters “Grand Champion” of the event. The Pro competition will take place on Saturday, October 28th at the fairgrounds.  

Each team that competes will prepare a pork butt that is provided to them to our program. We will use these butts on Saturday the 28th for BBQ sandwiches, pork plates, and a pork parfait that is a meal in a cup with mashed potatoes, BBQ pork, for sale to the public.   Also this event will showcase Veteran owned businesses and beverage companies from across the state as well as from South Carolina.  

What about amateur teams – we have not forgotten the backyard BBQ dads and moms out there.  We are looking for 10-15 amateur teams to compete in event as well and if you have what it takes come on down and prove it. Amateurs will compete for trophies and bragging rights. 

Besides the food and drink both days, there will be music, games for all.  Speaking of games, Friday night we are holding a Cornhole competition for both prize money and trophies.  We will pay out $500 in total prize money so if you are interested please let contact us.  Cornhole team entry fee is $30 per team. 

Entry to the fairground both Friday night and Saturday are free.

Lastly, we cannot forget to remind everyone that the annual Georgia/Florida football is October 28th at 3:30 and we will be selling pork butts for $30 ahead of the game.  If you want to pre-order, please contact Raymond Rollins at 770-841.5833.  Pre-cooked weight of butt is 7-8 pounds.  We will have TV on site to view the game.

 Please contact Jim Lindenmayer at jlindenmayer80@gmail.com or John Bruss at john_b1966@comcast.net for further information.  Event Sponsorships and booth spaces are also available.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CANTON, GA (Aug. 2, 2023) – Cherokee Recreation and Parks will display conceptual park designs and solicit feedback from residents both in person and online for the future Hickory Flat Area Park.

Residents will have the opportunity to view the proposed designs and give feedback at a public input meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 10 at the historic Hickory Flat Gym located at 4835 Hickory Road in Canton. A virtual comment option will also be available starting Aug. 11, which will include a brief summary about project site conditions and a conceptual draft. The virtual comment period will close on Aug. 27.

Last April, the Board of Commissioners approved a Professional Services Agreement with Lose Design in the amount of $43,250 for land use planning and design services for the future 40-acre park master plan in the Hickory Flat community. The park is located at 3552 East Cherokee Drive in Canton. 

As the master planning concludes, Lose Design will provide the county with conceptual design considerations, costs analysis and executive support reports from the research and public input meetings.

To learn more about the Hickory Flat Area Park and submit input online visit https://losedesign.mysocialpinpoint.com/hickory_flat_masterplan/cherokee-county-ga/


ABOUT CHEROKEE COUNTY

Located 30 miles north of downtown Atlanta, Cherokee County is part of the 11-county metro-Atlanta area. Cherokee County boasts a population of more than 281,000, according to the July 2022 Census estimates. It is the one of the fastest growing counties in the metro region and its overall Board of Commissioners-controlled tax burden per capita is one of the lowest in the region.  Cherokee County has award-winning parks and recreational facilities, is a destination for corporate headquarters and is a great place to live, work and play. Cherokee County is the best of both worlds because it’s where “Metro Meets the Mountains.” Learn more at cherokeega.com.

Cherokee County earns three NACIO Awards

The National Association of County Information Officers

Erika Neldner

Andrea Barker

CANTON, GA (Aug. 1, 2023) -- The Cherokee County Communications Division earned three national awards for communications materials to keep Cherokee County residents informed.

The National Association of County Information Officers (NACIO), part of the National Association of Counties (NACo), announced the 2023 Awards of Excellence during the NACo annual conference July 22.

Cherokee was one of three Georgia counties represented in the awards recognitions. Forsyth and Rockdale counties’ communications teams were also acknowledged for their work. This was the first year Cherokee entered the competition.

“The work of our Communications Division is ranking with some large U.S. counties and bringing it home for Cherokee County,” said County Manager Geoff Morton, adding the department has only recently celebrated its third anniversary. “I am proud of our communications team and the work that they do keeping our county residents, elected officials and staff informed!”

“It’s an honor to be recognized on a national level for our work here in Cherokee. As a small two-person department, we serve as both an internal and external communications team,” said Communications Director Erika Neldner. “We work to assist county departments, staff and elected officials with a variety of projects from news releases, coordination with media, graphic design and branding to training, social media and newsletters. All of this is done with the ultimate goal of keeping residents informed and telling Cherokee County’s story.” 

The news release issued in November 2022 highlighting a training visit from probation officers from Turks & Caicos earned Best in Category for the Featured Article/Editorial category. Assistant Communications Director Andrea Barker interviewed participants and wrote the news release that featured how a social media connection created a training opportunity for Turks & Caicos probation personnel. The team visited Canton in November to learn how probation services and monitoring works in Cherokee County and how they could implement similar procedures at their offices.

The Quick Facts document, a one-sheet informational piece created by Neldner, earned the Superior Designation in the Short One-Page/Trifold category. The document is available for elected officials and staff to use at speaking engagements in the community to keep residents informed. It features updated statistics like population, median income, public safety and law enforcement accomplishments, a list of the elected Board of Commissioners, and more.

The 2022 Annual Report earned the Meritorious Designation in the Printed Publications – Annual Report category. The annual report is created in only two months and during the holidays to incorporate complete data from the previous year and be ready for distribution at State of the County held in late January each year. The Communications Division works with directors across all county departments, Sheriff’s Office, the Clerk of Courts, Solicitor-General, District Attorney, and judicial administration to gather and compose the 40-page book. The annual report is designed by local graphic designer Jodi Drinkard.

NACIO was founded in 1966 and brings together government communicators from counties and state associations across the country. The organization provides networking and learning opportunities for those tasked with creating, maintaining and managing public communications for the people’s closest form of government.


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