2017 Board Meeting Minutes

 (for 2016 and earlier minutes, click here)


July 21, 2017 


 Present:  Noel Turner, SuSu Davis, Jan Kowalsky, Joan Crothers, Don Berry, Margaret Guthman, Richard Klotzbier, Ken Manwaring, Jack Miller; guest: Mary Miller.
Minutes: June 23rd  minutes, sent out by email, were approved by SuSu as sent.
Treasurer’s Report:  Checkbook balance of 6/30/17 showed a balance of $1,797.93; with CD -$1,196.38; Total assets $2,994.31.
Membership:  LaJean reported that we have 199 members as of today; 11 renewed or joined since the June Meeting and a total of 37 since Jan. She was commended for all her efforts and letters to delinquents.
Committee Meetings:
City of Hiawassee—Joan and Noel both attended and reported: Elected officials pay was set at Mayor – $26K and Council – $200/meeting; life stations will be inspected by Southeastern Tank Co. for $7K; 200 “missing meters” were found and only 11 misreads in June; sidewalks, new and repairs being done in July; employees passed drug testing; Facebook and website updated; pay water on website.
City of Y.H.—Su Su reported Angela Smith is moving, so resigned her post, City is waiting for qualifying in August before appointing anyone; Variance on 5-story bldg. on hold; Sidewalk repairs and bathrooms at Cupid Falls are planned.
Towns Co. Commissioner—Budget is good; Rec. Dept. starting Youth football & soccer; County millage will be set at next month’s meeting; 288 Park discussed, grant for handicapped trail, fishing pier, expanded boat ramp and parking area; David Stovall re-appointed to GMRC Council; Betsy Young appointed to replace Repub. Rob Murray on Board of Elections.
Water Authority—Ken reported that they decided against locks on hydrants—too expensive; found several big leaks.
Chamber—Noel reported the Bass Master Tournament was discussed—they want $75K and a number of comp. rooms to come here; Doug Collins will have an Economic Roundtable at Chamber on 8/29.
CVB: Chamber is asking for money for advertising during the filming of the Dailey &Vincent TV show, if it is to be filmed at the GM Fairgrounds.
Key Issues:
Forum: Qualifying will be August 21-23, forum will be discussed later.
Hamilton Gardens—Expecting a big crowd at the Fairgrounds for the Eclipse on Aug. 21; Stephen Phillips will be playing at top pavilion also vendors there.
Second Amendment: Noel & Joan went to bank to have amendment to By-Laws notarized today for only one signature (Pres., Treas., or Secty.) needed on checks and deleted term limits for officers.
Chamber Business Showcase: TCHA did this last year and got exposure and several new members; cost $75 this year. Don made a motion that we participate again this year, seconded and passed.
Other: Jack and Noel talked to Commissioner Bradshaw about a number of different issue in the County—new Court House, GM Fair, consolidating water facilities, band shell at HGLC, Economic Development person, redo signs at county entrances (Hwy. 76/17S. & in Y.H.). After discussion, the last two items were given #1—Eco. Dev. Person and #2— Entrance signs.

May 19, 2017

Present:  Noel Turner, Jack Miller, Joan Crothers, Don Berry, Dean Owens, SuSu Davis, Margaret Guthman, Michael Courey.
Minutes: April 21st  minutes, sent out by email, were approved by Dean as sent.
Treasurer’s Report:  Checkbook balance of 4/30/17 showed a balance of $2,591.10; with CD – $1,196.38; Total assets $3,787.48.
Membership:  LaJean was absent, but SuSu reported that we have 191 members.
Committee Meetings:
City of Hiawassee—Paul Smith has been Acting City Police Chief since Arvil Walls has been sick and he is doing a good job; 18 drug arrests in March/April. Brandon Barrett hired as 5th officer, Tony Redone as part time. Council voted Mayor’s salary in Nov. election will be $26K; Mayor Pro Tem receives no extra salary. She has cut salary of EMI for the sewer plant to $3K down from $6K. There is a moratorium on Building Permits for 90 days (from May 2).
City of Y.H.—Second reading on overlay plan for 5 story building; June 2-4 is Seafood Festival.
Towns Co. Commissioner—He said budget is good; beach will open 22nd of May w/bathrooms fixed and building painted; much unfinished work at new Rec. is being done. Matt Youngblood is new Rec. Dir.  Candace Lee presentation on Aug. 21st total sun eclipse viewing at Hamilton Gardens.
Water Authority—Ken is going to next meeting.
Chamber—Noel reported they are on budget w/over 400 members; they have a new logo. Bass Tournament is June 9-12 with 100 teams. He also attended BRMEMC meeting, asked about sale of old EMC building, but got no answer.
CVB: 3 bids came in for 100 Fairground signs—each bid was $4600 so Hilda said she will divide up between the 3.  Commissioner said he wants to get a flashing billboard sign somewhere near Fannin/Union line—cost $3600. No action taken. 288 park was discussed. . Grace Howard asked for $4500 for part time help at Hamilton Gardens—told not now, maybe later.
  Key Issues:
Hamilton Gardens—LaJean is absent because she is getting everything wrapped up on the May 20th TCHA Benefit.
June 23rd Annual Meeting Responsibilities:
Chicken-Noel; Ham-Jack; 4 gals. tea & lemons-Dean; LaJean has plastic silver, cups, etc.; everyone else bring side dish, salad, and/or dessert and come early to help set up. Speakers: Commissioner, TVA mgr., Hilda. Noel will discuss a list of some issues: Grant writer needed at top of list.  As usual the election of officers will be held.
  Motion: Dean made a motion to check on our 501(c)3 status w/state and obtain if we don’t have it now. Seconded and passed.
  Scholarship from TCHA: SuSu presented Senior Amanda Donnelly with $200 check.
  Adjourned at 5:40 p.m.

  Next meeting will be Friday, June 23, 2017 at 6 p.m. at T.C. Recreation & Convention Center on Mining Gap Rd.


April 21, 2017

Present:  Noel Turner, Jack Miller, Jan Kowalsky, Joan Crothers, Richard Klotzbier, Don Berry, Dean Owens, LaJean Turner, SuSu Davis, Ken Manwaring, Michael Courey.
Minutes: March 17th  minutes, sent out by email, were approved as sent.
Treasurer’s Report:  Checkbook balance of 2/28/17 showed a balance of $2,768.19; with CD’s – $3,964.57.
Website:  Jan said she is working again with Mike Gora to recover our website. Expenses: Mike $500; Go Daddy $250. Don Berry made a motion to reimburse both; seconded and passed.
Chamber Golf Tournament: Motion to donate $100 made by Dean Owens; seconded and passed.
Membership:  LaJean reported that we have 99 families, those not responding to her letters will be taken off the roster.
Committee Meetings:
City of Hiawassee—Mayor has now retired and Liz is on the job every day. There is no extra pay in Charter for Mayor Pro Tem—needs to be changed if this happens again. She is working on a new phone system, getting business licenses all paid, finding “lost water meters.” Moratorium on building Permits for 90 days while the Council works on 2010 Comp. Plan amendments. Brandon Barrett hired as 5th officer in the City, Tony Redon hired as part time officer. Student Bazya Smith spoke for 3 minutes on her 1st place speech in recent MMS Speech Contest.
City of Y.H.—Margaret attended and SuSu relayed the information. The Council had first reading of overlay plan for the 5-story YHC building; discussed water leak insurance for residents, they pay $1/mo. premium.
Towns Co. Commissioner—Noel attended, Joan couldn’t. Budget on track, gym will open at 8 a.m. rather than 9; Commis. is working with Forest Service to reopen 288 park, working on grant. Fire Wise Program update by Frank Riley; 1st reading of Resolution amending T.C. Code of Ordinances, Chapter 40 re: public streets, private roads and bona-fide intra-family transfers; new appointees to T.C. Library Board: Jerry Taylor and Holly Tiger; Retirement Awards to Laura Stamey (911), Wes Hooper (Rec.) and Bill Hyatt.
Water Authority—Ken Manwaring reported Auth. is putting locks ($500 apiece) on water hydrants because of big leakage problem—38%/1 million gal. Contractors are using hydrants without paying fees. Need to ask Commis. to attend on 3rd Mon. at 6 p.m.
Chamber—All area motels, B&B’s are booked for total solar eclipse on Aug. 21st.
Key Issues:
Nominating Committee:  Dean had made a motion last month that By-Laws should be changed to say officers can serve two 2-year terms, subject to membership approval. Everyone agreed to this again at this meeting. Michael Courey and Ken Manwaring will be up for election as new directors.
CVB: Don went to meeting on 4/12. Hilda asked for $50K for lights, but they gave her $40K and she should use local labor. A grant for 288 Park from Forest Serv. should come in August.
Hamilton Gardens—LaJean is working hard on the May 20th TCHA Benefit and has tickets; lots of advertising on this.
June 23rd Annual Meeting: Noel is working on speakers.
Scholarship from TCHA: Margaret and SuSu agreed to present to a designated Senior at school on May 12, 9 a.m.

March 17, 2017

Present:  Noel Turner, Jack Miller, Jan Kowalsky, Joan Crothers, Margaret Guthman, Richard Klotzbier, Don Berry, Dean Owens, LaJean Turner.
Minutes: February 27th minutes, sent out by email, were approved as sent.
Treasurer’s Report:  Checkbook balance of 2/28/17 showed a balance of $2,393.19; with CD’s – $3,589.57.
Membership:  LaJean reported that we now have 199 members.
Committee Meetings:
City of Hiawassee—Mayor announced at called meeting on 3/13/17 that she would be retiring and was turning over her duties now to Mayor Pro Tem Liz Ordiales.  No date as to retirement. City is rebidding their Website development. Carl Vincent Institute, UGA, sent long list of job descriptions and pay for City employees. Noel asked for financial figures on the Mayors Park construction. Still many unpaid business licenses, letters have been sent to them. The County has agreed to hold City elections in conjunction with County elections, for a fee, but cheaper than holding at separate locations.
  City of Y.H.—On April 4th, 6:45 p.m. a public hearing on “Overlay for 5-story bldg.” will be held before the regular City Council meeting at 7 p.m.  Ethics Ordinance passed; June 2-4, Seafood event at Mayors Park; Cathy Cox has accepted the position as Dean of the Law School at Mercer U.
  Towns Co. Commissioner—The T.C. Board of Elections had a public meeting on March 6th at the Civic Center to discuss their proposal to have only one voting precinct for the entire county. We have a copy of letter sent by Commissioner to Board saying he is against the proposal and “will continue to provide funding for four fully staffed precincts….”
  Water Authority—Ken Manwaring attended their Board meeting. They talked about problems with leaks and asked if TCHA would help pay for expenses of this. They hope to have electronic billing soon.
  Chamber—Noel reported Chamber again talked about partnering with Hamilton Gardens when total eclipse happens on August 21, 2017. School will be closed that day and Chamber will furnish the special glasses needed to view the eclipse. They asked CVB for $5K for the High School Bass Tournament. The $9K from CVB for advertising in Southern Living magazine brought in 400 requests for information. April 20, Business After Hours will be at Hightower Creek Vineyards at 5 p.m.; Oaks Restaurant at the Ridges will be open for Easter; Wishing Well will go out of business and it will soon be “Hot Dog Heaven.” Chamber says Towns County has a labor problem—many businesses have Help Wanted signs. New website will be mountaintopga.dbalakechatugechamber.com; Vicki Ellis resigned; 397 members now in Chamber.
  Key Issues: By-laws/officers term limits: TCHA officers need to be voting residents; officers can serve two 2-year terms.  Dean made this motion and it was seconded and passed.
  Hamilton Gardens—LaJean reported on the May 20th TCHA Benefit—need 16 tables, 100 chairs & linens—she can rent from place in Jasper for $491, which is cheaper than any where closer. Expenses will be higher than last year, several board members agreed to donate to the event to offset some of it.
  June Annual Meeting: June 16 will be the date and topic will be consolidation of the 3 water systems in the county.
  Towns County Clean Sweep Week:  TCHA will do Hwy. 76 W. from Old Rec. Center to Friendship Community on Friday, April 21st at 9 a.m.
  Scholarship from TCHA: Margaret agreed to present at school on May 12, 9 a.m.
Public Hearing: Re: EMC Meeting, 4-7 p.m. at the new Rec. Center on April 13th.


February 17, 2017 

Present:  Noel Turner, Jack Miller, Jan Kowalsky, Joan Crothers, SuSu Davis, Margaret Guthman, Richard Klotzbier, Don Berry, LaJean Turner, Ben Lily.
Minutes: January 27th  minutes, sent out by email, were approved as sent.
Treasurer’s Report:  Checkbook balance of 1/31/17 showed a balance of $2,414.03; with CD’s – $3,610.41.
Membership:  LaJean reported that she emailed a new roster to the Board members. We now have 193 members with three renewals.
Committee Meetings:
City of Hiawassee—Feb. 7th meeting: Ordinances passed after second reading—Ethics, Derelict Blighted Building/Ad-Valorem Tax, Alcohol License Fees ($1250 for beer & wine, $750 for only one). Sav-A-Lot sent in check to sell beer & wine. Don Baker reported 1,472 water meters have been replaced, but a number of meters have not been found; they are still looking. Only 84 business licenses have been paid for, $25 penalty after 2/15.
  City of Y.H.—The Council passed to redefine the perimeters of District A in the City which would allow for the 5 story building for the College. Marvin Harkins is their new attorney.  
Towns Co. Commissioner—Quite a crowd came to the retirement of Steve Holmes; he was given a plaque and they had a big cake. Brian Underwood will take Cliff Bradshaw’s unexpired term on T.C. Planning Commission; Rickey Mathis will now be full-time EMA Director and Greg Taylor will be the EMS Director.
  Water Authority—No one attended meeting.
Chamber—Don Berry reported Chamber will partner with Hamilton Gardens when total eclipse happens on August 21, 2017. Hilda reported that she felt the Christmas Light Show at GMF was a success with $5,534 profit; paid attendance of 4,825, bringing in $24,125. They are checking on more grants for next year. High School Bass Tournament will be June 9-11. Blue Otter has been leased for 3 years, now called the Lighthouse Bar & Grill.
  Hamilton Gardens—Noel reported the bridge has been completely redone with help of detainees and volunteers and a drive-thru shed is being put up to house the gator and the golf cart, among other things. Many events are happening in April: Plant sale on Saturdays & Sundays from April 15-May 20; free Craft show-April 29 & 30; 5K Run-April 29; Blooming Concert-April 29; Mother’s Day Tea & Fashion Show-May 13; Benefit-May 20th.
  Key Issues:
a) Nominating Committee: Jack Miller, Ben Lily, and Richard Klotzbier volunteered to be on Nominating Committee. SuSu made a motion to accept; seconded and passed.
  b) TCHA is a sponsor for “Celebrate the Garden” benefit on May 20, 5:30-7:30, tickets $25. There will be a big tent in case of rain; finger food and wine will be in the pavilion; Crystal @ Chamber will do flyers; there will be a Silent Auction. TCHA was sponsor last year–$13K was made for the Gardens.
  c) Sponsors for Towns County Clean Sweep Week are TCHA, T.C. Chamber, Commissioner’s Office , and TVA. Cash prizes of $200 each for Individual, Church, Business, Club or Organization. April 15-22.