Fire and Rescue Weekly Status Report 7/8 – 7/14

Uncategorized
Dates Brush Fires Fire Alarms Emergency Med Calls (EMS) MVC (Vehicle Accidents
7/8/18-7/14/18 2 2 90 2
Haz. Conditions Air Transports Other Total Calls
6 2 2 106

Author

BOE to call for an ESPLOST election

Election, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Education has debated their plans for the future of Gilmer’s ESPLOST. Debating about the final item in plans for construction as well as bonding projects for the coming cycle.

While no official motion could be heard for the item as it was only the Board’s work session, the did take time to debate the issue with one member having to conference call in to join the discussion. Three major points of the plans to continue the county’s ESPLOST into another cycle were agreed to during the meeting.

With the results from the survey put forth by Gilmer County Charter School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, the clear winner within the community became a Performing Arts Center.

Collecting more votes than the other two options combined, the Performing/Fine Arts Center (on GHS Campus) reached 1,069 votes. The multi-use Sports Facility collected 684 votes and the Indoor Swimming Pool collected 282 votes.

Downs presented this information to the Board on Monday, July 17, along with the three options for a final decision by the Board as a whole on which item to add to the ESPLOST referendum.

As the members considered the option, most agreed that they wanted to follow the survey.  Board member Jim Parmer said, “People have had a choice in making a decision and voting. I think we need to be open and transparent if that’s what they want.”

The only member who didn’t agree on the Performing Arts Center was Nick Weaver who said, “There was a lot of money spent the wrong ways before I got here, on the football stadium and everything else, and I think there’s a sports program out there that deserves and earned things and they’ve not gotten anything.”

An informal poll of the board went for the Arts Center with on Weaver as a dissenting vote. However, the final motion and decision will be made on Thursday, July 19, at 6 p.m. during their Regular Session meeting. The final vote will come on a final resolution drafted by the board’s attorney to include this as well as bonding and collection caps.

Those other items were also discussed during the work session as the board will be looking to bond the project for a new Elementary School on the board’s Clear Creek property. The board indicated this project would be bonded while all of the other projects will be done as collections reach the necessary point for them. A maximum bonding of $15 million was placed, but Downs noted they could lower this later if the entire amount was not needed.

The collection cap is an indication of the maximum amount collected by the ESPLOST during its cycle. Downs noted for the board that if they do not meet the maximum collection, there is no penalty, but if they do meet the maximum collection before the end of the cycle, they will be forced to stop collections early. Originally planning on a maximum of $25 million, the board discussion looked at the county’s growth and decided to stretch the maximum collection to $28 million to cover the potential for high growth in the county over the ESPLOST cycle.

As the board put these notes to its lawyer, Attorney Herman Clark, they will be officially looking at their official “Call for Election” on Thursday night to meet an early August deadline to be put on the November ballot for citizens.

Author

Double L break-in prompts special thank you

News
Double L Log Cabin Grill Restaurant

Ellijay, Ga – Early in the morning of June 11, the Double L Log Cabin was victimized by a burglary just before 1 a.m.

An alarm set off at that time prompted a call from the security service to owner Lisa Dillard. Dillard says she has dealt with a false alarm before but asked them to dispatch a police response. Gilmer County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the alarm and later contacted Dillard to come to the location. Arriving at the restaurant, Dillard was not allowed inside but received confirmation there had been a break-in.

Lisa Dillard, owner of the Double L Log Cabin Grill

Lisa Dillard, owner of the Double L Log Cabin Grill

As Dillard attempted to deal with the break-in, two Deputies and Detective Scott Camp processed the scene. It looked as if someone had kicked in a back door to gain entry. Rifling through documents and mail in the back of the restaurant, Dillard said it looked as if the burglar had moved into the front area and got a drink out of the cooler.

She went on to say that she expects the burglar panicked when the alarm went off as glasses were strewn across the floor and it looked like a rock had been thrown at the inside of the front door as well as a broken chair and damage to another metal door.

Three hours later, with most of the mess cleaned up, Dillard and her husband drove home. However, an unlikely event occurred during the trip as the couple noticed a man on the side of the road walking down Highway 282 towards Murray County. Dillard tells FYN that the mans back was to them, but stuck his thumb up as if hitchhiking.

Dillard said he husband was the one who mentioned a feeling he thought this might be the same man who broke-in. The couple contacted the authorities again noting the suspicious person on the road. When a deputy investigated, they discovered stolen mail in his back pocket and matched his shoes with a print on the door.

However, this wasn’t the end of the story for Dillard. Going through her day off very little sleep due to the incident, she began thinking again of the work and effort put in by the Sheriff’s Deputies at the same hour. She was so thankful for their hard work, she posted on social media a public thank you to those involved.

Dillard called out the officers involved with the crime, but not to criticize them. Instead, she specifically notes their quick response and their dedication at the late hour operating on very little sleep. As FYN spoke with Dillard, she went further into detail saying that it turned out to be a very reassuring event with her interactions with the Sheriff’s Deputies and Detective.

According to her, the deputies she interacted with had been on duty since 7 p.m. After several earlier calls, they were then at her restaurant for 3 three hours without stopping and without leaving. She went on to say, “There is so much going on in this county that a lot of us that are just out here working, making a living, we never see it… I know how hard they work, and I know what kind of danger they have, even in our little community… It does reassure me, even with everything they have going on, that they are there for us.”

While the position of Detective and even Sheriff’s Deputy holds expectations and service for the community, sometimes that expectation gets taken for granted. As Dillard states, sometimes the community doesn’t see the details and the extra effort. Dillard wanted to take a moment in a stressful week to note the positive she experienced.

That was the thing that she said stood out most to her, “They stayed with us.”

Author

Is Ellijay the “Nicest Place?”

Community, News

ELLIJAY, GA. – A recent listing as a finalist in the Nicest Places in America, Ellijay is garnering extra attention from the nation as a whole.

Hosted on the USA Today 10Best.com website, the poll actually encompasses a cooperation including Reader’s Digest Magazine as well as Good Morning America. Even further, the poll draws in judges from other well-known shows and publications like hidden-camera show Random Acts, the Washington Post, and Project Happiness.

Among 450 nominations nationwide, the pool has at last been narrowed to the top 10 finalists. Ellijay, Ga is one of the cities next to Bothell, Wa, Kalamazoo, Mi, North Riverside, Il, and Katy, Tx. The list also has one county, Mower County, Mn, and four specific spots, Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Md, Yassin’s Falafel House in Knoxville, Tn, Life Moves Yoga in Killeen, Tx, and North Evergreen Street in Burbank, Ca.

According to Reader’s Digest Magazine, the nomination for Ellijay came from Marie and Steve Cortes who related the story of their first visit to Ellijay one January morning as they stopped into the Cornerstone Cafe. With every table in the restaurant taken, the Cortes’ were invited to sit with strangers as diners “scooched over” to make room.

As someone who has lived here in Ellijay most of my life, I, too, have felt the indescribable pull of the people. Something about the area encourages me to grab a bite at the Cantaberry Restaurant while people watching and inevitably speaking to the people who walk by because we recognize each other.

In fact, one of the recurring themes I hear about the city, and the county as a whole for that matter, is a story about a wave. Whether its Abby’s Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt owner and Downtown Development Authority member, Mark Luchauer, who describes the city’s feel as “small-town USA at its finest, where you can walk down the street and wave at everybody and they’ll wave back,” or the owner/operator of the Cartecay River Experience, Woody Janssen, who said in an interview earlier this year, “It feels like The Andy Griffith Show in a way, everybody waves still. You go down to Atlanta and you wave at somebody, it’s not like that … It brings that down-home feeling,” the same them shows up repeatedly.

There is something so special about a gesture so simple. Why do I hear it as the special memory from visitors and citizens alike? Just a wave back, it is something that transcends language, but it is so meaningful that everyone notices if it happens or not. Maybe we don’t realize it at the time, but a city where I can sit on the side of River Street and wave at people generates that community. It creates that connection. You may not know it, but just waving at someone says so much. It says, “I see you.” It says, “I noticed you.”

While the voting on the poll continues, people who visit the site are encouraged to vote once a day until July 7. As of June 27, Ellijay is in second place of the voting and is continuing to rise in numbers.

The winner of the poll will be named “Nicest Place in America” and featured on Good Morning America and as a cover story in the November issue of Reader’s Digest.

People from all over are encouraging you to vote, everyone from locals to businesses to the Gilmer Chamber have been posting on social media sites about voting and why they love the town. You can join in by voting on the website as well as sharing your vote and story on social media. While you’re sharing the story, make sure to continue sharing the love through everything you do, even with a small wave at a stranger on the street.

Author

Fire & Rescue Weekly Status Report 6/24 – 6/30

Police & Government
Dates Structure Fires Fire Alarms Emergency Med Calls (EMS) MVC (Vehicle Accidents
6/24/18-6/30/18 2 1 63 9
Vehicle Fires Haz. Conditions Search/Tech. Rescue Other Total Calls
1 30 1 2 109

Author

Fire & Rescue Weekly Status Report 6/17 – 6/23

Police & Government
Dates Brush Fires Fire Alarms Emergency Med Calls (EMS) Extrications
6/17/18-6/23/18 1 1 78 1
MVC (Vehicle Accidents Vehicle Fires Haz. Conditions Total Calls
12 1 12 104

Author

CF Printing and Promotions Gilmer Ribbon Cutting

Community

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer Chamber welcomed another member this week with CF Printing and Promotions.

The Ribbon Cutting represented the opening of their new location in Jasper in the same lot as Appalachian Gun & Pawn, at 140 Shelby Lane. The official location is the latest step in the company’s growth as they not only spread business across county lines into Gilmer and the surrounding area, but also hosts a North Carolina office.

Commenting at their ribbon cutting, Keely Chalk said, “We do anything with your logo.”

Having started in the business over 20 years ago, Geoff Chalk meets in person with clients to maintain a face to face connection with people instead of an online-only separation.

Check out the Gilmer Chamber’s video of the ribbon cutting below or see more photos on the FYN Facebook Page.

Author

ESPLOST Survey results in clear winner

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – With almost 2,000 people responding to their ESPLOST Survey, the Gilmer County Board of Education released the results at their June Meeting.

The choices include a Performing/Fine Arts Center (on GHS Campus), a Multi-use Sports Facility (Gym, Weight Rooms, wrestling center, batting cages, track), or an Indoor Swimming Pool.

Collecting more votes than the other two options combined, the Performing/Fine Arts Center (on GHS Campus) reached 1,069 votes.

Multi-use Sports Facility collected 684 votes and the Indoor Swimming Pool collected 282 votes.

Though seen as a somewhat surprising result according to Gilmer County Charter School Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs, she encouraged the Board to bear the survey’s results in mind as the moved forward with preparations for the ESPLOST referendum. While it is likely this vote will be seen as early as this November on the ballot, the ESPLOST cycle would not take effect until 2020. With the five-year cycles, the Board is attempting to plan several years ahead as they or only now at the midpoint of the current cycle.

While this may seem far off, officials say it is imperative to begin preparations now so that the voting, investigations, and preparations are in place when the 2020 cycle begins to move forward with the work as quickly as possible.

This does mean, however, that as the Board contemplates their survey, if they move forward with the Performing Arts center included as it seems they will, there are currently no plans setting when they will begin the project within the five-year cycle.

The project would stand next to others like the construction of a new Elementary School at the Board’s Clear Creek Property to replace the aging Ellijay Primary School currently in town on McCutchen Street.

Check out the Survey Results for the full tally and comments.

Author

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