ELLIJAY, Ga. – What’s better than sitting in a comfy warm chair with a beautifully theme-decorated Christmas tree, some Christmas music playing in the background, a warm drink in your hands, and some friends gathered to enjoy it with you? Well, 34 trees of course.
That is 34 different trees and wreaths gathered from the community to decorate the Gilmer County Library in celebration for the season. Being the 25th consecutive year of the annual Festival of Trees, the library has become experts at celebrating the season as they opened their doors late into the evening on December 3 for people of the community to pack inside for the event. Packing in is exactly what they did to see the first official day of the December-long celebration.
With entities like the Gilmer Chamber, Stay Active Ellijay, THRIFT, Gilmer County Master Gardeners, Kids Ferst, Safe Choice Pregnancy Care Center, Walnut Mtn, Garden, American Legion Auxiliary, Operation Christmas Child, Optimist Club, Dept of Juvenile Justice, Chattahoochee Technical College, Friends of Harrison Park, Southern Flare Antiques, Mountain Education Center, Keep Gilmer Beautiful, Girl Scouts, Re-Max, ABG, Small Batch Garden, North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network, Gilmer County Parks & Rec Department, Marine Toys for Tots, Boys and Girls Club, Apple Contry Quilters Guild, Cub Scout Pack 404, Coosawattee Shrine Club, Friends of the Gilmer County Library, Garden Club of Ellijay, 4-H, Gilmer Genealogical Society, Faith,Hope, and Charity, and more, the Festival grows each year to the massive events it has become with crowds looking to meet Santa for pictures, listen to live music, and enjoy the trees.
This years event saw the Ellijay Elementary Chorus and Mountain Spirit Dulcimer Group playing through the evening while activities continued.
Yet, more than just a one-night event, the Festival of Trees really kicks off the Sequoyah Regional Library’s Christmas Season. Gilmer alone is hosting the Grinch to visit on December 11, a Holiday Card Making event on December 6, and a continuing Winter Literacy Challenge going on until January. Check out more events for Gilmer on their Facebook Calender and the Region and the Regional Library Calendar.
That doesn’t meant you missed your chance to see the trees. Make sure to swing by the Gilmer County Library to enjoy the ongoing Festival of Trees before Christmas to fully enjoy the decorations made possible by the county and community.
Make sure to see photos of the trees by visiting the FYN Facebook Photo Album.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Last weekend saw citizens and volunteers in the community celebrating Earth Day with a Saturday of work and reward across the county.
The county reports 169 volunteers spread out across our area to collect trash and roadside debris in an effort to reduce the community blight, but also to improve and maintain the beauty that we have become known for. In recent news stories, the county has seen a large push in the last three months on the issue of roadside trash and in government response to the issue by reinstating inmate work detail picking up the litter.
However, this week citizens stood behind their desires for a cleaner community by stepping out themselves to clean up. Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris told FYN the county had collected between 3 and 5 tons of garbage on Saturday through the efforts of those involved.
That is not the only garbage collected, though. The week leading up to Earth Day saw the county hosting Amnesty Tire Week. They accepted, free of charge, old tires to be discarded at the county dump. Paris reports the county, through that program, collected 2,702 tires during the weeklong event to go along with the collected trash on Saturday.
Additionally, volunteers were treated to a celebration in the county’s parking lot behind Dalton State College, next to the county courthouse. Hosted by Keep Gilmer Beautiful, the day’s clean up and celebration event saw live music, exhibits, and free pizza for those in attendance.
Local exhibitors showcased information and projects for maintaining a clean county, composting, and recycling as well as the Keep Gilmer Beautiful’s Adopt-A-Road Program, the Pleasent Hills Montessori School, Kids Ferst in Gilmer County, and the Girl Scouts.
The Beekeepers of Gilmer County showed citizens how to build a waterer plate for bees to sit on while they drink water, effectively helping to, as they say, “hydrate the pollinators.”
Ellijay Rocks held a rock painting station for citizens to sit under a tent and cool off in the shade as they painted rocks to hide around the community.
The Mountain Light Unitarian Universalist Chuch hosted a station to teach citizens how to turn old paper into a seed disc they can toss out into the yard to plant seeds. The disc, made from paper, water, and seeds folded together into a slurry, is flattened with a roller or a can to be thrown out into your yard. Without even a need to bury it, rain is held close by the paper slurry helping the seed to get started.
Chairman Paris took a moment with FYN to say how proud he was of the turnout the county saw at the event. He went on to comment on the citizens’ involvement with clean-up saying, “People care and that’s good… It makes all the difference in the world.”
Be sure to head over to FYN’s Facebook Page for more photos from Earth Day 2018.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – Reviving its previous program from last year, Gilmer County has applied, and been approved, for its grant to run the Amnesty Tire Program from April 16 through April 21.
The program allows residents and citizens to bring old tires to the county’s landfill in order to dispose of the tires free of charge to the citizen. The program will only run one week this year leading up to Earth Day.
Keep Gilmer Beautiful Committee, in cooperation with the Gilmer County Solid Waste Department, is hosting “Amnesty Tire Week” for our residents as the program is in conjunction with the Keep Gilmer Beautiful Committee’s EARTH DAY EVENT, scheduled for Saturday, April 21, 2018.
Used tires can be taken to the Gilmer County Landfill at 456 Tower Road and dropped off free of charge during normal operating hours.
The following are the rules for Gilmer County residents only to take advantage of this free program:
- Program is for non-commercial only;
- Tires must be off the rim and free of water; and
- Each household will be limited to 20 tires.
The county is also asking that if citizens have any questions, please call 706-635-7696 or 706-635-4589.
ELLIJAY, GA – The Gilmer County Commissioners saw possible progress for the Cherry Log Fire Station in the form of an Ordinance Change along with an update on this years Tax Anticipation Note (TAN).
The County accepted the First Reader and Public Commentary Meeting for a change to ordinances regarding Purchases of the Board of Commissioners. Attempting to deal with one of the issues delaying the Cherry Log Fire Station, this new change is set The new change will allow the Commissioners to increase the spending limit with a single vendor in a year without bidding from $20,000 to $50,000 if the capital project is already in the County Budget. Additionally, the Commissioners added a new requirement that any purchases over $25,000 would require two separate signatures from the County Commissioners.
Although no citizens spoke at the Public Hearing, the Commissioners will have the Second Reading for the change at August’s Meetings if citizens still wish to speak on the subject.
The Commissioners also brought up the bid TAN for 2017. Although not yet utilized this year, Chairman Paris stated they expect to begin drawing upon it in Mid August.
Many will recall that the TAN has been needed later and later every year over the last few years. However, last year the TAN was also used in August. Paris addressed the meeting about this saying that while citizens may have originally expected to push the TAN back further this year, one major change to the budget changed that expectation. Beginning in 2017, the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners separated close to $800,000 from the General Fund Budget received through LMIG Grants.
Though that Grant is usually left in the General Fund as a “buffer” according to Chairman Paris, the separation of these funds means there is less of a buffer for the year’s expenses. Paris stated during the movie that after losing the major amount of funds from the general fund and still going to mid-August before needing to utilize the TAN is a good sign for the county and its economy.
The general sense could mean that Gilmer still see the TAN used later next year, especially with Commissioner’s expectations for maintaining close to a four to four-and-a-half month contingency fund for the county. Citizens could even see Gilmer forgoing usage of the TAN in the coming years if the county continues financially as it currently is.
Additionally, July’s meeting saw the Commissioners appoint Bill Logan to the Board of Tax Assessors due to an recent resignation. Their appointment of Logan is to fulfill the remainder of that term. They also appointed Mary Ann Cook to the Keep Gilmer Beautiful Board.
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Spring is here. The weather is warming up and it is perfect for outdoor activities. In today’s segment Karla tells us about some simple things we can all do to help keep our county clean and beautiful. She talks to us about the Keep Gilmer Beautiful Committee. Their upcoming event, Earth Day on April 22nd; as well as Cartecay River Experience’s – River Clean Up Day on May 13th.
See all the local events on The Gilmer Chamber’s website calendar.
Springtime in Ellijay means a lot of great upcoming events to get outside and enjoy! Dalton State College is hosting an art show for all local students from today until May 5th. There will be a reception tonight to kick off the art show. There are also ribbon cuttings this week at Premier Pools and Spas and Abby’s Ice Cream and Fro Yo. This weekend is Earth Day and it is supposed to be a beautiful weekend. In honor of Earth Day there will be a couple “clean up” events around town one will be at Harrison Park and the other will start at River Pavilion.
The next big Gilmer County event that we are looking forward to is the Apple Blossom Festival on May 6th and 7th. This is a great festival showcasing local craft vendors, food vendors and businesses. Come out, bring your pups, and meet the FYN team. We will have a “pup-cam” and treats for all our furry friends as well. Also in today’s segment with Karla hear a little confession from BKP about “his spot” at the Apple Blossom Festival.
For more information on all these upcoming events and many more check out the events calendar on the Gilmer Chamber website.