Upcoming Programs plus Area Apple, Corn and Vegetable Production Meetings

Announcements, Community, Outdoors

Upcoming Programs plus Area Apple, Corn and Vegetable Production Meetings
Pesticide License Recertification Credits Offered

By: Eddie Ayers, County Extension Agent

The Gilmer County UGA Extension office is sponsoring the North Georgia Apple Production Meeting in Ellijay for the 2019 growing season. It will be held on Thursday, February 14th in the Community Room of the United Community Bank, 558 Industrial Boulevard, in Ellijay from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm.

The meeting will feature three specialists from the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension along with two specialists from North Carolina State University. The topics that will be discussed are insect and weed control, crop thinning, disease management, and food safety.

In addition to the educational meetings, two hours of private and five hours of category 21 commercial pesticide license recertification credits will be given to those that attend. This meeting is open to the public and the recertification credits will be issued to people that already have a pesticide license. There is no cost to attend and pre-registration is not required for the apple production meeting.

The Gilmer County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers (MGEVs) have partnered with the Gilmer County Library to conduct a series of programs at no charge, once a month, on Thursdays from 6:00 to 7:00 pm for four months. They are: Sustainable Gardening February 7th, Nuisance Plants and Invasive Species March 7th, Grow Veggies Anywhere April 4th and Ornamental Grasses May 2nd. For more information, contact the library at 706-635-4528 or visit the Gilmer County MGEVs website at https://gcmgvolunteers.wordpress.com/.

The Georgia Mountain Research & Education Center is holding a Water Resource Management & Irrigation Seminar on Friday, February 22nd from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm in Blairsville. Lunch is provided but pre-registration by February 15th is required so call the center today at 706 745-2655 to reserve a seat.

The Cherokee County UGA Extension office is offering three horticulture workshops, one a month, beginning Friday, February 22nd with a Fruit Tree Field Day, then a Green Industry Update on Friday, March 1st and finally an Apple Grafting Workshop on Thursday, April 4th. Times and fees vary and pre-registration is required so stop by their office at 1130 Bluffs Parkway, Suite G49, in Canton or call them at 770-721-7803 to pre-register, or email them at uge1057@uga.edu for more information.

The Union County UGA Extension office will host two meetings next month at the Union County Schools Agriscience Center on Highway 129 South in Blairsville. The first one is a Commercial Corn Production Meeting on Friday, March 15th from 12:00 noon to 3:00 pm and the second one is a Commercial Vegetable Production Meeting on Monday, March 18th from 5:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Pesticide license recertification credits will be offered at both of these meeting at the rate of one hour of private and two hours of category 21 commercial. Pre-registration is required for both of these meetings so call at 706-439-6030 to pre-register, or email Jacob Williams at jacob.williams@uga.edu for more information.

If you have any questions about any of these meetings or recertification credits or the status of your pesticide license, contact me in the Gilmer County UGA Extension office.

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BOC changes time for 2019 meetings

News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – An official release from the Board of Commissioners will see a small change in next year’s meetings.

Although the days will stay the same with work sessions on Wednesdays before the Regular Meetings, which are scheduled for the second Thursday of each month, the time of those work sessions will move from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris told FYN the one-hour pushback is not to accommodate something new, but rather the ending of an accommodation. The Board has held there work sessions at 8 a.m., according to Paris, as an attempt to help complete their business and get Post 2 Commissioner Travis Crouch back to his business.

Since Crouch is now rotating off the Board of Commissioners, the time is resetting one hour later.

Work Sessions – 9 a.m. Regular Meeting – 6 p.m.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019 Thursday, January 10, 2019
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Thursday, February 14, 2019
Wednesday, March 13, 2019 Thursday, March 14, 2019
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 Thursday, April 11, 2019
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 Thursday, May 9, 2019
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 Thursday, June 13, 2019
Wednesday, July 10, 2019 Thursday, July 11, 2019
Wednesday, August 7, 2019 Thursday, August 8, 2019
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 Thursday, September 12, 2019
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 Thursday, October 10, 2019
Wednesday, November 13, 2019 Thursday, November 14, 2019
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 Thursday, December 12, 2019

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Speaker Ralston Attends Trump’s Infrastructure Announcement

News, Politics

ATLANTA – Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) attended President Trump’s infrastructure announcement at The White House this morning.  Speaker Ralston was one of several local and state elected officials invited to participate in a series of discussions with the President as well as members of his cabinet and senior staff about the plan and the infrastructure needs facing our nation.

I appreciate President Trump’s emphasis on public-private partnerships, as well as rural areas of America, as we look to address the nation’s infrastructure needs,” said Speaker Ralston.  “Much like his Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, this measure will make a real difference in projects of profound economic importance like the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project or long-overdue efforts like expanding broadband infrastructure into rural areas.  This is another example of President Trump focusing on creating jobs and expanding economic opportunity across our country.  I am honored to represent the State of Georgia at this important announcement.”

President Trump’s infrastructure plan looks to leverage the power of public-private partnerships to improve the nation’s infrastructure including transportation, water/sewer and other critical needs like broadband internet access.  More details on the President’s plan are available on The White House website at http://www.whitehouse.gov.

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Joint Development Authority preps for 2018

News

EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Greater Gilmer Joint Development Authority (JDA) held a special meeting Dec. 12 to finalize items before the new year.

The Authority is filling a gap made last year as the seventh, at-large, member was needed to be appointed. While Penelope Marshall has served in the position, it turns out that no official resolution was ever made. While the JDA reappointed Marshall to the position, it must now go before the other entities of the two cities and the county to be approved by them as well before finalization.

The approval to the position officially lists Marshall as finishing the rest of the term for the next three years.

The JDA also approved their 2018 budget with the major changes of having the executive director employed by the JDA itself now. The smaller budget of the Authority reportedly will allow $15,109  for marketing and $7,500 for travel and entertainment, according to Greater Gilmer JDA Executive Director Kent Sanford. These main two items are what the JDA uses to grow and expand business.

Sanford mentioned at the meeting that the Authority’s immediate plan with the budget compared to “ground game” in football. He spoke about the restriction from finances meant taking every step one at a time and working on smaller gains in the near future to build into more growth.

The JDA also approved their regular meeting dates for 2018. Those approved meetings will be held on Feb. 5, May 7, Aug. 6, and Nov. 5. Each meeting is to be held at 8 a.m. at the Gilmer Chamber Office, 696 1st Ave in East Ellijay.

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Commissioners Officially Adopt Millage Rate

News

ELLIJAY, GA – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners have officially adopted the 6.983 Millage Rate.

The final vote came 2-1 with Chairman Charlie Paris being the dissenting vote. Later he told FYN there was very little difference between the Rollback Rate and current Millage Rate. “If we stick with the current rate instead of the rollback rate you have to advertise it as a tax increase. I disagree with that. I feel its not. So, my feeling is I did not want the people of Gilmer County to see that we are raising their taxes. I don’t like a tax increase… I wanted to set the Rollback Rate and move on.”

The official motion to adopt came from Post Commissioner Travis Crouch who stated, “I listened to the Special Called Meeting and both arguments and perspectives… At the end of the day, I find, at the end of the day, that the points that Dallas made are compelling in our situation. So, I feel like keeping the Millage Rate where it has been for the past two years is appropriate for our situation.”

This will make the third year in a row that the millage rate has been at 6.983. Previously, it sat at 7.224 before that.

After the motion was seconded, Post Commissioner Dallas Miller opted to comment on the action before votes were cast. “I hope that something as serious as this, as what we decide on property taxes, should not be, [sic] and I’m just going to ask the public to not make this a political issue. This is a financial decision we need to make. We need to do, to the best of our knowledge, what we think is best for our county.”

Author

BOE And BOC Set Millage Rates

News, Police & Government

ELLIJAY, GA – Two meetings in July have tentatively set the tax future for Gilmer County.

The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners held a special meeting to discuss the Rollback Rate of 6.617 and the County’s decision on its millage. During the meeting. their discussion centered around a $291,048 loss to the budget if the Rollback Rate was approved. However, since the meeting, FYN has discovered that a recalculation could mean a drastically different number with the Rollback.

Commissioner Chairman Charlie Paris stated in the meeting that while he was used to Rollback Rates coming with a roughly $30,000 loss to the budget, but the nearly $300,000 loss would be a serious hit to the county.

Post Commissioner Travis Crouch made note of serious issues the County is still facing including rising insurance costs and the Lower Cartecay Road Bridge that needs replacing. Currently, Director Jim Smith has not been able to obtain additional funding for the bridge.

However, with the new information of a recalculated rate, a new meeting is being called for the Commissioners to revisit the discussion with the newer information.

On the Board of Education side, the calculated Rollback Rate suggested 16.24 as the Rollback Rate. Recommending the process to begin with advertising the rate, Superintendent Dr. Shanna Wilkes said, after extended discussion with the Board, she was recommending a rate lower than the Rollback at 16.12.

As the meeting moved forward discussing the rate, the final vote came to approve advertising for the rate at 16.12. However, the vote split at 3-1 with Board Member Nick Weaver as the dissenting vote. Board Member Ronald Watkins was absent from the meeting and did not vote.

FYN caught up with Weaver to ask about his vote. Weaver stated, “I think it should be lower.”

With the lower rate, the BOE should see taxes decrease by $392,870 according to the Board’s documentation.

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