Gilmer ARTS endorses Arts Center in ESPLOST survey

Bobcat's Corner, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer ARTS program has weighed in on an ongoing survey from the Gilmer County Charter School System.

The survey is for options on an upcoming Education Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (ESPLOST) cycle starting in 2020. As FetchYourNews previously reported in “BOE asks for citizen input on 2020 ESPLOST,” the options include a performing/fine arts center (on the Gilmer High School campus), a multi-use sports facility (gym, weight rooms, wrestling center, batting cages, track), or an indoor swimming pool. There is also an option for citizens to forego these options and write in their own suggestion in an “other” box.

Now, Gilmer ARTS has endorsed the option for a Performing Arts Center noting, “The options included a much overdue and badly needed performing arts center. Gilmer is far behind our neighbors in Fannin to the north and Pickens to the south. Both counties have wonderful performing arts facilities that enhance the performances of not only school system student programs but also community use for concerts and events.”

Gilmer ARTS also noted their partnership agreement with the school system and the hard work that the students have put in for some of the most successful programs in the high school. In their official release, Gilmer ARTS stated, “We have competition-winning programs in our schools with art, instrumental and choral music and have had for many years (Champions if you will).”

With little time left for the survey, the release asks for all citizens to either follow the Survey link or log on to the Gilmer Schools website and click the survey link at the top of the page, so they can offer their voice and vote on the possible options.

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Pool information for the summer

Community

ELLIJAY, Ga. – With the heat continuing to rise, citizens are braving the recent rains to cool off in the waters of the county’s public pool again.

With the season upon us again and school out for the summer, families are ready to dive back into the pool to beat the heat in any way possible. Those seeking the relaxation are able to visit daily from 12 p.m to 6 p.m. for $3 per person. Lifeguards are on duty during these times as well.

However, for those seeking to take care of their entire summer all at once, a season pass is available for $75 with an additional $25 added for each additional family member on the pass. Or take a day of celebration for $150 to facilitate pool parties.

As a part of the programs offered by the pool, for those looking to relax in the sun while the kids learn to swim, the Recreation and Parks Department facilitates swim lessons for citizens at $75 per week or private lessons at $30 per hour.

Flocking back to the pool is an annual pilgrimage for locals looking to lose some time in the sun. Crowds are already beginning to fill the area earlier in the day as well. For those wanting more information or to make plans for any of the offered programs, visit the Recreation and Parks Department Website or call 706-276-7700.

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BOE asks for citizen input on 2020 ESPLOST

Bobcat's Corner, News

ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Education is almost halfway through its current ESPLOST plan completing projects like the renovations on Huff Mosley Stadium, building a new Agriculture Education center, and the current renovations to Gilmer High School.

However, anticipating the process needed to prepare for continuing the ESPLOST after this one ends in 2020, the board is already moving into discussions for that next cycle. As a part of that process for ESPLOST, the board must have planned projects they intend to use the money for.

In that discussion, Gilmer County Charter Schools System Superintendent Dr. Shanna Downs has turned to the citizens by placing a survey on their website. The board already has certain plans for projects to continue to upgrade technology, improve safety measures, purchase buses, and build an elementary school to replace Ellijay Primary.

However, the survey itself is intended to add more to the list with citizen input on three additional suggestions for the ESPLOST cycle. 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. There is also an option for citizens to forego these otpions and write in their own suggestion in an “other” box.

Citizens can either follow the Survey link or log on to the Gilmer Schools website and click the survey link at the top of the page to offer their opinion as well as speaking at the next meeting of the Board of Education.

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Chairman Paris Offers “State of the County”

News

Gilmer County Commission Chairman Charlie Paris stops by to speak about a number of issues with Good Morning From the Office.

Chairman Paris goes over the recent audit for our county and its implications including a new line item in the budget for Contingency Funds, this year’s Tax Anticipation Note (TAN), and the separation of our Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG) into a separate account from the General Fund and its effect on the TAN.

Paris also discusses the County’s Roads and how we have improved the Road Department’s quality and speed with new equipment and additional employees. Specifically, he updates you on the progress of Ridgeway Church Road: one property owner is delaying the road paving, but overcoming that obstacle could see paving by end of summer.

Gilmer County could see a heavy consent order, a $174,000 fine originally, completed in the next months now that the Audit is completed along with all the points on the order.

After a poor bid for clearing the lot for Cherry Log Fire Station, the Commissioners are planning to bid laying asphalt for this year’s LMIG to free up road department to clear the land. Attempting to keep the project moving towards December completion date, this paving bids are part of Chairman Paris’ attempts to not let the Fire Station become “Chairman Paris’ Clear Creek Ball Fields.”

A final note from Paris’ visit mentioned his proposal for next year to begin setting aside $300,000 for a new pool over next 4 years. At the end of four years, enough money should be saved to build a new pool and then begin moving forward to build onto it with other options such as a covering.

 

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Citizen’s Call for Upgrade to Pool

News

In both their Work Session and Regular Meeting, the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners heard plans from citizen Larry Lykins encompassing local organizations and the county to enter an agreement to allow the Community Pool to stay open through the Winter.

Though he said the project was a stop-gap as the community still wants to see a full facility someday, Lykins listed several benefits for winter pool use now, including the school’s swim teams and Parks and Rec uses that could even include community classes. However, to use the pool in winter months would require heating.

Lykins’ plan includes local organizations purchasing a “bubble” for the pool that would enclose a portion of the pool to allow heater systems to be purchased to heat the pool. As Post 1 Commissioner Dallas Miller countered with concerns about the county’s financial standing and purchasing the new equipment, Lykins said that the interested parties, one of which could be Three Rivers Athletic Club, would raise the funds for the equipment, leaving the county to only be responsible for operating expenses such as electricity, gas, and lifeguards.

Lykins offered a forecast for the project to operate under a “12 month-break even” plan for the county to offer the pool without a financial loss. The plan made inclusions for ideas such as Water Aerobics classes, Swim-Meets, Physical Therapy, and other options to be explored for use.

Gilmer High School Athletic Director Rodney Thurman also attended the work session to represent the School’s willingness to support the project as they could utilize the pool for swim meets, bringing parents and athletes from other counties to our community.

Additionally, this would also mean increased usage for citizens who want to use the pool in Winter Months to continue exercise or recreational use.

During their regular meeting, the Commissioners did vote to move forward with the proposal and collect the funds for the equipment. Though this is not a full agreement reached, citizens attending the meeting applauded the decision. As the interested parties gather, the Commissioners will continue monthly updates and observation of the process to control and monitor the operations to avoid a major financial loss, should the project not bring in the revenue to support itself.

Commission Chairman Charlie Paris asserted to Lykins and the citizens that this is a risk for the community, and if the community does not utilize the pool, the lack of revenue could force them to shut the project down.

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Citizens Speak on Community Pool

Citizens Speak, Community, Featured Stories, News

Gilmer County, GA – Silence pierced the room Wednesday night as Commissioner Charlie Paris asked, while late in the meeting, if anyone would like speak for repairing or retiring the community pool. (more…)

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Pool Opening Re-Scheduled (6.14)

News

Update 6.14:The opening of the Gilmer County pool has been delayed due to a clogged valve on the pool floor.
(more…)

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BL

What’s Crackin at the Gilmer County Pool?

Community, News

As we reported last week, the Gilmer County Pool is undergoing repairs. Anyone who has seen the project price tag has to wonder: “What’s wrong with the pool, again?” FYN has spoken with the project contractors to find out just what exactly is being fixed. (more…)

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BL

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