ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners approved Materials Bids for the coming 2018 year. After accepting bids for the five areas, only one has been rejected.
Emulsion was the one rejected bid. Hudson Materials delivered a bid to the county for emulsion over $1.50 for all three of their materials. Deemed higher than expected, the commissioners voted to reject this bid. Chairman Paris assured those present there would be enough time to rebid this before the new year.
C.W. Matthews Contracting Company out of Marietta, Georgia, was awarded the county’s asphalt bid for materials ranging between $55 to $62 for 2018. Increases in these prices are also affecting paving projects and the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) for 2018 as Public Works Director Jim Smith estimated the county will be able to pave 7.63 miles with LMIG next year.
West Block Company was awarded its bid for concrete, beating Wayne Davis Concrete Company. Though discussion arose on certain aspects of the bid such as a “truck time charge after one hour,” the commissioners ultimately awarded the bid after continued investigation still resulted with West Block being the lower bid.
Another contested bid came with propane. Though Heritage Propane delivered a fixed price bid of $1.49 per gallon, they were largely outbid by Appalachian Propane at $1.08 per gallon.
The final bid, stone, was another uncontested bid, same as it was last year, by Vulcan Materials Company. With prices ranging between $15 and $30 depending on the grade and type of stone, Director Smith also reports this is another bid continuing to increase costs for the county in the coming year.
Putting together a volunteer effort to support children throughout the Appalachian Circuit, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) members and community volunteers met to build backpack care packages for children going into Foster Care.
Prepping for roughly eight groups of children separated by age groups, these backpacks are filled with items any child may need and find useful. Dianne Scoggins, Executive Director for CASA of the Appalachian Judicial Circuit, says she got the idea through her family and several local church’s involvement in Operation Christian Child. Children just going into Foster Care may have little to nothing belonging to them in their situations.
Operation Foster Child uses the bags to not just give the children something they may find comforting, such as a stuffed animal or similar item, but to provide essentials as well, providing shampoo or soap or even clothing such as underwear. While it may seem simple or even redundant, Scoggins recalled a general story about a CASA volunteer bringing a pack of underwear to a young boy. Weeks later the they found out the boy wound up putting on the whole pack.
That child had not owned underwear before. Fresh into Foster Care, he owned nothing. Scoggins says this is part of what CASA is for. A separate entity from DFCS and other child services, she says they are completely focused on the child in the situation and not involved in legal or law enforcement.
Operation Foster Child may be the unofficial kick off for April’s Child Abuse Awareness Month, but Scoggins says she hopes to continue the event in the future if people will continue to donate and volunteer. Very happy with this events turn out this time, Scoggins stated, “It warms my heart, but we’re also giving our community an opportunity to know there is a need there… Not only are they helping children, but they are also giving back to their community.”
Indeed the community did respond strong with numerous volunteers and donations throughout the day. FYN was even present to see one citizen tote in three full boxes of things to be used and donated. Others donated time to the event as they spent their afternoons sifting through items on the tables as one volunteer grabs a book-bag, proceeds to one end of the line and walks down collecting one of each item to make the bags as full as possible with similar items. The volunteer then moves to a separate table to get a few toys or similar items, finally attaching a ribbon and card before placing the book-bag with other bags in their age appropriate locations.
However, the volunteer work was not just coming in for the Operation Foster Child. CASA operates a lot of its support through donations of items, time in the office, or even financial donations to the organization.
Operation Foster Child is addressing the specific needs of the children, but its so much more according to Volunteer Supervisor Lisa Salman. Noting that when children are picked up to be placed in Foster Care they tend to have their items collected in black trash bags. Salman said this event would change that. Not wanting to send a message to kids with a black trash bag, Salman says the backpacks would be picked up by local Divisions of Family and Children Services in Gilmer, Pickens, and Fannin so that when they do retrieve a child, they can have readily available bags to take with them.
Due to the nature of the need, there is not a set time for Operation Foster Child’s full day to occur again, but Scoggins and Salman both suggested the event would be held again whenever the need arose or the bags ran low. If you may be looking to volunteer with CASA in the office or donate, you can head to AppalchianCASA or find a little more information in the video below
Make sure to look belpow the video as well for more pictures from Appalachian CASA’s Operation Foster Child.
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