ELLIJAY, Ga. – A Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) Maintenance crew begins today its work on replacing the obliterated and damaged reflective raised pavement markers on state Route (SR) 2 in Gilmer County. Work will proceed daily Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. This safety maintenance operation and the lane closures it necessitates are weather permitting and subject to change.
Georgia DOT maintains over 2,000 lane-miles in northwest Georgia. Relatively harsh winter and snowplows used to clear the region’s interstates and state routes from snow and ice present a challenge to the DOT crews who are charged with maintaining lane markers on the roads. These crews follow Federal Highway Administration standards for markings and do their best to keep up. They also work almost continuously restriping faded markers and replacing missing reflective raised pavement markers. Still, the volume of traffic on the highways, snow removal in the winter and sunny summer all weigh heavily on the durability of the lane markers.
You know that construction work zones are dangerous, but do you know that they are not always stationary? Moving work zones that conduct maintenance activities like litter pickup, asphalt repair, mowing, edge pavement repair, pavement marking and sweeping may move slowly and stop intermittently. Treat moving work zones like any other – Pay Attention – Slow Down – Watch for Workers. And always, expect the unexpected. Work zone safety is in your hands.
ELLIJAY, GA – The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners held the budget review sessions in preparation for the 2018 Budget.
The videos below document the departments with which the Commissioners spoke. Citizens can attend the Budget Finalization Meeting on Monday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m. or stay with Fetch Your News for updates after the meeting.
Probate Court, Elections
Code & Regulatory Compliance
Whitepath Golf Course
Tax Assessor, Board of Assessors
Road Department, Solid Waste, Maintenance Shop, Airport
Planning & Zoning
Clerk of Superior Court, Board of Equalization
Park & Recreation
Sheriff, Detention Cener, E-911
Fire & EMS, EMA
Courthouse & Facilities
ELLIJAY, Ga – Prior to the Ellijay City Council’s November Meeting, they heard a proposal from Russel Brown, local paramedic, for a community welfare program similar to programs in other counties like Floyd County.
According to Brown, patients statistically do better recovering at home. This program would encourage and supervise home health. Different from home healthcare programs, Brown said much of the welfare program is focused on prevention of readmission to hospitals and emergency rooms. They would focus on aspects like vital signs and communication for paperwork. If the program moves forward, it would start out within the Ellijay City Limits.
Funding and grants are available, Brown said, and much of the expense would come from strips for glucometers to measure blood glucose. While he hopes one day it could grow into a community paramedic program, he wished to start at community welfare. Those providing the service would be limited in care, and Brown stated that EMS would still be called for necessary situations.
Specific details for the proposal will come possibly as early as the December City Council meeting as the council requested Brown to return with an official written proposal to detail more things like cost and liability among others.
Another healthcare entity presented a variance request to change the sign for Gilmer Nursing Home on 1362 South Main St. While the variance request was submitted to exceed the three-foot sign regulation of the city, it would in fact be lower than the current sign. Standing at 21 feet now, the request states the new sign will only reach 12 feet in height. A representative from Signs of Interest, Andy Lawson, told FYN the sign change was partially to clean up the facilities appearance and simplify the extras to a lower “nicer looking sign.”
Officially approved by the council, the sign will include a small message board to be utilized by the nursing home. Lawson provided FYN with a drawing of what the sign is expected to look like. Though the sign change is indicative of a name change as part of a remodeling project, Lawson told the council that SunLink Health Systems still owns the nursing home.
Following the same road further south, Highway 382’s changes came to Ellijay with a formal notification by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) that they will abandon the section of Highway 382 that currently extends from the intersection of 382 and Old Highway 5 to the connection at Highway 515. As seen in the picture, GDOT will be constructing a new connector straight across to Highway 515 with a roundabout at the intersection.
The notification comes with the city of Ellijay needing to accept the abandoned portion of 382 into its responsibility for paving and maintenance. However, a motion was made at the meeting to table the item. Citizens can expect the council to revisit the issue in December.
Along with their discussion of roads, an official petition has reached the council to add speed bumps to Gilmer Street near the Senior Center. The petition garnered 20 names and roused discussion from the council about returning the street to a one-way street as well as discussion on purchasing speed bumps for the street. Continued complaints about the speed of vehicles on the street led to suggestions to officially request the change via petition. Discussion took a turn as Ellijay Police Chief Edward Lacey informed the council that the street was, at one time, a one-way street.
Gilmer Street is a more narrow street and discussion arose as, if the city returned it to one way, they were unsure of which way to direct the traffic. The council tabled the item and requested an official recommendation from Lacey, on how to return it to a one-way street, to discuss along with the speed bumps option. Again, citizens should look for the council to revisit the item in December.
EAST ELLIJAY, GA – The East Ellijay City Council’s September Meeting saw the purchase of a new Vehicle, Replacing a Copy Machine on Lease, and accepted a lot donation to the city.
The city has been having continued issues with the man copier at the office. Looking into replacements, the council’s options ranged from $5369 to $1800. That lowest price came from Duplicating Products, Inc. out of Gainesville, Georgia. With a 36-month lease, the the copier would come with 3-hour turn around maintenance.
The council was informed that Duplicating Products is already being used by our local schools, the Gilmer Chamber, and local churches. With the extra references, the council unanimously approved the 36-month lease with Duplicating Products at $50 a month. However, the city will be paying the lease annually instead of monthly.
Another purchase came with a retroactive approval of purchasing a 2017 Explorer for the Police Department. Within the last month, the city hit an issue with three vehicles being out of service at one time. According to Mayor Mack West, the city traded in an older 2007 Ford F150 for a $5,000 credit at Jacky Jones Ford in Cleveland, Georgia. Previously approved to spend $27,000 in the budget on a vehicle, the trade in credit brought the original $27,500 down to $21,700 final cost.
Mayor West also stated that the police are installing much of the needed equipment into the vehicle as well, which is driving down additional costs for the vehicle as well. Utilizing old surplus equipment and doing much of the work in house, Mayor West stated that Police Chief Larry Callahan reduced an expected cost of $6,700 down to an estimated $3,200 for equipping the vehicle.
Moving past the purchases, East Ellijay is being offered a lot donation on First Avenue. While discussions began on what the city could possibly do with the property including a commercial building or a park area, no real discussion could begin before officially accepting the property into the city.
The lot officially measures at 0.84 acres and is being donated after it was originally declared not “buildable” due to setbacks and other issues the land presents against a residential building. The city is expecting to perform a quick claim deed in the coming days to finalize the transaction.
ELLIJAY, GA – At 10:45 pm Saturday night, June 24, the Gilmer County 911 center experienced rapid power fluctuations coming into the center.
As the power goes out in the 911 center, an automatic back-up kicks in. The “Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS)” will automatically sustain the center until a generator can kick on to take control of the system. This system provides maintained service through a power outage.
However, the fluctuations on this system that night failed and returned rapidly inside of one minute. According to Captain Frank Copeland, head of the 911 center, the storms and wind caused the incoming fluctuations to occur more than five times under one minute. The rapid fluctuations forced the UPS into a default mode in order to protect it from surges. Without the UPS, the 911 center went without power for approximately two minutes before the back-up generator returned power to systems.
Operating normally through the remainder of the night, the 911 center encountered another issue at 7:30 am that morning, June 25. Cpt. Copeland stated to FYN that the call center began experiencing issues with incoming calls that would lose connection around 30 seconds into a call. Progressing through their established plans of repair to the phone system, the 911 call center was forced to contact AT&T and Fannin County’s 911 center to begin transferring incoming calls to Fannin.
According to Cpt. Copeland, Fannin County began accepting the calls roughly 20 minutes after operators noticed the issue.
After calling for a technician to inspect the Leibert System UPS, Gilmer began taking calls again just before noon that same day. Cpt. Copeland stated they believe their current phone system is to blame for the issue as they may have had trouble rebooting after the power outage due to the conversion process. AT&T sends all 911 calls to the center digitally, but the 911 centers system is currently set to a hybrid digital/analog system that converts the incoming digital signal to an analog signal for the 911 center.
Copeland also reported that his opinion was the current system’s age could also have been a factor in the issues occurring. However, no issues with phone calls were reported between the power outage and the phone line issue at 7:30 am.
Between the hours of 7:30 am and noon when Gilmer began taking calls again, Cpt. Copeland reported that Fannin took eight calls from Gilmer County with the majority of them being “administrative calls” involving officers reporting in and similar occurrences. He also told FYN that Gilmer did not incur any additional costs due to the transfer as 911 centers often support each other through times like this on a sort of “Mutual Aid” agreement.
Many will recall FYN’s report of the Commissioner’s approval to replace the 911 phone system with a new all digital system. This replacement is set to occur in the first week of July. Cpt. Copeland told FYN that he expects much of the phone line issues to stop with the newer systems installation. However, he called the rapid fluctuations earlier in the night a “highly unusual power failure situation” after consultations with Emerson Network Power out of Norcross.
Stating this is just a situation you can’t prepare for, Cpt. Copeland did tell FYN that Gilmer had recently had the UPS system inspected for maintenance in March and the Generators run auto-checks once a week as well as an on site inspection monthly. In fact, he reported to FYN that no situation with rapid power fluctuations like this has occurred since the call center moved to its current location in 2009.
Stating, “We do have a back-up plan, we implemented that back-up plan, and the community was safe” Cpt. Copeland went on to say he was proud of his crew and their quick implementation of the established back-up plans prepared for these situations like this.
At the June 11 meeting, the BOE approved several financial plans. (more…)
Bids were received by the Board of Education on June 8th for Maintenance-Transportation’s Operations.