TVA River Management Continues to Address Above Average Rainfall in 2019

Announcements, Outdoors

TVA River Management teams are preparing Valley reservoirs for above normal rainfall forecasted to continue over the weekend and increase next week.

The current forecast for an inch of rainfall through Saturday could ramp up to bring an additional 3-6 inches mostly during the middle of next week.

“After record rainfall in 2018, we are seeing much of the same so far in early 2019,” said James Everett, senior manager for TVA’s River Forecast Center. “With above average rainfall totals on already-saturated ground possible next week, we are moving lots of water through the system to create as much storage as possible in our reservoirs while also limiting flows to protect downstream areas.”

TVA has increased spill or sluice released at its tributaries through its Cherokee, Douglas, Norris, Melton Hill and Apalachia dams to create more storage capacity. Increased releases at all nine Tennessee River main stem dams are expected with the possible exception of Kentucky Dam in order to provide flood control operations on the Ohio River.

TVA river management activities – including spilling, sluicing, hydro generation, and reducing flows at some locations – will be ongoing at tributary and main stem sites across the valley, with release strategies being updated around the clock by TVA’s River Forecast Center staff as the rainfall forecast develops.

Impacts across the valley include:

The Tennessee River at Savannah, Tenn., is expected to reach flood stage by Friday tomorrow and continue rising several feet through late next week.

Continued TVA coordination with the US Army Corps of Engineers to manage flows at Kentucky Dam and Barkley Dam on the Cumberland River to avert flood damage on the Mississippi River and Ohio River, which already is 10 feet above flood stage.

Possible closures of locks at Watts Bar and Chickamauga dams and commercial navigation through the Nickajack Gorge.

TVA also will be reaching out to the National Weather Service, farmers, marinas, local EMA’s and other groups across the Valley to provide advanced warning about rising river levels.

This weather event is a continuation of above average rainfall patterns which resulted in 2018 being the wettest year on record across the Tennessee Valley with a basin average of 67.0 inches of rain, about 16 inches above normal.

In an average year, TVA prevents about $250 million in flood damage in the TVA region and an additional $17 million averted along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers through the operation of its dams.

Gilmer Foundation’s new CORE in business


ELLIJAY, Ga. – New life is springing from an older foundation in Gilmer County this week with the CORE Facility on River Terrace, just off of Maddox Drive.

Called the CORE (Collaboration on River’s Edge), the facility will host business offices and incubation locations for entrepreneurs and start-ups in need of an office or workspace without the hassles of long-term investment. Created by the Greater Gilmer Community Foundation, Kent Sanford Executive Director of the Greater Gilmer JDA (Joint Development Authority) and member of the Greater Gilmer Foundation, tells FYN the idea began with a visit to Carrollton, Georgia. Inspecting a business incubation center there, he began dwelling on the idea.

However, concerns about the project’s feasibility in Ellijay stalled the idea and the plans never saw action. Seven years have passed since the idea began at Carrollton and the Greater Gilmer Foundation was created. Now, as Sanford noticed the building for sale on River Terrace, the owner, Edgar Land, originally wanted to sell the place. Kent says negotiations allowed them to lease-purchase the building and begin renovations to revolutionize the early life of small businesses in our area. Sanford went on to say the just like in fitness when they say strength comes from your core, “CORE will be where the future strength of Gilmer County comes from.”

While the facility will host 13 offices and 2 conference rooms during its launch by the end of the first quarter in 2019, Sanford says the facility will be both an incubator for new businesses and a co-working space for small businesses.

As an incubator, CORE stands to be a resource center for new businesses. As they take up residence in an office, they will grow and learn through cooperation with the foundation and educational sessions the CORE facility puts on. Additionally, the future plans of the CORE facility would also provide for business mentors to advise these start-ups on everything from day-to-day operations to faculty to financial decisions.

Sanford went on to say, “Not only are incubated businesses about twice as successful as ones that don’t have that mentoring help, but you also have about 80% of all businesses that start in a community stay in that community.”

As a co-working space, CORE will provide an office to a small business that may not need much space, but does need something like access to better internet than they may have at home. With utilities and furnishings provided by the CORE facility, this could give small businesses access to larger benefits to better present themselves to clients. With conference rooms and special areas available for scheduling, it also provides the amenities of a large office to be shared among those in office.

The amenities would not just be for those residing in the office spaces, though. Sanford says they are looking at a membership idea for other businesses with their own small offices that may still be in need of space temporarily for training seminars or business conferences. Looking past the businesses, Sanford said that other things like civic clubs and organizations could also find a use for the spaces.

The idea flows that as new and old businesses alike start to grow in the CORE facility, they would reach a point and need for larger space, as the move to other larger locations, the offices open up to other new businesses.

Additionally, Sanford says he hopes to see a variety of businesses utilizing the space to grow so that they benefit each other. For example, one Accountant next to a web designer could share services providing financial services o the web designer and a website for the accountant. In this way, the community feeds itself and strengthens each while maintaining close proximity for convenience.

Sanford also noted that the resource center was not just for Gilmer County businesses. He wants CORE to become a Regional Resource for Fannin, Pickens, and Gilmer for those who need only to drive a short time to take advantage of the CORE facility.

Working on their fundraiser right now, the Foundation hopes to see three phases of the CORE facility.

In Phase I, the renovations will complete with the fundraising and open to the public by the end of the first quarter in 2019.

In Phase II, the foundation will continue renovation onto the second floor to open up a larger open space for education and training in a 1,200 square foot space upstairs.

In Phase III, hopes for the CORE Facility could extend into the schools for things like STEM Classes, STEM Saturdays, or other forays into education connection. Consolidating resources for these could include shared STEM kits or a shared expense for a STEM subscription service involving 3d-printing necessary components. However, specific details into PHASE III have yet to finalized, but Sanford said the general idea is to grow into partners in education in the county.

As a part of the connection for education and incubation for new businesses, Sanford says he hopes the facility will ultimately have a real impact on the growing trend of educated students leaving the community for careers elsewhere.

As it is still in the fundraising stage, plans for the facility could shift, but Sanford states he already has people looking to rent space in the building.

For more information on the campaign and growing the CORE Facility, contact the Greater Gilmer Foundation at 706-635-2673 or check out the Greater Gilmer website.


Bobcats Open Wrestling Season with Solid Performance

GHS Wrestling


The Gilmer Bobcats have officially competed in their first wrestling tournament of the season, and it was a successful performance overall. The Cats have enough wrestlers to make up two separate varsity teams, and that’s exactly what they did as they took a team to compete in the Spartan Slam Invitational at West Hall while a second team traveled to Woodstock to compete in the River Ridge Varsity Duals.

The Spartan Slam Invitational boasts some of the toughest wrestling competitors in the state, with a 16-team turnout and so many wrestlers that the event had to limit individuals to only 5 matches.

The Cats finished 3rd overall (out of 16) and scoring was led by first place finishers Caleb Waddell (152lb class), Ryan Crump (195lb class) and Anthony Zilke (285lb class). A complete list of individual results is listed below.

Gilmer coach Joshua Ghobadpoor was pleased with the effort of his wrestlers and excited about the future. “We wrestled hard and with a purpose, team atmosphere was great, and we had success,” Ghobadpoor told his team after the meet. “[We] still have a lot we can improve upon which is a great position to be in! Couldn’t be more proud of the effort that was displayed by all our wrestlers!”

– Varsity Team #1: Spartan Slam Invitational Results:

Team took 3rd overall.

113: Gabe Reimer: 5th Place
120: Logan Bentley: 2nd Place
126: Cameron Martin: 7th Place
132: Javier Jacinto: 2nd Place
132: Tristain Kendall: 3rd Place
138: Alex Repetin: 3rd Place
145: Hoyt Stover: 4th Place
152: Caleb Waddell: 1st Place
160: Chase Calvert: 8th Place
170: Grant Ledford: 3rd Place
182: Chad Weaver: 3rd Place
195: Ryan Crump: 1st Place
285: Anthony Zilke: 1st Place
285: Jhaydon Ragsdale: 5th Place

– Varsity Team #2: River Ridge Varsity Duals Results:
*individual stats for this event not yet reported, but there were several wrestlers that were undefeated on the day

Overall Record: 3-2

Wins Over:
– Etowah
– Meadowcreek
– Dunwoody (Forfeited to us)

Losses To:
– Sequoyah
– North Gwinnett

Gilmer will compete on Tuesday in a Quad Match against Dawson County, Murray County, and Riverside Military Academy at Gilmer County High School.


Alcohol Banned on Gilmer County Rivers


During Thursday night’s June 9th Meeting, The Gilmer County Board of Commissioners heard input from citizens on the regulations for Gilmer County Rivers.

There were actually two separate items on the agenda to incorporate two changes the Commissioners were looking at for the county’s unincorporated rivers, meaning the sections of the river’s outside the city limits of Ellijay and East Ellijay.

The first change was to implement an ordinance regulating the entirety of the county’s rivers while also instituting a one dollar charge on the a specific section of the Cartecay involving the use of county owned land in the area as a take out point. The Commissioners were considering this charge to be specifically dedicated to installing and maintaining a bathroom and changing facility at the take-out location. Several people stood to speak in the hour long public hearing, all in opposition to the regulations.

Judy Oglesby spoke saying if the county wanted to continue encouraging new business in the county, they need to stop this ordinance and restrictions on the area.

Joene DePlanke agreed calling the ordinance “onerous” and asking for posting signs of potential rules such as glass or alcohol in several areas informing the citizens. She went on to say that the county should investigate ideas for donation collections in support of facilities at the location.

Woody Jensen of the Cartecay River Experience also indicated he felt his company was being unfairly targeted on the ordinance with the one dollar surcharge and questioned several details about the ordinance including how the county expected to collect the money, and who would enforce the new regulations imposed by the ordinance, going so far as to ask, “Are you going to have a Sheriff out on the river?”

Most of the continued comments fell in similar lines with the main focus of the people opposing the idea of a dollar “tax” as some of them called it.

As the regular meeting followed the public hearing, the commissioners took their turns to comment indicating their original plans for the ordinance, but agreeing with the people’s comments and suggestion. Post Commissioner Travis Crouch said this was the essential key to the County’s function and enjoyed hearing the public’s feedback on these issues.

Commission Chairman Charlie Paris also stated that with the public in such opposition, he had come to believe the ordinance was not the best plan moving forward. The failure of hearing a motion effectively ended the first ordinance.

However, the following discussion for the second river item on their agenda revolved around the possibility of bannin alcohol and glass on the river. A very different discussion saw people on both sides of the issues. Woody Jensen of the Cartecay River Experience suggested restricting the river to one zippered cooler on the river with people to help control the alcohol without an outright ban. One homeowner on the river disagreed siting several issues of lewd and inappropriate activity.

The Board of Commissioners ultimately elected to approve the alcohol ban, however. The ban is issued immediately with the Chairman Paris set to collaborate with the River outfitters on the construction and placement of signs to indicate the new ban at several locations.

While nothing was set specifically for the construction of facilities at the County’s take-out location, Post Commissioner Travis Crouch did indicate his interest in exploring the idea as proposed by the citizens in hopes to see the area improved for both tourists and citizens alike.


Tensions Rise in May BOC


Lengthy meetings were held by the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners last week with both their Work Session and Regular Meeting. Votes split and the Commissioners sat as several issues came under fire during this month’s meetings.

A very full meeting room waited with anticipation for any speakers on the issue of a Zoning Request to implement a Motocross Track in the Big Creek area. Originally, several people spoke against the track in the work session including Ginger Marine, a resident who spoke on the impact of the dirt and noise in the area from a previous track that was built in her area of the county, and Robert Collins, a Big Creek resident who spoke about the environmental and community impact as a track would not be “compatible with the area.”

However, tension mounted as Chairman Charlie Paris called for comments in the regular meeting. With no one to step forth in favor of the track, Chairman Paris noted he had not received this much communication over a singular issue in his service as chairman, and he had not received one message in favor of the track. The Planning & Zoning Commission reported they had denied the request in their meeting, and the Commissioners followed the same as they unanimously denied the request.

Later in the meeting, the Commissioners went a step further to enact a moratorium on motocross tracks in the county. This was put in place as the county is moving into completely overhauling its land use permits in the coming months. Citizens asked how to stay involved with the changes and to put their own thoughts into the changes, to which Chairman Paris offered is email to continue the information exchange with those citizens and any who wanted to join in.

Another issue rose in tension as the County Commissioners began a process to regulate river usage in the unincorporated parts of the County, which is the county outside of city limits. Much of the resistance to this regualation came from Woody Janssen and Phillip Griffith, both of the Cartecay River Experience, who spoke on how to enforce the regulation. They also stated that with enforcement, they believe the laws are already in place with trespassing and public drunkenness. Going even further into issues of trash on the river, Janssen said much of the trash issues in the river they already deal with themselves as they collected several thousands of pounds of trash in last years clean-up.

Post Commissioner Dallas Miller stated the Commissioners “have an issue here… a Conundrum” as he listened to the resistance to the regulation. With issues arising, the allusion was made about a few bad apples ruining the situation.

Soon after, a motion and vote came to adopt the first reader, which will send this issue back to next month’s meeting for final consideration as well as a public hearing to further delve into the public’s concerns.

Not all votes came in unanimously, however. Post Commissioner Dallas Miller offered with the Dissenting Vote for a zoning request for a wedding venue, citing previous zoning issues where he also dissented due to his belief that the conditional use permits requested are not permitted under the ordinance. Another dissension from Miller came on the County’s “Alchoholic Beverages” section of the code. An expected vote by many due to a well documented opposition by Miller to the changes. However, Miller still states that though he votes no on certain issues in the county, he will continue to support the choices made by the Board as a whole. The vote went 2-1 in favor of the First Reader.

Another largely debated issue also came to a close last week as the County voted for a final adoption of their Amendments for Collection of Tax on Harvested Timber. No discussion came in the regular meeting after all the work and changes previously put into this change.

The Board is also moving forward after approving the First Reader for changes in how the Commissioners dispose of property. You will recall recent reports on this change to focus on removing the requirement to advertise every individual piece of equipment to include the serial numbers of the equipment to be sold. One citizen spoke in this months meeting to ask if this included county owned land, to which Chairman Paris assured him it was for equipment and items owned by the county and could not include land.

One final note to the meeting came  with the Commissioner’s re-appointment of Billy Rowe to the Ellijay-Gilmer Water Sewer Authority. The Board also considered Jerry Davis who offered his services, but stated he was already on a county board. Rowe is currently serving on the Water and Sewer Board and it is his term coming to an end. With the approval he is now to be reappointed to the position by the Commissioners.

For more information check out the two videos below to watch the May Work Session and Regular Meeting for the Board of Commissioners.

Work Session May 11:

Regular Meeting May 12:


Public Advisory: Boiled Water Advisory Lifted for Coosawatte River Resort and Surrounding Areas



A large water main break on the main feed line to the Coosawattee River Resort area is causing water pressure in parts of the water system to drop to dangerously low levels. When this occurs, a potential health hazard may exist in these areas of zero pressure from backflow and/r back siphonage of water of unknown quality into the water distribution system.

In order to protect the public from a potential health hazard, all citizens that have experienced water outages and/or low water pressures are advised to “boil” all water prior to use for drinking, cooking or preparing baby food. The water should be boiled for at least one minute after reaching a rolling boil. Citizens should continue to boil their water until they are notified by their drinking water utility that the water system has been restored to full operation, and that the microbiological quality of the water in the distribution system is safe for human consumption.

The areas affected include but are not liited to: All of the Coosawattee River Resort, Highway 5 South (from Legion Road south), Legion Road, and the Highway 382 area.

If you have any questions concerning this advisory, please call the Ellijay-Gilmer County Water & Sewerage Authority Administration Office at (706) 276-2202 or after hours at (706)635-7929. The Authority apologizes for this inconvenience and all customers should be assured that the Authority will work non-stop until this issue is resolved. - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

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