Calhoun Mayor Jimmy Palmer and Gordon County Board of Commissioners Chair both addressed a large audience at the annual State of City, County meeting held at Georgia Northwestern Technical College on Friday, Feb. 23. The annual meeting is sponsored by Gordon County Chamber of Commerce Development Authority.
Mayor Palmer began the meeting thanking everyone in attendance for voting for the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
"Using SPLOST dollars, we have bought several pieces of equipment such as street sweepers, police cars, bucket trucks; different equipment for many different departments," said Mayor Palmer. "Using SPLOST dollars, we were also able to do a sewer replacement project which included parts of Piedmont Street, Line Street, Trammel Street, College Street, Fain, Woodland as well as Chandler Street. We will be able to continue this progress with a new sewer expansion replacement in the Red Bud Road area. Another major project was Peters Street, which is a joint City-County project. We are pleased to say things are going well, the project is 90 percent complete. It includes sidewalks, curb, gutter as well as improved drainage in the area. It is a very nice project, quite a community improvement."
Mayor Palmer also mentioned the new section of the recreation department, which allowed the City to host several district, regional and state sports tournaments, which brought approximately 10,000 people and more than $1.5 million dollars to the community.
"We have two intersection-improvement projects about to take
place that have been approved," said Palmer. "One of those is the intersection at McDaniel Station Road, which will be the addition of a turn lane. The other intersection improvement is at Red Bud Road and Highway 41. This improvement will include turn lanes."
According to Mayor Palmer, another large event for the City in 2017 was making the final payment on Fields Ferry Golf Course.
"It is used by industry, by City and County schools, by many clubs and organizations as fundraisers," said Palmer. "We've had region as well as state championships (from the local schools), we are very proud of what we've been able to accomplish (at the golf course)."
Palmer mentioned the safety of the community, with Calhoun being identified as one of the Top 35 Safest Cities in Georgia, the Calhoun Police Department being awarded the Governors Cup and the CPD being recognized as Agency of the Year.
Palmer then introduced Gordon County Chair Becky Hood, telling the audience that the relationship between the City and County is stronger than ever.
Hood began by introducing several new appointments in the County since last year.
"I am very pleased to have Jim Ledbetter as our County Administrator," said Hood. "Jim has been our County Attorney since 2014 and took on the position of Administrator in November."
She also mentioned adding Courtney Taylor as EMA Director and Steve Parris as Public Works Director.
"These gentlemen are very familiar with Gordon County; they have over a combined 50 years of service to Gordon County Government."
Hood also thanked everyone who voted for SPLOST, telling the audience that it enables the county to grow services and infrastructure as the economy and population grows.
"Some of the SPLOST projects scheduled for 2018-2024 include public safety vehicles and facilities, renovations of several county buildings, agriculture event facility and economic development, a new evidence building and morgue and new parks and recreation attractions, especially on the east side of the county.
Hood mentioned current SPLOST projects that continue to move forward, including a new Animal Control facility, in which the design phase has been completed; the Courthouse and Annex renovations that are in the final design phases and the design planning of the new Health Department.
"Our departments have done an outstanding job in 2017," said Hood. "We have a great team of department supervisors and employees who serve our county well."
Hood reported that the Gordon County Sheriff's Office came in under budget for the ninth consecutive year; the Superior Court Clerk's Office has scanned all deed documents back to Book 1; the State of Georgia chose the District Attorney's Office to participate in an electronic filing project scheduled to begin this year and the Juvenile Court ADJUST program completed another successful year serving local youth that would otherwise be committed to the State Department of Juvenile Justice. She also mentioned that Gordon County Fire & Rescue has completed 20,000 hours of training and graduated 11 students from the first in-house City/County Emergency Medical Technician Advanced class.
Hood also reported that the Highway 53 Bypass is ahead of schedule, with an estimated completion date of March 2021.
"We look forward to the next year as we continue to grow and expand and offer the people of Gordon County the best services we can provide," said Hood.
For those interested in throwing their hat in the ring for local office, qualifying for this year's General Primary Election for both political parties will begin next Monday, March 5 through Friday, March 9 at the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office, located in the Gordon County Government Plaza at 215 North Wall Street in downtown Calhoun.
Times to qualify are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Friday, 9 a.m. - 12 noon.
Local seats up for election this year are as follows:
Gordon County Commissioner District 2, Chad Steward, Incumbent
Gordon County Commissioner District 4, Rebecca H. "Becky" Hood, Incumbent
Gordon County Board of Education Post 1, Charles "Charlie" Walraven, Incumbent
Gordon County Board of Education Post 3, Dana Stewart, (appointed by BOE)
Gordon County Board of Education Post 5, Nan Barnette, Incumbent
Gordon County Board of Education Post 7, Lawrence G. Massey, Jr., (appointed by BOE).
Qualifying fees for Gordon County Commissioner are $180; the qualifying fees for Gordon County School Board are $18.
For more information about qualifying please contact the Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration Office at 706-629-7781.
The General Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. According to Shea Hicks, chairperson of Gordon County Board of Elections and Voter Registration, the last day to register to vote or to change your name or address for the General Primary Election will be on April 24, 2018. To register to vote, visit registertovote.sos. ga.gov
Statewide, all of Georgia's executive offices are up for election this year, which includes the seats of Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, Commissioner of Agriculture, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, Labor Commissioner, State Superintendent of Schools, and Public Service Commissioner, as well as all of Georgia's fourteen seats in the United States House of Representatives.
For more information on this year's General Primary Election, visit www.GordonCounty.org/departments/boardof-elections/
Staying in town for St. Patrick's Day? The Color Run is back! Start the celebration early at the 2nd Annual YLS Gordon County Color Run, which will be held on Saturday, March 17 at the Calhoun Recreation Department, located at 10 McDaniel Station Road in Calhoun.
Have a fun time running (or walking) through neon clouds of color. there will be two runs; a 1-mile Fun Run as well as a regular 5k run - neither event will be timed. This fundraiser will support the ongoing philanthropic efforts the United Way of Gordon County's Young Leaders Society provides to the community. YLS members participate in volunteer opportunities such as serving meals at the Voluntary Action Center's Community Kitchen, collecting art supplies for art therapy sessions at Prevent Child Abuse Gordon County, hosting a Trunk-or-Treat for Boys & Girls Club members and many more activities with the 18 United Way of Gordon County agencies. Find out more at gordoncountyunitedway.org/about-yls.
Late registration begins that day at 8 a.m. The 5k run begins at 9 a.m. and the 1-mile Fun Run begins at 9:10 a.m.
For frequently asked questions or to pre-register online, visit www.gordoncountyunitedway.org.
The YLS would like to thank the following sponsors of the Color Run:
Platinum: Shaw Industries
Gold: Belwood Nursery & Landscape Supplies, Bentley Dye
Silver: BB&T, Childress Real Estate, Landscape Creations, NorthSide Bank, Starr – Mathews Agency
Water Sponsor: Synovus