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Harvestfest 2017 coming to downtown Calhoun on Saturday, Oct. 28

With temperatures cooling, officially ushuring in the season of football, bon fires and changing leaves, the Downtown Development Authority announces Harvestfest 2017, downtown Calhoun's annual street festival, will be held on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

This is the 12th year the popular festival has hit the streets of downtown Calhoun

Throughout the day, attendees can enjoy visiting various craft booths and food vendors, as well as live performances from local bands playing a variety of music.

During the day, there will also be a Kid's Costume Contest, along wtih tractor rides for all attendees young and old.

"It will be a fun-filled day for the whole family," said Downtown Development Director Suzanne Roberts.

The event will be centered around Court Street. For more information, visit www.ExploreGordonCounty.com or call 706-602-5570


Update from City of Calhoun's latest meeting

The Calhoun City Council on Monday, Oct. 9, 2017 approved an ordinance to amend the Charter of the City of Calhoun relating to Municipal Court for the incorporation of State mandated changes in the charter.

A public hearing was held on the ordinance. City Administrator Eddie Peterson said the change was to fine tune the ordinance to meet state laws and mandates.

The change will reflect new statutory elements enacted by Georgia HB 691 regarding removal of municipal court judges from office for specific grounds, along with amending certain fines and confinement periods and providing for the appointment and duties of ministerial officers.

Councilman David Hammond made the motion to approve the ordinance changing the Charter of the City of Calhoun, with Councilman Matt Barton giving the second, and with all voting yes, the motion was approved.

A first reading of an annexation and zoning request of R1-B for .812 acres at a location of 1409 Highway 41 North, by Juan Jesus Lemus Garcia was held. The Zoning Advisory Board will meet Nov. 9, with a public hearing to be held Nov. 13.

Mayor Jimmy Palmer read a request by the Calhoun Police Department to withdraw $500 from an Asset Forfeiture Account and donate the proceeds to the Gordon County Chamber of Commerce's Drugs Don't Work program in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week. The motion was approved.

Mayor Palmer read a request from the Public Works to declare surplus items in the cemetery, street, parks and utilities departments. The motion was approved.

Mayor Palmer read a request from the Telecommunications Department to declare recently uninstalled Sonet equipment inventory as surplus to be sold on Gov.Deals.com. The motion was approved.

The next meeting of the Calhoun City Council will be held on Monday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Depot in downtown Calhoun.


County votes to raise Freeport

In a split decision, the Gordon County Board of Commissioners voted to approve an increase in the Freeport Tax exemption, starting Jan. 1, 2018 from 60-percent to 80-percent per a verbal agreement made between the previous administration and businesses. The tax is on inventory, raw materials and finished goods and could impact the revenue to the school systems by $420,000 and the county $640,000 based on the current millage rate.

"Every county around us is at 100-percent in Freeport exemption," County Attorney James Ledbetter said. "We've seen many businesses leave for those counties."

Ledbetter said the county has lost about $30 million to the City of Calhoun in industrial revenue, which has had an 80-percent exemption for a couple of years. "That was a direct negative impact on the county schools."

He said the county would continue to lose industry, new and existing to jurisdictions close by and pointed to Lowe's distribution in Floyd County as a prime example; he also pointed out the new Shaw plant built just across the county line in Bartow and the Engineered Floors plant just over the county line in Whitfield. There has also been the loss of Surya Carpets, moving their entire facilities to Bartow County and the closure for Case-New Holland, which took about $28 million of inventory off the local books.

"This was a verbal agreement made with businesses in 2012-2013," Ledbetter, explained to the board. "The agreement was to reach 100 percent in 20-percent increments and we are at a point where we need to consider the next increment."

Board members Chad Steward and Bud Owens voiced support for the move.

"Prospective industries look at our county and see we aren't at 100-percent, they cross us off the list," Steward said.

Commissioner Norris Sexton cast the only oppositional vote and said he had reservations about the increase. "Some counties are signing bonds, giving property and giving tax exemption for 10 years. I don't believe the economic situation warrants cutting it again."

It was also a night of public recognition at the Gordon County Board of Commissioners meeting with accolades going to the Young Marines and local representatives. The Board issued a proclamation declaring October 23-31 as Red Ribbon Week in Gordon County and gave the proclamation to Etowah Valley Young Marine member Pvt. Hayley Hendrix, age 11, of Adairsville for the organizations work in promoting a drug-free lifestyle.

The ACCG Legislative Award was given to Rep. John Meadows for his work in giving local governments a stronger voice in State matters by the group, which works to support Georgia's counties in government. Meadows is the Chairman of the House Rules Committee. In other Gordon County news:

The Board approved a bid from TEC Calhoun to replace the transmission of the bulldozer at the Chert Mine at a cost of $29,962.

The Board approved a bid from Supervision Services, Inc. to continue to provide probation supervision services. The service does not cost the county any money as all money is collected from fees collected from those on probation.

Approved applying for G.R.T.P. grant jointly with Calhoun for trail improvement. The maximum award is $200,000 not including the required 10-percent match from the counties and cities who receive it.

Approved rezoning of the Johnson Group Properties from A-1 to I-1. The property abuts other industrial zoned property.

Approved a rezoning request for property owned by Stephen M. Chastain from A-1 to RA-1.

Approved a rezoning request for property owned by Eric and Amanda Rowell from A-1 to R-1.

The next meeting of the Gordon County Board of Commissioners meeting is at 6 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2017. Public Safety Committee Meeting is Nov. 14, 2017, 4 p.m. General Administration Committee Meeting is Nov. 16, 2017 at 3 p.m.