Paris addresses COVID-19 vaccine and county updates

Featured Stories
Lamar Paris

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris ran an efficient meeting and covered several topics during the March 2021 meeting.

He reported that over 500 vaccine doses were administered at the last mass vaccine event but wasn’t sure if another mass vaccine day would occur. Also, Union County’s supply went from the Moderna to Pfizer vaccine.  Over 7,000 first doses and 5,000 second doses have been given in Union County. Georgia opened the vaccine up to everyone 16 and older on Thursday.

A new restroom is coming to Meeks Park, and TVA is funding approximately $25,000 for the project. It is located next to the intended location for an amphitheater.

Union’s economy is still performing well despite the pandemic. Paris stated that all new restaurants appear to be full almost every night.

The county entered into an agreement with the Georgia Forestry Commission allowing for Union County Fire Department to use surplus Forestry equipment when fighting fires. It’s a five-year agreement that needed to be updated due to a change of leadership. Administrative fees are $100 per transaction for non-title property and $200 per transaction for titled property.

A bank account was opened with United Community Bank for SPLOST 5 which is scheduled to kick in either late April or early May.

Two grants were accepted from the Accountability Courts Supplemental State Funds for Enotah Mental Health Court in the amounts of $29,280 and $6,470.

The County meeting in April was rescheduled for Tuesday, April 20 at 6 p.m. at the courthouse.

Board of Elections Changes

Elizabeth “Libby” Stevens became the Board of Elections Chair for a term of February 1, 2021, to December 31, 2024. She was already serving on the board and Commissioner Paris picked her to keep some normalcy on the board with all the election issues currently going on in the state.

James Sterling Fitzgerald will be taking her spot on the board for the term of January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2023.

Carl Foutz was also appointed to the Board of Elections from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2022. He is replacing Bill Parker.

Democrats appoint two members, and Republicans appoint two members. The Commission appoints the chairman.

New updates coming to Meeks Park, multi-unit moratorium extended

Community, Featured, Featured Stories, News
Meeks Park

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Among the several contract and agreements signed during the June Union County Commission Meeting, two pertained to future improvements to Meeks Park.

In the first agreement, Al Garnto Fine Art Studio will design, construct, and erect a floral-themed, full-color, metal sculpture. The sculpture will be located at the new pavilion and cost a maximum of $3,500.

“We appreciate Al. He’s always worked with us on all the sculpture items in the park. We felt like this would be the add on to make our new pavilion,” stated Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris.

Garnto will also work the architect for a new design in front of the double gym once it’s completed.

The second agreement focused on developing a new restroom facility within the park. It’s between the county and Engineering Management, Inc. to design a wastewater pump state. The cost of the agreement is $16,200 and went into effect on June 8, 2020. TVA and Meeks Park will fund most of the new restroom facility project in part because it falls within the TVA floodplain.

“In our long-range plan, we hope into two to three years to put an amphitheater in Meeks Park. We’ve worked with the TVA for several years on trying to design and locate a restroom,” explained Paris. “They are funding the majority of the cost of this, but not including the wastewater pump, so we have to pump the effluent from the site into the sewer line.”

Union County had to apply for a permit from TVA to build the new restroom.

Multi-Development Moratorium Extended

The multi-family unit development moratorium was extended for another 190 days from April 2, 2020. The original resolution went into effect on Aug. 6, 2019. The county prolonged the moratorium to continue to work on new regulations.

“The county is still in the process of rewriting our guidelines for multi-family and multi-story housing units,” added Paris. “We did a moratorium to prevent additional units from being built until we had time to study and see what we could do to make sure our regulations could catch up.”

Socially distanced county commission meeting attendees.

Additional Business

Union County also entered into an agreement with CHA Consulting to provide a conceptual site plan and feasibility study for the Union County Jail. The cost was $2,500. Commissioner Paris doesn’t foresee this project being built until the “distant future,” but they are beginning to look into possible options.

“I hope it’s light-years away. Anyway, we’re also having to evaluate property along the way. We feel that we need to be looking at that property now, so if we find a parcel that the Sheriff and myself feel’s a future site, we must evaluate,” explained Paris.

U.S. Army Garrison Fort Benning and Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Hall, Lumpkin, Union, and White issued a memorandum of agreement to expedite local and regional mutual aid assistance, share information, and sustain emergency aid.

Union County contracted Freeman Gas for propane services in the amount of $0.89 per gallon for the next year.

Teague Nall and Perkins, Inc. (TNP) was contracted out to provide engineering consulting services on an as needed basis and will be billed monthly.

Everyone wore masks during the meeting.

-An addendum agreement between Union County and AT&T Georgia was signed for adding additional rate elements to the existing E911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) equipment and software. The cost was $1,500 and went into effect on Sept. 30, 2019.

ACCG Group Self-Insurance Workers’ Compensation Fund issued a $4,000 Employee Safety Grant. The money will go toward firefighting equipment, such as gloves, boots, and helmets.

Back to Top