Sons of the American Revolution honor Blairsville Police Department

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sons of the american revolution and police chief Bear Baxter

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – Sons of the American Revolution, Blue Ridge Mountain Chapter, paid tribute to the Blairsville Police Department during the March 2 City Council meeting.

Chapter leadership presented the award of appreciation to Police Chief Michael “Bear” Baxter.

“The Blue Ridge Mountain Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution presents this award to the Blairsville Police Department in appreciation for their service, commitment, sacrifices, and patriotism of the members of the police department,” President Jared Ogden stated.

Members of the Blue Ridge Mountain Chapter leadership presenting the award.

Members of the Sons of the American Revolution are lineal descendants of those who fought for the American Colonies or provided support during the war. Sons of the American Revolution work to preserve the Constitution and “defend it against all foes.” They conduct historical awareness programs to educate others as well as promote patriotism.

Ogden also commented on the honor of appearing before the city council when other communities might not welcome their organization anymore.

LED Lights on the Square

The new LED lights for the square are awaiting installation; the 34 lights cost the city $14,400 in SPLOST funds. Installation will take place once maintenance hears back from the electrician. Once mounted, LED lights will provide more visibility around the square, making it safer for employees who arrive or leave work in the dark.

Sidewalk Project from Square to Granddaddy Mimm’s

In the future, the city will put in a sidewalk from the square down to Granddaddy Mimm’s. They are waiting on two property easements. These property owners have agreed a sidewalk would benefit the area. The project will cost around $64,000, with 70 percent of the financing will come from DOT.

“There’s a lot to it to be a sidewalk, a lot of curve and guttering, and because of the steepness of the grade there, it’s going to have to be a terrace. It won’t be handicap approved. There’s no way we could do that. It will be terraced through where you don’t walk just straight down,” Mayor Jim Conley explained.

The sidewalk will stop at Granddaddy Mimm’s.

Councilmember Tony Dyer commented that Blairsville has other areas in need of sidewalks, and Conley agreed.

L to R: City Clerk Kaye McCann. Mayor Jim Conley, and Councilmember Rhonda Mahan.

L to R: City Clerk Kaye McCann. Mayor Jim Conley, and Councilmember Rhonda Mahan.

2020 Budget Amendments

The library, police department, and airport fund needed budget adjustments. Police department went slightly over because of the increased Shop With A Cop revenue. The budget needed to be adjusted upward to reflect the final donation number. The airport’s increased expenses were the result of equipment maintenance and repairs. As for the library, the city approved $7,500 as their contribution but only gave $7,000, so they had to reflect the budget increase.

2021 Hazard Mitigation Plan

The city and county developed Union’s Hazard Mitigation plan as required by FEMA in case of natural or manmade disasters. They must adopt a plan to receive funding in the event of a hazardous situation. The plan is a working document that can be changed when needed. It serves as the first step in “rational, long-range, mitigation planning and budgeting for Union County and its municipalities.”

Utility Billing Clerk Hire

Karla Franklin was hired as Utility Billing Clerk to replace Karen Carver, who is retiring. Franklin previously worked for Coosa Water and has billing experience.

Sons of the American Revolution honor first responders

Community, Featured News, Featured Stories

BLAIRSVILLE, Ga – The Blue Ridge Mountain Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution paid homage to local firefighters, law enforcement, EMT, and EMS workers during the December Commission meeting.

Sid Turner presented three awards. The first the law enforcement commendation went to Lt. Leon James who serves the Union County Sheriff’s Office and primarily stationed at the courthouse. In 2017, he became the commanding officer of the courthouse law enforcement operation, assisted in implementing the security checkpoints, and wrote the safety plan. Later, Sheriff Mason chose James slow down traffic in Union County.

Lt. Brent Long received the firefighter safety commendation. Long’s served the fire department for 21 years, initially as a volunteer. In 2002, he became a full-time firefighter. He’s responsible for training the entire department and emergency medical services. He’s also the deputy director of emergency management.

Frank Lowery accepted the emergency services commendation. Lowery’s been with the Union County EMS since 2012 and “consistently delivers care to his patients at a high level.” In 2016, he was promoted to shift supervisor and performs training coordinator and quality assurance coordinator responsibilities. Lowery also received the Murray King award for outstanding service and dedication to the citizens of Union County.


Sole Commissioner Lamar Paris issued three proclamations during the December meeting, Retired Teacher’s Day on November 1, Arbor Day on February 9, and Radon Action Month in January.

Contracts and Grants

SPLOST funds were used to purchase a $478,873 fire engine/pumper for the fire department. Also, the county entered into two no cost contracts with debris removal services as required by FEMA.

Winkler and Winkler were awarded a $330,370.00 contract to upgrade the View Grill. SPLOST funds were used for this project.

To repair the roof at the Union County Sheriff’s Office, Jail to Roof Management were awarded $215,500.00 in SPLOST funds.

Two accountability court grants for the Enotah Family Treatment Court and health court were accepted.

The emergency moratorium on multi-family housing units was extended for another 190 days from October 8, 2020.


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