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Public hearings on a county tax increase set for June 30

Public hearings on a county tax increase set for June 30

Gainesville, GA --  The Hall County Board of Commissioners has tentatively adopted a millage rate for the countywide General Fund which will require an increase in property taxes by 15.29 percent. All concerned citizens are invited to three public hearings on this tax increase to be held at the following times and locations:

Hearing 2: Thursday, June 30, 2011, at 12 p.m. – Georgia Mountains Center, Gainesville

Hearing 3: Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 6 p.m. - Georgia Mountains Center, Gainesville  

(Adoption of the Budget and Millage Rate will immediately follow this hearing.)

This tentative increase will result in a millage rate of 7.66 mills, an increase of 1.02 mills.  Without this tentative tax increase, the millage rate will be no more than 6.64 mills.

Goodwill receives $5.7 million grant to help those in need

Goodwill receives $5.7 million grant to help those in need

ATLANTA -- Good news is coming for many Georgians who are struggling to find jobs.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis recently announced that Goodwill of North Georgia will receive $5,724,222 to help people with barriers to employment, namely ex-offenders and low-income non-custodial parents, obtain the skills they need to find work.

The funds will go toward an Enhanced Transitional Jobs Demonstration program, which offers temporary paid work experiences to more than 3,500 people nationwide. The program improves participants' employability, earnings and opportunities for advancement, not to mention their self-sufficiency and long-term success in the workforce.

"This grant provides needed support to individuals who face significant obstacles to employment," Solis said.

Hall County moves forward with Glades Reservoir permitting

Hall County moves forward with Glades Reservoir permitting

Hall County --  (submitted by Nikki Young) Hall County has taken the next critical step to secure the county’s 50-year water supply. On Friday, June 10, the County submitted an amended application to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a permit to build Glades Reservoir under Section 404 of the U.S. Clean Water Act.

“This is a big moment for Hall County and a great opportunity for us to control our own destiny,” Board of Commissioners Chairman Tom Oliver said. “Our future water supply for the next 50 years depends on this permit.”

The June 10th application outlines a plan to yield 80 million gallons per day from Glades, enough to supply Hall County and the region with raw water for decades to come. The proposed 850-acre reservoir in North Hall was originally slated in 2009 to yield 6.4 million gallons of water per day.

District 4 residents invited to budget discussion June 11

District 4 residents invited to budget discussion June 11

Commissioner Ashley Bell invites residents to a discussion of the proposed 2012 budget at 9:30 a.m. June 11 at the Fair Street Neighborhood Center, 715 Fair St., Gainesville. The discussion will be part of “The One Community Organization” monthly community meeting with elected officials from Hall County Commission District 4 and City Council Wards 3 and 4.

“We have tough decisions to make on this budget. I want to make myself and county staff available to the public to give my constituents the opportunity to ask questions and give input,” Commissioner Bell said.

Proposed budget details are available at www.hallcounty.org/budget or in the Finance Department from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday at the Courthouse Annex, 116 Spring St., Gainesville.

Commission chairman supports tax increase

Hall County Board of Commissioners Chairman Tom Oliver announced Thursday that he supports a property tax increase to balance the 2012 budget, in lieu of massive cuts for employees and service reductions for citizens.

“As a resident of Hall County, I cannot ask county employees, firefighters, EMTs and deputies to protect my family, if I am not willing to protect their families,” Chairman Oliver said. “This tax increase is essential if we are to retain our experienced staff and keep this county running quality, efficient services.”

Chairman Oliver said his tax bill on a home valued at $180,000 would increase by $101.50/year, or 28 cents a day, if the Commission approves the increase.

Since the recession began in 2008, sales taxes, property taxes and other county income have dropped dramatically. As a result, the tentative fiscal year 2012 budget has an $11.5-million shortfall.

Town Hall meeting on June 2nd is open for resident feedback

Town Hall meeting on June 2nd is open for resident feedback

Hall County, (submitted by Nikki Young)  District 3 Commissioner Scott Gibbs invites the public to attend a town hall meeting at 7-8:30 p.m. June 2 at the Hood Center, 6008 Hulsey Road, Clermont, GA 30527. He seeks input on the proposed 2012 budget.

“I want to hear what citizens have to say about the budget. I welcome their input,” Commissioner Gibbs said.

Hall County Government is in the process of drafting a budget for fiscal year 2012. The proposed budget will be published on June 2. A presentation and public hearing will take place during the Board of Commissioners meeting on June 9 at 6 p.m. at the Georgia Mountains Center, 301 Main St., Gainesville. The budget and millage rate must be approved before the fiscal year begins July 1.

Carlos Santana condemns Georgia politicians for immigration bill

Carlos Santana condemns Georgia politicians for immigration bill

Carlos Santana, during an acceptance speech Saturday in Atlanta for the Major League Baseball (MLB) Beacon Awards, had a few simple words for Georgia’s political leaders who recently voted to pass the controversial HB 87 immigration bill “Shame on You!”

The bill signed Friday by Gov. Nathan Deal sets mandatory requirements for police and employers to screen suspects and job applicants for immigration status.  Many contest the legislation arguing that it will promote racial profiling, increase the rate of deportation and adversely affect the state’s economy.

Santana, who is of Hispanic descent, was selected for the Beacon Award due to his multi-generational efforts to unify people through music.  The Beacon Award for “Change,” is bestowed upon individuals who “think innovatively”.  Santana has used the power of words and sound as vehicles for change.