TVA pledges $50,000 in improvements to land near Blue Ridge Dam

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Christie Arp, Executive Director of the Fannin County Development Authority, announced that TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) has pledged $50,000 to renovate the grounds surrounding the area of the historic homes located near Blue Ridge Dam.

“This is owned by TVA,” Arp clarified the legalities of the area, “and leased to the county.”

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Land near Blue Ridge Dam will see improvements in the near future.

“TVA has committed $50,000 to provide ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible walkways and some other minor improvements,” Arp said explaining the purpose of the monies devoted to this area.

Among the minor improvements, pads will be poured for picnic tables, and if funds allow, decking could be installed to look out over Lake Blue Ridge.

The county would be responsible for providing the picnic tables, making minor improvements to parking areas, and continuing with maintenance such as mowing.

Arp described this new project as “a really great contribution to the county” that “will help improve an already public area”.

TVA has suggested a start date of the improvements for late July or early August of this year.

Arp did stress, “The houses are considered historic. Nothing is going to happen to the houses right now.”

An update was also given on the county’s SPEC (Speculative) Building located off Highway 5 on Kyle Road.

It was announced earlier this year that the building would be leased by Ed’s Supply Company, Inc. This announcement came just a little over a year after the building’s completion.

Ed’s Supply was founded in Nashville, Tn. in 1957. The primary focus of the company is to provide wholesale distribution of air conditioning, refrigeration, as well as heating parts and supplies across Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas.

“Construction was funded by primarily grants,” Arp spoke of the progress of the SPEC building, “at a total of around $670,000. The majority of that is grants that will not have to be paid back.”

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The SPEC building is under lease and expected to bring in approximately $90,000 in tax revenue.

Of the amount that will have to be paid back, the Development Authority was able to secure a One Georgia Equity Loan in the amount of approximately $230,000. This is an interest free loan with quarterly payments due over a 20 year period.

“Ed’s Supply was able to give me an estimate of roughly $3 million in sales that will be brought to and kept in the county,” Arp spoke of the new tenants. According to Arp this would equate to approximately $90,000 in tax revenue.

Beyond these sales estimates, Ed’s Supply plans to hire employees in the county starting out with six positions with intentions to grow.

“They are investing, with their equipment, with their inventory, along with all the build out of the interior, roughly $1 million,” Arp said explaining Ed’s Supply immediate commitment in signing a 10 year lease with the county.

Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton praised the Development Authority for their hard work in completing all aspects of the SPEC Building project: “I know some of the fellow commissioners in other counties tell me the typical timeframe to fill a SPEC building with a valid company is closer to five years, and you and your board made this happen in a little over a year.”

Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson, who has been with the BOC since approval was given on the building project, thanked the Development Authority for working so diligently: “Hopefully some of the people who didn’t believe in it back then, will now look and say that it was a good investment.”

 

 

 

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Project Chimps is mourning the loss of Sopulu

Community, News

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Staff and caregivers at Project Chimps are mourning the loss of one of their rescues this week. News of Sopulu’s passing came Wednesday via Project Chimp’s Facebook page.

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Sopulu was known for his skilled tool use and for using these skills to hide and retrieve snacks. (Photo by Crystal Alba via Project Chimps website.)

According to the Project Chimps website, Sopulu was found unresponsive in his hammock Tuesday morning with his group mate, Arthur, by his side.

Preliminary postmortem examination revealed that Sopulu died of acute cardiac arrest. According to the Great Ape Heart Project, based at Zoo Atlanta, heart disease is a major cause of mortality in all four great ape genera managed in captivity. These four groups include the western lowland gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees and bonobos.

While cardiac issues, such as sudden cardiac arrest, are common problems among chimpanzees, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the underlying causes of the issues remain widely unknown.

Sopulu arrived at Project Chimps Nov. 30, 2016, from the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana. His group was comprised of seven male chimpanzees and was the second social group to arrive in the mountains of north Georgia.

On Jan. 16, 2018, Sopulu stepped outdoors into one of Project Chimps’ open-air six-acre habitats. It was there that Sopulu braved his fears of the unknown and got to truly experience the outdoors for the first time in his life.

Fifteen-year-old Sopulu was born June 23, 2002, and was just a little over a month away from celebrating his sixteenth birthday Project Chimps style, with extra treats and colorful enrichment activities to mark his special day.

Sopulu will be cremated and his remains planted with a native tree or fruit tree on the sanctuary grounds. The memorial site will be marked with a plaque to commemorate his special life.

“Sopulu was beloved by caregivers and chimpanzees for his friendly and playful personality,” Executive Director of Project Chimps Ali Crumpacker recalled of the great ape and added, “We are grateful to have been able to provide him with a year and a half of love and care in our sanctuary.”

 

Featured Image: A stunning portrait of Sopulu while in Project Chimps care. (Photo by Crystal Alba via Project Chimps website.)

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

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Karla’s Korner 6/27/16

GMFTO

Karla Talks about the 4th of July and introduces the Greater Gilmer JDA’s new Executive Director.

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