Fannin County Announces new library in joint meetingNews April 22, 2022
FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. – A special called meeting that was held as a joint meeting between the Fannin County Board of Education (BOE) and the Fannin County Board of Commissioners (BOC) also saw special guest David Ralston, Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives to announce a new public library to be constructed.
An unprecedented time as both Speaker Ralston and County Attorney Lynn Doss called it, the joint meeting is the beginning of a major, multi-million dollar project for Fannin County.
The meeting proceeded as the Fannin BOE made a motion and approval to donate land to the Board of Commissioners for the sole purpose of constructing a new public library. The BOE has purchased property from the United States Forestry Service near Blue Ridge Dam in order to construct two new facilities for the school system. The BOE is currently constructing a staff development center there that will be the new home for staff working out of the building at 2290 East First Street.
Because of this, the property at 2290 East First Street, soon to be empty with the move, has been donated to the county for a new library. The property, adjacent to Fannin High School, will be 0.85 acres in total. Though the project was described as a standalone library, there are no current designs for the building. Both the BOE’s motion to donate and the BOC’s motion to accept the land came with unanimous approvals of the present members of these boards.
Speaker Ralston said that a standalone library has been on the community wish list for many years. He stated, “I want to commend both the Board of Education and the Commissioners for this arrangement which will now expedite this project. The project is a result of cooperative efforts between the Fannin County Board of Education, the Fannin County Commission, and the state of Georgia.”
Ralston noted that the general assembly’s budget is providing funding for part of the library project. The state’s commitment totals $2.6 million as Ralston stated, “The budget that we just passed this past session in the general assembly provided for an additional $1.3 million specified for this project. That goes with the $1.3 million that had been appropriated back two or three budget cycles ago.”
The county can begin planning but will not break ground or start construction until after the BOE faculty have moved to their new facility when construction is complete. Due to this, County Attorney Lynn Doss said there isn’t a start date for the project. She went on to add that the contract has a provision that if the property ever ceases to be a library, it will revert back to Board of Education ownership.
Ralston stated, “A library says a lot about a community. That’s why this has been important to me and I know its been important to many of you. Because when you go into a community and you see they have a nice library facility, that says volumes about where they put priorities on learning and education and all the things that we associate with a library. When this library is completed, it will say that Fannin County is proud of our past, our present, and our future.”
With the celebration of the donated land and the unofficial beginning of the county’s multi-million dollar library project, Ralston had one more note to say as he stated that good news will keep coming. Ralston said he would be returning to Fannin County in a few weeks for another meeting and announcement with another special guest.
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