Blue Ridge, Ga – Fannin County hired a team of detainees from the Colwell Detention Center to start picking up litter on the roadsides over the next year.
After two and a half years of waiting for an opening, a detainee detail became available for roadside cleanup in Fannin.
By hiring Colwell, six to ten detainees will work for four, 10 hour days for 52 hours a week. The minimum amount of hours spent on the roads a year would be 12,000. Presently, only two part-time employees scavenge the Fannin County roads for trash. They can only work 32 weeks a year and limited to 2,560 hours a year.
“We can declare war on litter in Fannin County, and do some things along the road, keep them trimmed up, keep litter picked up,” explained Helton.
The public works budget will pay for the service at $39,500 annually, billing once a month. The agreement also offers a seven-day termination notice. The service begins on July 1, 2019, and expenses include a corrections officer to oversee the detail.
Director of Public Works Zack Ratcliff will direct the corrections officer and work detail to the roads for the day or week. From there, the officer supervises the job.
“I don’t think in any world, we could hire six people for that amount a year. It’s really a no brainer,” said Post One Commissioner Earl Johnson, “Our litter problem is an ongoing problem, and just the money, I feel safe in saying, I don’t know how much we’re paying, is going to offset, and the other saving we can look at some of these trees and intersections. The leaning trees can be cleaned up. We’re going to save money in overtime…I think we should feel very fortunate that this opened up.”
“We’ve been looking at this for quite a while. Some other counties around have like six teams in Union County. They’re definitely doing a good job with those guys,” said Ratcliff.
Additionally, paving bids came back for the county from: C.W. Matthews at $2,304,951.40, Colwell Construction Company at $1,774,980.74, and Colditz Trucking at $1,455,158.47. Colwell and Colditz didn’t provide a total for their bids and the amounts will be checked again before proceeding. The striping bid also came back at $92,000.
Ratcliff advised tabling the bids until he has time to review each one.
The GDOT grant covers approximately 70% of striping and paving costs.
Blue Ridge, Ga – Fannin County Board of Commissioners presented a proclamation recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness month to the North Georgia Mountain Crisis Network (NGMCN).
The proclamation, read by Chairman Stan Helton, “encourages all citizens to make [April] the beginning of the end of sexual violence.”
By naming April Sexual Assault Awareness month, the Commissioners helped to spotlight the efforts of NGMCN and spread its message to the community.
The organization serves survivors of domestic violence across Fannin, Gilmer, and Pickens Counties and educates the community by focusing on four major areas.
- Sexual Assault. Through NGMCN victims of sexual assault are provided counseling and support services to help navigate them through a very difficult time.
- Domestic Violence. While NGMCN offers the counseling and services to victims of domestic violence as it does to victims of sexual assault, it also offers shelter to house these victims and their children.
- Legal Advocacy. NGMCN has a trained staff that will help victims navigate the sometimes daunting legal system.
- Education Awareness. NGMCN helps to spread the word of domestic and sexual violence through community outreach. This includes working hand in hand with law enforcement, hospitals, and different organizations that provide services to these victims.
NGMCN Treasurer Howard Sloan had this to say about the work they do for the community,
“Unfortunately, we cannot publicize our works due to the fact that we take care of women, children, and men who are victims of domestic violence. We can’t send pictures to the press, when we relocate somebody to a new apartment or when we put somebody on a bus to go two or three states away to be with family.”
In 2018, NGMCN housed 129 residents at their shelter. This accounted for 3,173 bed/nights (a measure of occupancy for one person assigned to one bed for one night). Residents of the shelter were also provided with well over 10,000 units of service. So far in 2019, the charity has already provided 380 bed/nights, 87 hotline calls, and 600 units of service. When speaking of individuals who help make NGMCN possible, Sloan said, “I want to really commend these ladies on the fine work they do.”
They hope by promoting education and awareness in these areas that eventually the cycle of abuse will come to an end.