Fannin County approves increases to expenditures


FANNIN COUNTY, Ga. – With previously approved expenditures coming back to the county with changes, Fannin County approved two major increases to planned expenditures this month through the Library and the Public Safety Department.

Fannin County has celebrated a state grant in support of building a new library within the county. Even hosting House Speaker David Ralston at the more recent announcement of an increase to that grant. This month saw the Board of Commissioners return to that agenda item to adopt the official resolution to increase the county’s expenditures to match the doubled grant amount.

That amount from the state was originally set at $1.3 million and has since doubled to $2.6 million. Now, with this approval the county has officially increased its match from the original $650,000 to $1.3 million. Approved unanimously by the Board of Commissioners, this agenda item solidified the county’s final commitment to the project increase.

Within the Public Safety a Ford F250 pickup truck hasn’t been received from the dealership one year after its order. Approved on June 22, 2021, the order for a new truck in the department still hasn’t come in at the end of July 2022. Furthermore, according to EMA Director Robert Graham, it could be very late this year or even next year before its even in production as he has been told by the dealership.

To answer the immediate need, the department has found another vehicle, a 2022 Chevrolet 2500 Heavy Duty Crew Cab Truck. With rising costs of materials and shortages on supplies in the nation, prices have continued to rise since the original trucks order, though. The Ford was ordered for a price of $32,789.64. The new vehicle, the chevrolet, has already been produced and is for sale for $54,000.


EMA Director Robert Graham speaks to the Fannin County BOC about a new squad vehicle after a previously ordered one hasn’t seen delivery in over a year.

The departments current vehicle in use has over 179,000 miles and needs replacing. Graham told the Board of Commissioners that it is run every day for medical and fire calls. The vehicle responds out of Station 1.

Director Graham is requesting that the county use SPLOST to purchase the Chevy for use, but not instead of the Ford F250. Graham stated, “We will never get another new vehicle at that price. I suggest we leave it on order to come in next year or something for future use. At $32,000, you’re not going to get a three-quarter-ton pickup for that price anymore. As long as we keep it on order, they’ll have to hold to that price.”

The troubles continue as the department also looks ahead to future orders as Graham reported that Chevrolet opened to receive “fleet orders” for only four hours on one day and will not accept any more orders again until next year.

The county approved the request for expenditures from SPLOST to cover an extra $54,000 on top of last year’s approved purchase and is looking to continue along with the previous order as requested, although some early discussion came that the Ford truck could be used in another department if a major need arises before it is delivered. Even if production does start on the vehicle in late 2022, the county could still see delivery not coming until 2023.

Changes coming to Fannin dispatch department


BLUE RIDGE, Ga – Commissioners approved moving dispatch to fall under the sheriff’s office at the June 8 meeting to go into effect July 1, 2021.

Chairman Jamie Hensley detailed how other counties operate dispatch. At a public safety case, he learned that Fannin was one of the only counties in the state where dispatch fell under the EMA, not the sheriff. ACCG recommended that the sheriff’s office oversees dispatch and Fannin’s dispatch used to fall under the sheriff.

According to Hensley, EMA Director Robert Graham, Sheriff Dane Kirby,  and EMA/911 Deputy Director Patrick Cooke are fine with the change.

“I saved the sheriff to last because I thought well all this was going to be for naught if he says no, but he was willing as well. He thought that was a good idea.”

Post One Johnny Scearce questioned if the cities would continue to experience the same quality dispatch service. Hensley assured him that they would and potentially an improved service.

Post Two Glenn Patterson asked Hensley to explain the new setup.

“Basically, nothing really is going to change other than the department now falls under the sheriff’s department. There will be the same number of employees,” Hensley explained.

However, Cooke will be transitioning to a different role within the county. Hensley approached Cooke about becoming Fannin’s IT employee and grant writer. Cooke’s qualified and has written grants for Fannin previously.

“We have an IT service agreement that we pay X-amount a month for 30-hours and anything over 30 hours we’re billed $65 an hour. I can tell you since January we have been over 30 hours every month. We would be able to save that money moving forward. At times, it has been a substantial amount that we’ve had to pay. It’s not knocking anybody out of a job. We’re trying to get everything we can out of Patrick. I know he’s going to be good for this county and I feel he has some talents we haven’t tapped into.”

“It’s not knocking somebody out of the job. Why would you not utilize what you have instead of paying somebody else to do it?” Post One Johnny Scearce said.

Deputy Director Patrick Cooke

Deputy Director Patrick Cooke

With dispatch moving underneath the sheriff, a department head is no longer needed. Kirby could appoint someone to lead dispatch him his staff. For example, the sheriff appoints an administrative lead and chief jailer.

Commissioners approved the move to go into effect on July 1, 2021, and to be revisited within a year on July 1, 2022. If the move doesn’t work out, then the commissioners can decide if the department head role needs to return.

Current 911 Deputy Director Cooke stated the move should work the same as the present system.

911 Dispatch is also in the process of upgrading its radio system and selected Gumby Communications with its telex system for the contract.

Gumby came in with the lowest bid of $107,565. The contract covers hardware, software, and maintenance. The next lowest bid was $206,000.

The current system had reached end of life and would no longer be serviced, so the county had to upgrade to something new. The previous system lasted 15 years.

Road Department

Road Department Director Zack Ratcliffe gave an update on the Colwell Detention Center Detainee clean-up crews finally returning after the pandemic.

Eight detainees started work in Fannin on Monday with one guard. Two more detainees might become available soon. Fannin County only pays for the detainees if they work and are only expected to furnish a van as well as set cost.

It’s also time to renew the contract with Colwell Detention Center. The price went up from last year to around $50,000. However, it’s only paid out if the detainees work.

Patterson asked about littering and dumping and the community. Ratcliffe confirmed that they see some dumping, but they’re finding a lot of discarded tires by the road. They plan to contact Marie Woody about it.

Paving bids came in for annual LMIG grants from GDOT and they were tabled for two weeks.

USDA and Fannin Cost Share Agreement

The commissioners approved renewing the cost share agreement with USDA for the Green Creek Recreational Area. The annual contract covers maintenance, and the county upkeeps the area for day use.

“It’s getting plenty of good use,” Hensley said.

Fannin County honors past Fire Chiefs

Community, Fannin County EMA/EMS, Featured Stories
Fannin County, Georgia, Fire Department, Emergency Management Agency, EMA, EMS, Fire Chief, Past, Present, Honor, Recognize, Larry Thomas, Darrell Payne, Tony Petty, Jack Worthey, Larry Waters, Walter Taylor, Robert Graham, Chairman, Jamie Hensley, Post 2 Commissioner, Glenn Patterson

Blue Ridge, Ga. – The Fannin County Fire Department (FCFD) along with Fannin County EMA/EMS took time to recognize the past Fire Chiefs of Fannin County. 

“It is an honor to be a part of this with you guys,” Fannin County Chairman Jamie Hensley was present to give his thanks: “The hard work and dedication that you all put into even forming this and keeping it going throughout the years, you paved the way for all of us to be here.” 

Fannin County, Georgia, Fire Department, Emergency Management Agency, EMA, EMS, Fire Chief, Past, Present, Honor, Recognize, Larry Thomas, Darrell Payne, Tony Petty, Jack Worthey, Larry Waters, Walter Taylor, Robert Graham, Chairman, Jamie Hensley, Post 2 Commissioner, Glenn Patterson

Chairman Hensley expresses his thanks to emergency personnel both past and present.

Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner Glenn Patterson echoed Hensley’s sentiments, “You guys up there laid the foundation of what you see today. We do appreciate you all and what you built from the ground up. Your contributions are invaluable.”

Among those present to be recognized were Darrell Payne, Tony Petty, Jack Worthey, Larry Waters, Walter Taylor, and Robert Graham. Those that couldn’t be present for the event were Spencer Kitchens, Ryan McDaris and William Wright.

Current Fire Chief Larry Thomas thanked the previous fire chiefs, many of whom he had worked with, “I want to give my thanks to each and everyone of you all.” 

Thomas spoke of how their work and dedication helped to bring the department to where it is today.

Each one of the former Fire Chiefs spoke and it quickly became apparent that while they were given the title to lead the department, none felt they alone could take credit for how far the department has come.

The speeches quickly gave way to stories. The camaraderie of those working in emergency services showed as it was evident to everyone in the room, whether past or present, after serving your community you are always family.

Walter Taylor, Fannin County’s first official Fire Chief shared how, with the help of others, the first fire truck in Fannin County was built. According to Taylor it was a 1957 Chevrolet 6 cylinder: “We put two 500 gallon tanks on it.” 

Taylor also shared a personal experience where those presently working in public safety had been called in to aid him. He gave an emotional thank you to the ones who answered the call, crediting them with saving his life.

Larry Waters, former Fannin County Fire Chief, gave insight into being a Fire Chief before the department received funding for full-time staff, “While I was Fire Chief, I was working full time at Levis Strauss and Co. and during the daily activities Tony took over as assistant chief.”

Fannin County, Georgia, Fire Department, Emergency Management Agency, EMA, EMS, Fire Chief, Past, Present, Honor, Recognize, Larry Thomas, Darrell Payne, Tony Petty, Jack Worthey, Larry Waters, Walter Taylor, Robert Graham, Chairman, Jamie Hensley, Post 2 Commissioner, Glenn Patterson

Family and friends, along with emergency personnel, continue to share laughs and stories after the recognition ceremony.

Waters spoke of firefighters and emergency personal running concession stands, parking cars, and “whatever we could do to raise money” for equipment. He also spoke of the pride the department felt when their new used equipment would arrive.

Former Fire Chief Tony Petty gave advice to those new to the field, “To be a fireman you’ve got to want to help people” and added that everyone involved is what makes a successful department: “You can be the best Chief in the world but if you ain’t got good people under you, you ain’t got nobody. I couldn’t never done it without you (all the volunteers).”


“I come in as a paid Chief,” Jack Worthey, former Fire Chief and 40 year veteran in the field, said of his reluctance to be honored with the others, adding that it is an “honor to come in and appreciate what these men have done.”

Standing with the others and looking around the crowded room Worthy noted that it is a “privilege to be a firefighter”.

There was a noticeable sense of pride in the room as emergency personnel listened to the stories shared from the previous Fire Chiefs. A humble sense of pride not only in the work that they face day to day but also a pride to be a small part of a larger team that helped write the history of Fannin County and continues to shape the future.

Former Fire Chief Worthey came to Fannin County, after having worked with the DeKalb County Fire Department for 30 years and had this to say of Fannin County, “This is the best volunteer fire department in the state of Georgia.”

Fannin declares state of emergency after Zeta

Feature News, Featured, Featured News, Featured Stories, News
state of emergency

FANNIN COUNTY, Ga – Fannin County Commission Chairman issued a local state of emergency declaration following tropical storm Zeta.

The declaration cites Zeta as an event of critical significance that occurred on Thursday, October 29, 2020. The emergency requires “extraordinary and immediate corrective acts for the protection of the health and safety of the citizens.”

Fannin County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is activating the emergency operations plan. Also, the emergency management ordinances adopted by the county are activated.

Since Helton couldn’t reach the EMA center to physically issue the declaration, County Attorney signed the document for him with express permission.

County Operations

The courthouse is closed today, but early voting is still taking place on the third floor.

City Hall is closed and the special called meeting tonight is canceled.

Officers honored for life saving actions

Community, Fannin County EMA/EMS, News, Police & Government
Fannin County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management, EMA, EMS, First Responders, Fire Department, Paramedics, Narcan, Life Saving, Overdose, Corporal Dustin Carter, Investigator Gary Edwards

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Two officers with the Fannin County Sheriff’s Department were honored for their quick thinking that resulted in a life being saved.

A call came through dispatch of a single vehicle accident on Highway 2 near Flowers Baking Company. A silver Ford Focus driven by Michael Peppers of Blue Ridge had left the roadway and struck a tree.

Fannin County, Georgia, Sheriff’s Office, Emergency Management, EMA, EMS, First Responders, Fire Department, Paramedics, Narcan, Life Saving, Overdose, Corporal Dustin Carter, Investigator Gary Edwards

(L – R) Investigator Gary Edwards, Corporal Dustin Carter

Corporal Dustin Carter and Investigator Gary Edwards were first to respond to the scene and saw that the male driver was alone and trapped in the vehicle.

“The door panel was crushed from striking the tree,” Investigator Edwards spoke of the scene upon arrival. 

The door was unable to be opened and both officers saw the condition of Peppers deteriorating.

“He was slightly responsive. He was losing color and as we were speaking to him, his condition worsened and he just went out, non-responsive, lost all of his color,” Edwards recounted the quickness in which Peppers’ condition worsened.

Accident reports from that day detail how Peppers’ skin color began to become grayish in hue as his eyes rolled back and his breathing came to almost a complete stop.

“He was on the verge of completely not breathing. He was having agonal respirations,” Fannin County EMA Director Robert Graham spoke of Carter and Edwards’ actions and explained that agonal respirations is a gasping for air that is associated with body reflex and is seen in medical emergencies.

Investigator Edwards and Corporal Carter worked together to free Peppers from the vehicle, Edwards having to break out the back window to gain access. It was at this point that Carter recognized the signs of a possible overdose and Edwards retrieved his supply of Narcan.

Narcan is a nasal spray used for the treatment of an opioid emergency or a possible opioid overdose with signs of breathing problems.

Upon returning, Edwards reported that Carter was able to free Peppers from the vehicle and had him laying down on the ground. Edwards administered the nasal Narcan and Peppers began to breathe and move again.

When paramedics arrived, both officers helped to load Peppers onto the stretcher and observed that he was talking to paramedics as they left the scene.

“Seeing his reactions. From the time we got there, he was kind of responsive to unresponsive in just a few minutes,” Carter explained the decision to use Narcan. Carter says that training and experience are how he was able to quickly recognize the signs of a possible overdose.

The officers were given pins of recognition by Fannin County’s Emergency Management Team to acknowledge that their quick thinking and actions were directly responsible for saving a life.

Conditions worsen during winter storm

Community, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – Conditions are quickly worsening as a Winter Storm moves through our area. 

Snow began to fall in Fannin County early this morning and is expected to continue throughout most of the day. 

The Fannin County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) sent out a Nixle Alert at 9:03 a.m. warning drivers to stay off of roadways if at all possible.

Roads are extremely slick with ice under snow. Please stay in if at all possible.

Road crews are working to clear roads but at this time most roads are extremely slick due to snow and ice. Wet pavement under the snow has turned to ice in many areas throughout the county.

Fannin County EMA Director Robert Graham updated FYN on the conditions in our area. 

“The pavement was wet when the snow started falling, so the wet areas on our roadways have turned to ice,” Graham explained the situation.

Graham went on to say that he is in contact with Public Works Director Zack Ratcliff: “Zack has crews out now and they are working as fast as they can to try to clear the roads.”

Public Works crews are out on roads throughout the county scraping and salting, but with the ice forming underneath the snow it will be much more difficult to get roads cleared.

According to Graham there are several vehicular wrecks in our area with many of these being along Highway 5. Graham was unsure of the severity of all the accidents at this time, but did state that the majority of wrecks have been people sliding off the roadways and into ditches.

“Many of the roads have become or are becoming impassable,” Graham said, adding, “We are having to shut some of them down.”

Graham urges residents to please stay off the roadways at this time and allow crews to try to clear as much as possible.

FYN will bring your updates throughout the day as they become available.

Special Recognition given by Board of Education

Community, Fannin County EMA/EMS, Rebel's Corner
Fannin County School System

Blue Ridge, Ga. – The Fannin County Board of Education took time at their Feb. monthly meeting to give special recognition to those who have positively impacted the school system recently.

First to be recognized was West Fannin Elementary School (WFES) First Grade teacher Katy Roberson and  WFES Student Governance Team member Jocelyn Miller for their work which has brought state and national attention to the Fannin County School District.

What all began with the reading of a book, Stellaluna, to a class, has become an ongoing project that is now in its third year.

A former student of Roberson told her of a “bat house” that they have at home and from there the project evolved.

“She (Roberson) was able to take the concept of bats and integrate all of the subjects into it and the kids were basically learning math. They were reading. They were doing science, all through the lens of bats,” Miller spoke of the teacher’s work with children.

Miller, who is now going for her doctoral degree, along with Roberson wrote an article about the project titled “At Home with Bats”. This article was published in the National Science Teachers Association peer-reviewed journal “Science and Children”.

Since then the article has gone on to be published on university websites, garnering even more attention for education in our area.

Next to be recognized for their work with the school system was Fannin County’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA).

Through their Stop the Bleed Campaign, Fannin County EMA Director Robert Graham, Fannin County Training Officer Ryan McDavis, and EMS Child Advocate Rebecca Huffman were all recognized for the work put into training staff of the school district.

Stop the Bleed is a program set in place by the American College of Surgeons and works to train people worldwide on how to stop bleeding in a severely injured person. 

After training, the school district received several Stop the Bleed kits which have been put in place not only in the schools but also on every bus, along with a standard first aid kits.

Fannin County School System Director of Transportation Denver Foster called these kits, “a little bag with a lot of life saving power in it”.

Foster also thanked Fannin County’s EMA/EMS for their ongoing role in working with the school system to provide safety to its students on a daily basis.



Click here to read about those honored at last month’s meeting.

Two homes catch fire, one belonging to FCHS wrestling coach

Fannin County EMA/EMS, Health

BLUE RIDGE, Ga – Officials looking into how two homes in the county caught fire. The blazes occurred a little over a week apart, and one home belonged to first year Fannin County High School (FCHS) wrestling coach. No injuries reported in either fire.

In the early morning hours of Monday, Dec. 23, Fannin County Fire Department (FCFD) responded to a fire in the Aska Road area. The house was vacant at the time of the blaze with 60 to 70 percent of the structure engulfed in flames.

Photo Courtesy of FCFD/EMS of Aska Road fire response.

FCFD did shut down one lane on Aska Road for part of the morning while trying to contain the fire.

Currently, the State Fire Marshall is investigating the cause. Details about the Dec. 23 fire are still developing, and FYN will update as information becomes available.

On Sunday, Dec. 15, on Meadow Creek Way, FCHS Wrestling Coach Chuck Patterson and his family lost their home to a fire. Luckily, Chuck, his wife, Cathy, their boys and dogs all made it out safely. However, the family did lose their home, everything inside, and both vehicles.

An electrical area in the front of the home can’t be ruled out as possible cause at this time, according to FCFD. No foul play is suspected in the Patterson fire.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Patterson family and has raised $18,950 as of Dec. 23. The GoFundMe has a goal of $25,000. United Community Bank (UCB) also set up the Chuck Patterson Benefit Fund for those interested in assisting the family during this trying time. To donate, simply approach a teller and tell them that you want to contribute to the benefit. If you have an account with UCB, you can also call the bank.

FCHS is accepting clothing donations for the Patterson’s. Their sizes are as follows:

Clothing donations can be dropped off at the FCHS office.

Chuck: XXXL shirt, 42-44 pant, 12.5 shoe

Cathy: XL shirt, 12-14 pant, 8.5-9 shoe

The boys’ Sizes: 8 shirt, 7 pant, 3 shoe and 5T or 4/5 shirt, 5T or 4/5 pants, 12 shoe (children)

The family is new to Blue Ridge and the Fannin County School District. The Fannin County High School wrestling team is lucky to have such an amazing and inspiring coach.

Feature image courtesy of FYN reader.

Fannin County EMA/EMS Report for September 8, 2019 thru September 14, 2019


Fannin County EMA/EMS

Director Robert Graham

20 Station Ridge

Blue Ridge, Ga. 30513


Fax 706-632-8003



September 8, 2019 thru September 14, 2019 Responses


M1:   36

M3:   12

M4:   30

M11: 28


Gilmer EMS: 1

Polk EMS: 2


Total: 109

Includes 13 out of town transfers


Law:          351

Fire:           8

Rescue:    39


Total Emergency Calls:      459


Total Incoming Phone Calls (911 and Admin): 985



New Fire Station Completed and Ready to Assist Citizens of Fannin County

Fire Station

Blue Ridge, Ga – The new Fire Station/Public Safety Complex reached completion after two years of effort with an open house scheduled for Aug. 30.

EMA Director Robert Graham presented aerial shots of the finished facility to the commissioners during the Aug. 13, 2019 meeting.

“We intentionally did not take any pictures of the inside because we want everyone to come out on Aug. 30 and see the facility for themselves,” said Graham.

The dedication starts at 11 a.m., and visitors can tour the public safety complex while munching on some refreshments.

“The building is something that Fannin County should really be proud of. It should serve the county well for years to come. We did finish up the back part of the building,” stated Graham.

Fire Station

Aerial shots of the complex courtesy of Fannin EMA.

“Unfortunately, Earl, I was not able to keep it under $200,000. It ended up being $200,869.02.”
However, the last bid from contractors was $439,000, so the county did it for around $200,000 cheaper than expected.

“It’s really pleasing to see what we all thought was true when we received the last bids, said Post One Commissioner Earl Johnson, “We saved $239,000 to build out the back spot. The money can carry on in other places and help in places where we need it.”

Graham thanked all the subcontractors who participated in completing the building.

The entire cost of the building ended up being $4,134,462.83 and paid upfront with taxpayer funds. The county owes nothing on the building.

“All the volunteers and employees are very proud of the facility, and I hope the citizens of Fannin County are too,” commented Graham.

The construction of the fire station resulted from a collaborative effort from everyone involved from previous commissioners to all EMS/EMA employees. Graham sought out opinions from everyone to ensure Fannin had the best facility possible for the future.

“When we did a reevaluation and redesign to keep the effectiveness of the fire station, you got input from everybody that works in your command,” said Chairman Stan Helton, “Their suggestions were extremely valuable to making this work.”

Fire Station

Direct Overhead shot from Fannin EMA.

Post Two Glenn Patterson also commended Graham and his department for the new fire station.

“It has been a long process,” said Johnson, “The good thing is we can go over there and touch everything. The taxpayers have something that they can touch and see, and know that they don’t owe a dime on it.”

The open house will be on Friday, Aug 30 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fannin County EMA/EMS Weekly Report for 4/28 – 5/4

Fannin County EMA/EMS

Fannin County EMA/EMS
Director Robert Graham
20 Station Ridge
Blue Ridge, Ga. 30513
Fax 706-632-8003

April 28, 2019 thru May 4, 2019 Responses

M1: 28
M3: 13
M4: 19
M11: 27

Total: 87

Law: 373
Fire: 10
Rescue: 30

Total Emergency Calls: 482

Total Phone Calls to 911 Center (Emergency and Admin): 1947

Fannin County EMA/EMS Weekly Report for 5/5 – 5/11

Fannin County EMA/EMS

Fannin County EMA/EMS
Director Robert Graham
20 Station Ridge
Blue Ridge, Ga. 30513
Fax 706-632-8003

May 5, 2019 thru May 11, 2019 Responses

M1: 35
M3: 11
M4: 25
M11: 25

Polk County: 1

Total: 97

Law: 403
Fire: 7
Rescue: 27

Total Emergency Calls: 507

Total Incoming Phone Calls (911 and Admin): 983

Fannin County EMA/EMS Weekly Report for 5/12 – 5/18

Fannin County EMA/EMS

Fannin County EMA/EMS
Director Robert Graham
20 Station Ridge
Blue Ridge, Ga. 30513
Fax 706-632-8003

May 12, 2019 thru May 18, 2019 Responses

M1: 41
M3: 21
M4: 27
M11: 35

Total: 124

Law: 380
Fire: 8
Rescue: 30

Total Emergency Calls: 507

Total Incoming Phone Calls (911 and Admin): 857

Fannin County EMA/EMS Weekly Report for 4/21 – 4/27

Fannin County EMA/EMS

Fannin County EMA/EMS
Director Robert Graham
20 Station Ridge
Blue Ridge, Ga. 30513
Fax 706-632-8003

April 21, 2019 thru April 27, 2019 Responses

M1: 39
M2: 1
M3: 9
M4: 19
M11: 31

Total: 99

Law: 346
Fire: 13
Rescue: 38

Total Emergency Calls: 462

Total Phone Calls to 911 Center (Emergency and Admin): 1781

Fannin Operating Two Percent Under Budget

2020 Budget

Blue Ridge, Ga – Fannin County’s operating two percent under budget through April of 2019.

As of April 30, 33 percent of the budget’s been spent for the year with Fire/EMS/ EMA, Tax Assessor, Sheriff’s Office, and County Jail still showing over budget due to the first of the year lump sum lease and loan payments made at the beginning of the year.

Per the April 23 meeting, Chief Financial Officer Robin Gazaway broke out the Public Works and SPLOST Budget to provide more clarity about where the money comes from and is going.

Fannin County Board of commissioners budget

Several departments are still showing over for the year.

“The public works old SPLOST is because we’re going to use the old money on the roads until it runs out, and then we’ll start on the new SPLOST,” explained Gazaway.

Baseball admissions factored in slightly into the recreation budget, but the month of May was not reflected in this report.

“We’re two percent under budget because we’re making up some of the differences from earlier in the year,” stated Gazaway, “LOST and SPLOST collections are up again this month from the prior years.”

Thirty-three percent into the county’s operating budget as of April 30, 2019.



EMA Director Robert Graham advised choosing Custom Works for the ambulance remounts at $104,980 as the most acceptable vendor for the job. The business also priced an add-on door locking systems for the ambulance at $1,800, bringing the total to $106,780.

“The locking system on the doors on the box [will be] activated front door locks when we lock the front doors,” said Graham, “We need this because we make many trips out of town to hospitals, and we need to lock the back of the truck. Our drugs and equipment are all in the back.”

Currently, seven doors and compartments must be locked with a key when getting out of the truck, and EMA employees must remember to unlock these doors when going back out to have access to them.

“It would be a great benefit to add that to this truck and going forward in the future to the standard bid specs,” lobbied Graham.

The truck won’t be available until closer to 2020 due to Chevrolet chassis unavailability.

Graham also confirmed that the county wouldn’t be short on equipment during this time with back-up trucks and placing an order for a new ambulance to replace an aging one with 90,000 plus miles on it.

Next, Graham introduced bids for a new ambulance to be purchased in the 2020 and on that year’s budget. Currently, new ambulance models aren’t available, but a waiting list has formed for 2020. Graham wanted to go ahead and get Fannin’s EMA name on the list.

“If we don’t get a truck each year that we fall behind and have maintenance issues,” said Graham.

“You had this idea that it was better to go ahead and place an order with the stipulation that it wouldn’t be delivered until after the first [of the year] because in the past you wouldn’t get this new ambulance until fall,” explained Helton to the room.

MEDIX proposed $140,130 for a 2020 model Chevrolet with the delivery after January 1, 2020. Custom Trucks and Bodyworks offered $143,021 for a 2020 model Chevrolet with the delivery after January 1. ETR, LLC proposed $187,768 for a 2019 model Ford F-450 with the delivery after January 1.

The Commissioners approved Custom Works for remount and tabled the new ambulance bids after Graham asked for more time to review.

Waste Management decision was tabled again to give the commissioner’s more time to review Advanced Disposal Systems and CASH proposals after meeting with both organizations.

Director of Public Works Zack Ratcliff experienced an equipment emergency after losing a 16-year-old mower in the middle of mowing season and had found a used replacement mower for $43,500 with 70,000 hours on it.

Post One Commissioner Earl Johnson said, “The piece that [the used mower] is replacing, we salvage it and get rid of it. It’s got way too many hours to put any more money into it.”

Ratcliff stated that he had no plans to fix the old mower with over 100,000 hours in it already.
The emergency purchase puts the county back at 10 mowers and back on track with mowing for the spring and summer.

Fannin County EMA/EMS Weekly Report for 3/24 – 3/30

Fannin County EMA/EMS

Fannin County EMA/EMS
Director Robert Graham
20 Station Ridge
Blue Ridge, Ga. 30513
Fax 706-632-8003

March 24, 2019 thru March 30, 2019 Responses

M1: 29
M3: 12
M4: 25
M11: 28

Gilmer: 1
Union: 1

Total: 96

Law: 384
Fire: 12
Rescue: 23

Total Emergency Calls: 497

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