Aska Road clean up scheduled for Spring – Press Release

Community, Outdoors, Press Release

Fannin Spring Clean-up / Aska Road
Saturday, April 6, 9am

Let’s stem the tide of litter in this beautiful mountain county!

To help Fannin County become a safer, healthier and even better place to live, work and play, a series of community events to clean up litter in Fannin County is in the works.

The first clean-up is scheduled for April 6 on Aska Road; an abandoned tire clean-up will be held later in the spring. Tentative dates for future litter clean-ups are July 13 and October 15.

Besides looking trashy, littering / dumping is illegal, encourages more littering / dumping, reflects badly on our community, decreases property values, reduces economic growth, encourages crime, is a highway safety issue, harms natural resources and costs huge amounts of taxpayer money for clean-up and enforcement.

Please join us, the Fannin Litterbusters, to combat this blight:

DATE: Saturday, April 6, 9am; meet at Public Works building, 229 Aska Road.

CLEAN-UP LOCATION: Aska Road, which is one of the most beautiful but unfortunately one of the most littered roads in the county.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: Responsible adults are urged to demonstrate their civic and patriotic pride by volunteering for these clean-up efforts. Volunteers are also encouraged to consider participation in Fannin County’s Adopt-a-Road program http://www.fannincountyga.com/faq_category/adopt-a-road/

SAFETY: Due to safety issues when working close to roadways, volunteers must be at least 18 years of age to participate. For the clean-up event, volunteers are encouraged to have drinking water, safety vests and work gloves. Bags will be provided.

PARTNERS: Fannin County Government, City of Blue Ridge, North Georgia Resource Management Authority, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, Advanced Disposal Services, local businesses / organizations, residents, and other concerned parties.

QUESTIONS? Contact Marie Woody, Chief Officer of Fannin County Land Development, 706-258-5170.

SIGN UP: fannin.litterbusters@gmail.com

Let’s all pitch in to clean up Fannin County!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

BACKGROUND:

According to Keep America Beautiful (“Litter in America Factsheet,” January 2010), those under 30 are more likely to litter than those over 30. Communities can reduce their litter rate by

⦁ demonstrating a preference for a litter-free community through on-going efforts to keep litter cleaned up
⦁ setting a standard of caring for the community through improving and beautifying public areas
⦁ stressing individual responsibility for keeping the community clean through messages that emphasize social disapproval of littering

REMINDER:
It is illegal under Georgia statute and Fannin County ordinance to litter or dump garbage.

Fannin County has a stringent solid waste ordinance, which applies to littering, dumping, and hauling waste; violators are subject to fines of $410 to $1000 and possible jail time. [Fannin County Solid Waste Ordinance, Chapter 58 of the Fannin County Code of Ordinances]

Anyone hauling a load in Fannin County must secure and cover the load; if not in compliance, the load will be refused at the disposal site.

Citizens witnessing anyone littering, dumping or hauling an unsecured load can report it to Fannin County Land Development at 706-258-5170. For a citation to be issued to the violator, witnesses must provide their name / address / phone number and be willing to appear in court as a witness.

Witnesses are asked to provide as much information as possible, such as name of company if commercial, vehicle tag number, location of the incident, and pictures if available.

Georgia littering statutes state that it is unlawful for anyone to deposit litter or to allow littering on any public or private property or waters in the state. Violators are subject to fines up to $1000 and jail sentences up to 12 months. The driver of the vehicle involved is responsible for any trash that escapes the vehicle. [O.C.G.A. §16-7-42, §16-7-43, §40-6-249]

 

 

 

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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Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Tourism brings big dollars to Fannin County

Community, Fannin County Chamber, News

Blue Ridge, Ga. – There is no denying that our area is a hot spot for tourists and the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce gave a 2018 update letting citizens know just how much money our thriving tourist industry is bringing to our area.

Last year alone, $39 million was collected in local lodging tax by both the City of Blue Ridge and Fannin County.

“That’s just the ones who pay the tax,” Jan Hackett, President of Fannin County Chamber of Commerce spoke of the significance of these numbers, “so anyone out there who is an Airbnb or a VRBO who is not paying the tax is not in that number.”

In recent years Georgia Tech teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce to do a study on our economic impact numbers. According to Hackett the purpose of this study was to determine the amount of dollars spent in our local economy based on the lodging taxes collected.

Georgia Tech was able to produce an equation that they felt would portray an accurate number based on percentages of sales in direct comparison with lodging taxes.

“Based on their percentages the amount of money that visitors spent directly was $170.5 million dollars,” Hackett said explaining the findings for calendar year 2018 and added that this number is based on overnight visitors alone and does not account for day trippers and our area’s population of second home owners.

According to these numbers and based on SPLOST (Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax) collections last year, overnight visitors made up roughly a third of all retail sales in the county. SPLOST reported a record breaking $555 million is sales last year for Fannin County.

Hackett broke down the numbers into a daily average. On average per day lodging brings in $100,795 and visitors spend roughly $484,375. This equates to $39,347 of taxes collected locally.

While our county can become crowded due to the visitors, there is a definite positive impact these visitors bring with them. Roughly one-third of the jobs in Fannin County (excluding governmental) are supported by the tourist industry, and all the extra revenue saves residents approximately $865 in taxation per household.

Hackett pointed out that in 2001: “At that point in time we had less in retail sales than any county in the four around us.” These counties include Fannin, Glimer, Pickens, and Union.

Fast forward to recent years and Fannin County is now leading the way in retail sales and economic growth. A comparison shows that in 2001 retail sales were approximately $150 million and in 2018 retail sales were $555,697,658.

With the lodging tax now being split 50/50 between the chamber and the county, Hackett reported that the decrease from the 70 percent that the chamber previously received has not posed any negative effect on the ability to market our area.

Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton explains where the extra revenue the county is now getting from the split in lodging tax is being spent, “When we adjusted this ratio between the board of commissioners and the chamber, our intent was to take half of that increase and put it into safety.”

Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson is credited with the idea of investing the funds into public safety, and had pointed out in previous meetings that his reasoning is simply with more people visiting and more events being held in our area there becomes an increased demand for emergency services to be provided.

Up next for the Chamber of Commerce is to continue to promote growth and visitation in our area. Hackett said of moving forward, “Our mission is only to help make Fannin County a better place to live, work and play.”

The chamber has recently focused efforts into making the Copper Basin area a desirable place to visit and has teamed up with the University of Georgia Carl Vinson Institute of Government Study to produce an in depth study of McCaysville, Copperhill, and Ducktown.

“The Carl Vinson Institute is doing a kind of strategic planning process for McCaysville, Copperhill, and Ducktown….the Copper Basin,” Hackett said of the partnership and added that she is expecting the study to be complete by the end of February.

The study and planning will work to make the Copper Basin area a more appealing place to work, live and visit. Its focus is to re-brand the area. Under the name the Copper Basin Renaissance, the partnership with UGA is focusing its campaign on the slogan “Copper Basin. Too Great for One State”.

Hackett said of the chamber’s focus, “As Blue Ridge has gotten more crowded, it only makes since to try to do more in McCaysville and Copper Hill and the Basin, so that when visitors are here we’ll have them spread out in the county.”

The Fannin County Chamber of Commerce debuted a new website that went live in March of last year. 617,905 users visited the site and of those users 82 percent were new.

The new design of the website landed the chamber a prestigious Silver Adrian Award from the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International.

“To give you an idea of what an honor that is, the Jackson Hole Wyoming website also won a silver,” Hackett said of the accomplishment.

The Fannin County Chamber of Commerce plans to continue efforts in 2019 to once again bring in record numbers to our area and help define Fannin County as a resilient place to visit or to make home.

Featured Image: A small sample of the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce new award winning 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

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Fannin County candidates speak at local forum

Election 2018
qualifying election

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, along with the Blue Ridge Community Theater, hosted a candidate forum May 3 to give voters an opportunity to hear first-hand local candidates’ responses to questions about issues facing our area.

All persons running for positions on the Fannin County Board of Education and for the seat of Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner were present to share their views and explain why they should have your vote in the upcoming election.

SCHOOL BOARD

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner, Fannin County Board of Education, Fannin County Fire Department, Fannin County Emergency Management, Fannin County Chairman, Stan Helton, Dixie Carter, Larry Joe Sosebee, William Tripp Ritchie, Glenn Patterson, Bobby Bearden, Jeff Depaola, Marvin Allen, Stave Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Mike Sullivan, Mike Cole, Ron Bolin, Democrat, Republican, Candidate Forum, Platform, Issues, Blue Ridge Community Theater, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Pictured are, from left to right: Jeff DePaola (D), Marvin Allen (R), and Bobby Bearden (R).

First to take the stage were Marvin Allen (R), Bobby Bearden (R), and Jeff DePaola (D).

Allen is challenging incumbent Bearden in the May General Primary for the Republican nomination. The winner of the primary will face Democrat DePaola in the November General Election.

 

 

BOBBY BEARDEN (R) INCUMBENT

Bobby Bearden, who has served on the Fannin County Board of Education for 16 years, said, “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Bearden added about his time serving, “It’s more than a privilege. It’s a blessing and an honor.”

While agreeing with his fellow candidates on many of the issues such as a board member must be a liaison between the community, parents, teachers, and students, Bearden gave insight into his feelings about what it takes to be an effective board member and what it means to serve.

“A lot of people think that the school board runs the schools, but the school board does not run the schools,” Bearden said. “The superintendent runs the schools. The school board makes sure the superintendent carries out the policies.”

Bearden spoke of accomplishments of the school board during his service specifically citing the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and the construction taking place of the new agricultural facility located on Ada Street: “I’ve got so much behind me I couldn’t tell you all of it.”

“I just heard today that we applied for a grant, a literacy grant for over 1 million bucks,” Bearden said, smiling, “and we got it.”

Bearden’s platform is unwavering, stating his top priorities are “children, children, children, and the tax payers of Fannin County.” He states that safety and quality education are his main focus.

MARVIN ALLEN (R) CHALLENGER

Marvin Allen is a product of the Fannin County School System and has raised his children in Fannin County where they all attended our public schools.

“The platform I’m running on is my concerns for the children of Fannin County,” Allen addressed the crowd of voters. “Their safety is certainly number one. Next on the list is education. Another issue I am concerned about is the consideration of the tax-paying citizens of the county.”

Allen would like to work with the superintendent to produce quality policies that make a difference and to be a good steward of taxpayers dollars when it comes to the budget.

Having helped initiate the school system’s fishing program and by being involved with his children’s educations as well as their extracurricular activities, including sports and band, Allen feels that he is qualified for a position on the Board of Education.

When asked what makes an effective school board member, Allen replied that listening and communicating with the community is a large part of the responsibility, but also being able to effectively take care of business: “There are policies you’ve got to set and a budget you’ve got to monitor.”

JEFF DEPAOLA (D) CHALLENGER

Jeff DePaola has worked with youth via mentoring programs and shows a strong resolve in helping children through community involvement.

DePaola feels that this mentoring background along with his career provides him with the experience needed to serve on the Fannin County Board of Education.

DePaola began his career with Delta at the young age of 19. Through Delta, DePaola learned the field of computer programming and went on to write and implement many programs used in this field.

“I’ve got kind of an entrepreneurial spirit about me. I feel like I have a good eye for looking at a situation and seeing opportunities to make it better,” DePaola spoke of how his career will translate on the school board.

DePaola would like to be a liason if elected to the school board. He feels that a large portion of the duty of a board member is to gather as much information as possible from students, teachers, parents and the community, and relay that information into meaningful policies.

“The platform I’m running on is opportunity through community,” DePaola stated of his goals if elected.

SCHOOL BOARD

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner, Fannin County Board of Education, Fannin County Fire Department, Fannin County Emergency Management, Fannin County Chairman, Stan Helton, Dixie Carter, Larry Joe Sosebee, William Tripp Ritchie, Glenn Patterson, Bobby Bearden, Jeff Depaola, Marvin Allen, Stave Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Mike Sullivan, Mike Cole, Ron Bolin, Democrat, Republican, Candidate Forum, Platform, Issues, Blue Ridge Community Theater, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Pictured are, from left to right: Susan DeMoura (D), Mike Sullivan (R), Mike Cole (R), Ron Bolin (R), and Steve Stanley (R).

Next to come to the stage was the race with the largest number of candidates. These candidates include Ron Bolin (R), Mike Cole (R), Susan DeMoura (D), Steve Stanley (R), and Mike Sullivan (R).

Bolin, Cole and Sullivan are all challengers of incumbent Stanley for the Republican nomination in the May General Primary. The winner of the primary will go on to face Democrat DeMoura in the November General Election.

 

 

RON BOLIN (R) CHALLENGER

Ron Bolin opened his statements by giving voters a glimpse into his background: “I’m a retired educator. I’ve taught at all three grade levels, elementary, middle, and high school.”

Beyond having taught, Bolin has also spent time in coaching and in school administration.

Bolin is a proponent of literacy and would like to focus school assets into providing a number of tools to promote and teach these skills. Having served many years in education, Bolin stated, “When a student lags behind in this area, it makes more difficulties throughout their entire education.”

Bolin would also like to see focus put on bringing back vocational training to our schools. He believes that education has “made a huge mistake” by putting all the focus on college education and that many students do not attend college and would greatly benefit from vocational training.

MIKE COLE (R) CHALLENGER

Mike Cole is a product of the Fannin County School System and credits his success to the start he got in our county’s schools.

Cole, a small business owner, began his training at Fannin County High School in the now un-offered vocational and technical programs. Having a successful career with General Motors (GM) and Chrysler, Cole returned to Fannin County to open his own automotive repair shop.

Cole is now a strong advocate for returning programs such as transportation class, cosmetology, residential wiring, plumbing, and welding to Fannin County schools.

“I’m not just a salesman,” Cole said, speaking of his opponent Bolin’s stance to bring back vocational classes, “but I am a client. I went through this vocational system, and I now own a business doing my career path from career tech.”

Cole now has a young child enrolled in the school system, and from involvement in his child’s education, he sees areas of what he feels are wasteful spending and mismanagement.

Citing that he has personally had to provide water to children on a field trip and has seen first-hand large amounts of food being thrown away in the schools’ cafeterias, Cole stated, “If we are a charter school and can make some decisions, we need to make decisions about the waste and mismanagement in that area.”

Cole also brought to the table the idea of using Georgia Virtual on snow days. He stated that if each child were provided a Chromebook that this option could be used to alleviate the issue of make-up school days due to inclement weather.

SUSAN DEMOURA (D) CHALLENGER

Susan DeMoura shared her experience of being a director of a rehabilitation center. With a master’s in speech language pathology, DeMoura worked many years managing a large staff and being in charge of an equally as large budget.

“I believe that my experience has prepared me to sit on this board,” DeMoura explained that she is used to working with many diverse people, “and become a liaison between the superintendent and the students and the teachers and the parents.”

When asked if school boards should be moved to a nonpartisan position, DeMoura stated that she is proud to be a member of her political party, but “I don’t see this as an area where politics need to come into play.”

DeMoura said that a key area she would like to research and try to resolve is the issue of absences in Fannin County. She cited that not all absences are due to illness and some stem from a child’s home life. DeMoura would like to provide options for these children to ensure that they are able to attend school everyday.

“My goal is to try to bridge any gap that exists,” DeMoura said of her hopes if elected,”with our students and our parents and teachers and provide the very best options, the very best alternatives for them.”

STEVE STANLEY (R) INCUMBENT

Steve Stanley has served on the Board of Education for eight years and would like to be re-elected for another four year term.

Stanley is proud of his record with the Board of Education citing several successes that have come to pass during his terms. He spoke of grants that have been awarded and progresses that have been made on all school campuses.

With Quality Basic Education (QBE) being fully funded by the state of Georgia for the first time in a number of years, Stanley stated that he will continue to be an advocate for equal state funding for Fannin County schools.

“This board will continue to work,” Stanley stated of his expectations if re-elected, “and I will continue to work.”

Stanley stated that the one thing he would do differently if elected for another term would be to spend more time in the schools.

“That has been the one thing I have wanted to do since I have been on the board is spend more time in schools,” Stanley said, explaining that his work has kept him away from spending as much time as he would like in the schools.

MIKE SULLIVAN (R) CHALLENGER

Mike Sullivan remains steadfast in his platform. Two of Sullivan’s key issues are that of school safety and of complete transparency on all levels.

Sullivan would like to see no stone left unturned when it comes to the safety of the children of Fannin County. Pursuing every option to acquire top notch safety is an issue the Sullivan is very passionate about.

Sullivan was asked of what he has done to prepare himself for the school board position if elected. He cited that beyond having attended the Board of Education monthly meetings, his military background is another advantage that he possesses.

“The military really prepares you a lot for working with diverse people,” the Air Force veteran spoke of his credentials for the Board of Education, “and I believe our board is comprised of some diverse individuals. It really prepares you for conflict.”

Sullivan agreed with his opponents on a number of issues, including that the school board should be a nonpartisan position and that the best way to keep quality teachers is to offer competitive pay and incentives.

When asked what he would do differently from incumbent Stanley, Sullivan replied that he would have active engagement on all levels, with students, parents, teachers, and fellow board members.

“We really have tremendous capabilities here,” Sullivan stated enthusiastically of his intentions, “to really excel with our kids and to lead them beyond being just 21st century learners.”

POST 2 COMMISSIONER

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, May Primary Election 2018, General Election 2018, Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner, Fannin County Board of Education, Fannin County Fire Department, Fannin County Emergency Management, Fannin County Chairman, Stan Helton, Dixie Carter, Larry Joe Sosebee, William Tripp Ritchie, Glenn Patterson, Bobby Bearden, Jeff Depaola, Marvin Allen, Stave Stanley, Susan DeMoura, Mike Sullivan, Mike Cole, Ron Bolin, Democrat, Republican, Candidate Forum, Platform, Issues, Blue Ridge Community Theater, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Pictured are, from left to right: William “Tripp” Ritchie (R), Glenn Patterson (R), Dixie Carter (D), and Larry Joe Sosebee (R)

The final group of candidates to take the stage were those running for Fannin County Post 2 Commissioner. These candidates included Dixie Carter (D), Glenn Patterson (R), Larry Joe Sosebee (R), and William “Tripp” Ritchie (R).

Ritchie and Patterson are facing incumbent Sosebee for the Republican nomination in the May General Primary. The winner of this primary will go against Democrat Carter in the November General Election.

 

 

DIXIE CARTER (D) CHALLENGER

Dixie Carter holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work, and she feels that having worked many years in this field, she has a good understanding of people and their needs and for this reason would make an ideal candidate.

Carter is a proponent of improving the county’s recreational areas and of seeking ways to move the county’s library out of the courthouse and into a stand-alone location.

A library is a hub for many communities, according to Carter, and a place where not only learning can take place, but a facility that can offer community classes and lectures, Internet for those without, and social work and aid for those in need.

When asked about a county aquatic center, Carter replied that she would be in favor and that it would be “very beneficial to focus on our health and wellness.”

Rather than just fund this center locally, Carter feels that we could look into regional funding: “Regional collaboration is a very good thing.” She feels that surrounding counties might take interest since the center would be beneficial to their residents as well.

Carter would be in favor of expanding the current Fannin County Board of Commissioners from a three-person panel to a five-person panel.

“With three there’s a monopoly on the vote,” Carter stated of the matter. “It’s almost like it’s rigged.”

If elected, Carter said she will work to represent all citizens of Fannin County and work to change the atmosphere of the Board of Commissioners meetings, which she feels has a negative tone.

GLENN PATTERSON (R) CHALLENGER

Glenn Patterson is an educator of 33 years and has spent approximately 23 of those years as a teacher, administrator, and coach in Fannin County. Patterson currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Fannin Christian Learning Center and is chairman for Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame.

Patterson said that he has no private agenda in running, just a vision and a want to make Fannin County better.

Being a good steward of the taxpayers’ money is a key element to Patterson’s platform, and a topic that he reiterated in his answers.

When asked about the county collaborating with the cities to provide an aquatic center, Patterson replied, “I would be open to look at it. I really would. A lot of factors come into play, especially paying for it.”

One area where Patterson seemed to agree with incumbent Sosebee was in not expanding the Board of Commissioners to a five-member board and keeping it at its current three member status. While he did not say that he was completely against the move, Patterson did cite that there is another way to approach the matter.

“I think the biggest thing is to get good people,” Patter said, explaining his stance. “Get people that you can trust. Get people that will work together collaboratively for a common goal.”

LARRY JOE SOSEBEE (R) INCUMBENT

Larry Joe Sosebee has held the Post 2 Commission seat since 2011 and will be seeking a third term in office.

Sosebee stated that his platform has never changed and that he will be running on the same ideals: “When I first ran for this office, my platform was for the safety and prosperity for each citizen of Fannin County.”

Not in support of turning the Board of Commissioners into a five-member board, Sosebee spoke frankly on the matter: “Three people is enough to butt heads on these decisions we make.”

Sosebee told the crowd that he would be in favor of a stand-alone building for the county library: “I’ve always supported a stand-alone library.” He then added,” I wouldn’t put the county in any bond debt whatsoever for any facility.”

Rival candidate Tripp Ritchie questioned the county’s planning strategy for the future and in particular cited the county’s emergency departments. Sosebee took offense to Ritchie’s comments and replied about these departments, “We are top notch in the state of Georgia.”

“All it takes is common sense to run this office,” Sosebee said and added that with his experience, he feels that he is the man for the job.

WILLIAM “TRIPP” RITCHIE (R) CHALLENGER

Tripp Ritchie, a sixth-generation Fannin County resident, co-owner of Ritchie Creek Farm, Inc., and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps., did not hold back during the forum as he spoke frankly about areas of the county that he feels need to be improved.

Ritchie has held strong to his belief that the county lacks proper strategic planning, and one downfall of not having such a plan is in newly constructed facilities: “We need a five-year capital improvements plan.”

“If it’s not in a capital improvements program,” Ritchie added, “you end up starting construction without knowing how you are going to pay for it.”

Ritchie also noted areas in how the Board of Commissioners run that could be improved for the public: “I don’t think we have enough public debate or public comments.”

Accusing Fannin County Commission Chairman Stan Helton of “weaponizing” his position by having complete say in meeting agendas and arrangements, Ritchie added, “We should encourage everybody to have input from the community. We seem to forget that we are representing the citizens of Fannin County.”

Ritchie said that he would support changing the current commission board from three members to five members: “Yes, and I would go a step further. I’d change the form of government between a volunteer-elected board and a manager.”

Having a county manager to organize and oversee all areas of the county government, according to Ritchie, would be beneficial not just in efficiency but also in transparency.

Finally, Ritchie addressed the issue of our emergency management departments and said that this is another area that would greatly benefit from strategic planning. He feels the county should do more to prepare these departments for future demand.

Ritchie also cited that he had been informed that our fire department facilities are not up to code, some not being properly vented, and that firefighters had expressed concern to him about their safety: “They asked me to bring these issues to the commissioners attention. They felt like the commission didn’t have their back.”

Ritchie maintains that he is the right person for the job because he will proactively seek solutions: “I’m not a politician. I’m a pragmatist. I see a problem, and I go try to fix it.”

 

Early voting continues in Fannin County through May 18. You can place your early vote at the Fannin County Courthouse, 3rd Floor, Office of Elections and Registration. Regular voting for the General Primary will take place on May 22. The 2018 General Election is to be held Nov. 6.

 

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

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce Newsletter 4/17/18

Fannin County Chamber

Leading the way to economic vitality and quality of life in Blue Ridge, McCaysville, Morganton and all of beautiful Fannin County, Georgia.

QUESTIONS NEEDED!

Candidate Forum is Set for May 3
At Blue Ridge Community Theater
Join us on Thursday, May 3, at the Blue Ridge Community Theater for the Chamber’s pre-primary Candidate Forum. The Forum is for candidates running for Post Two of the Fannin County Board of Commissioners and two School Board Seats. The Governmental Affairs Committee is in the process of screening questions for the Forum and welcomes suggested questions from members and the public. There will be a meet and greet beginning at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Forum beginning at 6 p.m. Contact Jan Hackett with any questions at jahackett@tds.net.

Specials and Promotions Wanted
Members, did you know that the Specials and Promotions page on the Chamber website is in the top 3 of the pages visited? Get your special out there today. It’s free!  Send your special/promotion information to Jode at jodemull@tds.net.

Ribbon Cuttings, Congratulations!
April 10 was the ribbon cutting for 2nd Story Entertainment. 2nd Story Entertainment is a family entertainment center with mini-golf, games and more. This unique indoor mini golf concept will feature a variety of themes throughout 9 rooms. 733 East Main St., Ste. C, Blue Ridge. (678) 358-1032
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April 11 was the ribbon cutting for Toccoa River Cabins. Offering two cabins for your choosing: Hooked on the Toccoa River and River Dance on the Toccoa. Stay so close to the river you can hear the rapids!
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April 12 was the ribbon cutting for Carroll’s Barbeque. Carroll’s Barbeque serves soups and salads, sandwiches and plates, and ribs. Fill the family with a family styled meal of classic BBQ or Ribs and more! 39 Lance St., Ste. 1, Blue Ridge. (706) 946-1126
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April 12 was the ribbon cutting for Boys & Girls Clubs of North Georgia. Boys & Girls Club programs and services promote and enhance the development of boys and girls by instilling a sense of competence, usefulness, belonging and influence. Boys & Girls Clubs are a safe place to learn and grow while having fun!

April Community Events Calendar
 
April 6 – May 5 – The Art of Larry Smith, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
April 12-29 – The Boys Next Door, Blue Ridge Community Theater
April 19-22 – The Addams Family Musical, Fannin County High School Performing Arts Center
April 20 – Justin Bridges Live at Blue Ridge Brewery
April 21-22 – Bear on the Square Mountain Music & Folk Art Festival,Downtown Dahlonega Square
April 21 – Superhero 5k Run, Downtown Blue Ridge
April 21 – Kyle Vincent at Fannin Brewing
April 21 – Taste of Blue Ridge, Willow Creek Falls and Vineyard
April 21 – Shannon York Live, Blue Ridge Brewery
April 22 – Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket, Private Cabin
April 24 – Pops on the Plaza, Young Harris College
April 27 – Georgia Mountain Classics Cruise In, Dairy Queen
April 28 – Kid’s Adventure Race, Mercier Orchards
April 28 – Zack Maruniak at Fannin Brewing
 
Recurring Events
Tuesday
* Trivia Tuesdays, Fightingtown Tavern
Wednesday
*Visitor Time, 10:00 a.m. – Noon, Tri-State Model Railroaders, Mineral Bluff Historic Depot

Thursday 

 
Bingo, Kiwanis Fairgrounds
* Trivia Night! Fannin Brewing Company
* Brewery Tours & Tastings:
Thursday through Saturday’s at  Fannin Brewing Company and Grumpy Old Men.
* Swan Drive-in –Now Playing
FOR THE FULL CALENDAR –Click Here

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In This Issue
Business After Hours
Questions Needed for Candidate Forum
Specials and Promotions Wanted
Ribbon Cuttings
Community Events Calendar

yellow_spring_daffodil.jpg

Chamber Calendar of Events
 
April 17 – Get Noticed with TripAdvisor free workshops from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 2:30 p.m.
 
April 18 – Board of Directors Meeting, Chamber Board Room, Executive Committee at 11:00 a.m, Board of Directors
12:00 p.m.
 
April 18 – Ribbon Cutting for Pic N Vine, 104 South Grande Ave., Copperhill
3:00 p.m.
 
April 19 – Ribbon Cutting for Grumpy Old Men Brewing, 1315 East Main St.
2:00 p.m.
 
April 23 – Golf Committee meeting at the Chamber
12:00 p.m.
 
April 24 – Ribbon Cutting for Viking Outdoor at the Chamber
10:00 a.m.
 
April 24 – Business After Hours at Blue Ridge Community Theater, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
 
April 25 – Ribbon Cutting for High Country Pest Control at the Chamber
2:00 p.m.
 
April 26 – Leadership Fannin’s Local Government program beginning at 9 a.m. at the Fannin County Courthouse. 
 
April 26 – Ambassador Lunch at Cantaberry Restaurant
12:00 p.m.
____________________
 
Member Events

The mission of the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce is to provide services to members, support existing business and promote economic development and tourism, while preserving and enhancing our community’s character, natural resources and quality of life.

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Fire and Ice a success in Blue Ridge

Community, Downtown Blue Ridge

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Once a year in the dead of winter, things get spicy in downtown Blue Ridge as residents and tourists alike experience a “chili” weekend in February.

The eighth annual Fire and Ice Chili Cook Off Festival, brought to you by the Blue Ridge Business Association partnering with the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, kicked off Saturday, Feb. 17, and brought in crowds despite the weather.

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Fire and Ice, Chili Cook Off, Blue Ridge Business Association, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, David Ralston, B. Alison Sosebee, Kay Kendall, Doug David, Bob Evans, Cesar Martinez, Cindy Trimble, People's Choice Award, Chester Brunnenmeyer's Bar and Grill, Blue Jeans Pizza, Blue Ridge Brewery, Project Chimps, Habitat for Humanity, Hot House Missionary Church, Grilling Gangsters, Kelly Barton, Pitstop Chili, Boar's Nesters, Mercier Orchards, Chuck's Moonshine Chili

Crowds enjoyed the live ice sculpting demonstration provided by Rock On Ice.

Visitors to the festival were welcomed to take part in the judging of the chili cook off where the contestant with the highest number of votes takes home the coveted People’s Choice award.

The Fire and Ice Festival also now holds the honor of being the largest ice sculpting display in the Southeast. Award-winning National Ice Carving Champion Rock On Ice created many unique sculptures sponsored by several area businesses and demonstrated their difficult art form firsthand with live ice sculpting demonstrations in the park.

Official Chili Cook Off judges were also on hand to judge this years 16 contestants and to award first, second, and third place in four different categories.

Among the guest judges were Speaker of the Georgia House of Representatives David Ralston, Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney B. Alison Sosebee, former celebrity chef Bob Evans, developer Doug David, and former chef and restaurant owner Kay Kendall.

“This is really one of the bigger events put on by the business association,” Blue Ridge Business Association President Cesar Martinez spoke about the festival.

Martinez explained that despite the unpredictable weather, this year’s festival saw a large turn out: “Better than last year. Last year, it rained actually more than this.”

Guest announcer Cindy Trimble took the stage at 3 p.m. for the moment that everyone had been waiting for, the announcement of 2018 Fire and Ice Chili Cook Off winners.

Trimble explained that judges were given five categories in which they had to rate each chili. These categories were aroma, color, taste, texture, and after-taste. Each category was rated on a scale of 1-to-10 and points from all judges were then added together to determine a winner.

The maximum number of points possible for a contestant to receive was 250.

The winners for each category were:

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Fire and Ice, Chili Cook Off, Blue Ridge Business Association, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, David Ralston, B. Alison Sosebee, Kay Kendall, Doug David, Bob Evans, Cesar Martinez, Cindy Trimble, People's Choice Award, Chester Brunnenmeyer's Bar and Grill, Blue Jeans Pizza, Blue Ridge Brewery, Project Chimps, Habitat for Humanity, Hot House Missionary Church, Grilling Gangsters, Kelly Barton, Pitstop Chili, Boar's Nesters, Mercier Orchards, Chuck's Moonshine Chili

Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar and Grill took home the People’s Choice Award for a second year in a row.

Adult Individual
1. Grilling Gangsters with 176 points
2. Kelly Barton with 174 points
3. Pitstop Chili with 153 points

Team Adult
1. Boars Nesters with 175 points
2. Mercier Orchards with 162 points
3. Chuck’s Moonshine Chili with 155 points

Civic Team
1. Project Chimps with 178 points
2. Habitat for Humanity with 164 points
3. Hot House Missionary Church with 129 points

Restaurant
1. Chester Brunnenmeyer’s Bar and Grill with 168 points
2. Blue Jeans Pizza with 166 points
3. Blue Ridge Brewery with 165 points

Project Chimps, a sanctuary for chimpanzees, received the highest rating by the judges, and Trimble pointed out a uniqueness to their recipe: “This was a really unusually chili and you guys loved it.”

The recipe used by Project Chimps was “chimp friendly,” meaning that all the ingredients used were ingredients that the chimps could also eat and often do for their meals.

Finally, the coveted People’s Choice award was given. Out of 934 ballots turned in by visitors to the festival, Chester Brunnenmeyer’s received 185 of those votes, giving them the people’s choice chili award for a second year in a row.

 

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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

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Chamber celebrates two ribbon cuttings

Fannin County Chamber

McCAYSVILLE. Ga. – The Fannin County Chamber of Commerce held two ribbon cuttings this week to celebrate the recent openings of the McCaysville Visitor Center and April’s Attic home decor store.

 

A host of local dignitaries joined with McCaysville business owners and citizens as well as Fannin County Chamber of Commerce representatives to celebrate the ribbon cutting for the new McCaysville Visitor Center Wednesday, Jan. 10. Located on East Market Street in downtown McCaysville, the new visitor center overlooks the Toccoa River and provides bountiful information to guests on the Trout Capital of Georgia and the rich history of Copper Basin. Regarding the influx of tourists, river-goers, and train riders who descend on the towns of McCaysville and Copperhill, Tennessee, Sarah Mickens, information specialist for the McCaysville Visitor Center stated, “Everyone always asks, ‘What is there to do here?’ That’s what the visitor center is here for, to give that knowledge and to promote the area businesses and attractions.”

 

Representatives from the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce met with owners and partners from April’s Attic at 6850 Appalachian Hwy. in Blue Ridge Tuesday, Jan. 9, for a ribbon cutting. April’s Attic is a home decor boutique specializing in antiques and collectibles. Seen here during the ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday are, from left, Chamber ambassador Brenda Morgan, Chamber ambassador Lisa Reece, Zack Leach, Mike Cheves, April Leach, namesake owner of April’s Attic, Larry Leach, Austin Leach, Chamber ambassador Bonnie Roper and Chamber Director of Membership Services Dianne Mallernee.

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Habitat receives donation from Light Up Blue Ridge

Community

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Habitat for Humanity of Fannin & Gilmer Counties received a $1,250 donation from Light Up Blue Ridge at the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce Friday, Jan. 5.

The donation, Pam Fink, vice president and chairwoman of Light Up Blue Ridge, explained, was a remainder amount from the donations Light Up received from the community during 2017. Fink stated because Light Up is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, any remainder amount the organization has at the end of the year after the annual holiday events’ expenses are covered goes to another charitable organization.

This year, Fink said, they chose Habitat for Humanity with the caveat that Habitat provide a representative to help coordinate Light Up Blue Ridge’s holiday events and activities. Habitat agreed, and Thomas Arp served as that representative on the Light Up committee. Fink spoke highly of Arp’s willingness to help Light Up Blue Ridge during the past year saying, “The man only knows one word: ‘Yes.'”

Of the partnership Habitat and Light Up shared in 2017, Habitat Executive Director Chris Hall said, “It’s nice to be involved with the Light Up committee. (Habitat has) never, as far as I know, been involved in a downtown event like that, and now because of our mailbox playhouse, with the letters to Santa idea, we get to do that annually. So, it’s not only a great partnership, but it was really a step up in the direction that we’re raising more awareness in the community.”

[Featured image: From left, Ron Pace, Habitat volunteer, Hank Chapman, Habitat volunteer, Ed Steers, Habitat volunteer, Chris Hall, executive director for Habitat for Humanity of Fannin & Gilmer Counties, Debbie Peterson, Habitat volunteer, Pam Fink, Light Up Blue Ridge vice president and chairwoman, Kit Miracle, Light Up treasurer, Kim Deutsch, Light Up member, Alan Schulman, Habitat volunteer, and Thomas Arp, Habitat volunteer and representative on Light Up Blue Ridge committee.]

 

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Blues, Brews, and BBQs

Community, Downtown Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Blues and BBQ, 2017, Blue Ridge Lodging Association, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, Snack in a Backpack

BLUE RIDGE, GA – Thousands descended upon our beautiful downtown area for a weekend of fun as Blue Ridge kicked off its annual Blues and BBQ Festival.

The festivities began Friday evening with the 12th Annual Rotary Blues Jam. Live music was held at the Train Depot where residents and visitors alike stopped to enjoy the music and partake in the street dance.

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Blues and BBQ, 2017, Blue Ridge Lodging Association, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, Snack in a Backpack

Musicians take the stage at Blues and BBQ Festival.

Others opted for an evening of fine dining and adult beverages as businesses throughout downtown opened up their doors for the Blues Crawl. Ten establishments took part in this event and live music from these venues filled the streets.

Saturday, September 15,  saw the main event of the festival. The streets were lined with Barbeque vendors and artists. The beautiful weather helped make for the largest turnout in the festival’s seven year run.

Barbecue vendors got to experience this large crowd first hand, with many vendors selling out during the day. Elliot Wilborn, owner of Smokin’ E’s BBQ, was among those vendors that sold out in the beginning half of the day.

When asked what drew him to setting up as a vendor he laughed and said, “Well, it’s a Bar-B-Que festival.” He then went on to add that, “he wanted to represent Blue Ridge and show visitors what our town has to offer.”

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Blues and BBQ, 2017, Blue Ridge Lodging Association, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, Snack in a Backpack

Crowds gather on West Main Street.

Visitors were not disappointed as couple visiting from Memphis, a city known for Blues and BBQ, were heard saying, “Now this is real barbeque” as they sampled a selection from Smokin’ E’s.

The main stage was set up on West Main Street, near the Art Center, and the music was met with as much enthusiasm as the food being offered. People began setting up chairs early in the morning to make sure they were front row for the entertainment.

Crowds filtered in and out as the music played. Some set up camp in the yard of the Art Center to enjoy the shade while others danced in the street. Fun was had by all as the music went on into the evening.

Blues and BBQ wasn’t just for the adults this year, as an impressive Kid’s Corner was also set up near the Park along East Main Street. Children were able to take part in face painting, balloon animals, bounce houses equipped with giant slides, and Blue Ridge’s renovated city park equipment.

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Blues and BBQ, 2017, Blue Ridge Lodging Association, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce, Snack in a Backpack

Nancy Fangle created one of a kind balloon art at the kid’s corner.

The festival was dubbed a success with the Blues and BBQ Facebook page exclaiming that it was the biggest one yet.

The Blues and BBQ Festival is presented by the Blue Ridge Lodging Association and the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce. While it is a day of fun and entertainment, the event itself helps to provide for children in our community.

Proceeds go to Snack in a Backpack. This organization provides healthy food items for our local children who receive their meals at school, but might have little to no food in their homes during the weekend. Snack in a Backpack delivers food to our schools during the week for these children to take home with them over the weekend.

 

 

 

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

Author

Natalie Kissel

Natalie@FetchYourNews.com

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce June Newsletter

Community
Fannin County Chamber of Commerce  Newsletter
June 2017

Leading the way to economic vitality and quality of life in Blue Ridge, McCaysville, Morganton and all of beautiful Fannin County, Georgia. Together we prosper.


Tuesday, June 20
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The Vault Blue Ridge logo
260 West Main St.- Blue Ridge

Congratulations Leadership Fannin 2017

“This class was very engaged and enthusiastic from day one. I know they will be a wonderfully positive influence on our community.” – Wanda Dostall
 
Congratulations to the steering committee and participants of Leadership Fannin 2017! The Leadership Fannin is coordinated by Wanda Dostall. The 2017 Steering Committee members included: Mark Belongie, Chairman
Eddie Ayers and Lynn Dwyer, Knowing Your Community;
Sarah Dunn, Social Services;
Lou Ann Potito, Health Care;
Heather Finley, Education;
Dana Chastain, Local Government;
Christie Arp, Economic Development and
Jan Hackett and Paul Gribble, Tourism
Members of the Class of 2017
Ken Banwart, Heartwood Health, Art and Yoga; Ryan Beadnell, Harvest on Main; Connie Clark; Dawn Cochran, Fannin County Tax Assessors Office; Jeff DePaola, Mountain Place Realty; Kelly Devine, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty;  John Drullinger, Fannin County Animal Control; Tony Dyer, Park Sterling Bank; Pam Fink, LG Web Consulting; Courtnie Fowler, Mountain Top Cabin Rentals; Toots Greene; Kayla Garceau, Serenberry Vineyards;  Gene Holcombe, Blue Ridge Bed & Breakfast; Shannon Miller, Fannin County Board of Education; Ginger Mize; Don Mull; Brian Mundy, Mundy Heat & Air; Nancy Norton; Sandy Ott, University of North Georgia; Mel Rothchild; Cindy Stone, United Community Bank; Rita Suiter, Mercier Orchards;  and Richard Turner, Masseria.

Newsworthy …
Fannin Regional/Riverstone Merger
David Sanders, CEO of Fannin Regional Hospital, announced the merger of Fannin Regional Hospital with Riverstone MDPC to create Riverstone Medical Group.  Fannin Regional Hospital is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary with over 300 employees and an economic impact of over $100 million a year. “It certainly is our intent to continue to grow and expand services here locally and continue to have that positive impact.” – David Sanders


Keep Fannin Beautiful: Adopt-A-Road!

Interested in helping? Civic-minded organizations, businesses and individuals can adopt a stretch of county road in the community where they are living or elsewhere in the county. For more information on the Adopt-A-Road program, CLICK HERE.

Also, beginning June 1st, the Fannin County Land Development Office  will issue citations to garbage haulers who do not have garbage properly tarped or covered. This measure along with the Fannin County Adopt-A-Road program is a great way to help keep our roads clean!

Check Out the Trout Art Trail!
 

Blue Ridge has 9 beautiful trout sculptures produced by local artists for the Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association — and they are on view in downtown and at the Chamber Welcome Center on Orvin Lance Drive. Open and print the map above to discover all nine!

Welcome New Members!

Awning Builders of Atlanta
3355 Lenox Rd.,
Atlanta, GA, 30326
Clint Love
Awning Builders of Atlanta is proud to provide guaranteed and quality products backed by a 10 year warranty. All Awning Builders Awnings feature Sunbrella fabric – the leader in exterior fabrics for both beauty and longevity. Choose from hundreds of colors and designs to perfectly match your vision for your outdoor living space. With a fabrication facility and full engineering and design department, they are able to fill residential or commercial custom orders.
 
Lularoe Spring Creek Boutique
88 Cherokee Springs Trail,
Cherry Log, GA, 30522
Erin Gwinn
Lularoe is extremely comfortable, unique, quality clothing that comes in a wide variety of styles, designs and sizes for women, men and children.

June Community Events Calendar
May 13 – June 10 SAAG Spring Art Show, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
May 18-June 4 No Sex Please, We’re British, Blue Ridge Community Theater
June 2Downtown Drum Circle, Downtown Blue Ridge
June 2Senior Fishing Rodeo, Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery
June 3 16th Annual Burra Burra Kids Carnival, Ducktown Basin Museum
June 3Family Fishing Festival, Chattahoochee National Fish Hatchery
June 3 Breathe Deep, Move to the Groove Concert, Mercier Orchards
June 3 St. Luke’s Anniversary Concert, St. Lukes Episcopal Church
June 4 Firefly Music & Treo of Blue Ridge presents a Wine Pairing Music Event, Treo Blue Ridge
June 9 Second Saturday Merchant Walk, Downtown Blue Ridge
June 9 Movies in the Park presents Moana, Downtown City Park
June 9-11Gemini Music Fest Concert, Fox Mountain Artist Retreat & Campground
June 10Maria Howell & Noel Freidline Concert, Blue Ridge Community Theater
June 14-18Dancing Tree Festival 2017, Heartwood Community
June 17-July 22 Community Quilt and Fiber Arts Exhibit, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
June 17Tri-State Model Railroaders Open House, Mineral Bluff Historic Depot
June 18Sunday Supper on The Farm, The Cook’s Farm
June 23Classic Car Cruise-In, Dairy Queen
June 24Firefly Music presents Wade Hayes in Concert, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
June 30Firecracker Special Train Ride, Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
July 1 Fireworks at Lake Blue Ridge, Lake Blue Ridge Marina
Recurring Events
Tuesday
* Trivia Tuesdays, Fightingtown Tavern

Thursday

 
* Bingo, Kiwanis Fairgrounds
* Trivia Night! Fannin Brewing Company
* Pickin’ In Horseshoe Bend Park
Saturday
*Blue Ridge Farmers Market, Downtown Blue Ridge
Weekends
* Brewery Tours & Tastings: Thursday through Saturday’s at  Fannin Brewing CompanyGrumpy Old Men and Mercier Orchards.
* Swan Drive-inNow Playing
FOR THE FULL CALENDAR Click Here
In This Issue
Business After Hours
Leadership Fannin Class of 2017
Newsworthy
Adopt-A-Road
Trout Art Trail
New Members
Community Events Calendar

Chamber Events
Calendar
 
June 6 – Ribbon Cutting for CK Laboratories, 51 Overview Dr., Blue Ridge
10:00 a.m.
June 7 – Lunch N Leads, Blue Jeans Pizza and Pasta Factory
12:00 p.m.
June 8 – Ribbon Cutting for Cloud Hopper Aerial Pix, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
10:00 a.m.
June 13 – Ribbon Cutting for MNM Cleaning & Management Services, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
10:00 a.m.
June 13 – Golf Committee Meeting, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
12:00 p.m.
June 14 – Board of Directors Meeting, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room, Executive Committee Meeting at 11:00 a.m., Board Meeting at 12:00 p.m.
June 15 – Ribbon Cutting for The Mountain Life/Keller Williams Team, 1665 Appalachian Hwy., Blue Ridge
10:00 a.m.
June 20 – Business After Hours at The Vault Blue Ridge, 260 West Main St., Blue Ridge
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
June 22 – Ambassador Lunch, Location TBD
12:00 p.m.
________________________
Membership Renewals
Thank you!
 
3 Monkeys Antiques, Inc
Allie Harper
AngelFire 7 BBQ

Appalachian Physicians Group – Dr. Clifford Thompson and Dr. Jonathan Bloch, F.A.C.S.General Surgery

Appalachian Physicians Group – Dr. Emily Sue Burnham, Internal Medicine
Aska Lodge B&B, LLC
Best Solar Control
Blue Ridge Bird Seed Company
Blue Ridge Brewery
Blue Ridge Community Theater
Blue Ridge Cotton Company
Blue Ridge Flowers
Blue Ridge Framing Company
Blue Ridge Mineral Springs RV Park and Tent Camping
Blue Ridge Mountain Outfitters – Copperhill
Blue Ridge Village
Broadview Cove Apartments

Carol L. Smith – Coldwell Banker / High Coun

try Realty
Chester Brunnemeyer’s Bar & Grill
Copperhill Country Cabins
Eagles Rest
Edward Jones, Amanda Payne
Edwin C. Pound, III, MD, PC
Family Life Chiropractic Center
Fannin County Empty Stocking Program, Inc.
Free Time Hobbies
Georgia Foothills Hand Surgery
Gracious Me!
Hilburn Solutions, Inc.
Hometown Foods IGA
Iron Bridge General Store & Cafe
Jon Ron Toccoa River Outfitters
Kimberly Bruner, Coldwell Banker High Country Realty
Morganton Grill
Mountain Gateway Appraisal
Mountain Laurel Cabin Rentals
Mountain Property Limited
Multitudes Gallery
Nancy MacLean, Century 21 In The Mountains
Nevaeh Cabin Rentals
New Blue Home & Gift
North GA Stone
Nottely River Valley Vineyards
Out of the Blue, Inc.
RE/MAX – Town & Country
Reel’em In Guide Service
Rum Cake Lady Bakery & Cuban Cafe
Serenity in the Mountains Hair, Nails & Body Spa
Shamrock Septic Service
Southern Car & Truck Center
Stan Hamm, Real Estate Around the Mountains
The Diamond Center
The Mail Box Company
The Toccoa Lodge
The Vault of Blue Ridge, LLC
Toccoa Riverside Restaurant
Tupelo Tea
Zip Line Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge
 ________________
 
Member to Member Ads

 

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce eNewsletter

Community

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce  eNewsletter
May 16, 2017
News for Members

Leading the way to economic vitality and quality of life in Blue Ridge, McCaysville, Morganton and all of beautiful Fannin County, Georgia. Together we prosper.

TONIGHT5:30 to 7 p.m.
at
101 Riverstone Vista – Blue Ridge
$250 Cash Drawing at 6:30 p.m.!!

THANK YOU CASH DRAWING SPONSORS!

Congratulations Golf Tournament Winners 

The Chamber’s first annual Spring Golf Tournament was as amazing as the green of the beautiful course! Thank you to Old Toccoa Farm for their hospitality, and to our sponsors:
ETC, Bill Holt Chevrolet and Oyster Fine Bamboo Fly Rods. 
1st Flight Winners
1st Place – ETC
2nd Place – United Community Bank
 
2nd Flight Winners 
1st Place – Mountain Valley Motors
2nd Place – The Terminator

Newsworthy
Registration for the 2017 Summer Reading Program Beginning Soon!
Fannin County Public Library
invites all area adults, teens, and children to the “Build a Better World” 2017 summer reading program. The library will host programs with stories, crafts, music, movies, puppet shows, guest entertainers, classes, and more. Registration will begin on May 22, 2017.
You may pick up a flyer at the library, visit their website atwww.mountainregionallibrary.org, or call at (706) 632-5263 for more information. All programs are free and open to the public.

Ribbon Cuttings
Congratulations!

May 11 was the ribbon cutting for Morganton Point Bed and Breakfast Inn. Morganton Point B & B is located close to Morganton Point and within minutes of Downtown Blue Ridge. They offer a nice common area, three porches to enjoy, breakfast every morning and have a furry greeter to guide you around! They now offer trips on their pontoon boat for guests as well! Call Janet or Paul for more information! (954) 254-5534

May Community Events Calendar
May 13 – June 10SAAG Spring Art Show, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association
May 18-21No Sex Please, We’re British, Blue Ridge Community Theater
May 20Tri-State Model Railroaders Open House, Mineral Bluff Historic Depot
May 20 Herbiary Plant Walk, Lake Blue Ridge
May 20Dine in the Vines, Cartecay  Vineyards
May 20Ride the Rails Festival, Mineral Bluff
May 20Introduction to Zentangle, Blue Ridge Mountains Art Center
May 21Sunday Suppers on The Farm, The Cook’s Farm
May 25-28No Sex Please, We’re British, Blue Ridge Community Theater
May 25Free Sleep Awareness Luncheon, Town & Country Furniture
May 26Classic Car Cruise In, Dairy Queen
May 27-2842nd Annual Spring Arts in the Park, Downtown City Park
May 27Red, Wine & Blues Festival, Cartecay Vineyards
May 27Fannin Palooza! Fannin Brewing Company
May 27Lake Blue Ridge Poker Run, Lake Blue Ridge Marina
Recurring Events
Tuesday
* Trivia Tuesdays, Fightingtown Tavern

Thursday

 
* Bingo, Kiwanis Fairgrounds
* Trivia Night! Fannin Brewing Company

* Pickin’ In Horseshoe Bend Park

Weekends
* Brewery Tours & Tastings: Thursday through Saturday’s at  Fannin Brewing CompanyGrumpy Old Men and Mercier Orchards.
* Swan Drive-inNow Playing
FOR THE FULL CALENDAR Click Here
In This Issue
Business After Hours
Cash Prize Drawing
Spring Golf Tournament Winners
Newsworthy
Ribbon Cuttings
Community Events Calendar

Chamber Events
Calendar
 
May 16 – Business After Hours at Riverstone hosted by Fannin Regional Hospital
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
May 18 – Leadership Fannin, Wrap up & Graduation, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
9:00 a.m.
May 18 – Ribbon Cutting for ServiceMaster, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce
10:00 a.m.
May 24 – Board of Directors Meeting, Fannin County Chamber of Commerce Meeting Room, Executive Committee Meeting at 11:00 a.m., Board Meeting at 12:00 p.m.
May 25 – Ambassador Lunch, La Pizzeria, 76 Forge Mill Rd, Morganton
12:00 p.m.
_____________
Member to Member Ads
 

 

 

 

 

 

The mission of the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce is to provide services to members, support existing business and promote economic development and tourism, while preserving and enhancing our community’s character, natural resources and quality of life.

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

152 Orvin Lance Drive, Blue Ridge GA 30513
706-632-5680

Fannin Commissioners plan to cut Fannin Chamber Budget – Will they kill the golden goose?

Opinion
Public Budget hearing

Fannin county Board of Commissioners made a decision to reduce the percentage of hotel/motel tax which was allocated for the Fannin County Chamber.  The reduction which will begin in 2018 will change the percentage the Chamber receives to 60% from 70%.  The plan now is for another reduction which will be made again in 2019 making it a 50% / 50% split.  During discussion Fannin County Post Commissioner Earl Johnson said he would like the money to be used for specific earmarked projects.

The Fannin Chamber has been extremely effective in tourism marketing and local merchants and taxpayers have enjoyed the benefits.  In this ever changing climate of small towns and communities vying for the tourists’ dollars we couldn’t help but wonder how will this change impact our area.  Currently Blue Ridge/Fannin County has numerous and varied methods of drawing the crowds including digital marketing, billboards, magazines, and more.

Listening to some people voice opinions on this matter in the past several months, the echoing sentiment seems to be how successful our town of Blue Ridge/Fannin has been in attracting visitors.  Our Fannin Chamber has been very instrumental and successful with putting Blue Ridge/Fannin on the map and maybe some do not realize how this happened.  Our fear and the fear of many, is the reduction in resources to our Chamber will have an impact which may not be easy to reverse.

It may seem to the current Board of Commissioners a good idea to make this reduction, thus giving them what may be considered “newfound funds” but what will be the results of this change in the long run.  It’s not too hard to realize 40% of 1 million is $50,000 less than 30% of 1.5 million, of course these are estimates but the timing seems likely for the drop in tourism to coincide with the marketing decrease which will be a forced change on our local chamber.  Not only does Fannin/Blue Ridge compete with other small towns but add the newly opened Casino and the marketing package it has put in place, along with other areas who aspire to draw similar crowds, could really put our tourism numbers at risk.

The sad news for everyone however may be the effects which could be felt for years to come.  Hopefully the Fannin County Board of Commissioners may review and research the possible outcome and perhaps even reconsider.   FYN did our own research and spoke to some people who have decades of research on tourism.  One of our contacts agreed to let us share his findings on the effects of advertising to small towns.

FYN decided to reach out to Andrew Levine, contributor to Forbes Magazine,  who wrote this article & agreed FYN could have permission to share :

Why Tourism Advertising Is More Powerful Than You Think

Is there a halo effect generated by tourism advertising?

Yes, we can survey consumers and directly see how a state or city’s advertising campaign works in influencing perceptions of a destination’s tourism product and ultimately in motivating travel.  But are there other benefits in boosting the community’s overall image with the same audience?

North Dakota is a case in point.  For the past decade, the state’s “Legendary” campaign has been a successful branding statement connecting the state to potential travelers in an emotional and authentic manner.  The most recent ROI research shows that North Dakota’s U.S. campaign generated over $100 in visitor spending for every dollar spent on advertising.

ND New

North Dakota’s “Legendary” advertising campaign kicked-off in 2005.

But here’s where it gets even more interesting.  Are the same viewers more positive to North Dakota as:

  • A place to live? Yes, up 41%.
  • A place to start a career? Yes, up 100%.
  • A place to start a business? Yes, up 75%.
  • A place to attend college? Yes, up 87%.
  • A place to purchase a second home? Yes, up 113%
  • A place to retire? Yes, up 75%.

Graph

Tourism advertising helped boost the state’s image in unexpected ways.

Longwoods asked the same six questions in assessing the impact of advertising campaigns for a number of other states, including North Carolina, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The findings couldn’t have been more consistent.  In each and every case, effective tourism advertising had the same impact, improving consumer perceptions of each state in accidental yet positive ways.  And while tourism marketing has been shown to generate significant economic impact by driving visitation, these results demonstrate the potential long-term benefits for broader economic development.

Edward Thorndike, an early educational psychologist, first coined the term “the halo effect” in a 1920 article titled “A Constant Error in Psychological Ratings.”  Thorndike asked two commanding officers to evaluate their soldiers in terms of physical qualities (neatness, voice, physique, bearing, and energy) and personal qualities (including dependability, loyalty, responsibility, selflessness, and cooperation). He found that if an officer liked one aspect of the soldier, he tended to have a positive predisposition toward everything about him.

Nearly one hundred years later, the same can now be said of tourism advertising.  We’ve known for a long time that effective tourism advertising campaigns build positive feelings toward a travel experience and inspire travel.  But thanks to Bill Siegel and the Longwoods team, we now know that the same campaigns have other benefits that elevate impressions of a destination in an unintended yet positive manner.  Bill Siegel and his firm Longwoods International have been tracking the performance of the advertising campaigns of countries, states and cities for over 25 years.

Mr. Andrew Levine’s bio:  He’s passionate about places and how communities work to attract investment, tourists and talent. For 20+ years, he’s served as President/Chief Creative Officer of Development Counsellors International (or DCI for short). DCI is the leader in marketing places having served over 450 cities, states, regions and countries. It is his belief that place marketing is fundamentally different from consumer marketing (but both practices can learn from each other). A goal in his writing and teaching is to simplify concepts and avoid buzzwords. If you have a high school education, you won’t need a dictionary for anything he’s written.

Welcome to the Chamber

Community

 

Track ShackThe Track Shack

Sweet and SouthernSweet & Southern Sugar Co. (2nd location is at the track shack)

 

 

 

Taste of amishTaste of Amish (2nd location is at the track shack)

Get off the gridGet Off the Grid Fest http://www.blueridgemountains.com/members/ID10391

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Foster

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Member Services & Communications

706-632-5680

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce 11/7 e-Newsletter

Fannin County Chamber

Dividing the Hotel/Motel Tax ‘Pot of Gold’

News

$1,405,392 is the amount of money collected in 2015 through Fannin County’s Hotel/Motel tax.  The projected collection for 2016 is $1,574,039.  The average growth per year in Hotel/Motel tax revenue is 11.83% – an increasing ‘pot of gold’ that legally must be divided between the the local government and the county organization designated to promoting tourism, which is the Chamber of Commerce in Fannin’s case.

This summer, the Board of Commissioners wanted to negotiate a new ratio for splitting up the Hotel/Motel ‘pot of gold’. According to state law, at least 40% of the Hotel/Motel tax must be spent on tourism efforts.  This leaves 60% of the revenue up for negotiation.  In 2011, Fannin received zero percent from the tax and the Chamber received 100%.  Now, in 2016, the County/Chamber split is 30% County and 70% Chamber.

The county wants to see the split be 40% County and 60% Chamber with the vision of working towards a 50/50 split.  When the topic was brought up at the Sept. 27th Board of Commissioners meeting, Chairman Bill Simonds said he would like to see the split be 50/50 because “we are wall to wall” with people in the city and “people know where Blue Ridge is.”  Post-Commissioner Earl Johnson said that he was in negotiations with the Chamber to increase the county’s portion of the revenue.

At the Chamber of Commerce meeting on Oct.19th, Jan Hackett, President of the Fannin County Chamber of Commerce announced the Chamber’s position on negotiating a change in percentages.  Quite simply, Fannin County is too late for 2017.  The contract between the county and the Chamber states that the county must give notice that it wants to change the contract six months before its renewal.  In effect, the county should have entered negotiations with the Chamber in winter, not in July.

The ‘pot of gold’ that the county gets to tap into comes without any particular strings attached for the county, unlike the Chamber which must spend all of its share on tourism promotion.  Currently, the county’s portion goes directly into the general fund.  At the Sept. 27th meeting, Post-Commissioner Johnson said he would like to earmark specific county projects for Hotel/Motel Tax revenue.  “I want to put the money into something we can all use.  We can touch and feel…we can say here is a project paid for by tourist tax.”

This spring, a couple of Fannin residents asked the Commissioners to do just that, pick a tangible project that could benefit the entire county and use Hotel/Motel revenue to do that.  During Board of Commissioners meetings and Blue Ridge City Council meetings, Fannin resident Joe Webb suggested to both to take a larger part of the ‘pot of gold’ and put it into building a library.

On the other hand, the Commissioners have also said that the Hotel/Motel tax is not the ‘free money’ it seems to be.  Increasing tourism means increasing the amount of money spent on public safety, road use and trash pickup during high tourist times.  And, there always needs to be some money in the back pocket to pay for incidental tourist expenses like the one EMA had last winter.  Hikers without proper cold-weather clothing and camping supplies got stuck seven miles out from the road in the Cohutta Wilderness and had to be rescued as their hypothermia set in.

The City of Blue Ridge also receives a portion of the Hotel/Motel tax that is generated inside the city limits.  Currently, the split is 40% city and 60% Chamber.

 

Sept. 27th Fannin BOC: Updating Fannin’s Future, Tax Negotiations, Missing County Property and Unfulfilled Requests

News

Fannin’s Future

An opportunity for everyday Fannin voters to influence the economic, environmental and community well-being for the next twenty years surfaced at the Board of Commissioners Sept 27th meeting.  The Board of Commissioners is looking for seven people to appoint to the Fannin County Comprehensive Plan Committee.  These seven will join with representatives from McCaysville and Blue Ridge to write the next version of Fannin’s Comprehensive Plan.  A comprehensive plan sets out  the twenty year goals for  economic development, housing, community facilities and services, transportation, natural and cultural resources, land use and intergovernmental coordination.  All three governments use the comprehensive plan to put together funding for projects. (click here to read the current Fannin County Comprehensive Plan)

FetchYourNews spoke to Post-Commissioner Johnson about who will be appointed to the Committee.  Johnson, speaking for himself, said that people who are interested in being on the committee can contact him.  The Board of Commissioners has not yet set up a process for vetting or appointing potential members.  There is not yet a set date of when the committee will come together except it will happen in the near future.  FetchYourNews was not able to contact Commission Chair Simonds or Post-Commissioner Sosebee before publishing this article to find out their criteria for selecting committee members.

 

Tax Negotiations

Post-Commissioner Johnson is speaking with the Fannin Chamber of Commerce about changing the County/Chamber division of the hotel/motel tax.  In 2015, the tax brought in $1,495,392.  The current division is 70% Chamber and 30% County for revenues outside Blue Ridge and 60% Chamber and 40% Blue Ridge for revenues within the city.  State law mandates that Chambers of Commerce receive at least 40% if the hotel/motel tax for “promoting, attracting, stimulating and developing tourism and conventions.” The formal contract between County and Chamber will end in 2020.

Johnson is currently speaking with the Chamber about changing the revenue division between the County and the Chamber.  He is suggesting a 50/50 split.  Johnson met with Jan Hackett, President of the Fannin Cunty Chamber of Commerce, to discuss the effect of changing the ratio.  Johnson would like to move the ratio .5% at a time to see how it affects the Chamber.

Johnson also wants to see the hotel/motel tax revenues move out of the county’s general fund into a “special projects” fund.  He wants to see the money transform into a project everyone in the county can see and use; projects people can point to and say, “This is paid for by tourist tax.” If the negotiations go well, Johnson wants to look into outlining potential projects for the increased revenue.

Simonds strongly stated that the County and Chamber should have a 50/50 split.  He believes that the approximately $750,000 the Chamber would still receive if there were a split is sufficient for the Chamber to continue promoting tourism.

 

Missing County Property

Fannin Road Department gave an update on how many signs having gone missing from around the county, 33 within the space of one month.  At $35 a piece, it means that thieves have made off with $1,155 of county property in one month.  This estimate does not cover the cost of labor to put up the signs.  The thefts are taking place all around the county.

The other piece of property that went missing was bleachers from Tom Boyd Recreation Complex.  Turns out that they were rented to Fulton County for $300.  Simonds told John Scalera, Recreation Department Director, that sending county property out of town is something we don’t do and Fulton County has enough money to buy bleachers if they want to.  Simonds also reminded Scalera that the Board of Commissioners sets fees, like rental fees, not department heads.  The County  does want to make money off the unused bleachers, by selling them.

 

‘Flesh-eater’ Revisited

In several Board of Commissioners meetings, John Drullinger, Manager of Fannin’s Animal Control Center, has spoken about a group of vicious dogs currently housed at the facility.  FetchYourNews contacted Drullinger to find out more about these dogs and the state of the facility.

The four dogs that haven’t responded to rehabilitation and Drullinger believes they are a liability to the community and to Animal Control employees who go into their space. Animal Control only has 18 kennels, with four taken up indefinitely by the group of dogs.  The facility has some overflow capacity.  As of yet, the facility has not had to house animals for a long time in the overflow areas.  Drullinger is concerned about kennel space to dogs that he feels can’t be sent into the community.  “Fannin County has grown. More people means more dogs,” said Drullinger.

Post-Commissioner Johnson agreed that existing animal control ordinances need to be reviewed.  He made a motion for the Commissioners to revisit the ordinance to see what is there and what needs to be changed.

 

Project Specifics Required of County Employees and Denied to County Voters

At the September 13th Commissioners meeting, Johnson told Fannin Fire Chief Randy Thomas that the county needed more specific information about what the Fire Department was going to do with $150,000 and why they needed it.  Johnson was referring to the renovations the Fire Department wanted to make at Fire Station #3 in Dial.

Thomas got the project statistics to Johnson. Johnson thanked him for the details.  Johnson said that $150,000 was too much for the county to spend, but the county could afford renovations between $100,000 and $120,000.

However, the Commissioners still have not responded to a similar request from Fannin citizen Joe Webb.

At Aug. 23rd, Sept. 13th and Sept. 27th meetings, Webb made an Open Records Request to the Board of Commissioners for function, size and cost for the facilities and building projects the Commissioners want the citizens to approve on the Nov. 8th SPLOST referendum.  As of yet, it has been five weeks that Webb has been waiting for his Open Records Request.  Law requires that Open Records Requests are filled within 72 hours.

Currently, the SPLOST referendum only states how much money goes towards a project, but not what the project is specifically.  One item even states 10.5% for Parking Deck/Administrative Building, without saying which one or both SPLOST will fund.  Another line gives 5% to the Recreation Department without stating any project for the Recreation Department.  1990 Opinion of the Georgia Attorney General states that “the list of projects on the referendum must be specific enough to place the voters on fair notice as to which projects the tax proceeds will be devoted.” (see related article, “Commissioners Avoid Required Transparency in Setting SPLOST”)

47% of all SPLOST revenue comes from the everyday purchases of people within the county, not from tourists. Using the County’s estimated revenue of $30,000,000, this translates into $14,100,000 coming out of the pocket of Fannin residents.

 

 

 

 

Chamber of Commerce Goes to School

Business

Chamber Board checks out the three-dimensional beating heart, one of the biology lessons on Z-Space

 

Chamber of Commerce members take an anatomy lesson on Z-Space, the virtual reality technology which Fannin County School System obtained through ESPLOST funding.  At this time, only FCMS has Z-Space.  A future goal of the school system is obtaining Z-Space for FCHS.

Fannin County Chamber of Commerce went to FCHS on Wednesday, Sept. 21st  to learn about how ESPLOST affects technology and facilities in the Fannin County School System.  ESPLOST is the 1₵ sales tax which can only go to capital outlay for the Fannin County School System.  Last year it went towards improvements like the FCHS gym.  This year, Fannin County School System will build its $3 million Agriculture and Environmental Science facility with ESPLOST money.  Fannin County School System estimates that ESPLOST  will bring $4,790,939,12 this year.

Superintendent Mark Henson credits the multi-million dollar ESPLOST fund to the Chamber of Commerce and  its great work in promoting Fannin County as a tourist destination.  The visit to FCHS allowed the Chamber to see its tourism efforts translated into tangible results for Fannin’s children.  Currently, collaboration between the School Board and the school system is enhanced though

Cynthia Panter, Executive Director of School Board.  She is also Chair of the Board of Directors for the Chamber of Commerce.

In other information from the meeting –

Wednesday, Oct. 5th is the is the annual Community Service Collaboration Conference at the Kiwanis Fairground. All community service organizations in the area will be sharing their missions, goals, programs and knowledge with each other.

Paul Gribble gave an analysis of the recent Blues and Barbeque.  He said that this year’s festival raised more money that it ever had for Snack in a Pack.

Manda Gwatney said that the Chamber is organizing a Law Enforcement Appreciation Breakfast for Fannin County State Patrol, Sheriff’s Office and municipal police officers in November.  The date is yet undecided.

 

 

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