Home Depot visits West Fannin

West Fannin Elem

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On Friday, Jan. 12, five Home Depot associates came to help our second-graders build wooden calendars. The Home Depot employees brought all the students their own orange Home Depot smocks. The students were so excited when each of them received a smock with their name on it. Once they put their smocks on, they went to work on our cafeteria floor building their calendars. Each student was given a kit that contained instructions, the wooden pieces, nails, and stickers for the dates and months. Our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Engineering and Design Loop teaches our students to Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, and Improve. By using this philosophy, students were able to rise above the occasion. If they did not succeed the first time, they took the calendar apart until they figured out how to put it together correctly. It took over an hour.  However, after a lot of hammering, each student had a calendar that made he/she proud. Thank you, Home Depot, for giving these second-graders the opportunity for hands on learning that embodies our West Fannin STEM initiative.   A special thank you to these Home Depot associates who were wonderful with the students and staff: Becky Coleman, Bryan Urguhart, Nicole Marcus, Pattie Shearouse, and Lisa Cohn.

Public Workshop For 2018 Proposed Budget


BLUE RIDGE, GA – In what is being heralded as the first of its kind in the county, Fannin County Board of Commissioners held an all day budget workshop on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, in preparation for the 2018 budget.

The workshop was scheduled from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. and was open to the public. Department Heads from each department came in to discuss their area’s proposed budget.

Commissioners scrutinized each line item while the department’s representatives were present. They questioned what each department planned to do with the money that they were asking for.

Most departments stayed right in line with the previous year’s budget having small increases or decreases to account for different needs in staffing or cost of goods to operate. All offices saw a slight raise in their salary budget as an overall 2% raise was given to government employees.

Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia, Board of Commissioners, Stan Helton, Earl Johnson, Larry Joe Sosebee, 2018 Budget, workshop, Zach Ratcliff, Roads Department, Ken Petty

Commissioners discuss proposed budgets.

A few departments requested significant increases, but most were explained away with the need for additional personnel. Building Maintenance Supervisor Ken Petty was one of those who faced heavy scrutiny as his budget request was broken down and analysed.

County Chairman Stan Helton questioned Petty, “You have maintenance repair of the old courthouse building. Are you anticipating something there? 2017 there’s nothing in there, but you have requested it for 2018.”

Post Two Commissioner Larry Joe Sosebee further questioned Petty, “We got a request here for $2,000-$3,000 for maintenance and repair on vehicle. You got a new vehicle, what do you anticipate tearing up on it?”

To both of these questions Petty replied, “We just put it in there in case there is something.”
Petty’s budget request was approximately $748,000, showing over a 17% increase from last year’s request of $620,000.

Helton concluded with, “Go through and look at these items…if we can’t justify with something we have a known expenditure coming, then we are going to have to look at reducing that.”

On the opposite end of the budget spectrum, some departments made dramatic cuts, with the largest cut going to the Roads Department by Public Works Director Zach Ratcliff.

Ratcliff proposed approximately $300,000 in cuts to his department. These cuts came mainly from fuel purchases, tire allowance, and payroll. This $300,000 decrease comes on top of an 11% decrease in the department’s budget last year.

Helton remarked, “You were able to cut the tire budget way down. That’s on track to be about 1/4 of what you’ve spent out there before.”

Ratcliff confirmed that he was able to decrease the tire budget from $50,000 to roughly $8,000.

Another significant decrease came in salaries, as the Roads Department has reduced the number of employees from 54 to 39. Helton pointed out that we still have “50% more employees than surrounding counties.”

Post One Commissioner Earl Johnson stated that looking at the Road Department’s budget shows that what the county is doing is working. He said, “I’m proud of what we are doing with your budget. I’m glad to hear these amounts are coming down the way they have.”

This workshop gave insight into the county’s 2018 budget,but the Commissioners will meet and continue to amend the budget proposals. The final budget will be discussed and approved at a regularly scheduled meeting later this year.


Natalie Kissel


Apple Processing Workshop


The Fannin County School System Young Farmer Association held an apple processing workshop on August 22 at the Blue Ridge Cannery. The class started at 5:30pm and 15 were in attendance. The class processed apples, which were donated by Payne’s Apple Orchard, into applesauce. Each participant got to take home 2 cans of applesauce and a can of apple juice. The class was hands on and the participants were instructed on the entire process. Instruction on home canning was also addressed. Barbara Davenport and Rhonda Mathews taught the class.

FCHS Young Farmer Association PRESENTS: How to Process Apples into Applesauce-Workshop

Community, Rebel's Corner

Fannin County School System

Young Farmer Association


How to Process Apples into

Applesauce Workshop

Other information will also be presented and questions will be answered concerning home canning and the use of the Blue Ridge Cannery.

August 22, 2017


Blue Ridge Cannery

811 Summit Street

Please RSVP to 706-632-2013

Everyone is welcome to attend the workshop

**Take home a can of Applesauce**

Fannin County Board of Education Workshop December 6th 2016


Work Session 12/6/2016 – 8:00 AM

2290 East First Street Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513

Phone:706-632-3771 Fax:706-632-7583


Superintendent   Mark Henson
Board Chair
 Bobby Bearden
Board Vice Chair
 Terry Bramlett
Board Member   Lewis DeWeese
Board Member   Sandra Mercier
Board Member   Steve Stanley
Meeting Agenda
  • 1. School Happenings
  • 2. School Governance Team Update
  • 3. Annual Board Self Assessment
  • 4. Review Agenda


Fannin Gets High Scores on Writing Exams

Featured Stories, Rebel's Corner

During the Fannin County Board of Education’s December meeting, Director of Curriculum and School Improvement Karen Walton announced that the district has received the results of the graduation test writing exams for the junior class. (more…)



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