Damages from last week’s tropical storm?
Follow link for a form for Georgia citizens to self report damages to their homes, businesses, and public facilities.
This information can be used by GEMA in order to visualize and summarize damage assessments as they are collected by the public.
The information submitted through this form still needs to be verified by local, state, and federal emergency management officials before determining whether damage caused by a natural or man-made disaster exceeds State or Federal declaration thresholds.
Pickens County Government does hereby announce that the millage rate will be set at a meeting to be held at the Commissioner’s Meeting Room located at 1266 East Church Street on August 17, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. and pursuant to the requirements of O.C.G.A. 48-5-32, does hereby publish the following presentation of the current year’s tax digest and levy, along with the history of the tax digest and levy for the past five years.
Georgia Department of Agriculture
Animal Protection Inspection Reports
on the Pickens County Animal Shelter
The next Pickens County Joint Comprehensive Plan stakeholders meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 17 at 6:30 PM in the Pickens room (basement) of the Pickens County Administration Building, 1266 E. Church St, Jasper. All are welcome.
During the August 22 meeting, the approximately 30 attendees discussed community Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT analysis).
The topic mentioned most often was water & sewer. Discussion included:
- Challenge of community growth (and whether or not to promote future growth) when there may be limited water & sewer capacity and infrastructure.
- Need for planning for ongoing maintenance of existing lines and upgrades to older lines (including consideration of funding mechanisms for upgrades).
- Question of whether or not sewer expansion is desired.
- Planning for water interconnectivity is a positive for the community and region.
- Challenge of limited water sources in the county and limited reserves.
SWOT analysis topics included Economic Development; Housing; Natural and Cultural Resources; Community Facilities & Services; Land Use; and Intergovernmental Coordination. Discussion included:
- Too many retail & service jobs – not enough quality jobs (manufacturing, etc.)
- Need more types of businesses and diversified businesses within certain types (more restaurants, retail, services)
- Challenge of not have enough available local workers – Pickens unemployment percentage is low… lower than GA and lower than the Northwest Georgia region
- Pickens is not retaining enough of its high school grads to work in the county
- There is a community desire for the area to be low-density, favor more large-lot residential
- Lack of adequate high-speed / broadband coverage / WiFi / etc.
- Existing plans may not be implemented well enough
- Not enough recreation – both active (ballfields) and passive (greenspace and low-intense trails)
- Perception that it may be difficult to do business in the community
- Perception that it may be difficult to do business if your restaurant or retail establishment includes alcohol sales and out service/pouring
- There is a community desire for taxes to be as low as possible. Challenge is that low taxes limit funding for community improvements. However, there may not be a significant desire for large taxpayer funded community projects.
- Nonprofits, including churches, community thrift store, Good Samaritan, North Georgia Pregnancy Center, so many others do a great job in the community.
- Hwy 515 and Hwy 53, as well as the railroad, were mentioned as positive for the community.
- Not much discussion of the downtowns in the cities. In previous meetings and survey results, downtown Jasper and Talking Rock had been mentioned as positive for the community, and that there could be improvements – downtown Jasper in particular.
- Some participants stated that the community is a great place to be and they are grateful to be here and try not to take it for granted.
- Community assets/resources include the school system; airport; hospital; technical college; Chamber; public safety
- County school system has great resources, student scores, and teachers – however, may not get publicized often enough or in the right places for all to recognize. Also perception challenge that sometimes the smaller county school system is compared to larger suburban school districts. Also perception challenge of comparing experiences in schools from other states to the county school system.
- Proximity to ATL and its northern suburbs has positives and negatives – good to be relatively close to jobs, restaurants, and shopping in nearby counties. Challenge that dollars are being spent outside the county.
- Housing discussion had variety of viewpoints. Some discussion that higher density apartments could have negative community impacts. Some discussion that it is good to have options of home prices so that young families, retirees, and persons in various life situations can afford to live in the community.
- Land use discussion that it is difficult to rezone property, whether in a city or county, from low density residential to either higher density residential, commercial, or industrial.
- Beautiful creeks, streams, and mountains in the community contribute to quality of life.
- Intergovernmental discussion had variety of viewpoints. Some discussion that there is some productive communication. Some discussion that intergovernmental coordination could be improved.
Since some of the August 22 meeting comments were related to the survey results as well as demographics, educational, and economic data, as a reminder please see attached for the presentation that was given by Northwest Georgia Regional Commission planner Ethan Calhoun during the June 20 meeting.
During the June 20 meeting, topics of discussion included:
– Water & sewer infrastructure
– Parks & recreation
– Downtown planning
– Arts & cultural activities
If you would like to read portions of the current comprehensive plan, adopted in 2008 and revised in 2013, please go to https://pickenscountyga.gov/about/
The draft plan must be ready by March 2018. The draft will then need to be recommended for approval by NWGRC and the State Department of Community Affairs. The final plan needs to be approved by all local jurisdictions on or before June 30, 2018.
Twelve North Georgians receive post-EXPOSURE RABIES treatment
Two puppies and a kitten test positive for rabies
Dalton (GA) – North Georgia Health District officials announced today that twelve people are currently receiving post-exposure rabies treatment due to contact with domestic animals that have now tested positive for the disease.
Within the past two weeks, two puppies and a kitten have been confirmed by the Georgia Public Health Laboratory as having rabies. All three pets were too young to receive rabies vaccinations. One of the puppies was in Whitfield County and the other was in Gilmer County. The kitten was in Cherokee County. In each case, the pet was attacked by a rabid wild animal and bitten in the head, but it was not reported to veterinarians or health authorities until rabies symptoms developed in the pet.
The time between being bitten by the wild animal and onset of rabies symptoms was very short because the head bites were close to the brain. The rabies virus only travels through the nervous system to the brain, not through blood or other organs. The closer a bite is from the brain, the shorter time it takes to reach the brain.
Wild animals that transmitted rabies to the puppies and kitten were a skunk, a raccoon and, possibly, a coyote.
The fact that these unrelated cases occurred in separate areas of the North Georgia Health District within the past two weeks is a coincidence, and even more coincidental is that all pets involved were too young to vaccinate. Pets must be at least three months old to be vaccinated against rabies.
Parents are strongly cautioned to keep children away from wild animals, strays and unvaccinated pets that may have been in contact with wild animals. Vaccinate all dogs and cats at three months of age and no later.
Wild carnivores are the animals most likely to spread rabies to pets and humans, including raccoons, skunks, foxes, bobcats, and coyotes. It is also not uncommon for persons to acquire rabies from bats. Any bite or other physical contact with a bat or any of these wild carnivores should be evaluated by a medical professional for rabies exposure. Even finding a bat in a bedroom where a person has been sleeping is cause for alarm and should be reported. Human deaths from rabies in the United States are rare, but because rabies is almost always fatal once symptoms begin to develop in a human, the only prevention is anti-rabies treatments given as soon as possible after exposure to rabies. If given in time, the treatments are 100 percent effective in preventing rabies. Only a small minority of wild animals carry and transmit rabies, so indiscriminate killing of them is not warranted. If these types of wild animals or domestic animals seem to be behaving strangely or displaying symptoms suggestive of a neurological illness, contact a veterinarian and the county Environmental Health office at once.
Livestock animals are also susceptible to rabies but can be vaccinated by a veterinarian. Rabies vaccinations are strongly recommended for show livestock and any livestock with which humans have regular contact such as riding horses.
Contact the local Environmental Health Office for questions about rabies or to report an incident that may involve rabies. Contact information for Environmental Health offices in the North Georgia Health District is available at www.nghd.org. Questions and reports may also be directed to the North Georgia Health District Environmental Health office in Dalton, Georgia by calling (706) 529-5757, extension 1161.
Find additional information on CDC’s website at https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/index.html.
As of May 18th, 2017, Pickens County Water Board Authority and the Board of Commissioners approved to raise the minimum per 1000 gallons by $1.00. The rate table below indicates the rate changes. These new water rates will reflect on the water bills due on July 15th, 2017.
WATER RATES & METER FEES EFFECTIVE JUNE 30TH, 2017
¾ inch meter… $36.00 Minimum per thousand up to 1,000 gallons
1 inch meter… $51.00 Minimum per thousand up to 1,000 gallons
2 inch meter… $66.00 Minimum per thousand up to 1,000 gallons
3 inch meter… $76.00 Minimum per thousand up to 1,000 gallons
4 inch meter… $81.00 Minimum per thousand up to 1,000 gallons
6 inch meter… $111.00 Minimum per thousand up to 1,000 gallons
FH meter…. $36.00 Minimum per thousand up to 1,000 gallons
…$4.25 per thousand above 1,000 gallons
This rate increase has been approved by the Pickens County Water Board Authority and Board of Commissioners to subsidize the cost of needed infrastructure and equipment upgrades.
ON-LINE BILL PAY IS NOW AVAILABLE.
Notification from Pickens County Water and Sewer Authority
Pickens County at Non-Drought Response Level on September 7, 2017
The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is easing outdoor water use restrictions in 55 counties including Pickens County, but reminds Georgians that state law requires some statewide outdoor watering limits year-round. Georgians must still follow the non-drought outdoor water use schedule required in the Water Stewardship Act of 2010. This law allows all types of outdoor water use, but landscape watering only before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. daily. This is done to limit evaporation during the warmest part of the day.
More water conservation information is available at http://epd.georgia.gov/water-conservation
Pickens County Annual Financial Report With Independent Auditors Report for 2016
Audit Summary Presentation 2016 during Commissioners’ Meeting on June 15, 2017
No bids at this time.