Dade County Commission Hears Presentation for New Fire Training Center


The August Workshop session of the Dade County Board of Commissioners began with discussion of various agenda items, including personnel status, board appointments, and capital equipment. They also address the approval of expenditures for the Dade County Fire Training Center, which will be utilized by multiple departments. The current training center does not meet NFPA standards and lacks necessary features. The new facility will benefit the citizens of Dade County by improving insurance ratings and lowering homeowner insurance rates. Additionally, all seven fire departments will be eligible to receive credit for ISO through this facility. Currently, the departments have to travel to neighboring counties to receive the required training hours. The proposed building will have different features like repelling towers, movable walls, and a roof simulator. It will benefit not only the departments but also the Drug Task Force (DTF) and their canines, as they need to train in different environments to avoid familiarity with specific rooms. The speaker also presents two separate building models, one for clean facilities and the other for burn containers, with specific features such as smoke generators and sprinkler systems. The total cost of the facility would be $434,037.

Mr. Jamie Blevins then gave a report on the work on the historical courthouse. They received three valid bids for landscaping, with the company Afix being the lowest bidder at $68,579. This bid would save the county $14,000 from their budget. Progress on the project includes ongoing framing work, scheduling an electrical rough-in meeting, and getting millwork samples done for approval. They are also planning to start on the cement sidewalk and repairing the retaining wall. The exterior drain work will be completed within a week or week and a half, followed by the landscaping work in the fall. The budget has been updated to include Afix’s bid, and they plan to have everything wrapped up by September.

Discussion then turned to the proposed millage rate for 2023 in the Dade County Commission meeting. The proposed amount is $14.5 million, which includes using $200,000 from the fund balance. If the millage rate is kept at eight mills, it would fully fund the budget. The millage rate would decrease slightly if calculated using the state’s forms. However, since the county is collecting more taxes than the previous year, it is considered a tax increase by the state of Georgia. Also mentioned is the growth in the Digest, which allows the county to collect additional funds. This proposed military would fund the FY 24 budget, even though it uses this year’s money.

The commissioners then discussed several ordinances, including an amendment to the hotel motel accommodations excise tax. The commission had been collecting the tax in their office since its implementation in 2018, and they want to update the ordinance to reflect that. They also mention that most counties collect this tax through their tax commissioners, and it is the same case here. They address some questions and concerns about the tax and its collection process.

The Regular Session began by providing updates on the electrical inspections and sports activities happening in the area, urging drivers to be cautious around utility workers and mentioning the start of the school year. Also mentioned was the progress of a storm shelter and mentions the various amenities it will have. They then move on to talk about sales tax revenue and the importance of shopping locally. Lastly, they mention the start of football season and upcoming traffic jams due to school starting.

They then move on to talk about visiting the recycling center and the progress of the animal shelter. The road department’s work orders are also mentioned, including bridge maintenance and sign replacements. They then provided an overview of the recycling efforts, mentioning the amount of cardboard and different types of plastics recycled each month. They emphasized the importance of ensuring that the recycled materials are clean and sorted correctly. They concluded this topic by mentioning that the county is not being charged for recycling services due to the quality of the materials being provided.

Members of the community presented updates, events, and news to the board of commission. Included among these are a historic property that has been selected for the National Registry of Historic Places. Various 4-H activities and events took place, including field trips, homeschooling sessions, and livestock shows. Also mentioned were upcoming events such as the Tri-State Cattlemen’s meeting and the Beekeepers Association meeting.

The meeting closed with a financial report on the county’s budget for the year. They note that there is a shortage in revenue of $95,954 compared to the budgeted amount, but there are still accounts receivable that could bring it up to 100%. They also mention that the year-to-date expenses are $19,851 over budget. The speaker clarifies that the budget for the current year is $14,500, with an increase of $1,185,000 from the previous year. They highlight the importance of the year-to-date numbers and mention that the Books will be open until September 1st for any remaining bills. A budget amendment will also be required.

Watch the full meeting here!