Camp New Dawn Work Day and Open House, June 1

Time to spruce up the facilities and welcome folks to stop by and say hello before camp starts up in a few weeks.  Work day and Open House will be June 1, 2019 at 9 a.m. to early afternoon at Camp New Dawn, 245 S. Cedar Lane, Chickamauga, GA.  Everyone is welcome to come by to help out and get to know camp staff and activities. Check out for camp schedule.

Free Fishing Days Coming in June

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has announced two free fishing days coming up in June.

On Saturday, June 1st and again a week later on Saturday, June 8th, you can fish for free across Georgia.

The first week of June has been designated as National Fishing and Boating Week and the DNR believes that offering free fishing opportunities on the two Saturday will provide a great opportunity for families to connect, relive a little stress and promote conservation activities across Georgia’s waterways.

“There are no bad days spent boating and fishing,” said Matt Thomas, chief of the Fisheries Management Section in a press release. “Teaching a child to fish, or taking an outing to a nearby waterway can help build a conservation ethic, while also introducing an exciting activity you both can enjoy for life.”

National Fishing and Boating Week began in 1979.

Tough Budget Issues for Chattooga BOE

Chattooga County Acting School Superintendent Jared Hosmer spent a good bit of time talking finances with the Chattooga Board of Education on Monday evening at the board’s May meeting.

The estimated revenue for the county school system fiscal year 2020 budget is $28.5 million dollars and the estimated revenue is $27.6 million, creating a shortfall that will have to be addressed by the Board of Education.

Hosmer told the board that about $450,000 has already been cut out of the operating budget of the system, and there is about $900,000 more that is needed for next year’s budget.  Mr. Hosmer said that there are “hard conversations that would have to be had.”  There is $1.6 million in “committed fund balance” and Hosmer warned the board if that money is not spent on projects that are already earmarked, those projects might never be completed.

Hosmer said, “If you don’t do those things while you have the money committed, they just don’t seem to get done. If you move that money, we may not ever be at a point again to where that money goes back and is available to do those projects that need to be finished….when you take the money you had set aside and put it somewhere else you may never be able to get it back.”

The acting school superintendent told the board that there are basically two options: cutting expenses or raising revenue.  Hosmer said that property values increasing may help the revenue side, but the only place to cut current expenses that he can identify would be in salaries.

No New Georgia Drivers Services Office in Armuchee

Area residents basically have two choices if they need to visit a Georgia Drivers Services office – either the one near the State Patrol Post or the office in Rock Spring.  The one in Armuchee is small, cramped and outdated, and local legislators had hoped to get bonds approved to remodel the Floyd Count-owned building and build another modern building adjacent to the current one.  Those plans all came to an end this month when Governor Brian Kemp vetoed the legislation that would have provided the funds.

State Representative Eddie Lumsden (R-Armuchee), a former Georgia State Trooper, said that the decision by Governor Kemp came as a surprise to him.  Lumsden told the Rome News Tribune, “I was a bit surprised” at the veto.

Lumsden said there were discussions about the aging facility when he served on the Floyd County Commission from 2007 to 2011 – and before that, when State Senator Chuck Hufstetler chaired the Floyd County Commission.  Lumsdens told the Rome paper that there have been upgrades to the building over the years, but he still see a need for a new facility.

The addition of ten CDL testing areas to the office has made the already small space, even more cramped.  The plan was to build a $1.2 million facility, but those plans will have to wait.

Rep. Lumsden said that he will focus on the initiative in the next legislative session.

Tax Office Schedule Released

Chattooga County Tax Commissioner Joy Hampton has released an office schedule for the Chattooga County Tax Office while they transition to the new “Georgia Drives” system.

Hampton says that if  your birthday is in May or June- come in today or Wednesday before her office starts the conversion to the new system.  Hampton says, “Our current system will start shutting down Thursday and we won’t be up and running again full force until Tuesday after Memorial Day.”

Here are the operating hours for our office during the next few days:

Tuesday May 21- 8:30-5:00
Wednesday May 22- 8:30-5:00
Thursday May 23- 8:30-3:00 (property tax only after that)
Friday May 24– 9:00-3:00 (property tax only)
Monday May 27 (Memorial Day)- 10:00-2:00 (First day with new Motor Vehicle system/property tax)
Tuesday May 28 and after, regular business hours 8:30-5:00.

After the Memorial Day conversion, here are some of the coming changes according to the tax commissioner:

  • Conditional titles offered for vehicles 1962 and older
  • New web services for citizens: pay insurance fines, cancel registration and more online. If you need to cancel a tag or put it on hold, you can do this in person in the office or use the web services portal – the tax office won’t be able to do this by phone.

LaFayette Swimming Pool Opens May 25th







Friends of Sloppy Floyd Meeting

The Friends of Sloppy Floyd State Park’s meeting this month will be May 30, 6:30 PM, at the Chattooga County Library. The guest speaker will be Dianne Stone who is a K-9 Handler with Search and Rescue Dogs of Georgia.

More Charges Filed Against Benjamin Nelson

A Cobb County man who fled from arrest last month during a multi-state crimes against children investigation is facing additional felony charges.  That chase started in Floyd County and entered Chattooga County, before ending in Walker County.

Forty-two-year-old Benjamin Nelson of Marietta has been charged with felony aggravated assault and felony attempt to flee law enforcement. Nelson fled from officers trying to stop him near U.S. 27 North and Stonebridge Drive in Floyd County.

Georgia State Troopers and Chattooga County Deputies joined in the chase to capture Nelson on April 30th.  Spike strips were deployed in Chattooga County that damaged the tires of the SUV that Nelson was driving, but the suspect continued northbound on Highway 27 until he finally wrecked on the bypass in LaFayette.

Nelson also faces 13 traffic-related misdemeanors related to the chase.