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Breakfast gives Georgia representatives a peek at needs
Local officials meet to discuss budget issues
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Listen as Jeremy Frydrych talks about his dive into the lake.
State representatives will act as Santa’s elves Friday and take note of local officials’ wish lists for next year’s legislative session.

The representatives for legislative districts within Hall County will meet with local council members, commissioners and school board members at Lanier Tech to see what they want to happen in the upcoming legislative session.

And what most of them want is more money.

Gainesville City Manager Bryan Shuler advised the City Council at last week’s work session to ask the delegation about a program that would reimburse cities and counties for money they are having to spend because of the drought. Shuler also told council members to ask the delegation about creating a program to reimburse public utilities departments for money they will lose as a result of state-mandated watering restrictions. Public utilities departments operate like a business, Shuler said, and selling less water could cause financial problems for those departments as the drought drags on.

"Right now it’s not so impactful, but later on it will ... have significant financial implications if we’re accustomed to selling in excess of 20 million gallons of water and we’re selling 15," Shuler said.

Oakwood officials are also going to ask the delegation for money. But Oakwood wants the money to upgrade its city park.

Oakwood City Manager Stan Brown said city officials will ask the delegation for about $25,000 in local assistance grant money to help in the next phase of the city park upgrade. The city will ask for the money to ease the financial burden of building a $60,000 to $80,000 multipurpose court for basketball and volleyball at the park.

Last year, the General Assembly granted Oakwood monies to construct rest rooms and a concessions stand at the park, Brown said.

"We were able to get a lot of things accomplished last year, and we appreciate their support," Brown said.

School officials want more money, too.

Hall County School Board members plan to ask for more funding to help them accommodate the high numbers of immigrant children in their schools. The board said that having immigrant students is more expensive for the schools, and currently, the state is failing to provide adequate funding for schools with these populations.

The Gainesville-Hall County legislative delegation will meet with the public this morning from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Eggs & Issues Breakfast at the Gainesville Civic Center. Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle will speak at the event.

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