By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hall, Gainesville on way to renewing fees to support libraries
Growth would help supplement library system budget
Mark Pettitt
Mark Pettitt, chairman of the Hall County Library System Board of Trustees

In other business

Hall County will soon implement a pilot program to track government vehicles via GPS in hopes of reducing fuel costs, fraud and liability.

A contract with MotionLink will be approved Thursday, and the tracking technology will be installed on 57 vehicles at a cost of about $13,000.

The county will then pay about $13,700 over 12 months in software fees.

Vehicles across several departments, such as public works and road crews, will be equipped with the technology, but no public safety vehicles will be involved in the pilot program.

The technology can track mileage, routes and speed, alerting supervisors to any problems.

County officials said it could also be useful in managing storm response among clean-up crews.

Officials said they would like to find a way to interface the tracking software with new payroll services to better account for employee work hours.

The pilot program will last one year and officials said they would then review the costs and benefits.

“We’ve been working on this for quite some time,” said Public Works Director Ken Rearden. “We believe there is some cost savings.”

Hall County will renew its portion of an agreement with Gainesville this week to collect impact fees on new developments to help supplement the library system’s budget.

Gainesville collects impact fees for public safety and recreational services as additional needs result from new growth.

For the 2014 fiscal year, Gainesville collected more than $935,000 in impact fees.

But the county did not re-sign a contract with the city in 2009, which allowed Gainesville to collect the fees on new construction within its boundaries to help local libraries purchase books and other materials.

“Similar to SPLOST, impact fees can only be used to purchase materials,” said Mark Pettitt, chairman of the library Board of Trustees. “We plan to shore up our collection by being less dependent on SPLOST, which provides us more leeway in using SPLOST money for the downtown (branch) renovation.”

Assistant County Administrator Marty Nix said Hall County, Flowery Branch, Lula and Clermont are the only local governments that currently collect these impact fees for the library.

According to Hall County code, “when a land development activity for which an application for a building permit has been made includes two or more buildings, structures or other land uses in any combination, including two or more uses within a building or structure, the total development impact fee shall be the sum of the fees for each and every building, structure or use, including each and every use within a building or structure.”

Talk of renewing the agreement emerged at the behest of library officials in the spring, with then-City Manager Kip Padgett telling The Times that Gainesville was willing to go along.

City officials said Tuesday they foresee no problem in renewing their portion of the agreement once the county signs off on Thursday.

“Growth should pay for growth (in services),” said Councilman George Wangemann.

In other business

Hall County will soon implement a pilot program to track government vehicles via GPS in hopes of reducing fuel costs, fraud and liability.

A contract with MotionLink will be approved Thursday, and the tracking technology will be installed on 57 vehicles at a cost of about $13,000.

The county will then pay about $13,700 over 12 months in software fees.

Vehicles across several departments, such as public works and road crews, will be equipped with the technology, but no public safety vehicles will be involved in the pilot program.

The technology can track mileage, routes and speed, alerting supervisors to any problems.

County officials said it could also be useful in managing storm response among clean-up crews.

Officials said they would like to find a way to interface the tracking software with new payroll services to better account for employee work hours.

The pilot program will last one year and officials said they would then review the costs and benefits.

“We’ve been working on this for quite some time,” said Public Works Director Ken Rearden. “We believe there is some cost savings.”

Regional events