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The Local Agenda: Board to honor outgoing chairman, commissioner
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Thursday’s Hall County Board of Commissioners meeting will be the last one for Chairman Tom Oliver and District 4 Commissioner Ashley Bell.

Both men, who lost re-election bids, are scheduled to be honored at a reception from 4-6 p.m. Thursday in the HR Training Room at the Hall County Government Center, 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

Former Hall County Sheriff Dick Mecum replaces Oliver, and Jeff Stowe succeeds Bell on Jan. 1.

Oliver, a poultry and cattle farmer, has served as chairman for about eight years, beginning in 2005. He started his second four-year term in January 2009, the county’s website said. Bell won election to the board in 2008, becoming the county’s youngest-ever commissioner and one of the youngest in the state of Georgia. Bell, an attorney and partner at law firm Bell & Washington LLP, is a Hall County native.

The board meeting starts at 6 p.m. Thursday and also features an official ribbon cutting for the new center, where meetings have been held since early November.

Lake Lanier caucus to hold public hearings Saturday

The Lake Lanier Legislative Caucus will hold two public hearings this Saturday in Northeast Georgia.

The caucus was formed earlier this year after three children died in accidents on the lake this summer.

The morning hearing will be held in Gainesville and is scheduled to run from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Gainesville Civic Center Ballroom at 830 Green St. The caucus will hold the second meeting from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Buford City Hall, 2300 Buford Highway.

State Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford, will likely be chairwoman of the hearings.

The public meetings are an opportunity for local residents to express concerns and ask questions before the state legislative session starts in January. Some issues that may come up include boating safety training and “safety” cards, lake law enforcement, water levels and raising the age required for wearing life jackets while the vessel is moving to anyone younger than 13. Currently that age is set at younger than 10.

Development authority to award industrial project pact

The Gainesville and Hall County Development Authority has scheduled a special meeting at 8 a.m. Wednesday at the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, 230 E.E. Butler Parkway NW, Gainesville, to consider several agenda items.

The authority is expected to consider selling excess property in Centennial Industrial Park and consider awarding the construction contract for Phase 2A of the Gateway Industrial Centre project. The phase consists of infrastructure for the industrial park, including roads, water and sewer lines. The economic development organization could also pass a resolution to issue a $5 million promissory note for IMS Gear Georgia Inc.’s expansion in Gainesville.

Surprise City Council meeting announced

The Gainesville City Council on Monday called an unexpected council meeting for Thursday. The one item on the agenda is a proposed ordinance on the use of the city’s rights-of-ways.

The council will begin its work session immediately after the meeting at 3 p.m. in the city manager’s conference room, 300 Henry Ward Way, Gainesville.

Council members will discuss several issues in the work session, including amending the lease agreement for the Georgia Mountains Center, an ordinance pertaining to loitering and a fiscal year 2012 comprehensive annual financial report.

Sarah Mueller covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her::


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