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The Local Agenda: Commissioners set stage for busy new year
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Some Hall County Board of Commissioners decisions from last’s week meeting:

North Hall County residents will have to wait until at least late January to hear the fate of the zoning application by Riverbrook Village Development Partners LLC.

The commissioners approved a request by company executives to table the application until the board’s Jan. 24 meeting at last Thursday’s meeting. The company is asking to rezone about 83 acres near the intersection of Thompson Bridge and Price roads to a mixed use of commercial and residential development.

The landowners want to build a large apartment complex, but the idea drew considerable opposition from nearby residents.

The planning commission’s OK last month came with several conditions, including a 200-apartment-unit limit, an amenities package starting with the first phase of development and a ban on income-assisted tenants.

Planning Commissioner Bo Brooks, the lone nay vote, said he was concerned about the amount of density and that the plan was too aggressive.

Commissioners also decided to modify a request for proposal/request for qualifications regarding an energy project.

The county is looking for an energy services company that can provide comprehensive energy and water management and capital improvement services for all county buildings.

Many Hall County officials gave presentations and honors at the meeting. The county dedicated the new Hall County Government Center that opened earlier this year with a ribbon cutting and a plaque that listed the members of the board and top administration staff.

The move into the building consolidated 13 county departments, County Administrator Randy Knighton said.

Two departing members — board Chairman Tom Oliver and Commissioner Ashley Bell — were honored with praise and kind words from county staff and other board members.

Gainesville City Council hears audit presentation

The Gainesville City Council received an audit presentation for fiscal year 2012 that ended June 30 in its work session last week.

The city took in about $24 million in its general fund, compared with about $23 million in 2011, about a $1 million increase.

Fines, fees and forfeiture collections were down 21 percent and charges for services down 4 percent.

The audit presentation also shows that the property taxes and local option sales taxes accounted for 20 percent each of the city’s general fund, while the franchise tax represented 16 percent.

Police funding made up 32 percent of general fund expenditures, fire was 24
percent and public works was 17 percent.

The audit was done by Rushton & Co.

Government offices to close for Christmas, New Year's holidays

City of Gainesville offices will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 for the Christmas holiday. They will also be closed Jan. 1 for the New Year’s holiday.

Hall County’s administrative offices, courts and community centers will be closed Dec. 24 and Dec. 25, as well as Jan. 1. The landfill will be closed beginning at noon on Christmas Eve and will be closed all day on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Compactor sites will be closed Christmas Day only.

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