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The Local Agenda: Gainesville City Council to hear housing update
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Gainesville City Council members are scheduled to hear a housing update at their Thursday work session.

Staff in the department of the Community Development Department have been conducting a housing survey of Gainesville properties, noting the outward conditions of structures in the city. Housing issues in some areas of Gainesville includes vacant houses not being maintained, a high number of single-family homes serving multiple families and inadequate housing for the homeless.

“Obviously, we know there are pockets of deterioration all throughout the city, but until we get the results of that housing survey, we won’t really know the overall condition and where all those pockets are,” Housing Division Manager Chris Davis said in January.

Davis and other city staff held a housing summit in February, designed to connect agencies and resources, and a community housing festival in June, which was held to help residents learn about agencies and resources.

Those events and the housing survey are part of Gainesville’s participation in the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing program, which helps communities create and launch plans to meet local housing neighborhood revitalization needs.

Hall commission schedule changes

The Hall County Board of Commissioners will meet at 3 p.m. Aug. 8 instead of the usual 6 p.m.

And a work session that was scheduled for 3 p.m. Aug. 19 has moved to Aug. 20. The time stays the same.

The location of the these meetings still will be the Hall County Government Center, located at 2875 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville.

The meeting changes were due to scheduling conflicts, according to a county news release.

County awards construction bid to build two fire stations in Hall

Commissioners awarded a bid to build two fire stations in Hall County to Charles Black Construction instead of the staff’s recommendation of Kevin Price General Contractors. Charles Black’s bid price was about $2,685,160, while the Kevin Price bid was $2,883,660.

County staff said they were recommending Price because the company rated the highest when all criteria was looked at. However, some commissioners said the county has used the Charles Black company before with success and wanted to save money by going with the lower bid price.

The county intends to use special purpose local option sales taxes to construct the fire stations, one new and one relocated. The planned station locations will be at Mount Vernon and Shirley roads and Will Wallace and Ledan roads.

The commission in June approved increasing the millage of the fire fund by 0.75 mills to fund new firefighters and equipment for 2014. One mill equals $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value.

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