Posted: Monday, March 11th 2013 at 6:21pm
HCC considers bids for new fire stations
By Jerry Gunn Staff
GAINESVILLE - Hall County Commissioner Scott Gibbs said Monday he expects a vote at Thursday’s meeting to authorize bidding for construction of two new fire stations in Districts Two and Three and have them ready for operation early next year.
Gibbs said those new stations are needed to lower fire protection ratings, which went from a Class (4) to a Class (9) on homes in his district last year.
“I found out in July of last year that several sub-divisions in my district were moving from a Class (4) to a Class (9) fire protection rating which caused their insurance to more than quadruple in some instances,” Gibbs said. “This should get them back to a Class (4) and we are fast tracking it.”
Gibbs also expects the Commission to authorize bidding on a new fire truck, which requires a year’s delivery. Gibbs proposed allowing homeowners to pay for water line and fire hydrant installation with payment on their tax bills.
“You can live right next door to a fire station but if you don’t have municipal water you still pay a Class (9) fire rating,” Gibbs said. “You have to have a fire hydrant available for hook-up within 1,000 feet of your house. This would allow the opportunity to run water lines in older neighborhoods that are on wells in my district. They would have to pay for it and it would come on their tax bill.”
Gibbs said it would give homeowners an option of getting into a Class (4) rating rather than a Class (9).
NEW ANTI-THEFT PAWN RULES
Commissioners split on their support of new anti-theft rules for county pawn shop and precious metals dealers. Those new regulations require using an electronic reporting system that can be accessed by law officers statewide and requires dealers to photograph and finger print customers.
Hall County Sheriff's Lieutenant Kenny Neece said the system has not had a negative effect in other cities and counties including Gainesville, which adopted it last November.
Chairman Dick Mecum, a former Hall County sheriff, supported the regulations but Commissioner Craig Lutz said they would burden stores and customers.
EMAIL INSTEAD OF 'SNAIL MAIL' TAX BILL?
The Commission reviewed a low bid for printing and mail out of annual assessment notices but Commissioner Scott Gibbs said in the future he would rather email them and save time and money. Gibbs said right now state law requires the county to mail the notices and it would be up to the legislature to change that.
"We're spending between $100,000 and $120,000 a year to print tax bills and tax assessments," Gibbs said."For every one of those you're probably looking at 60 or 70 Cents."
Gibbs added that he wants property holders to be able to sign up and receive an email and not a printed copy of tax and assessment notices.
© Copyright 2013 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.