| Georgia Planning Association Chapter Award Recipients |
The GPA Chapter Awards honored counties whose plans and projects exhibited innovation, transferability, quality, effectiveness of implementation, comprehensiveness, public participation, technology, equity, and collaboration. Each county received an award unique to its individual plan or planning process.
| The Great Southeast ShakeOut |
You are invited to join more than 1.5 million residents across six states who will “Drop, Cover and Hold On” at 10:18 a.m. on Oct. 18.
| Update on Hotel / Motel Tax Class Action |
The Online Travel Companies (Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, Priceline, Orbitz), according to Judge Murphy's Order, will make a lump sum payment for taxes (and 7% interest) from May 16, 2011 through November 30, 2012 into the Court registry, and then the Class Administrator will pay the lead named Plaintiff cities and counties $2,500.00 each (18 cities and counties) for their participation, attorneys' fees of one-third, and expenses, and then the remaining funds will be distributed to cities and counties on a pro rata basis. Distribution payments to cities and counties are anticipated to be made by the end of this year. Thereafter, payments will be made to cities and counties on a quarterly basis as long as the Online Travel Companies continue to use the Merchant Model of Business.
| Ask Senators to make changes to HB 811 |
House Bill 811, having passed the House by 151-5,was intended to prevent the redirection of dedicated fees for the Solid Waste Trust Fund, the Hazardous Waste Trust Fund, the Peace Officer and Prosecutors Training Fund,and Joshua's Law.
| 7th Annual GA County Excellence Awards |
Six Georgia counties – Augusta-Richmond, Camden, Cherokee, Clayton, Habersham and Gwinnett – recently were selected as Georgia County Excellence Award recipients for developing innovative programs designed to make county government more effective and efficient, improve services for county residents and enhance the quality of life in Georgia communities.
| NACo Accepting Nominations for County Courthouse Awards |
NACo is now accepting applications for the 2012 County Courthouse Awards. Established in 2001, the awards are sponsored by Siemens and recognize individual elected county officials from NACo member counties who demonstrate innovative and effective leadership to improve the quality of life of residents. Nominations are due by April 27, 2012.
| Laura Meadows Named Director of CVIOG |
University of Georgia (UGA)Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum announced the appointment of Laura Meadows as director of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government on Wednesday, February 15. The appointment takes effect immediately.
| ACCG / Georgia Humanities Council Partnership Provides County Data |
The Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Georgia Humanities Council to make the New Georgia Encyclopedia (NGE), www.georgiaencyclopedia.org, its preferred site for information about Georgia counties.
| ACCG Overview of Amended FY2012 and FY2013 State Budgets |
State legislators spent the week learning more about the Governor’s budget proposal from state agency heads who testified at committee meetings. ACCG also took an in-depth look at the FY2012 Amended Budget and the proposed FY2013 budget to determine areas that will impact local governments.
| Counties Need to Check Population Acts |
Counties need to check the populations acts to see if one or more are applicable to the county. Since a population act uses census numbers to determine which jurisdiction or jurisdictions are subject to the act’s provisions, it is critical that county attorneys examine application population acts relative to the 2010 census numbers.
| Water Supply Task Force Report |
Gov. Nathan Deal has approved the final report of the Water Supply Task Force, which outlines water supply initiatives and recommendations for the Governor’s Water Supply Program. The final report, which is available at www.GeorgiaWaterSupply.org, was approved by the WSTF this month.
| Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful Receives National Recycling Award |
Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful announces that it has received a national award from Keep America Beautiful and Nestle Pure Life for efforts to encourage local plastic bottle recycling during the Great American Cleanup, the nation's largest community improvement program.
| Whitfield County EMA Named Agency of the Year in Georgia |
After a busy year preparing and planning for disasters and then actually having to coordinate relief efforts after three major events in 2011, Whitfield County’s Emergency Management Agency has been named the state’s Agency of the Year by the Emergency Management Association of Georgia.
| ACCG Receives $15,000 Grant from the Verizon Foundation |
The Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) Civic Affairs Foundation has received a $15,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation in order to expand the Georgia Civic Awareness Program for Students (GCAPS) to an additional four Georgia counties. GCAPS was developed by ACCG staff and county officials to address the need for increased civic involvement and awareness among today’s youth.
| NACo Survey: Counties Settling into a "New Normal" |
A new National Association of Counties (NACo) survey shows that counties large and small appear to be settling into the "new normal" of revenue, staffing and service delivery levels after years of revenue losses in a U.S. economy struggling toward recovery.
| Ready Georgia Mobile App |
GEMA/Homeland Security and the Georgia Department of Public Health launched the Ready Georgia mobile app.
| Oct. 12: Celebrating Rural Georgia |
Event to celebrate our past successes, fast forward to a discussion of future opportunities and end with a facilitated discussion on the FUTURE OF RURAL GEORGIA!
| ACCG Accepting Fall & Spring Internship Applications from Counties |
The Georgia County Internship Program (GCIP) is recruiting counties to participate in the fall and spring semester program. To date, over 190 college and graduate students have interned in 50 counties. These students have assisted counties by creating and updating websites, performing GIS mapping, updating personnel guides, conducting energy audits, creating and updating record management plans, providing on-air talent, scripts, and film footage for county television stations, and much, much more.
| FivePoint Solutions |
As ACCG newest preferred partner, FivePoints provides cost effective solutions to help local governments with electronic records management, data integration, records preservation, and scanning services.
| ACCG Awards 2011 Wellness Grants |
Health promotion and wellness have proven to positively affect healthcare costs. To promote member participation in wellness activities, the ACCG – Group Health Benefits Program (GHBP) offers Health Promotion Grants to those counties and authorities who participate in ACCG’s health insurance program through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia. This year, 40 member counties will receive grants totaling $100,000.
| New Laws Go Into Effect July 1 |
State lawmakers passed many bills during the 2011 legislative session that require action on behalf of county elected officials or may impact local communities. Several significant bills will go into effect on July 1, 2011.
| 11th Circuit Overturns Magnuson Ruling on Lake Lanier Water Use |
The 11th Circuit Appeals Court released a unanimous ruling yesterday (Tuesday, June 28) that held that one of the purposes for Lake Lanier was to supply water to the metro-Atlanta region. This ruling overturns a 2009 decision by Senior U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson that ruled it was illegal for the Corps of Engineers to draw water from Lake Lanier for this purpose.
| ACCG Property & Liability Insurance Program Declares $1.75M Dividend |
The ACCG - Interlocal Risk Management Agency (IRMA) Board of Trustees, which oversees the member-owned property and liability insurance pool for the association, recently voted to return a dividend in the amount of $2 million. This marks the tenth consecutive year that the program has returned a dividend, which is intended to benefit the long-term participants of the insurance program.
| HomeSafe Offers Foreclosure Assistance |
the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is partnering with GHFA Affordable Housing, Inc. to administer a new program called HomeSafe Georgia. HomeSafe Georgia targets homeowners who have experienced a substantial decrease in income due to job loss or underemployment by providing a mortgage payment bridge while they seek new or better employment. This program is expected to assist over 18,000 people.
| CVIOG Local Government Financial Documents Website is Live |
As required by HB 122, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government recently completed development of a website giving local governments the ability to post financial documents, both adopted budgets and audited financial reports, on their website.
| Georgia Ranks 32nd in Total Amount of State and Local Taxes Paid |
A recently released report developed by the Tax Foundation, State-Local Tax Burdens Fall in 2009 as Tax Revenues Shrink Faster than Income, ranks Georgia among the lower half of states based on an analysis of several factors related to the payment of state and local taxes.
| DeKalb Co. Launches Marquel's Pledge to End Celebratory Gunfire |
Marquel’s Pledge is a community initiative to raise the awareness of the dangers of celebratory gunfire in DeKalb County and throughout Georgia. DeKalb County created the initiative after 4-year-old Marquel Peters was struck and killed in church by a stray bullet believed to have been fired by a New Year’s Eve reveler.
| NACo: Federal Budget Deficit Concerns |
The National Association of Counties’ (NACo) has sent letters to President Obama and Congressional leaders voicing deep concern that federal budget deficit reduction talks will focus too much on reductions to domestic, discretionary spending programs that will affect the American people.
| New Report Estimates Impact of Sales Tax Exemptions |
The Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts has released the Georgia Tax Expenditure Report for 2012. This report was developed by the Georgia State University Fiscal Research Center for inclusion in the Governor's Budget Report as required by Georgia Code §45-12-75.
| Designate a County Legislative Coordinator |
In order to facilitate information exchange and increase county involvement in the legislative process, ACCG has asked each county to designate a County Legislative Coordinator (CLC).
| Obtain a County Intern Today! |
The Georgia County Internship Program funds internship positions in Georgia County Government. Submit your application and one or more interns in any county department.
| ACCG Releases Analysis of Tax Council Report |
The Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians has released its final report on Friday, January 7, 2011. ACCG has developed an analysis and summary of recommendations that pertain to county revenues or that are related to an ACCG policy position.
| Local Government Risk Management Services (LGRMS) |
Local Government Risk Management Services (LGRMS) is a safety and loss control organization that ACCG Insurance Programs depend on to help create the safest possible environment for Georgia counties most valuable resource – its citizens and employees.
| Register to Participate in Program to Match Sales Tax Collection Data |
In partnership with the Department of Revenue, ACCG has initiated a new statewide program that will allow counties with business occupation tax permits to match their data against the state’s sales tax registration information. This program will help counties ensure that all businesses legally required to collect sales tax in their county are doing so and remitting the tax to the right jurisdiction.
| GEMA Releases Online Training for Interoperability Network |
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) has developed an interactive web-based training program for users of the Motobridge/Georgia Interoperability Network (GIN). This training was developed and designed with the assistance of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GRTI).
| ACCG Workers' Compensation Fund Announces $3 Million Dividend |
The Board of Trustees for the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fund recently voted to return a dividend in the amount of $3.25 million to members participating in the program. The Workers’ Compensation Insurance Fund, also known as the ACCG-Group Self-Insurance Workers’ Compensation Fund (GSIWCF), is a non-profit, member-owned workers’ compensation insurance pool designed to meet the insurance needs of Georgia county governments.
| Gas Chambers for Dog/Cat Euthanasia Outlawed |
Effective December 31, 2010, animal shelters are prohibited from using gas chambers (bottled carbon monoxide) to euthanize dogs or cats, including those that are feral and/or dangerous and may pose a threat to humans.
| New Fiscal Research Center Report Examines Water Infrastructure |
The Fiscal Research Center at Georgia State University's Andrew Young School of Policy Studies has released a new report, "An Analysis of Water Related Infrastructure Spending in Georgia," that examines the effects of past Georgia state and local government infrastrucutre investements and conservation policies on water quality and quantity and explores the necessary infrastructure investment to maintain future water quality and quantity.
| Africanized Honeybees Found in Georgia |
The Georgia Department of Agriculture has issued an alert, and counties should notify employees and volunteers to be on the lookout for these honeybees.
| GEFA Water Supply Loan |
GEFA accepting applications for loans to local governments for expanding existing reservoirs.
| FTC Red Flag Rules |
The FTC’s Red Flag Rules to protect consumers from identity theft goes into effect on January 1, 2011.
| RDC to RC Transition |
The new Regional Commission map and directory has been approved and released by the DCA Board
| ACCG Press Releases |
ACCG press releases are distributed electronically to the media, ACCG membership and other citizens of Georgia. Press releases are listed below by date.
| ACCG's Response to HTRG Credit Reduction in FY 2010 |
ACCG knows that you face a difficult task in addressing our state's $2.2 billion budget shortfall by making reductions to the current year and fiscal year 2010 budgets. I also know that many of you are very concerned about the Governor's recommendation to eliminate $429 million of the Homestead Tax Relief Grant (HTRG) credit because you know that homeowners will have to repay the amount of the credit that they received on their 2008 property tax bills.