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Posted on: December 29, 2015

Hall County celebrates significant accomplishments in 2015

Hall County Government is proud to have accomplished many things in 2015 through the leadership of the Hall County Board of Commissioners and the coordination of Hall County staff. The following represents a sample of those achievements; however, it does not capture every success, including the many that were made by individual County departments and employees.

Accomplishments during 2015:
- The General Fund millage rate, which is the property tax rate that supports daily operations, was rolled back again from 5.989 mills to 5.735 mills.
- Hall County was issued a clean opinion by its auditors. In addition, $1.3 million was added to the County’s fund balance in 2015.
- Moody’s Investors Service upgraded Hall County’s general obligation bond rating from Aa3 to Aa2, citing “the county’s strengthened reserve position following several years of operating surpluses, driven by conservative budgeting management.”
- Hall County’s newest park, Cherokee Bluffs, opened to the public in November. The first phase of construction at the park included the development of trails, pavilions, a 2,500-square-foot community building and a 300-400 seat amphitheater. The access drive and associated parking were also included in phase one of the project.
- The Hall County Government Family Health Center, an on-site pharmacy and clinic, opened its doors, providing employees with greater access to health care and reducing healthcare costs to the County overall.
- In 2015, the Hall County Government Family Health Center has provided its members with a savings of $257,390 and has saved $326,689 to Hall County’s health plan, totaling a gross savings of well over half a million dollars.
- 3CMA, the City-County Communications and Marketing Association, presented Hall County with the Silver Circle Award for their logo design project which was completed last year.
- Hall County Government’s Resource Recovery program was named Outstanding Government Recycling Leader in the state for 2015 by the Georgia Recycling Coalition.
- Hall County Government’s Human Resources Department has been recognized as a state leader in government human resource programs. The department was awarded the Large Agency Achievement Award at the Georgia Local Government Personnel Association’s (GLGPA) fall conference.
- Sixteen people graduated from Hall County Drug Court in July 2015, the largest number of graduates since the accountability court program’s inception.
- New playground equipment was installed at East Hall Park and Cool Springs Park.
- The Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) received the Most Fit Company Award from the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. The Sheriff’s Office was the recipient of the award in the large company category (251+ employees).
- The Hall County Animal Shelter unveiled a new logo and slogan, “No Animal Left Behind,” which capitalize on the shelter’s legacy of giving all stray animals a temporary home regardless of age, breed or medical needs.
- A mobile app for Hall County Government’s website was launched to provide citizens with access to County information and services at their fingertips.
- The Hall County Board of Commissioners voted to approve the purchase of a new marine rescue boat for Hall County Fire Services. The 23-foot vessel is larger than the fire department’s previous boat, allowing first responders better clearance for life-saving efforts. It also is expected to have a significantly longer life span and will cost less to maintain.
- Seventeen men were the first to graduate from Hall County’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program, making history for Hall County and marking a major milestone in their individual roads to recovery. The RSAT program provides participants in the County’s Re-entry Accountability Court Transition (REACT) Program with intensive substance abuse treatment.
- For the second year in a row, Special Olympics Georgia hosted their Fall Games in Hall County, utilizing several Hall County parks and facilities and with the help of a number of Hall County Government volunteers.
- A “Born Learning Trail” was installed at Laurel Park in partnership with United Way of Hall County to provide additional educational activity opportunities to children and their caregivers.
- The Hall County Board of Commissioners amended the Hall County Civil Service System to replace the Hall County Civil Service Board with an Administrative Hearing Officer, making hearings less costly to operate and alleviating the problem of trying to gather a quorum of members together to hear a case.
- Hall County Fire Services hosted firefighters from across the country in August as they competed in the Scott’s Firefighter Combat Challenge event.
- Hall County Fire Services raised more money than any other fire department in the state during the annual “Give Burns the Boot” fundraiser, benefitting the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation. Hall County Fire Services raised $61,539.60 during the annual campaign, which has been in existence since 1990 and involves more than 100 Georgia fire departments.
- An internal rebranding effort was completed in order to identify several organizational values to serve as a tool for guiding the organization into the future. These values are being fully integrated into the fabric of employees’ everyday decision making and service to citizens.
- A new tax kiosk was located inside the North Hall Community Center on Nopone Road, allowing taxpayers the opportunity to print motor vehicle registrations and decals without venturing to the Hall County Government Center. It also allows citizens the availability to complete motor vehicle registration transactions outside of the normal business hours of the Hall County Tax Commissioner’s Office.
- Three representatives from Hall County Government were honored at the First Annual Masters of Safety Awards Ceremony & Forum at Featherbone Communiversity. Hall County Board of Commissioners Chairman Richard V. Mecum, Hall County 911 Director Gail Lane and Battalion Chief Al Lovingood with Hall County Fire Services were among the eight individuals recognized for their commitment to safety initiatives and protocols, which build community trust.
- Two members of Hall County Fire Services were recognized during the American Red Cross Northeast Georgia Chapter’s Heroes Breakfast. Hall County Firefighter Colton Stroud was recognized with the Emergency Response Hero Award for his lifesaving efforts during a jet-ski accident while off duty. Meanwhile, Hall County Fire Lt. Chuck Jarrard was presented with the Community Hero Award for his quick response to a training incident last year.
- Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Hall County Solicitor General Stephanie Woodard to the Criminal Justice Reform Council.
- Amber Sowers, Chief Assistant Solicitor-General for Hall County, was named "Assistant Solicitor-General of the Year for 2015" on May 6 during the 2015 Georgia Association of Solicitors-General (GASG) conference hosted by the Prosecuting Attorneys' Council of Georgia (PAC).
- Hall County Board of Commissioners Chairman Richard Mecum was named as the 2015-2016 Chairman of the Public Safety and the Courts Policy Committee for ACCG, Georgia’s county association during the 2015 ACCG Annual Conference.


Again, these represent only a few of the County’s achievements in 2015. Hall County’s elected officials and staff look forward to continuing this legacy of success in 2016 as they remain dedicated to serving the needs of all Hall County citizens.

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