2015 Annual Report
Hart County Property Owners Association
Having survived the contentious and contested 2014 education SPLOST campaign, the HCPOA Executive Board was able to direct their attention in 2015 toward a number of other pressing issues of importance to our members.
At our January membership meeting, two officials from the Hart County Water and Sewer Authority provided an overview of the progress being made on expanding access to county water. In addition, Garry Hamilton, our President, explained the reason why a new entry entitled “County EMS” appeared on our property tax bills. The March meeting featured Ms. Sandy Campbell from the Corps of Engineers who updated our members on major projects underway in the Savannah River basin. In April, David Seagraves, Facilities Director of the Hart County School System unveiled a “first look” at progress on the new high school construction program
The speaker at our May meeting was a familiar face...Chief Hart County Appraiser, Wayne Patrick. Mr. Patrick explained the benefits of the new, improved lake property assessment model, how the model was derived, and the important differences between mass appraisals and individual appraisals.
Our speaker in June was Northern Judicial District Attorney Parks White who presented a program on personal home security. His talk was filled with important tips on how to protect your home and family from burglary, home invasion, and fire. In July, as a follow on to our June topic, Sheriff Mike Cleveland gave us an encouraging overview of his Department’s success in reducing criminal activities in Hart County.
One of the most encouraging events of 2015 was the announcement that St. Mary’s Hospital in Athens, Georgia had taken over operation of the financially troubled Ty Cobb Hospital in Lavonia. To find out more details about this important development, Jeff English, Interim President of the newly named St. Mary’s Sacred Heart Hospital in Lavonia accepted our invitation to address the August membership meeting. Mr. English stated that a prominent goal of the new operating team was to earn our trust and inspire employee pride in the facility. In particular, he noted that our community needs will dictate what services his hospital will provide.
Our September meeting was dedicated to an HCPOA review of Hart County School System financial practices including the excessive accumulation of reserve funds, revenue requirements vs. actual expenses, and failure to reduce the millage rate enough to avoid a property tax increase.
The guest speaker for our October meeting was HerbBurnham, Executive Director of the Lake Hartwell Association (LHA). He noted that the lake is the primary catalyst responsible for making nearby communities the fastest growing in the area. His discussion included the status of the Intelligent River program, Phase 2 of the Corps comprehensive study examining drought response, and lake drawdowns contingency plans in response to El Nino.
In November, at our final meeting of the year, David Seagraves returned to update our membership on the status of the $22M construction project that is underway on the Hart County High School campus. Mr. Seagrave’s briefing was very detailed and included a slide presentation plus numerous photographs and copies of the building plans. Although the project is still in a relatively early stage, Mr. Seagraves is optimistic that the cost and schedule projections will be met. Student occupancy is expected beginning with the fall semester of 2017.
Finally, your Board members also attended numerous meetings of the Hart County School Board, Hart County Commission, Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations as needed. In addition, Board members responded to numerous questions and requests for assistance from individual HCPOA members on a variety of subjects.
In summary, 2015 was a busy, interesting, and productive year for HCPOA members and the Executive Board. Thank you for your support. We look forward to serving you and your families again in 2016.