Whitfield County commissioners expected to vote on farm winery law Monday, discuss employee retention

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Oct. 6—The Whitfield County Board of Commissioners meets Monday at 6 p.m. in the Wink Theatre at 115 W. Crawford St. Commissioners are expected to vote on a law that would allow the operation of farm wineries in Whitfield County.

Farm wineries — which both make and sell wines and grow the fruits and berries used to make the wines — are common in Fannin, Gilmer and Pickens counties. And one local businessman is looking to start the first farm winery in Whitfield County.

Commissioners will also hold the first reading of an ordinance that would require people applying for an alcohol beverage license be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident and a resident of Whitfield County for at least 30 days. The requirement to be a resident of Whitfield County can be waived if the applicant appoints someone who is a resident to be responsible for any matters related to the license.

"We have had people who are not residents (of Whitfield County) applying for licenses," said board Chairman Jevin Jensen. "Right now, they can do that. That just seems like so much liability (for the county) if there are issues with the license holder. We want to be able to find somebody if there is an issue."

Residents of Dalton and other cities in Whitfield County are able to apply for county alcohol licenses.

Commissioners are also scheduled to vote on:

—A $188,852 contract with Clean Heating and Air of Dalton to identity and remove mold and other environmental hazards from fire stations one through six.

—Approve a $98,700 contract with Clean Heating and Air to install new heating and air conditioning systems in fire stations one through six. The new systems will have enhanced filtration and ultraviolet light to remove and destroy airborne pathogens from the air.

Both contracts will be funded from the county's federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Commissioners are also expected to discuss employee retention and hiring.

"We need to retain people, and we need to be able to attract people," said Jensen. "When we have someone leave and we expect to have 100 applications to fill that position and we get two, something has to be done."

The meeting is open to the public and will be streamed on the county's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/WhitfieldCountyGA.

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