Hall County Government is proud to have accomplished many things in 2022 through the vision and leadership of the Hall County Board of Commissioners and the coordination of Hall County staff. The following represents some of those achievements; however, it does not capture every success, including the many that were made by individual County employees.
- In early 2022, schedules and operations were adjusted to accommodate the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff kept operations at optimal levels during the virus surge in January, and seamlessly transitioned to post-pandemic operations in February.
- A complete overhaul of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system at the Hall County Government Center continued in 2022 with floors closing and departments relocating in order to accommodate construction. Board of Commissioners meetings and Planning Commission meetings were held off-site at the Gainesville Civic Center for the first month of 2022 to accommodate the work, and the Hall County Tax Commissioner’s Office adjusted its operating hours in late 2022 to further expedite the process.
- Hall County partnered with Lanier College & Career Academy to provide a hands-on learning experience for students interested in the many roles they could play in a government career. The 7-week program included presentations by various elected officials, department heads and other staff members.
- Hall County Animal Services partnered with the Humane Society of Northeast Georgia for marketing initiatives related to pet safety, including messaging about leaving pets outside in hot or cold weather, reminders of Hall County’s anti-tethering ordinance and more.
- Hall County’s first associate judge for Probate Court was added, a position necessitated by Hall County’s growing population.
- Construction began on a new $1.7 million jury assembly room, which is set to open in 2023.
- A modernized case management system was implemented.
- Hall County Courts heard and decided a record number of cases, with a strategic focus on cases that were backlogged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Hall County Accountability Courts were recognized as “model courts” by the Council of Accountability Court Judges.
- A new, customized website was launched for the Northeastern Judicial Circuit.
- The Hall County Elections Department successfully conducted midterm elections, including runoff elections in both the general election primaries and general election.
- Risk limiting audits were successfully conducted following the elections in January, November and December.
- Hall County was one of 14 counties statewide chosen to participate in an assessment of new poll pad technology.
- Redistricting was completed for unincorporated Hall County.
- Hall County Emergency Management led the effort, based on awards made by the Board of Commissioners, to distribute nearly $4 million in funding to local non-profits as part of Hall County’s disbursement of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding.
- COVID-19 numbers continued to be monitored in coordination with partners at the local, state and federal levels, allowing for Hall County to continue providing efficient service to citizens while protecting its employees.
- Hall County Financial Services completed its disbursement of funds as part of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which distributed approximately $14.1 million in rental and utility assistance to more than 3,600 applicants.
- For the 30th consecutive year, Hall County Financial Services has received the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021.
- The new Hall County Fire Rescue Warehouse opened in 2022, which serves as a central hub for Fire Rescue’s support operations.
- HCFR launched the “Your Call” initiative – a comprehensive health screening for firefighters, which places a special emphasis on cancer screening.
- Work continued on the planned Fire Station 17, which entered the design phase in 2022. The new station will be located along Holiday Road in South Hall.
- Human Resources led a comprehensive wage and compensation study, which ensures Hall County remains competitive in the hiring market and able to retain talented employees.
- Renovations were completed at Tadmore Park, which officially reopened to the public in December.
- The new Butler Park, located on Athens Street in Gainesville, opened to the public in December.
- Renovations were made at Laurel Park, including the addition of new playground equipment and a freshening-up of the dog park area.
- New fencing and signage were installed at Alberta Banks Park, along with new surfaces on the tennis courts, new lighting throughout the park and renovations to the tennis building.
- A record 827 players and coaches signed up to participate in fall sports with Hall County Parks & Leisure in 2022, up from 727 the year prior.
- Work began on a new section of the Highlands to Islands Trail near Balus Creek.
- A new monument, the “Goat Rock,” was installed along the Chicopee Section of the Highlands to Islands Trail, which pays homage to a local urban legend – the Goat Rock is said to be the place where election losers would gather to drown their sorrows.
- A new promotional video was launched for the Highlands to Islands Trail.
- New HVAC units were installed at the Mulberry Creek Community Center.
- A new small dog park was added to Cherokee Bluffs Park, along with an overall reworking of the dog park area.
- New lighting was installed at Laurel Park, River Forks Park, the Hog Mountain Sports Complex tennis courts and the Chicopee Agricultural Center arena.
- A new bridge was constructed across the creek at the Williams Mill Greenspace.
PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT
- Work on Hall County’s Unified Development Code (UDC) continued in 2022, with public input meetings held in November. A UDC combines zoning, subdivision, environmental, and other regulations into a single code that determines what kind of development happens in unincorporated Hall County, where it can be built, and how dense it is.
- Hall County Planning & Development expanded its operating hours to allow for more time to meet and work with citizens.
- Right-of-way acquisition began on Phase II of the Spout Springs Road Widening Project, which stretches from Union Circle to Thompson Mill Road.
- Right-of-way acquisition continued on the Sardis Connector Project, with 141 of 162 parcels closed.
- Design was completed on a roundabout at McEver Road and Lights Ferry Road.
- A new roundabout was installed at the intersection of Hog Mountain Road and Cash Road.
- Intake rules were adjusted at the Hall County Landfill to lengthen the useful life of the critically important facility; mobile homes, boats, shingles, bulk Styrofoam and propane tanks are no longer accepted.
- A Solid Waste Master Plan was completed for Hall County.
- The Friendship Road Sewer Extension Project contract was awarded, with construction underway.
- Law enforcement presence was increased at Hall County elementary schools with “mobile patrols,” three deputies who now focus on regular patrols at local elementary schools; these “roving SROs” serve as the quickest form of on-site assistance in an emergency situation.
- A new Intelligence and Technology Unit was launched, using a team of highly trained investigators to review electronic evidence; the team’s data analysis helped solve dozens of crimes in 2022.
- Job applications to work for the Hall County Sheriff’s Office were moved entirely online in 2022, allowing for a quicker and more efficient way for interested applicants to potentially launch their law enforcement careers.
TAX ASSESSORS OFFICE
- The Hall County Tax Assessors Office was awarded the Office of Excellence award by the Georgia Association of Assessing Officials, an award given to the top county office of Georgia’s 159 counties.
TAX COMMISSIONER’S OFFICE
- The Hall County Tax Commissioner’s Office adjusted its hours and operations to allow for expedited renovations to the HVAC system on the first floor of the Hall County Government Center, maintaining quality customer service in the midst of construction.
- In keeping with its commitment to enhance the taxpayer’s online experience, the Tax Commissioner’s Office added a new function in 2022 to their website, an online, artificial intelligence chat function that allows citizens to quickly receive answers to a wide range of questions regarding motor vehicle and property tax payments.
- The Tax Commissioner’s Office enhanced its text message offerings, including birthday reminders, auto-replies and personalized messages as another means of providing high quality, efficient service to citizens.
Again, this list represents only a few of the County’s achievements in 2022. Hall County’s elected officials and staff look forward to continuing this legacy of success in 2023.