Rabun County Alliance (RCA) has been active for 17 years in Rabun County
Following is a sampling of our key areas of focus:
2005: Founding member Charlie Brundage was made aware of significant differences in home insurance rates between Habersham and Rabun Counties. He investigated and found the primary differentiating factor was capabilities of the various fire departments. He and other RCA members advocated modest and inexpensive upgrades to FO capabilities, which resulted in better ratings for the departments and many thousands in annual savings for residents in their home insurance costs.
2010: Rabun County is an inviting target for burglaries since there are so many second homes. RCA advocated a Neighborhood Watch program and worked with the Sheriff's Department to implement a neighborhood watch program (RCA funded purchase of the signs).
2013: RCA met with County officials to discuss the County's loose compliance with Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) regulations (e.g., failure to publish an annual accounting as required, failure to describe specific projects to be undertaken, improperly transferring funds between projects, etc.).
2013: One improper SPLOST funds transfer on which RCA specifically focused was a very large transfer from the Roads project. At the time of the transfer (4 years into the 6 year SPLOST), less than 3% of the Roads budget had been spent. State regulations prevent transfers to occur from any project until that project has been completed. Following a meeting with the Commissioners to discuss the issue, all five signed a letter to RCA committing that all future Roads funds would be spent only on Roads category projects.
2015: An RCA analysis of spending of SPLOST 5, which ended in September 2013 revealed total interest expense of $785,000 for the full 6 year period. The County floated bonds to prefund SPLOST 5 projects (SPLOST revenues come in proportionately over the full period; most projects start at the outset). The County had far more unrestricted funds in the bank than the bonds raised and could have lent the money to itself at no cost. SPLOST regulations permit SPLOST projects to be funded from general revenues, with replenishment of the general funds as SPLOST funds are received. RCA pointed out this waste of money to the County and to its citizens, and a County official agreed that the funds were wasted and this should not happen again.