published Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Walker County looks to its future


by Andrew Pantazi

A dozen Walker County residents and consultants gathered at the Walker County Civic Center on Tuesday night to discuss how the county and its cities will move into the future.

Every 10 years, the county is required to update its 20-year plan with a vision statement and priorities.

The 20-year plan doesn't deal with many specifics, making the plan more like a football team's game plan than a playbook.

To update the plan, the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission set up a public meeting for Tuesday and Thursday to find out how the public wants to move forward.

Glenn Evans, who moved to the county four years ago from Atlanta, said that if the county wants to bring in more businesses, it has to look at changing its no-pour alcohol restriction.

If You Go

  • What: Walker County vision forum
  • Where: Walker County Civic Center, Rock Spring, Ga.
  • When: Thursday, 4 to 7 p.m.

The county economic development director, Larry Brooks, said that the only way to draw in restaurant chains is to allow them to serve alcohol.

On another issue, Brooks said the county probably will include healthy living as a goal so that if any grants came up to fund more bicycle trails, the county could show that they fit in its plan.

"That's what government is," he said. "It's supporting the desires of the people."

Evans also recommended that the county emphasize roads, sewers and fiber optics.

"You can't ever go wrong when spending on infrastructure," he said.

Don Coleman, of LaFayette, Ga., said that before the county could focus on how to develop, it needed to define itself. Development for a county defined as a retirement community is different than for a county defined as a tourist spot, he said.

"We need to decide who we want economic development for," he said.

about Andrew Pantazi...

Andrew Pantazi is an intern at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who says that when he was 7 he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: play hockey for the Colorado Avalanche. Unfortunately, he says he wasn't any good at hockey, so he became a journalist instead. He writes about the lives we hide, like the man who suffered a stroke but smiled, or the football walk-on who endured 5 ...

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