This is how Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons summarized his state of the city address to the city council and about 30 residents who braved the weather last week to hear the annual address at the Douglasville Conference Center.
The mayor chose to focus on several major topics, which he said “speak to the identifications I have made about the community we call home.”
Among the topics he discussed were economic development, community life and infrastructure.
In regard to economic development, Persons said that during a special called New Year’s Eve meeting of the city council, it passed an ordinance “which would facilitate the growth of the motion picture industry in Douglasville.”
“This action is just one of many initiatives in recent months that the city’s downtown development authority successfully completed regarding the film industry,” he said. “I look forward to being a part of some major announcements in the coming weeks and months.”
The mayor said last year marked the culmination of a number of economic development projects initiated in recent years which have resulted in a capital investment of $210 million and could ultimately generate 900 new jobs. Among the new companies locating in the city were Gordon Foods and McMaster-Carr, he said. Regarding infrastructure, Persons focused on water, sewer and transportation.
Persons said he and Douglas County Commission Chairman Tom Worthan have served on the Douglasville-Douglas County Water and Sewer Authority for five years and viewed the authority as having done a great job “in not only providing water and sewer services but also handled stormwater management.”
“Unlike some communities, we have not had to shut off new development because of a lack of water or sewer capacity,” Persons said, adding he was proud to be part of such a record of cooperation. The mayor also touched on transportation where he looked at five local highway projects, the most important being the Ga. Hwy. 92 realignment and relocation.
Persons said the recent announcement from District 13 U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Jonesboro, and the Georgia Department of Transportation that the project would start this year, “was wonderful news.”
He said an important aspect of making Douglasville a premier place is having a viable community life.
“Douglasville has a sense of identity in its downtown area and its neighborhoods in the events both the city and county hold during the year involving holidays and special occasions,” Persons said.
He also identified eight ingredients of the Douglasville community which have been woven into the fabric of the city’s positive community life.
They are public events, housing, a plan for the future, community attractiveness, historical preservation, regional shopping, including Arbor Place Mall, the faith-based community and the Douglasville government access channel, CITI-TV.