“Hiram is no longer the little city by the tracks,” Devey said during the annual Paulding Chamber of Commerce “State of the Cities” event last week at the Paulding Senior Center.
Devey said Hiram had 520 businesses within its 3.5-mile radius.
The mayor said the city had 78 new businesses open between September 2011 and September 2012, creating 566 new jobs.
“We’re not done growing,” she said.
With a new mayor, a new city manager and new city attorney, Devey said the city has turned a new leaf.
“It’s the city that went to sleep one night and woke up brand new,” said Devey, who was elected in March.
Austin’s sentiments on growth in Dallas closely mirrored Devey’s thoughts on Hiram.
“We were once criticized in this county for not reacting to the growth enough,” Austin said.
Austin said the city now is focusing on downtown development in addition to economic growth.
“We need to enhance the downtown area,” Austin said. “It’s what draws people in.”
Part of this enhancement includes a new park, Elizabeth McKoon Memorial Park, at the intersection of Henry Holland Drive and Hardee Street.
Austin said the city is exploring the option of building a bridge from the park to Chattahoochee Technical College on Ga. Hwy. 61 to connect the college to the downtown area.
Another area the mayor hopes to grow is the western side of town.
Austin said the city’s expansion of its sewer system to the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport off U.S. Hwy. 278 will help grow this area.
“This opens up the west side of Dallas to future development,” said the mayor.
Austin, who has been the mayor of Dallas for 17 years, said the city could not have grown as it has without the public servants who work for the city.
“The most important thing to me and to the city of Dallas is our continuity,” he said. “The things we’ve done couldn’t be accomplished without a great council.”