ELLIJAY, GA – While locals flocked out across the county to view the eclipse, the city itself seemed to slow to a crawl as the sky darkened.
Indeed the downtown streets were all but bare. Though citizens were crowding the River Street Tavern’s porch and other places, the roads were silent of traffic in the minutes leading up to the eclipse’s peak.
While most of those traveling continued further North, East Ellijay, and the County as a whole, did notice an uptick in traffic in the days prior to the eclipse and again Monday night as sightseers traveled home again.
While the Georgia Department of Transportation reported massive congestion on the roadways, much of that cleared before 1:00 p.m.
Still, locals such as the Burtons found friends to join with as they found their way onto Yukon to set up specially to see the event. Others moved to higher ground such as the area behind Wal-Mart and on top of the hill in the city cemetery.
Thankfully, another good report comes from Tony Pritchett, Director of Public Safety, who stated, “We are very pleased to say that Gilmer County as a whole, did not have any events relating to the eclipse other than heavy south bound traffic at the end of the event and into the late evening hours. We are very fortunate that this turned out to be a non impacting event on our public safety resources.”
While Gilmer moves past the eclipse, county officials all agree that they are thankful for a relatively quiet day.
The Ellijay Downtown Development Authority (DDA) held its meeting yesterday afternoon. Offering the Treasurer’s report, Jeff Riblet stated the Downtown Development Authority’s account ended the year with $5,305. The DDA is planning to move forward into the new year looking to further their City Development Plans with several currently undisclosed opportunities.
The Ellijay DDA also officially approved the slate of officers nominated in their December Meeting. These new officers officially took their places with this vote. Jim Stover took position as Chairman, Brad Simmons took position as Vice Chair, and Jeff Riblet maintained his position as Treasurer. The motion was put forth by Kent Sanford, the Vice Chair of the DDA. This is one of the final actions by Sanford as he and Al Fuller are set to rotate off of the Board as their terms are ending.
The first action after the restructure came as a presentation by Paige Green of the Gilmer Chamber. The Downtown Development Authority has agreed to host a Business After Hours event for the Chamber in June. Currently, they plan to hold this event on June 16 on the Boardwalk from 4:30 to 6:30.