EAST ELLIJAY, Ga. – The Northwest Georgia Regional Commission (NWGRC) is continuing its work alongside the Gilmer County Board of Commissioners as the official meeting for stakeholders was held this week to consider and add to the Comprehensive Plan.
The continuing effort from last year’s discussions over the plan are now reaching out to the farmers, business owners, developers, and all citizens as ‘stakeholders’ in the plan’s development.
The meeting had posters and layouts of the county printed and mounted to tables and walls including the results from the county’s recent survey. Attendees were encouraged with pens and markers to raise and address issues and questions on these posters for the authorities to consider in the continuing process to construct more than “just a document to be approved and put in the drawer,” as it has been called by Gilmer Post Commissioner Dallas Miller.
The NWGRC’s representative and Assistant Planning Director, Ethan Calhoun was on hand as well to speak with citizens and inform them on the area through the available statistics and documents.
Moving forward, the NWGRC and Gilmer BOC will consolidate this and other meetings as the move towards the final adoption of the 5-year Comprehensive Plan later this year. The document is to be used as a guide for county as to the needs and wants of the public for projects in the county.
Additionally, Calhoun told FYN that the plan is more than just a county guide, but a necessary step for acquiring grants and other state funding for those projects.
ELLIJAY, Ga. – With 2,091 people responding, the recent Gilmer County survey, put out by the Board of Commissioners for the comprehensive plan, is seeing the tallied results available for the public.
Though the results have already been mentioned in commissioner meetings in June and July, the official results were released by Post 2 Commissioner Karleen Ferguson, who is spearheading the revamped work on the plan after the board decided in late 2018 and early 2019 to change the way they look at, utilize, and prepare the overall Comprehensive Plan.
The survey presented citizens, part-time residents, and Gilmer workers with questions concerning the county’s future including topics on growth, recreation, and agriculture.
While the majority, 64 percent, of responses came from the adults age 31 – 65, another large chunk, 24 percent, came from ages 65 and older, leaving only 12 percent for age groups under 30.
As the county continues to move on the growth, many of those who responded are hoping to see more commercial retail and dining options within the county while the vast majority, 72.2 percent, want that growth to extend into additional workforce housing.
Recreation was a little less clear cut with every outdoor option scoring over 40 percent support. Additionally, internet access for business and recreation is still seeing 43 percent either without access or with inadequate access.
Most of our community is in agreement on the topic of Agriculture as 83.4 percent want to protect agricultural land as the community grows. A subpoint of one of the questions also saw a far greater number of citizens wanting the agritourism such as wineries and similar farms available across the county in both commercial and agricultural areas as opposed to the much smaller group wanting it restricted to commercial areas.
Be sure to see the full results offered by the county as well.