Georgia County Government - January/February 2013 - (Page 19)

Special Feature Eighth Annual Georgia County Excellence Awards: An Unorthodox View of Georgia’s Varying Landscapes F By Schuyler Harding rom the bustling metropolis that is Atlanta to the coastal, mountainous and rural lands that comprise the vast remainder of the state, Georgia’s 159 counties each have something uniquely distinct to offer its citizens and travelers. Each year, the Georgia County Excellence Awards honors Georgia counties within six categories for their efforts to maximize community resources, adopt and implement innovative approaches to county services or improve upon existing constituent and employee services. Now in its eighth year, the Georgia County Excellence Awards program serves as a mechanism for the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG) and Georgia Trend magazine to recognize counties that are taking action for the betterment of their communities. “The Georgia County Excellence Awards are a great way for counties to engage in the exchange of ideas,” said ACCG Executive Director Ross King. “It is always important for counties to come up with improved ways to serve their constituents and what better way to do so than to look and see what actions one’s peers are taking.” The Eighth Annual Georgia County Excellence Awards received a total of 44 award applications from 25 counties including two regional commissions and two consolidated governments. Applicants submitted award entries in the categories of community planning/visioning; organizational efficiency/operations; health and human services; public safety; financial management; and infrastructure/ transportation/water management. In addition to being honored for their contributions to their own communities, each winning county’s program/initiative was recognized for its ability to be adopted by other counties. This year’s award winners help illustrate Georgia’s varying physical, cultural and economic landscapes that contribute to the diversity and beauty of this great state. Fulton County Community Planning/Visioning Fulton Industrial Boulevard Redevelopment Initiative When one thinks of Fulton County, they think of its abundance of opportunities. Fulton County is the economic center of Georgia and is home to many large corporations. Capitalizing on its reputation as an economic powerhouse and realizing that the Fulton Industrial Boulevard Corridor could be resuscitated and potentially attract more businesses, the Fulton County Government embarked on the Fulton Industrial Boulevard Redevelopment Initiative. Located in south Fulton County, the Fulton Industrial Boulevard Corridor is one of the largest contiguous industrial parks in the eastern United States comprising more than 4,500 acres of industrial and commercial property and more than 45 million square feet of industrial space. The creation of this initiative was a response to the decline of the corridor beginning in the 1980s, due to functional obsolescence, disinvestment and crime. The Fulton County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution in March 2006 that created the Fulton Industrial Boulevard Redevelopment Area. Once the county adopted the resolution, it assembled a diverse and previously unassociated business and citizen advisory committee. This committee worked together for a span of two years to draft the Fulton Industrial Boulevard Redevelopment Framework (Framework). The framework is the foundation for the long-term redevelopment of the corridor and includes a comprehensive assessment of: land use; transportation; economic growth; physical form and character; environment; housing; public participation; health and human services; and public safety. This was seen as innovative as it reached beyond the traditional planning elements of land-use and transportation. Fulton County Government was able to successfully implement the Fulton Industrial Boulevard Redevelopment Initiative in March 2006 and, since then, has experienced many successes. Some of the successes include the Fulton County Board of Commission establishing a government service center on the Fulton Industrial Boulevard, relocating several county departments to that particular area; the South Fulton County EXCELLENCE AWARDS continued on page 20 SPRING 2013 19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - January/February 2013

President's Message
Director's Desk
Chatham County: Cultivating Opportunities to Grow Investments
2013 ACCG Annual Conference Preview
Eight Annual Georgia County Excellence Awards
County Government : Emergency Management Agencies: Prepared Today for Tomorrow's Disaster
Federal Update: The Fiscal Cliff: What's in the Final Deal and When's the Next One Coming?
Counties & the Law: Avoiding First Amendment Liability in the Employee Discipline
System for Taxing Motor Vehicles to Change March 1
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - January/February 2013