Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 15

Over the past three years, three new fire stations have been built in Elbert County. The county now has 12 strategically placed fire departments throughout the community. The county didn't stop with optimizing the fire department. The county now partners with neighboring Oglethorpe County, which invested in its own road paving equipment. "We're paying them to come in and do paving for us, which is a savings for us and it helps them use their equipment more," he said. "We've been able to stretch the dollars and the amount of miles we can pave." For example, seven additional employees would be needed if Elbert County wanted to do the paving in-house, and the last bid from a contractor for the work was between $115,000 and $120,000 per mile. Instead, Elbert County pays Oglethorpe County about $85,000 per mile. According to Thomas, it's a 30 to 35 percent savings. But that's not all. Last year, the county took over Bobby Brown State Park, which at 50 years old was about to be shuttered. "We stepped in and asked if we could lease it from the state, and we worked out an agreement to take over what is now Bobby Brown Park," Thomas said. The 664-acre park has 58 campsites and a new master plan is expected to include expanded walking trails, new mountain bike trails and an archery range. The county also chose to expand the months of operation for the park that under the state closed from October through March. "We've kept it open year-round," Thomas said. "And what we've found is that most of the campers like going in the fall or the springtime. So with the state closing during that time, they were missing a lot of revenue." Eight months into this first year of operating the park, the county had exceeded the revenue the state generated in 12 months, Thomas said. "We feel very good about what we've been able to do, and we've had very good success in getting people to come back to that park," he said. In fact, the park is now a centerpiece in the county's effort to emphasize its recreational opportunities. "We're moving into the tourism arena fairly quickly," Thomas said. While challenges remain, community leaders are optimistic about the future, Lyon said. ■ Noble Sprayberry is a freelance writer from Walker County. He is a regular contributor to Georgia County Government magazine. He can be reached at noble@sprayberry.com. All Photo Credits: Harry Hayes PARTNERING with local governments to grow communities. gardening 4-H youth nutrition agriculture families County residents now have access to 664 acres of recreational land and 58 campsites since the county purchased Bobby Brown Park from the state. Other amenities include walking and biking trails and an archery range. CONNECT WITH US: 1800.ASK.UGA1 extension.uga.edu 803860_UGA.indd 1 SUMMER 2016 www.accg.org 04/05/16 15 10:17 pm http://extension.uga.edu http://extension.uga.edu http://www.accg.org/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - Summer 2016

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
Cover Story: Growth and Opportunity in Elbert County
Georgia Counties Get Results in ACCG’s Policy Areas
Insights from Georgia’s Congressman Lynn Westmoreland
Making Strides for Healthy Communities
Preparing for the Zika Virus in Georgia
Georgia Public Libraries Shine
Counties Emerge into the Digital Age
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - cover1
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - cover2
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 3
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 4
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 5
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 6
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 7
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - President’s Message
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - Director’s Desk
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - Cover Story: Growth and Opportunity in Elbert County
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 11
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 12
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 13
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 14
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 15
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - Georgia Counties Get Results in ACCG’s Policy Areas
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 17
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 18
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 19
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - Insights from Georgia’s Congressman Lynn Westmoreland
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 21
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - Making Strides for Healthy Communities
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 23
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 24
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 25
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - Preparing for the Zika Virus in Georgia
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 27
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - Georgia Public Libraries Shine
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 29
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 30
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 31
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - Counties Emerge into the Digital Age
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 33
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 34
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 35
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - 36
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - News & Notes
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - Index of Advertisers
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - cover3
Georgia County Government - Summer 2016 - cover4
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