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Tuesday April 23rd, 2019 2:11AM

Hall County officials unveil new "strategic plan"

By Caleb Hutchins Reporter

At Thursday's Hall County Commission voting session, county officials presented a comprehensive strategic plan that they say could help guide the county for the next 20 years.

Hall County Administrator Jock Connell said the county wanted to put a strategic plan together to prepare for the growth and development its experienced over the last several years.

"The discussion started last summer," Connell said. "That growth is going to continue and it's really important that we determine what are our strategic objectives and frame those in such a way that they help the county to move forward, you know, not just in the short run but more importantly in the long run."

The plan set long-term goals for several issues facing the county, including development on the Highway 365 corridor in the north end of the county, preserving green space, encouraging affordable housing and expanding the county's road and public transit systems. Connell said, however, that the plan is not legally or procedurally binding, but will instead serve as a guide to officials and commissioners.

District Two Commissioner Billy Powell said he though the plan was a good step forward for the county.

"I've been on this board for 14 years now and this is the first time we've even attempted to have anything like this," Powell said.

District Three Commissioner Scott Gibbs agreed with Powell, saying that the plan could help the county keep coherent goals even as commissioners change over the years.

"Everything on here may not be done exactly the way it's described," Gibbs said. "Kind of look at it as a living, breathing document that will change as Hall County changes. It gives us a direction to help steer the county."

Connell said because the document is not legally binding or required by the state or federal government, the commission will not have to vote to adopt it.

Rezoning, traffic signal approved for Fieldale Farms' Thompson Bridge Road expansion

The Hall County Commission approved a rezoning request that will allow Fieldale Farms to expand it's facility on Thompson Bridge Road in Murrayville to some land just north of its building. Plans presented at the Thursday meeting show that the company wants to build a safer access road that will form a four-way intersection with Thompson Bridge Road and Hubert Stephens Road. The plans also included a proposed day-care facility that would exclusively serve Fieldale employees.

The commission also approved a request to the Georgia Department of Transportation for a flashing traffic signal at the Thompson Bridge-Hubert Stephens intersection. Hall County Public Works Director Ken Rearden said the light will not be a traditional red, yellow and green light, but will instead flash yellow towards Thompson Bridge Road and flash red towards Hubert Stephens Road and the new Fieldale Farms entrance.

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