GAINESVILLE – The senior member of the Hall County Board of Commissioners announced Thursday evening that he will seek a fifth term.
Billy Powell has represented District 2 for nearly sixteen years. He says he still has some things he hopes to accomplish while a commissioner, but singled out one particular project he hopes to see begin: the Sardis Connector linking Dawsonville Highway (SR53) with Thompson Bridge Road (SR60).
“One major project planned for the near future is the Sardis Connector,” Powell said during the commission meeting, “which I would thoroughly enjoy seeing ground-breaking for that project before I leave office.”
“One of the first public meetings I went to before I ran for election was talking about the importance of transportation projects around the county, and everyone that was in the audience voted on the project that they thought was most important,” Powell said after the commission meeting.
“The Sardis Connector was the most important at that meeting, and that was before 2005.”
The long-awaited project appears to be on the threshold of becoming a reality as land acquisition is about to begin.
Powell said he thinks the mix of skills each member brings to the commission is what has made the board successful. “We’re all business people and we bring our collective thoughts together and jointly make a decision.”
Powell’s background includes a degree in Industrial Engineering and more than 2 decades of project management experience; currently Powell works with a local company that specializes in commercial real estate.
Powell’s familiarity with real estate leads him to agree with statements that land acquisition for the Sardis Connector could be a lengthy process, with one county official saying two years is a likely scenario. “Judging by how long the Spouts Springs right-of-way has taken, I would agree with him. Sometimes you just have to take it slow and easy.”
“All the decisions are not always easy,” Powell said looking back over his tenure on the commission, including the economic recession a decade ago and the need to drastically slash the county budget. “But you’re elected to make those decisions.”
Powell’s name will appear on the May 19th ballot for the general primary. (Currently no other Republicans have announced an intention to seek the District 2 seat.) He will then be on the ballot November 3rd for the general election along with the candidate chosen to represent the Democratic Party. (No one has been named as of this writing.)