Issuu on Google+

Sunday, March 23, 2014  |  The Newnan Times-Herald — 1D Vision 2014 What do YOU see? Coweta County is a special place to call home. After two decades of rapid growth, with Coweta among Georgia’s fastest-growing communities, an expanding population has brought with it great change, great challenges and great opportunities. For this annual special Vision section, The Newnan Times-Herald talked with local government, community leaders and residents about what makes Coweta special. They shared highlights of projects and developments completed, and what may be down the road — from new fire and police facilities, to college campuses, to the expansion of the area as a “medical mecca.” Coweta County/ Government pages 1D, 2D Industry/Business pages 1D, 3D, 4D Quality of Life pages 1D, 5D, 6D Education pages 1D, 9D, 10D Cities NEW NAN • SENOI A • GR ANTVILLE • pages 9D, 10D, 11D PA L M E T T O Public Safety Quality of Life page 12D Down on the Square Newnan’s music and art scene is thriving, thanks to revived, old-fashioned town square By BRADLEY HARTSELL eat at Fabiano’s or Redneck Gourmet but would head home immediately afterwards. Now, with live music downtown and places to stop in for a drink, Kees believes many are eager to mill about the business district after dark. “That night felt different, like a beginning, not a peak. It made me feel like if I’m home on a Saturday night, I might go to the Square to just hang out and see what’s going on. “Businesses are staying open after dark. There’s a reason to come to the Square.” Kees is also excited about Coweta County’s music scene. Between Ten East Washington, Jekyll and Hyde’s, The Alamo, The Cellar and Twilight in Newnan, and Southern Ground Social Club in Senoia, there’s plenty of opportunities for both established and budding musicians to find places to perform. On a Saturday night before playing a benefit concert at The Alamo, Doug Kees looked around Newnan’s Court Square and saw something he hadn’t seen in years: a crowd of people hanging out after dark. “It was a nice night, warmer than it’s been in awhile. I’ve been on the Square for years and thought, ‘Where are all these people coming from?’ All of a sudden, the downtown area has blossomed.” Kees, who owns Musicology in Newnan and teaches music at The Heritage School, met a friend for coffee at Leaf and Bean the next week and told him about his Saturday night surprise. Even as Kees spoke to his friend in mid-afternoon, a healthy crowd was strolling through downtown. Kees believes the increase in activity is due to the options downtown now provides, from the newly opened Meat ‘N Greet restaurant to Ace Beer Growlers. He says, in the past, many locals would MUSIC & ARTS, page 5D Coweta County/Government Improved fire protection, storm warning system By SARAH FAY CAMPBELL The past year has been a meaningful one for Coweta County. I n 2 01 3 , Cowet a ex per ienced a n improvement in its ISO rating for fire protection, installed an up-to-date early warning storm siren system, opened Brown’s Mill Battlefield historic site, and reduced impact fees to zero, spurring economic development. In 2011, Coweta’s rating from the Insurance Services Office was lowered from a 6 to a 5. A lower rating indicates better fire protection. The Coweta County Fire Department then requested a review, Fouts hoping the rating could be improved even more. In the summer of 2013, ISO lowered the rating again, to a 4, effective Sept. 1. In December, storm siren systems were installed. The 16 sirens are located in Newnan, Senoia and Haralson. The battlefield site, which Coweta purchased in 2001, opened in July 2013. The 150th anniversary of the Civil War battlefield will bring celebrations, including a reenactment of the battle, and living history presentations in downtown Newnan. Coweta saw a major change in 2013 with the retirement of long-time County Administrator Theron Gay. Gay retired in July after 20 years as county administrator Industry/Business and 40 years as a county employee. A s si st a nt Cou nt y Ad m i n i st r ator Michael Fouts was named Gay’s successor. The Business License department is now part of the Planning Department. “Plans are to continue the consolidation process with other departments. The Finance Department and human resources are moving to a new software application, as well,” Fouts said. “We are evaluating the delivery of service to the citizens and deciding what is most effective.” Fouts emphasizes the county’s focus on customer service. County employees who interact with the public will now wear name tags, and the county is developing Coweta schools hope for funding By CELIA SHORTT By BRADLEY HARTSELL HEALTH CARE, page 3D IMPROVED, page 2D Education ‘World class health care’ Bradley Down, general manager of Cargill Meat Solutions in Newnan, is serious about Coweta County becoming a medical mecca. He does more than just heap praise on local facilities, he uses them as selling points in recruiting talent to his company. “If you have a young family, you look for great a program to guide visitors around the maze-like administration building. Several departments, such as planning and zoning and the building department, are now able to accept credit cards. The Coweta County Public Library System now offers e-books. The Coweta County Board of Commissioners’ reduction of impact fees to zero also allows the county to become more business-friendly. And “I think you’ll continue to see more of that,” Fouts said. Several years ago, the county began Piedmont Newnan Hospital moved to its new facility on Poplar Road in spring 2012. The hospital is on a 100-acre campus with views of trees for patients. School Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker, right, and Human Resource Director Vince Bass show population and school enrollment information to members of the County Board of Education at a recent work session. Coweta County hopes 2014 will be the year student and employee resources are restored and not cut. “Indications are the governor’s budget for next year includes additional money for public education,” said Coweta County School Superintendent Dr. Steve Barker. “We hope this will help our students and our employees.” According to Barker, in the last four to five FUNDING, page 9D

20140323 vision 14

Related publications