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Duluth welcomes economic manager

DULUTH - Duluth welcomed Chris McGahee as the city's economic development manager during Monday's city council meeting.

McGahee comes to Duluth with 22 years experience at the Northeast Georgia Regional Development Center in Athens where he served as director of economic development and transportation for 12 counties and 54 cities.

Monday was McGahee's first day at work in Duluth where he will assist the city in developing a plan to attract businesses and jobs.

"I'm super excited to be here," commented McGahee during the informal work session that preceded the council meeting. "You have a vision and, unlike many cities, you have the expectation that you can accomplish it," he said.

McGahee told the council that he was impressed with the Town Green, the new City Hall and other revitalization efforts in the city.

"Revitalization is very near and dear to my heart," he said.

During the meeting, Nick Masino, vice president of economic development for the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, briefed the council on the accomplishments of Partnership Gwinnett, a countywide economic and community development initiative that includes 14 cities. Duluth has allocated $24,265 in the current city budget as its share in funding the initiative.

Duluth Planning Director Cliff Cross commented that he and McGahee will be compiling an inventory of available space that will be useful in attracting businesses to the city.

Hiring an economic development planner for the city has been a priority for Mayor Nancy Harris, who introduced McGahee at the meeting.