Loganville mayor delivers state of the city address

LOGANVILLE -- Mayor Ray Nunley delivered his annual state of the city address Thursday night to a nearly full house at City Hall.

The mayor recognized the fact that the economy is "still in turmoil" this year and that cities can expect more budget cuts at the state level.

On a more positive note, Nunley said that one of the best decisions the city made this past year was to establish the Business Advisory Council, a volunteer task force assembled to help steer Loganville into a healthy economic future. He also listed the new fire station, Destination Park and improvements to Gaither Park as just a few of the proud accomplishments last year.

"Loganville is currently in good shape and moving forward," Nunley said.

Sidewalk program getting started

City Manager Bill Jones said Thursday that the Pedestrian Access Improvement project is set to kick off, now that the city can enter into a contractual agreement with Williams and Associates. The contract amount, $61,800, will get the project through the bid process and construction oversight.

Four areas will get these sidewalk improvements: a section of Ga. Highway 20 in Loganville; Tommy Lee Fuller Road; Baker Carter Road and Ga. Highway 10 (U.S. Highway 78).

Business Advisory Council outlines plan for growth

The Business Advisory Council is a volunteer task force established last year and headed up by Stacy Jones, chief development officer at Walton Regional Medical Center. Jones presented the task force's initial findings, based on months of meetings and information sharing among city and county business leaders.

According to Jones, the council found that Loganville is positioned to quickly become the leading city in Walton County. Schools are growing quickly, and the city's infrastructure is in good shape for growth. Jones cautioned city leaders against limiting growth to one central corridor, and she also noted that the family-friendly atmosphere in Loganville could be lost if businesses such as tattoo parlors and liquor stores are too numerous.

Jones also said that Loganville needs a "Main Street," a street or area that will serve as a community center and gathering place.

Nunley thanked Jones for her hard work, announcing that she has agreed to serve on the Business Advisory Council for another year.

Online bill payment

Councilman Mark Kiddoo announced Thursday that residents can start paying their utility bills online beginning next month. The project designed to facilitate online bill payment was estimated to take about 4 weeks to complete, but Jones and his staff completed the project in only one week.