The Ball Ground "Anetsa-/ga-Da" Garden Club is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. Anetsa-/ga-Da is "Ball Ground" in the Cherokee language.
Around one year ago, scientists began cautioning us about a new virus that had the potential to become a serious, life-disrupting pandemic. Face masks and "shelter-in-place" became hot topics. Through all the anxiety and uncertainty, one familiar experience gave us an escape: the arts.
Residents and business owners often wonder how they can become more involved in Holly Springs government.
City of Ball Ground Mayor Rick Roberts and City Council held their first meeting of 2021 on January 14. Though the meeting was in a different format, it was business as usual. This year marks the 25th consecutive year that Mayor Roberts has called a Council meeting to order. He is Ball Ground's longest serving mayor on record.
In my 2020 State of the City, I reported that Canton was strong and making great progress. A few weeks later, we began dealing with a global pandemic. However, our City Council, staff, and police department responded by going above and beyond to move Canton forward. Together, we survived a challenging year while continuing our quest to become the "Coolest Small Town in America!"
When I was considering a run for Canton City Council, I received overwhelming support. But every now and then, I'd run into what amounted to this message: Who do you think you are? You were not born here. Once or twice that message extended to include: Plus, you're a woman — an outspoken woman.
In December, requests for bids went out for the demolition of the former location of Cherokee FOCUS and the Holly Springs Public Works Department, which are located behind Cherokee County Fire Station #8, as well as Building A and the pole barn at 411 Hickory Road. These buildings are scheduled to come down to make way for residential structures in the Town Center and the future Hickory Springs Parkway. The demolition and cleanup should be finished by the end of winter.
Although 2020 brought many unexpected changes, let us not dwell on the past, but look forward to the future. Ball Ground businesses are alive and well. Come spend the day and see for yourself. Enjoy dining and shopping that you won't find in just any small town.
As a historic mill town with great parks, restaurants, shopping, and access to the Etowah River, Canton offers City officials a unique opportunity to continue to develop this area as a destination for residents and visitors to live, work, and play. Canton is experiencing immense population growth, which has led to an increased demand for housing options. This trend is expected to continue, as it has for the past two decades.
A year ago, I was enjoying the honeymoon period after my election, but little did I know there would be a global pandemic less than three months into my administration. However, with the hard work of our team at Canton City Hall and a dedicated City Council, we not only responded to the unprecedented circumstances that defined 2020 but also managed to build great momentum for our future.
The City of Holly Springs has continued to progress despite the limitations the pandemic has imposed.
As we near the end of 2020, we can finish the year on a positive note or look back with regret and disappointment. Although we've all faced many trials, it's best to take a moment to reflect on what we are thankful for rather than focus on the negative.
It is my pleasure to use my inaugural article in Canton Family Life to focus on the goodness of spirit that the people in our city possess. Ward 2, which I share the honor of representing with my good friend Shawn Tolan, encompasses some of our historic neighborhoods and our vibrant downtown. Here's a story about our little downtown, and the people who saved it.
"Who is my neighbor?" Many have asked themselves this question, but in today's volatile setting, we may be asking it with the wrong motives. Do you remember the story of the good Samaritan? It started with a lawyer asking Jesus a question about life and being reminded to "love your neighbor as yourself." Then, the lawyer asks a follow-up question: "Who is my neighbor?" Lawyers need to clarify, parse, and define with detail and precision under the law.
By Brooke Schmidt
Canton is going greener, y'all! When I ran for Canton City Council last year, I knew that one of the initiatives I wanted to help usher in was the installation of water bottle filling stations in our City buildings and parks. Making it easier for citizens to reduce their dependence on single-use plastics leads to less litter in our parks, greenspaces, trails, and waterways. Now, residents and visitors will find bottle filling stations in Canton's City Hall, and as the trails get completed, they will be added there as well as in City parks.
The word “treasure” can be used to describe something valuable, very special, or important, including a person who is greatly loved or cherished. Every city/town seems to have its treasured individuals, and anyone who wants to know more about his/her area’s history should make it a point to get to know them. Recently, Ball Ground lost three of its treasures, Dorothy (Dot) Byrd, Margaret Stancil, and Eddie Brackett.
Until the past couple of years, you probably met Dot Byrd whenever you visited Ball Ground. For 49 years, Byrd owned and operated Dot’s Restaurant in downtown Ball Ground. She could always be found either inside cooking or standing outside, sharing her stories of days gone by. She loved Ball Ground and Ball Ground loved her.
Canton is a growing city with a lot to offer those who live, work, and visit here. We have great restaurants, shopping, the Etowah River, and many city sponsored events and festivals for everyone to enjoy. As leaders of one of the fastest growing cities in north Georgia, your City Council has a profound responsibility to put measures in place that protect our small-town feel while adopting smart standards for growth that will serve Canton and its citizens for generations to come.
When I joined City Council in January, I was tasked with assisting with our city housing initiative and helping frame our City Roadmap, which is what we will use to guide Canton’s growth into the future, utilizing smart, measured, and sustainable approaches. The roadmap is due to be completed this year.
In many ways, 2020 feels like it has been the longest year ever, but in other ways, the time has flown. Much of the first two quarters was spent adjusting to the pandemic and other rapidly changing issues. Luckily, Canton is fortunate to have an agile and highly motivated team and City Council, and our work has continued.
We recently approved our 2021 Fiscal Operating Budget, maintaining a 5.40 millage rate, representing the lowest taxes since the early 1960s, and once again, the lowest of any city in Cherokee County. Even with projected shortfalls and the rebates of 2020 business license fees to local small businesses, our sound fiscal policies have prepared us for the challenges ahead.
City Hall reopened to the public on May 4 and resumed in-person public meetings in June. I’d like to thank each of you for your patience with City administrative and municipal court staff while we worked to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 not only to staff, but also to our community.
On June 15, City Council approved a change order from Georgia Development Partners, which included asphalt repairs near the railroad tracks on Hickory Road, the replacement of a broken curb and gutter, and the resurfacing of Hickory Road from Holly Springs Parkway to the railroad tracks. By the time you read this, this work should be complete as well as the top coating of the roundabout.