As I prepare this message and look back on the past year and ahead to 2013, there is certainly a lot of continued progress to report from Forsyth County government.
2012 was an exciting year in terms of the county’s parks and recreation offerings. In February, we opened two new recreation centers – one each at Fowler Park and Old Atlanta Park. Each of the new 40,000-square foot centers includes two basketball gymnasiums, an indoor walking track, cardio/weight membership room, and a community room. These new recreation centers were made possible by the Parks, Recreation and Green Space Bond approved by voters in 2008. In June, the county opened four new green space, passive use parks – Caney Creek Preserve, Chattahoochee Pointe, Haw Creek Park and Old Atlanta Park. Together, these new parks total approximately 282 acres and include walking trails, a dog park, a canoe launch, playgrounds and more. These new parks were funded by the Parks, Recreation and Green Space Bond, the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) program, and Impact Fees.
Throughout the past year, Forsyth County continued its commitment to providing outstanding public safety services. In July, the county put two new pieces of firefighting apparatus – a new engine and a new SPLOST-funded 100-foot ladder truck – in service. Ground was broken in September for new Fire Station 3, located in northwest Forsyth County, and in November, new Fire Station 4 opened in the Ducktown area of west Forsyth County. Funding for both of these fire stations is from SPLOST and Impact Fees.
Infrastructure improvements were made in 2012 as well. The county completed a new wastewater lift station and force main on McGinnis Ferry Road that is projected to save the county’s Water and Sewer Department nearly $1 million per year in operational costs.
The project will also allow the county to generate more reuse water and was constructed with the county’s future growth in mind.
Throughout 2012, a lot of planning and preparation took place in regards to the new courthouse and jail, approved in November 2011 as part of the SPLOST VII program. You will soon see the first signs of these projects beginning to take shape, as demolition of the facilities located on the site of the new courthouse is slated to begin in January.
In the year ahead, Forsyth County government will continue to work to continue this type of exciting progress, and to provide the most efficient and effective service possible. On behalf of the entire county staff, we look forward to having the opportunity to serve you in 2013.