2019 was a great year in Forsyth County, with many significant announcements and events that improved the quality of life for our citizens and our employees. In addition to many road improvement and pedestrian projects across the county, the addition of a new Health and Wellness Center aimed at improving healthcare access and reducing costs, significant work on our building and design standards, tree, mass grading, and stormwater ordinances to protect the character and environmental quality of our community, the designation of a third AAA bond rating, state and national recognition of several county departments for excellence —we saw increased focus on growth in the commercial sector.
In the area of economic development, we continued to execute our 5 year strategic plan, and this spring formally unveiled Forward Forsyth, a partnership of Forsyth County government, Forsyth County Schools, the Chamber of Commerce, Lanier Technical College and the Development Authority.
We’ve been working that plan, and have been reaping the rewards, including the announcements of more than $90 million of capital investment and over 800 jobs this year. We have seen not only an increase in the quantity of projects, but also the quality of them in terms of investment and salaries.
We’ve made significant strides in the technology sector, with new announcements and a burgeoning incubator, Digital Ignition. Forsyth County partnered with Georgia Tech’s Advanced Technology Development Center, or ATDC, and the Georgia Department of Transportation to host “Talking Traffic Lights” a tech challenge that brought developers from around the world to compete using IoT and blockchain to find new ways for GDOT to extract and utilize data with connected vehicles.
We’ve seen expansions of longtime employers and welcomed newcomers to Forsyth County. Commercial land developers are building hundreds of thousands of square feet of new office/industrial flex space to meet demand. More is already on the way for next year!
2020 is on track to bring more new investment, which means more opportunity for our residents and continued balancing of our tax digest, improving our sustainability as a community, and putting less financial burden on residential property owners. That enables your county government to continue to deliver the top-flight services and improved amenities our residents desire.