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Board considering beautification program
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Grants, county funds and committed community involvement would be required if the Dawson County Board of Commissioners moves forward with a program to beautify portions of Ga. 400.


County engineer Corey Gutherie presented a study to the board during its Aug. 26 meeting that outlines the feasibility of creating  Ga. 400 Gardens, a concept intended to make Dawson County more attractive to potential new industry along the busy corridor.


“Ga. 400 is our ticket. It’s incumbent upon us to make sure these businesses do not pass us by,” said Commissioner Gary Pichon, who asked the board to consider the concept earlier this summer.


Pichon said low cost improvements like shrubbery and wild flowers would create a distinctive personality as Dawson County competes with other areas along the corridor to attract business.


Gutherie said dollars are available through grants to fund the material cost, while the county, water and sewer authority and local business community would need to team up for installation and maintenance.


Landscaping, he suggested, would be completed in phases with the first phase between Dawson Forest Road and Industrial Park Road.


Gutherie said the cost of about $10,000 an acre for landscaping materials and $13,500 for department of transportation required irrigation in phase one could be covered by the GATEway Grant, a Georgia Transportation Enhancement program.


There would also be about $6,000 upfront the county would need to cover for a professional landscape architect design.


“That amount would not be covered by the grant,” Pichon said Aug. 26.


The board voted Sept. 2 to delay discussion on the proposal until the Sept. 16 regular meeting since Pichon was not in attendance for last week’s meeting.