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Grogan sworn in as mayor
Reaffirms support of business, development
2 Grogan pic1
Dawsonville Mayor James Grogan, right, cuts the cake with wife Carol and daughter Sara during a celebration following his swearing-in ceremony Monday night. - photo by Chelsea Thomas Dawson Community News


Other action

Also during Monday night's meeting, Dawsonville City Council:

* Held the first public hearing on a proposed referendum for the Nov. 6 special election. The measure would ask voters whether the city should allow businesses to sell distilled spirits by the drink on Sundays.

City Attorney Dana Miles explained that the sale of wine, beer and bottled distilled spirits is allowed on Sundays inside the city limits, but sales of distilled spirits by the drink is not.

"A similar referendum was put to the voters of Dawson County earlier this year and they approved by a very wide margin. So this creates an anomaly because county restaurants can sell on Sundays between 12:30 p.m. and midnight and [those in] the city cannot."

* Announced that Farmington Woods, an apartment complex planned for 15 acres off Perimeter Road, broke ground Monday.

According to officials, the developers paid their sewer and tap fees last week. Early reports listed the tap fees at $432,000.

Farmington Woods will feature 72 units, including one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

TBG Residential, the company managing the project, has applied for numerous variances in recent months, including fewer parking places, reducing trees and lowering water and sewer concerns by using individual meters.

* What's next: The council will hold a special called meeting at 5 p.m. Sept. 20 in the G.L. "Pete" Gilleland Council Chambers of city hall, 415 Hwy. 53 East, Dawsonville.

James Grogan was sworn in as Dawsonville's mayor Monday night.

Grogan, who has served as acting mayor since April, staked an early lead in the July 31 primary, with the final results tallying 318 votes, or about 62 percent, to former councilman Calvin Byrd's 196 votes, or about 38 percent.

Grogan will fill the unexpired term of the late Joe Lane Cox, who died in March. It runs through December 2015.

A special election will be held in November to fill the two open council vacancies created by Grogan and Byrd's decision to run for mayor.

After reciting the oath of office Monday, Grogan said he was honored and excited to take on the role. He's also eager to encourage downtown development and support business.

"I would call on everybody to support the new or existing businesses in the community," he said. "I encourage all of you to get involved and do something. If we all have great energy, then things will happen."

He mentioned an interest in having a dry cleaning business downtown and eventually establishing a music venue.

He has previously pointed to what he says is the need for more green space downtown, which "could be small parks, music venues, benches and street lights."

"I have this vision of our downtown where I see people walking in the evenings, looking in store windows, and eating at their favorite outdoor seating type restaurant or just going to the ice cream store for their favorite flavor," he said. "It's a dream, but I believe it will happen."

At a June 4 political forum, Grogan touted his previous efforts to promote economic development by supporting the Atlanta Motorsports Park and the new apartment project Farmington Woods, which broke ground Monday.

In the future Grogan said he also plans to encourage further subdivision development.

"We have several hundred lots stubbed for houses. We need to see those built out and people living here," he said.

Grogan was elected to the council in November 2009. During his term, he has served as mayor pro-tem, acting mayor and completed 42 hours of training with the Georgia Municipal Association.

A Dawson County High School graduate, Grogan went on to study business at Reinhardt University and the University of Georgia. He later worked in the wholesale hardware industry for 40 years.

He is married to Carol Grogan and has four children: Andrew James, Matthew Stephen, Michael Brandon and Sara Christine.