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Highway project put on hold indefinitely
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A beautification project along a portion of Ga. 400 has been postponed indefinitely.


In a 4-0 vote last Thursday, the Dawson County Board of Commissioners citing funding concerns chose to delay any further discussions of adding wild flowers and small shrubbery to areas along Ga. 400.


The project, suggested by Commissioner Gary Pichon, was intended to create a distinctive personality as Dawson County competes with other areas along the corridor to attract business.


“I’m cognizant of the financial situation we have and in some cases the mowing roads we have around the county’s not getting done,” he said.


Earlier this summer the commission asked county staff to conduct a feasibility study on Pichon’s proposal.


County engineer Corey 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 said, would be completed in phases with the first phase between Dawson Forest Road and Industrial Park Road.


While anticipated grants would cover the project’s material cost, the county would need about $6,000 upfront for a professional landscape architectural design.


After hearing concerns on spending county funds in the current economic climate, Pichon made the motion to delay moving forward.


Peter Hill, chairman of the Development Authority of Dawson County, told commissioners he believed his board of directors would approve funding the startup.


“Of the members I’ve spoken to, we do have broad support for the initiative,” Hill said. “We all do have a concern for where the reserve dollars go. We obviously want to get tangible results from projects and jobs and industry from those dollars.”


Pichon agreed.


“This isn’t the right time,” he said.