Etowah Water and Sewer Authority recently recognized one of its board members for a quarter-century of service.
During an Aug. 12 meeting, Linda Townley was presented a glass award in the shape of the company's water drop logo.
"There's something to be said about someone dedicated to stick with a position that was unpaid for the longest time," said Brooke Anderson, the authority's general manager. "Thank you very much for 25 years."
Townley, who is also Dawson County's tax commissioner, was the first woman to serve on the authority panel. She's also a former mayor of Dawsonville and previously served 10 years on the Dawson County Board of Education.
"Back when I was the mayor, the city's only water sources were wells and springs," she said. "I decided to try a partnership with Etowah, which was trying to get started at the time.
"Etowah needed customers and the city was moving along, so we decided to buy water from them because it was easier to buy their treated water than it was to try to keep the wells going at the time."
Following her term as mayor, Townley joined the authority's board.
"The water sources in Dawson County have always been a concern of mine," she said. "I knew if there was going to be any growth along the 400 corridor, there would need to be improvements."
Townley said that the water infrastructure from the authority has helped facilitate the area's growth.
"If it hadn't been for the Etowah board and the company's foresight, there would probably be no outlet mall," she said.
She has also helped facilitate water lines on Hwy. 136 for fire protection coverage and to provide water to the county's west side.
"It's not just about commercial growth. By getting water out to every area, it means continued growth for all," she said. "Projects like reservoirs and tanks make a big difference for residents in times of drought."
Townley, who has chaired the panel and also served as its vice chair, may not have agreed with every single board member over the years, but was still able to get the job done.
"All boards have disagreements," she said," But in the end, all decisions we have made has been for the benefit of the county."
And that, she said, is the real reason she has spent the last 25 years on the board.
"I serve because Dawson County is my home and I want to see it keep improving and continue to grow," she said.