A consultant to Hall County’s Vision 2030 planning program said the county is making great strides in reaching some of its community goals for the next 21 years.
Otis White, president of Civic Strategies, said the recent SPLOST VI vote will help move several projects forward.
"The community has a pretty clear road map of where it wants to go," White said. "You’re not just getting started with this; you’re making real progress."
White served as facilitator during the vision program’s annual meeting at the Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center. About 150 participants provided input on the status and future
direction of the 15 big ideas that were included in the final report in 2006.
Some ideas, such as the pedestrian bridge designed to connect the Georgia Mountains Center with a planned convention hotel, already are in the works. Others, such as a high-speed rail connecting Gainesville and Atlanta, remain in the dream stages.
White credits the success to the dedication to the program.
"The (Greater Hall) Chamber of Commerce commitment has not flagged to making sure Vision 2030 happens," he said.
The participation of Oakwood, Flowery Branch and Lula has spurred interest in the vision program, an Oakwood city councilman said.
"I’m impressed that we can get our community leaders to mix and share ideas with interested citizens," said Sam Evans, a member of the Oakwood council, who said he would like to see more citizen involvement.
Denise Deal, executive director of Vision 2030, said the turnout for Friday’s meeting was an indication that enthusiasm for the program remains strong.
"We started out with 120 people," she said. "Now, four years into it, we have more than that many here today. We’ve kept momentum alive and have community leaders still interested in pursuing these goals."
She said the overwhelming SPLOST vote could be taken as a validation that Vision 2030 is on the right track."These were initiatives that were encompassed in Vision 2030 and elected leaders embraced them," she said.
Deal said the fledgling ideas are now in need of people who will become their champions with a passion for seeing them come to fruition.