The city of Grovetown recently earned statewide recognition for its planning efforts.
The Georgia Planning Association presented the city with the Outstanding Planning Document for a Small Community award at a Sept. 28 conference in Columbus, Ga.
The award is for the city’s Picture Grovetown Urban Redevelopment Plan, approved by the City Council in April. The plan is aimed at eliminating blighted properties and redeveloping a city center in the downtown area.
CSRA Regional Commission planner Christian Lentz, who worked on the plan, accepted the award on behalf of the city.
“(The GPA review committee) decided of all the submittals that not only did Grovetown have the right mix of vision for transforming (the) city center into a true downtown activity center, they felt like there was a great degree of feasibility in the approach that Grovetown intends to take with implementing the redevelopment plan,” Lentz said.
Lentz presented the award to city leaders at Monday’s City Council meeting.
“It’s great to be recognized for having vision,” said Mayor George James, who wanted to create a downtown center when he ran for city council nine years ago.
The plan is aimed at standardizing property appearance in part of the city.
Councilman Sonny McDowell, who championed the plan, said developers have already purchased entire city blocks to redevelop them within the plan’s guidelines.
“The most exciting thing about it is now we have developers coming to us saying, ‘We want in. What do we need to do?’ ” McDowell said. “Things are moving very quickly now. This coming year, it will be very visible.”
Also at Monday’s meeting, city Human Resources Manager Elaine Matthews introduced new employee Jennifer Thomas.
Thomas, who started work at the Grovetown Senior Center on Thursday, replaces longtime center director Betty Laverty, who is slated to retire in December.