Tyrone mayor open to adding sewer downtown

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Dial: ‘Many businesses are suffering with their septic service and an unknown number of potential businesses are avoiding this important part of town’

Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial’s State of the Town address presented to the Tyrone Town Council on Jan. 15 covered a variety of topics from 2014 and others in the town’s near-term future.

Dial began the address by stating his appreciation serving the town and working with a council that works together in an effort to better serve citizens.

“It is the prayer and aspiration of this council and its staff to operate a good government. But what is good government? To me, good government is one that is ethical, efficient and minimally intrusive in the lives of our citizens,” Dial said. “It is our responsibility to provide a healthy, economically-viable and, most importantly, a safe environment for our people to live and work. The services that we offer and the departments we operate should all fit into one or more of these categories. We are proud to report that this responsibility is being fulfilled. For the 10th year in a row, our millage rate has remained the same, meaning minimal taxes for our residents.”

Dial said 2014 brought more than 70 new businesses, double the number in 2013. Pertaining to business growth, Dial noted an issue that has been discussed on limited occasions for the past several years.

Beyond the street resurfacing that will occur this year, Dial said there are other infrastructure areas which need to be addressed proactively.

“We need to make decisions as to if and how we should provide sewer to the downtown corridor,” Dial said. “It is clear that many businesses are suffering with their septic service and an unknown number of potential businesses are avoiding this important part of town. The structural backbone of our town, Tyrone Elementary School, has still not found a buyer. And whether we agree with it or not, a big reason is because of the perception of a need for sewer.”

Continuing his remarks, Dial said multiple independent sources agree that Tyrone is a safe and happy place to live.

“Being identified as the 7th safest and number one ‘Happiest City in Georgia’ is no accident,” said Dial. “When you consider the data that is utilized, the credit is to be given to our residents and our employees. The five of us (on the Town Council) make decisions on your behalf, but it is you that deserve to be recognized.”

Dial during the address thanked the police department, under the leadership of Chief Brandon Perkins, for its work to protect citizens from those who lack a respect for the law.

“Despite a drastically low Part 1 (serious offenses) crime rate in 2013, we managed to reduce this rate by an additional 4 percent in 2014,” Dial said. “We have the luxury of living in a place where we don’t have to worry about our safety while raising our children and grandchildren.”

Dial used the occasion to note the negative perceptions being experienced by some law enforcement agencies across that nation.

“In this current environment, law enforcement has been second-guessed and weakened,” said Dial, addressing both citizens and police officers. “At times many are treated more like criminals than defenders. On behalf of this council, let me be clear, you are the authority of anyone who steps into our town, and you and your philosophy of law enforcement will be supported by us when needed.”

Dial then turned his comments to Town Manager Kyle Hood and the town’s employees.

“Kyle, I want to thank you for developing and leading a staff that is efficient in the various areas that you oversee,” said Dial. “We have an active, educated and healthy citizenry and our infrastructure is improving more than ever. We are on the cusp of significant changes to our primary thoroughfares, for which you have proactively secured low-interest government loans. Our streets and cart paths will get a facelift sooner rather than later because of your work.”

Looking ahead, Dial said an important area of focus is the Ga. Highway 74 corridor. He said it is critical that the town preserve the integrity of the corridor area, “so we have partnered with Fairburn, Fayette County and Peachtree City to create the 74 Gateway Coalition and will together establish consistent standards of development and aesthetics.”

Continuing the forward view, Dial invited citizens and business owners to assist with the 2015 Comprehensive Plan.

“The Atlanta Regional Commission is leading us in this effort and we need your input to prepare us for the next decade. This is arguably the most important planning function of our town and is only performed about once every ten years so we really need your involvement beginning with the first public engagement on Feb. 17,” Dial said.

Dial used his closing statements to compare the furor around the country and the world to the comparably peaceful state found in Tyrone.

“At times we can become overwhelmed by the world around us, particularly at the national and global levels. We are bombarded with the realities of taxation, health care, immigration, terrorism and the like,” said Dial. “Considering all of the negatives that come with these issues, I am reminded and comforted that I can come home to a town that is free from controversy and conflict. A town that is safe and insulated from most of the dangers many Americans face. We are blessed to live and work in the Town of Tyrone, the happiest city in Georgia.”