Fayetteville Mayor Ed Johnson presents State of the Senate

Fayetteville Mayor Ed Johnson. File photo.
Fayetteville Mayor Ed Johnson. File photo.

Before a packed City Hall, Fayetteville Mayor Ed Johnson in his first State of the City address said 2016 was a record year for the city.

“These successes of the past year were brought to fruition in large part because we have a cooperative city government. We work well together, and we work through our differences with grace and in the spirit of cooperation,” Johnson said. In 2016, Johnson said the city was quite busy, and listed a number of the achievements, included:

  • Hiring five new police officers, and having the police department fully staffed for the first time since 2006. The department plans to hire its next chief within two weeks.
  • Improving the ISO fire protection rating from Class 4 to Class 3.
  • Seeing the 234-acre Pinewood Forrest multi-use project take shape on the west side of the city. On the south side of town, construction started on Oakleigh Manor, which is the first new residential subdivision to begin construction since the beginning of the recession.
  • Approving 12 site development plans in 2016, which is an increase from 4 in 2012.
  • Welcoming the state’s first-ever Georgia Film Academy, which is located on the Pinewood Atlanta Studios Production Centre campus and features its own, fully-featured movie studio facility.
    “This academy in particular helps our local community benefit from the local expanding movie industry job market,” Johnson said.
  • Seeing Georgia Military College’s Fayetteville campus complete its first full year of operation in our city. Johnson said enrollment at GMC has exceeded expectations, and now they are drawing up plans for a second academic building. To accommodate future growth, the city also focused on traffic improvements.

The biggest project was the Ga. Highway 92 and Hood Avenue realignment project.

“When the final connections are completed in the next few weeks, you will see much-needed traffic relief along the Hwy. 85 corridor and especially in the Historic Downtown district,” Johnson said.

Another area of focus was on greenspace.

“The Ridge Nature Area was opened to the public in 2016. We want to thank Southern Conservation Trust, who manages The Ridge Nature Area and who has done so much to offer this great amenity to our city. We have still only begun to make this a top-notch recreation destination where families and outdoor enthusiasts can get healthy and stay healthy while enjoying a well-preserved natural environment,” Johnson added. The mayor said the city is ready for the future.

“I commit to you, our Fayetteville residents, that we will continue to be good stewards of all of the resources entrusted to our leadership. Working together, we will see Fayetteville become a premiere city.”