Tyrone Mayor Dial’s state of the town address: ‘The best year in our history’

Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial. File photo.

Tyrone Mayor Eric Dial (photo above) on Jan. 4 delivered the annual State of the Town address, in which he addressed issues such as the local economy, public safety and future development.

Dial described 2017 as “an excellent year for our town. As the economy continues to strengthen, we are able to provide a better product to our taxpayers. We recognize that it is our responsibility to maintain a local government that delivers the best infrastructure possible. This has been the best year in our history from this standpoint.”

“With new resurfacing, safer intersections and increased sewer capacity, we offer what our residents and businesses want to see,” said Dial, noting the passage of the voter-approved SPLOST (special purpose local option sales tax). “In 2018 and beyond, we have several projects that our voters have endorsed. We are committed to additional stormwater projects, improved parks, an upgraded Town Hall and an increased sewer footprint. We recently capitalized on an opportunity to purchase an important piece of land adjacent to Handley Park that will preserve the integrity of that area.”

Dial said the safety of the town continues to be Tyrone’s most important function.

“Just this week I read a publication that ranked Tyrone the third safest city in Georgia. An outlier of recent criminal activity and the fine work of our police department in conjunction with other cities and counties have shown that Tyrone will not tolerate this offense to our people, and we trust that the justice system will send the same message to these criminals. I am grateful for this council’s support of our officers.”

Dial said the council recently purchased a long list of items for the police department, primarily technology, which will assist them in doing their jobs well.

“Additionally, Chief (Brandon) Perkins has set an extremely high standard of training for his officers, far beyond what is required by regulatory entities. We thank him and each of his employees for protecting us.”

Dial also noted the accomplishments of other town departments.

“Mitch Bowman and Lynda Owens led a department that was named a ‘Top Recreation Agency’ in our region, and Sandy Beach and Taffini Guffie are actively pursuing the Distinguished Budget Award recognition for their continued outstanding work with our finances. The list does not stop here,” said Dial. “We have said it for years, and it seems that we only continue to improve. Those who report to work day in and day out for the Town of Tyrone are second to none. We appreciate the work Jonathan Lynn has done in leading this fine group.”

Turning to the local economy, Dial said it is strengthening and is having a positive impact on the town.

“This also presents us with a more urgent need for planning and more attention to detail,” said Dial. “In 2017, we received a grant from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and they presented a strategic plan for downtown. This provides options and recommendations to move us in the direction of a more vibrant and active downtown.”

With extensive citizen input, town staff and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) have prepared a revised Comprehensive Plan for future development. Council adopted the plan and “we now have increased confidence that development will be consistent with the wishes of our citizens,” Dial said.

“We continue to work with other local governments and planning organizations in the 74 Gateway Coalition to establish an overlay for the Ga. Highway 74 corridor that will optimize the aesthetics and traffic flow of this critical corridor,” said Dial.

“A grant from ARC will assist us in the design for this project. Increased setbacks, minimal curb cuts and traffic lights, and the new and improved 74/I-85 interchange will be the product of this work.”

Dial said he looks forward to an even better 2018.

“Because our staff and council have done such a good job of managing taxpayer dollars without ever raising the millage rate, we are now in a position where we can put this money where it belongs, in the form of products and services,” said Dial. “We will be improving roads, growing our cart path network, repairing stormwater structures and addressing the needs of other town buildings.”