The City of Ball Ground accomplished much last year, and we look forward to new beginnings and continued progress in 2023.
The work of past elected officials is what has drawn so many to now call Ball Ground "home." On many of the city's large green pastures sit beautiful new homes, which is bittersweet for some lifelong residents. But those who are not a fan of growth must realize that without it, Ball Ground would be dead on the vine.
Growth has brought new life to Ball Ground. Downtown buildings that were once vacant are now filled with thriving businesses. It does the heart good to walk down the streets and see restaurants full of families enjoying dinner at a restaurant, dessert at the local ice cream shop, or a warm beverage at the coffee house.
Whether you are an avid runner or out for a leisurely walk, the city's parks and walking trails provide just the right spot. The Ball Ground Botanical Garden is a favorite for photographers. On any given day, you can find families, wedding parties, and other groups posing for special pictures.
In 2022, Ball Ground welcomed three new councilmembers. Vicki Benefield, a six-year resident, was elected to fill the seat held by Frank Homiller. Dennis Nelson, a three-year resident, was elected to fill the seat held by Mickey O'Malley, and Kristine Rogers, a 15-year resident, was elected to fill the seat held by John Byrd. Mayor Rick Roberts, a lifelong resident, ran unopposed and retained his seat.
On January 12, Ball Ground will welcome two new city councilmembers. Scott Barnes, a 21-year resident, was elected to fill the seat held by Andrenia Stoner, and Annette Homiller, a one-year resident, was elected to the seat held by Lee Prettyman. Vicki Benefield was reelected without opposition. For the first time since 2010, Ball Ground has a new five-member council except for Mayor Roberts. He has held the office of mayor since 1996, when Calvin Hill resigned to move outside the city.
Under the leadership of Mayor Roberts and the previous administration, many projects identified in the City's Comprehensive Plan have been accomplished. Two additional construction projects, a roundabout at the intersection of Howell Bridge Road and Highway 5 and a bypass to elevate the truck traffic out of downtown, will soon become reality.
It's true that the wheels of progress turn slowly. If not for the forward thinking, planning, and patience of previous elected officials, Ball Ground would not be what it is today. No doubt the new administration will continue the efforts to make our city the best place to live, work, and play.