Add life to your business!
Call Now: 770-213-7095

The Roaring Twenties in Ball Ground!

Looking back over the official minutes of the 1920s, the City of Ball Ground has come a long way. On January 5, 1920, at 6:30pm, the first meeting of the year was called to order by Mayor Pro Tem R.M. Thompson. The following council members were present: H.H. Hardin, Walter Darby, Jas H. Holcombe, and L. R. Thomason. The Treasurer’s Report given showed a beginning yearly balance of $1,268.45. An excerpt of the minutes read, “Upon the results of a legal election held the first Saturday in Dec 1919, the following officers were chosen: for mayor, Walter Hardin; for councilmen, L. R. Thomason, W.H Anderson, G. C. McClure, O. A. Williams, and Frank Edwards.” This meeting was closed in due form only to reconvene at 7:30pm with the newly elected mayor and council members leading the way. Council Member W. H. Anderson was elected as mayor pro tem. L. R. Thomason was elected as clerk, and O. A. Williams as treasurer.

On May 5, 1923, Mayor W. H. Anderson presented a Franchise Ordinance to the City Council from J. B. Roberts, requesting authority and right to construct and maintain a power plant or power plants for the purpose of furnishing electric energy to the municipality of Ball Ground and its inhabitants and to make and reserve reasonable charges therefore. The Ordinance further requested the authority to construct a gas plant or gas plants, and to furnish to the municipality and to its inhabitants — gas for lighting, heating, or other purpose and to make and receive reasonable charges therefore. There is no knowledge of a gas plant ever being constructed, but although mostly destroyed, there is still little remnants of the Roberts Dam and Power Company that was built on Long Swamp Creek east of downtown.

Continue reading
  861 Hits

Preserving Our History to Ensure Our Future

Canton City Council voted in 2016 to initiate a Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) for the purpose of maintaining the historic integrity of the commercial buildings in the downtown area. This does not pertain to residential property. That commission consists of seven community members who have undergone eight classes, three hours each, facilitated by the Georgia Trust. The members are Joe Sellers, Jane Shelnutt, Harry Johnston, Addie Price, Jeff Brown, Stacy Yawn, and Bob Rugg. The description of their purpose is to determine if the restoration plans for a historical commercial building are in keeping with the overall aesthetic of downtown Canton. Other cities that you may have thought charming are Roswell, Madison, and Savannah. That beauty and charm are greatly due to the vigilance of the HPCs in those cities doing their job to keep historic buildings true to character and originality.

Continue reading
  723 Hits

Happy 135 Birthday, Ball Ground

Ball Ground, Georgia — what a great place to live, work, and play! Some like to call this beautiful town the next best thing to the fictional town of Mayberry.On September 27, 1883, the General Assembly of the State of Georgia signed Law No. 401 to incorporate the town of Ball Ground in Cherokee County, which stated, “From and after the passage of this Act, the corporate limits of the town of Ball Ground, Cherokee County, Georgia, shall extend one-half mile in every direction from the present railroad crossing on Gilmer Ferry Road; that it shall be known and distinguished as the town of Ball Ground.”

Continue reading
  713 Hits

Cherokee Photography Club — Something for Everyone

The Cherokee Photography Club meets twice monthly — the second and fourth Mondays — at 7:00pm, at the Cherokee Arts Center.

The first meeting of the month is a friendly competition. The theme, such as “Reflection,” is open to interpretation by the photographer, and photos are critiqued by a judge who is a professional photographer. Each entry is given positive feedback and sometimes suggestions to improve the image. These judge’s tips can aid photographers with skills like effective cropping, framing a scene in the camera, and back lighting.

Continue reading
  1064 Hits

Special Events in Holly Springs

There are fun things to do in Holly Springs all year long! Mark your calendars now! Additional details about the following events can be found at

Continue reading
  931 Hits

Ball Ground — It’s the Place to Be!

What an exciting year 2017 was for the City of Ball Ground. Twenty-four businesses opened. Some are home-based businesses while some chose to locate in the downtown and other areas of the city, which continues to make Ball Ground an “anytime” destination. You don’t need to wait until the weekend to visit Ball Ground; anytime is a good time! As Mayor Roberts and other City staff continue to “Roll Out the Red Carpet Instead of the Red Tape,” Ball Ground continues to attract businesses, industries, and new residents.

Developers are building new homes in Ball Ground within walking distance of downtown, Ball Ground School STEM Academy, and parks. People are discovering that Ball Ground is the place to be, and they are buying these homes as fast as they can be built. Walking remains the cheapest form of transportation for all people, and the construction of a walkable community provides the most affordable transportation system any community can plan, design, construct, and maintain.You know you’re doing something right when you see parents walking their kids to school, or families walk downtown for a bite to eat or to take an evening stroll.

Continue reading
  767 Hits

Canton’s Developers Day Shows New Possibilities

Recently, the first Downtown Development Authority’s (DDA) Developers Day was held in Canton. Thirty-five realtors, developers in the commercial and residential markets, and mixed-use development firms from across metro Atlanta attended the event. Several of the property owners themselves were there, too.

Continue reading
  789 Hits

Ringing in the New Year in Holly Springs

Elected officials and staff at the City of Holly Springs are taking the opportunity that the new year brings to look back at all the good things the past year has brought, and to look forward to what’s coming in 2018.

2017 saw many projects come to fruition that had been in the works for years. The City of Holly Springs and the Holly Springs Downtown Development Authority (DDA) entered into a development and management agreement with Stonecrest Homes GA, LLC in November for the Holly Springs Town Center Project (TCP). The agreement provides a ninety-day, due-diligence period for Stonecrest that expires on January 31, 2018. During the due-diligence period, Stonecrest will work with Southeastern Engineering, Inc. to complete site engineering, and then a project budget will be presented to the City Council and the DDA for the development of the Town Center.

Continue reading
  886 Hits

March on Over to Ball Ground This Holiday Season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s time to get the family out of the house to enjoy a beautiful day in Ball Ground. Being out in the cool, crisp air feels so refreshing. There’s just something so relaxing about seeing a beautiful blue sky while being surrounded by colder temperatures. Since the days are shorter and holiday decorations have begun to show up in neighborhoods and retail establishments, it can only mean one thing: Christmas and the New Year are just around the corner.

Continue reading
  783 Hits

City Politics — Productive, Not Glamorous

The City of Canton is divided into three wards, and each ward has two council representatives. The terms for each elected official, including the mayor, are four years. Though you may live in one ward, you will vote for a representative for each of the three wards.

The politics of the City are nonpartisan, meaning that a candidate does not declare a party to run for office. There is no aisle to cross, and in the past four years, none of the decisions that have been made could have been influenced by a political party platform. In council discussions and decisions, each of the council representatives are mindful about spending the tax dollars of Canton’s citizens wisely, in other words, they are fiscally conservative, as they should be.

Continue reading
  743 Hits

Ball Ground Rolls Out the Red Carpet, Not the Red Tape

If you haven’t ever been to Ball Ground, or if it’s been a while, then you are in for a real treat! Ball Ground is small-town living at its finest! Presently, Ball Ground boasts a population of approximately 1,750, and it continues to grow. People are wowed when they visit downtown Ball Ground! As a place that is full of rocks and marble, Ball Ground is emerging as a diamond in the rough. The city is experiencing tremendous economic growth. Historic buildings that had long been empty have been given new life. They are being transformed into restaurants, boutiques, art shops, an ice cream shop and many other types of businesses that people love to visit.

Continue reading
  831 Hits

A Novel Idea

For those who love to read, those who love to write and those who love to read and write.

A Novel Idea was born a year ago when I trekked to Lawrenceville with my pals Jay Minor and Marsha and Bill Cornelius to attend an event called, “Noir at the Bar.” The theme of the evening was noir, and there were six authors who read from their work. Door prizes, such as copies of the authors’ books, were given out between readings.

Continue reading
  803 Hits

A Look Back at Canton's Awesome 2017 Festival of the Arts

Of all the things to do in Canton GA, the Canton Festival of the Arts ranks in the top five. The Cherokee County Arts Council stages one of the best fine arts and fine crafts festivals in the southeast during the third weekend of May in Brown Park, located in downtown Canton. It’s their major fundraiser for the year, and it usually draws 5000 – 7000 people throughout the weekend.

But arts and crafts aren’t the whole story behind this production. Canton Festival of the Arts has festival food vendors (it’s not a festival without funnel cakes, hotdogs and BBQ, right?), organized by Will Carlan. Live music — all day, both days, perfectly orchestrated by Sean Furilla. An activity and crafts area for children was organized by Marcelle Strong, along with a youth artist market of rising artists.

Continue reading
  830 Hits

Coffee with a Cop

TTwo years ago, Coffee with a Cop was started by Canton PD Chief Mark Mitchell. It’s a multi-agency effort that includes the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, Cherokee Marshals Office, Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad, Woodstock, Holly Springs and Ball Ground Police Departments, Cherokee County District Attorney’s Office, the Cherokee County Solicitor’s Office and the Georgia State Patrol.

Continue reading
  904 Hits

Permits and Approvals: They're a Serious Matter

Many people have heard horror stories of the government being difficult to work with because they take forever to get things done. Many a contractor, builder and business owner can tell of their frustrations with getting permits for their business or project.

While some of these horrific accounts may be true, most are exaggerated. The incredible people at the City of Canton set high expectations of themselves and the services they provide. But let’s face it, there is no getting around acquiring the proper permits necessary for certain types of work to be done. Permits are a necessity — rightfully so.

Continue reading
  1030 Hits


In today’s technology-driven world, where do we turn to quickly access information about a certain product, service or place? The internet.

Today’s world-wide web is the storehouse for information on almost any given subject matter. It is no secret that the present-day marketplace values accessibility to data and information as a top value for doing business. Everything is a Google, Yahoo or Bing search away.

The same holds true for economic development. Citizens, visitors, businesses and non-profits increasingly depend on the web to gather and share information about a community or a program.

Continue reading
  980 Hits

Understanding Canton’s Local Incentives

Opening or expanding a business can be expensive, and incentives offer financial assistance that can help cut costs or gap finance a project. Different communities take different approaches to incentives. The City of Canton offers an extensive list of incentives that are available based on geographic area or type of investment. Here is a summary of our existing incentives:Certificate of Occupancy Waiver — The economic development manager may waive fifty percent of Certificate of Occupancy fees and may go to the mayor and council to request up to 100%, depending upon the project’s economic impact.

Continue reading
  935 Hits

Ensuring Business Wins

Canton is a business-friendly city. This is no cliché. It is the truth. What exactly does being a business-friendly city mean in the first place? It means that all aspects of governance, codes and permitting are oriented in a manner that assists private businesses to open and conduct their operations.

When the decision is made to locate in Canton, from start to finish, we stand ready to help. The City of Canton provides everything from site selection assistance to permits, to inspections, to zoning information, to development code information, to incentive information and everything else in between.

Continue reading
  1239 Hits

Taking #CantonForward

In 2016, downtown Canton welcomed a number of new and exciting projects and developments that are bound to boost its vibrancy. These new projects included the sale of the Historic Board of Education properties to the Harris Group for mixed-use development, incoming restaurants at 151 West Main Street and 170 North Street as well as our very first downtown brewery.

These announcements come in addition to the ongoing festivals and regularly-programmed events, such as First Friday and the Farmers Market, which already exist downtown. Other happenings, like Zombie Fest and BBQ & Brews, also contribute to the growth, vibrancy and visibility of our city.

Continue reading
  976 Hits

Send the Leads

Oftentimes, someone will recommend that the economic development office should contact a particular restaurant or retailer to put Canton on their radar, “Canton could use a ____ store,” or “It would be nice if we had a ____ in town.” The blanks can be filled with a variety of establishments.

These suggestions are appreciated. More often than not, they create interesting conversations with concerned citizens who want to see Canton grow and prosper. It also provides insight to community preference and desirability for support of such businesses. These are typically good indicators for targeted business recruitment efforts.

Continue reading
  991 Hits