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Away We Grow!

Southern Environmental Services, Inc. demolished the structures on the future Town Center site and removed asphalt, concrete, and utilities in February. The company also removed the house and ancillary structures near the intersection of Palm and Walnut Streets in preparation for the construction of the new roadway from Palm Street to Hickory Road. Southeastern Engineering, Inc. completed the civil drawings for the Town Center road network in February. Construction is expected to begin this summer.In late spring, Baldwin Paving Company, Inc. is scheduled to complete the Holly Springs Parkway Widening Project and all associated infrastructure improvements from Sixes Road north to the intersection with Rabbit Hill Road. Backfilling over Toonigh Creek was completed in February, and construction of the eastern travel lanes is underway. The traffic light mast arms have been installed at the intersection of Holly Springs Parkway and Rabbit Hill Road.

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The Ball Ground Senior Center

Where is the best place for an active senior adult to spend time with friends? The Ball Ground Senior Center (388 Groover Street), of course! This beautiful new facility opened its doors in 2018 and has become “the place to be” for local seniors. If you are age 60 or older, you are invited to drop by all three days the center is open: Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:00am to 2:00pm, and Thursday from 10:00am to 2:00pm.If you attend Senior Center activities Tuesday and Wednesday, you can have lunch with friends for only $1.50. Where else can you get a deal like that? If you prefer coming by on Thursday, you can enjoy “Coffee Talk Day” with other area seniors.

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2019 Signature Community Projects

Four major development projects will highlight the future of Canton this year: the Etowah River Trailways Network, Marietta Road Community Initiative, Archer Street Parking Deck, and the Canton Residential Strategy.1.Etowah River Trailways Network

This project will continue the development of the Trailways through existing parkland while working within neighboring connection points including residential and commercial nodes, utility easements, sidewalks, government structures, and recreational amenities.

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2019 Special Events in Holly Springs

Holly Springs offers fun things to do all year long, so mark your calendars now! Additional details can be found at

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Ball Ground Is the Place to Be in 2019

Ball Ground ended 2018 bigger and better than ever, with downtown Ball Ground continuing to grow, as new businesses discover that it is the place to be. What was once a sleepy town filled with rocks is now a thriving community where people meet for lunch or dinner, shop, attend concerts, or just take a stroll through the park. Ball Ground has it all!Mayor Rick Roberts and Council Members John Byrd, Frank Homiller, Mickey O’Malley, Lee Prettyman, and Andrenia Stoner are second to none when it comes to elected officials. Nowhere will you find a more dedicated group of men and women working to keep pace with the ever-changing times while maintaining the charm of a small town where everyone wants to live, work, and play.

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Holly Springs Update

Holly Springs City Council approved the 2019 Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG) list of roads to be repaired and resurfaced last October. The list includes Hickory Road from the eastern city limits to Sequoyah Circle, Palm Street from Amanda Lane to the southern city limits, and Rabbit Hill Road from I-575 to Marble Quarry Road.The City Council also approved several stormwater projects to address drainage issues throughout Holly Springs. These projects were awarded to Excellere Construction in the amount of $65,300. In addition, the City has started surveying work for a stormwater project to address drainage issues along Palm Street near Palm Lake. This work will be completed before Palm Street is resurfaced in the summer.

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Update: The Mill on Etowah

Developers Penn Hodge and Grant Schmeelk, with a combined experience in development of over 35 years, purchased the property at 141 Railroad Street, formerly the Canton Textile Mill. Once a denim factory, it will feature a brewery, several restaurants, a 50,000-square-foot retail space, a massive outdoor artificial grass activity area, possibly a covered pavilion space, and a co-working office space.The co-working space will be called Thrive. There are Thrive spaces located in Milton and Alpharetta. You can learn more at A co-working space has a membership fee and allows a person to work comfortably away from home and have a place to meet one person or a group. It also has dedicated office space, providing a place to stop in between appointments. Most have a snack bar and WiFi.

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The Rearview Mirror

Have you ever noticed that the windshield of your car is very large compared to the rearview mirror? Car manufacturers expect you to spend most of your driving time focused on where you are going, not where you have been. However, a rearview mirror is included to give us an opportunity to see the roadway over which we have traveled. As I glance into the rearview mirror, I recognize important landmarks for myself and the professional police officers of the Holly Springs Police Department.The first landmark in my rearview mirror is becoming the Chief of Police. Was I nervous and a little apprehensive? You bet I was. But the footing is sure, and I am reminded to be brave. With this assurance, I can face the challenges of tomorrow with confidence because others have stood with me and given me strength. 

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The History of Ball Ground’s Close-Knit Community

Ball Ground has always been a thriving, close-knit community throughout its 135 years of existence. That’s because Ball Ground has always been comprised of hardworking people who care about where they live, work, and play. Local people started businesses, which provided jobs for those who didn’t have transportation to drive anywhere else.

Being just down the road from Tate, GA, the Roberts Marble Company, the Consumers Monument Company, and the Ball Ground Monument Company provided many jobs for the locals. The Harris Lumber Company, Stancil Manufacturing, Ingram Trucking, Citizens Bank, and the Ingram Motor Company also provided many jobs, just to name a few. Only in small-town America could you walk to work, the grocery store, the post office, the bank, school, or anywhere else you needed to go.

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Reducing Single-Use Plastic Consumption to Keep Canton Beautiful

Plastic — it’s everywhere we go; it’s a product upon which we have come to heavily depend. It’s also littering everywhere we go now, too. Plastics are made from natural materials such as natural gas, oil, coal, minerals, and plants. Technically, rubber from the rubber tree is a plastic. The number of items that we encounter each day that are made of plastic are nearly infinite: car parts, toys, dishes, storage containers, office supplies, building materials, clothing, grocery/shopping bags, straws, cigarette filters, balloons, and the list goes on.

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Main Street Holly Springs Update

The City of Holly Springs’ Main Street program has again been designated as an accredited Main Street America program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center during 2017. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its coordinating program partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs in recognition of their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach.

“Main Streets are the heart of our communities, and the work they do to create quality public spaces, catalyze local entrepreneurship, and support downtown housing is more important than ever. Across the country, Main Street America programs truly strengthen the economic, social, and cultural fabric of their entire communities,” says Patrice Frey, president and CEO of the National Main Street Center.

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1930s Ball Ground

If you ever read the minutes of past council meetings, you would realize that not only are the citizens of Ball Ground blessed with a mayor and city council that have proven to be forward-thinking, spending many hours making a long-range plan for the betterment of the city, but that this was true in years past as well. Without the wisdom and forethought of these fine men and women, Ball Ground would not be what it is today.

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Canton's Mysterious Mulberry Tree

Mulberry trees are fast growing with aggressive roots that can lift sidewalks and clog drains, making them a less-than-desirable choice for an ornamental specimen. However, those that bear fruit are worth the effort to incorporate into your landscape; just be sure to install it in the proper place.Mulberry trees are heavy bearers, which means you’ll have more fruit than you can use and will be able to share with neighbors and friends. If you’re a backyard birder, you’ll attract a host of fruit-loving birds like bluebirds, orioles, tanagers, and warblers. Some are steadfast; the red mulberry can survive up to 75 years, while the black mulberry can live and bear fruit for hundreds of years.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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