Municipal Musings

by chris bridges - the walton tribune

Loganville mayor Skip Balilies and Social Circle mayor David Keener listen as City of Monroe Administrator Logan Propes provides an update during Walton County Chamber of Commerce’s May luncheon. Photo credit: Cassie Jones photo | MAK Photography

City officials brag on their homes, look to future

Representatives of five Walton County municipalities had the opportunity to update the happenings in their respective cities during the Walton County Chamber of Commerce May luncheon recently.

Loganville Mayor Skip Baliles talked about the city’s new library which will be state-of-the art with a several million dollar price tag. Baliles said even with $5.7 million ready for the project, the city will need to raise another $2 million from citizen donations.

In Monroe, City Administrator Logan Propes said the new Town Green construction should be complete around July 21. After that the sod installation will take place and following all technological installations are made the Town Green will be about in late September or early October.

Baliles quipped that Loganville’s Town Green was already operating and would even host Elton John at a future concert. The Elton Live Tribute band rocked the Groovin’ on the Green concert series on May 19.

Growth continues to be an issue for each of the municipalities, even the smaller ones such as Between and Good Hope. The mayors told the number of permits issues in 2022 and the amount already issued in the first half of 2023.

Between Mayor Robert Post said his town has issued 22 permits last year with 10 so far in 2023. Good Hope, in its 1.8 miles of coverage, has 20 permits a year ago with one issued this year, mayor Randy Garrett said.

Loganville was the largest issuer of permits in 2022 with 118 and with 20 to this point in 2023. Monroe issued 93 in 2022 and has 54 to date in 2023. Social Circle is ahead of schedule for the current year with 13 permits in less than five months in 2023 after 16 in all of 2022, Mayor David Keener said.

In speaking about what is unique about their respective city, each mayor had the chance to brag on their municipality.

“Our name is unique,” said Post of Between. “We are between here and there, between Monroe and Loganville and between Athens and Atlanta. People are starting to learn where Between is.” Keener said Social Circle’s “historic character’ is special along with the friendly people and independent school system.

“Our people make us unique,” Baliles said of Loganville. “We have 60,000 people a day to our city.”

Garrett summed up Good Hope by saying, “We are a small community where everybody is somebody.”

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