Caterpillar Breaks Ground for Expansion

After ten successful years in Stephens County, the Fortune 500 Company, Caterpillar, Inc., plans an exciting expansion at their Hayestone-Brady Business Park Location. A ground breaking ceremony was held Friday January 27, 2012. The Ceremony was emceed by the Facility Manager, Jason Beckerdite. Speakers from the local community included: City of Toccoa Mayor, David Austin; Chairman of the Stephens County Development Authority, Cam Parker; and Chairman of the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce, Barry Roberts. Speakers from the state level included, Deputy Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Gretchen Corbin; Regional Representative for Senator Chambliss, Jim Hussey; and Deputy District Director and representative of Congressman Paul C. Broun, Matt Waldroup; as well as executives from Caterpillar that included: Division Vice, Greg Folley; General Manager of Remanufacturing and Components Division, Ken Hoefling and Jack Nichols former General Manager. More than one orator congratulated the efforts of the local leaders and the Stephens County work force that made the expansion possible with their daily dedication to producing a high-quality product. Ceremonial shovels were then used to symbolically break ground on the 40,000-square-foot expansion to the Caterpillar Inc. facility. Caterpillar intends to exceed $20 million in investment on the expansion and will transform its current structure to a substantial 110,000-square-foot thus providing an additional 50 jobs by the year 2015. The ribbon cutting ceremony for the new addition is projected to be held in August of this year.

Mitchem Hired as New Public Works Director

Stephens County has a new Public Works Director. County Administrator Phyllis Ayers announced at Tuesday’s Stephens County Commission meeting that Tim Mitchem has been hired as the new Public Works Director for Stephens County. Ayers said that Mitchem started in the job last week. Mitchem last served as the Public Works Director in Rabun County, filling that post for 6 years through last year.

Phyllis Ayers Named County Administrator

Stephens County Commissioners make it official. Tuesday, the commission voted unanimously to name Phyllis Ayers as the full-time County Administrator. The commission named Ayers as its choice for the job earlier this month. She had served as the Interim Administrator since October, when John Rutan resigned. Ayers will also continue to serve as the county’s Finance Director.

Main Street Awards Reception Today

The Toccoa Main Street Program will hold its annual Main Street Awards reception later today. The reception will be located at Toccoa City Hall, starting at 5 p.m. with light refreshments and the Awards Program and Volunteer Recognition Ceremony beginning at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the event. For more information, call the Main Street Toccoa office at 706-282-3309.

Stephens County School Recognized for High Achievement

Big A Elementary School is one of 370 school in Georgia recognized by the Governor’s Office for Student Achievement for results on state test scores. Big A received a Bronze Award for high achievement on the CRCT. Governor Nathan Deal congratulated the schools for their commitment to hard work and high academic standards.

Stephens County Receives a Clean Audit for 2011

Stephens County receives a clean audit for Fiscal Year 2011. According to the audit report from Mauldin and Jenkins, the county received a clean opinion. There was only one finding for segregation for duties. In addition, the audit report shows that the county’s fund balance grew during the last fiscal year by about $765,000 to a total of almost $7.9 million as of June 30, 2011, the end of the fiscal year.