SCDA Elects New Board Members

The Stephens County Development Authority has its officers in place for the start of 2014.

A special called meeting of the Development Authority board took place Thursday morning to elect those officers.

Stephens County Commission Chairman Dean Scarborough was elected Chairman of the Development Authority, while at-large member Barry Roberts was elected to serve as Vice-Chairman.

At-large Development Authority Board Member Tim Ash was named Treasurer.

Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber Chair Brian Akin was elected to serve as the board’s secretary and Toccoa Mayor Gail Fry was elected to serve as Assistant Secretary.
By Charlie Bauder

Initial TNG Figures From Cold Snap Coming In

Toccoa Natural Gas is reporting some initial figures regarding gas usage related to last week’s cold snap.

Officials say that, according to figures provided by the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia, during the period of 10 a.m. January 6 to 10 a.m. January 7, 9,320 Mcf of natural gas went through the city’s pipeline.

It was during that period that temperatures in Stephens County dropped into the single digits, with downtown Toccoa reaching seven degrees.

Meanwhile, that 9,320 Mcf figure is about seven times higher than the period between 10 a.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. Wednesday when 1,304 Mcf went through the city’s pipeline.

One Mcf of natural gas equals 1,000 cubic feet of natural gas.

The high usage across natural gas systems across the East resulted in Toccoa Natural Gas cutting off its interruptible gas customers for a time last week to help curtail demand during the coldest weather.
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Stephens Co. Solar Panel Project Moving Forward

A solar panel farm project in Stephens County is moving full speed ahead. Tuesday, the Stephens County Development Authority board voted to approve and execute a lease agreement United Renewable Energy of Alpharetta for the company to construct a solar panel farm on land the Development Authority owns off of Wolf Pit and Turner roads. It is all part of a Georgia Power initiative to increase its use of solar power.
By Charlie Bauder
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Toccoa Named Ga. Main Street “GEM”

The Toccoa Main Street program received special recognition from the state of Georgia. Last week, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs announced that Toccoa is one of five Main Street programs to be named in the first class of the Georgia Exceptional Main Streets, or GEMS, program. Toccoa was selected along with Bainbridge, Greensboro, Rome, and Valdosta. These five cities received the recognition out of 14 that applied statewide. Toccoa Main Street Director Connie Tabor said it is quite an honor to be selected in the first year of this statewide initiative.
By Charlie Bauder
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GA Department of Economic Development Leaders Visit Stephens Co.

Top state economic development officials take time to visit Stephens County.

Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr and his staff spent Wednesday traveling through the county, meeting with local officials.

Carr said the goal of the trip, which included other stops throughout Georgia, is for his team to build and establish relationships with local officials.

“Economic development, like politics, is, was, and always will be a people business and it is important to get in front of people to hear what is going on and to talk about the resources and the expertise that we can potentially bring to bear and partner with our communities,” said Carr.
Pictured above: GDEcD's Cheryl Smith, Kevin Langston, Commissioner Chris Carr, and Tammy Caudell, and Stephens County Development Authority's Tim Martin. 
By Charlie Bauder