Grant award

From left: DCA Region 1 Representative Patrick Vickers, Mayor Pro Tempore Terry Crawford, DCA ARC Program Manager Brittany Pittman, City Council members Sara Clark and Randall Franks, City Manager Dan Wright, and Georgia Sen. Jeff Mullis. (Contributed photo/City of Ringgold)

City officials in Ringgold recently took part in a "big check" presentation with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs after being awarded a $600,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant in November.

The newly-awarded grant will be used to assist in adding a 500,000-gallon water tank to serve the South Alabama Highway industrial and commercial districts.

Georgia Sen. Jeff Mullis, Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority president and CEO, understands the importance of economic development and supporting industry

“To assist with the creation and/or retention of jobs in our region is top on my list,” Sen. Mullis said. “Ringgold is blessed with some great manufacturers and commercial businesses. They had a need for additional resources and we were able to play a role in the process.”

Mayor Pro Tem Terry Crawford says Mullis was instrumental in helping Ringgold secure the grant.

“We want to thank the state for awarding Ringgold this grant,” Crawford said. “Water is one of most important commodities and is a top priority to me. As a retired volunteer fire fighter, having adequate water storage is extremely important in fighting any fire.

Councilwoman Sara Clark said the ARC grant makes a very affirmative statement for the city.

“Ringgold is being recognized for its progress and forward thinking,” Clark opined. “Thanks, from this council member to the staff for all the hard work it took to bring this grant to such a successful completion.”

Councilman Randall Franks, who serves also serves as Ringgold's Downtown Development Authority Chairman, said the effort prepares the city for greater opportunities in business and helps our residential districts in the area as well.

"This opportunity to improve our water system to enhance economic industrial development and ultimately all of our customers' service will be an amazing step forward that we could not have taken without the ARC," Franks said. "I was privileged to represent Georgia to the ARC in the past, learning about what it does throughout the Appalachians. Considering all the communities in need in Appalachia, we are truly blessed to receive these funds."

City Manager Dan Wright said it is relationships that helps to ensure Ringgold has such opportunities.

“The city is blessed with having awesome relationships with our Senator Jeff Mullis, State Representative DeWayne Hill, Governor Nathan Deal, and many other state officials," Wright said. "The city enjoys long healthy relationships with Richard Akin, an engineer from Rindt-McDuff Associates Inc., Delmos Stone with Northwest Georgia Regional Commission, and Patrick Vickers and Brittany Pittman, both with the Department of Community Affairs. This has been a team effort and many people played a role in the success of this water tank grant award. To be able to retain and create jobs is the focus of ARC, the state of Georgia and Ringgold.”

Adam Cook is a general assignment reporter and covers the Walker-Catoosa County area. He has been a reporter since 2009. He can be reached at The Catoosa County News office at 706-935-2621 and by email at acook@npco.com.