I have been watching with great interest as to the demise of the role of the Chamber of Commerce and the creating of support from both the city and county commissions for a new approach.
It is way past time to take on county growth in an aggressive manner. We are about 20 years behind the curve. Bartow is moving to expand Old Highway 41 parallel to I-75. This new bridge is for transfer trucks and when completed, we will be sucking on the sow. Look at the prime land for manufacturing sites on Old 41 between Cartersville and Calhoun. Part (of that road) is already four lanes. When it’s all complete, we are going to be in real hurt.
The new approach to development must move aggressively. Drive down the four major corridors to the four high schools: No new businesses and major vacant properties. I was concerned with what I had heard and read that the Chamber does not want business to come in unless paying a high wage. Based on our industrial standing, we need to take what we can to bring in as building blocks for larger firms to find trained workers. Higher wages will follow.
We have graduating welders and other technical students that leave us strongly trained. Bring in the industries, no matter the size, to hire. Watching the outflow of employees in the mornings to other counties will tell one that we are losing employees. Drop in enrollment in K-12 is not due to quality in education, but from parents moving for employment.
The Chamber pushed for limited access to the opening of Highway 411, yet the state had just completed the heavy duty turning lanes every one-eighth mile to handle trucks. Probably did not sit well with GDOT. The widening of 140 will be more of a benefit to Bartow and Gordon. Truckers will only be giving up the “c leg” of the triangle to come off and back on to I-75. Little benefit to Floyd.
Let us not follow in the footsteps of our fore fathers that in the 1950s and 60s pushed for no labor union companies in Floyd. While I do not agree with unions in this day and time, back then it would have put Floyd on a stronger footing for today.
The new director must be provided with sound directives, properly held to high standards and given goals that will get us back in the ball game. If not, do not wait 20 years. Our distance from I-75 is a major issue, but not an excuse.
To me and our grandchildren, yes, it does matter.