Refresh FO committee

First row, from left: Charles Faulkner, Chris McKeever, Jeff Epperson, James Thompson, Janet Cochran, Bob Dial, Byron Anderson and Geo Mejia. Second row, from left: City Manager Molly Huhn, City Council members Rhonda James, Paula Stinnett, Derek Rogers, Craig Crawford, and Jim Childs, and Mayor Earl Gray.

The city of Fort Oglethorpe recognized the Refresh Fort Oglethorpe committee that was trained and developed the Lafayette Road Corridor project that resulted in a $3 million Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant to fund the project, which at the time awarded, was the largest grant amount given to a single project by the federal agency.

The team attended the Balancing Nature and Commerce in Communities that Neighbor Public Lands training in 2011 conducted by the Conservation Leadership Fund. The team developed the Lafayette Road Corridor initiative based on the training and then worked with the city and community to design the restoration project on Lafayette Road between Ga. Highway 2A and the entrance to the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. The project was designed to address the loss of traffic and business on Lafayette Road caused by the by-pass around the entrance to the park.

James Thompson, who was Georgia’s ARC representative at the time, spearheaded the effort to provide the training, organize the team and secure the $3 million grant. DDA President Jeff Epperson chaired the committee of local volunteers and state and federal employees. Additional team members were Carrie Barnes, Janet Cochran, Louis Hamm, Chris McKeever, Jim Ogden and Leamon Scott. Fort Oglethorpe’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was instrumental in the successful implementation of the project.

The project included walk/bike lanes, medians to slow traffic and allow for brick crosswalks, new traffic lights and greenways. The road improvements have been completed. Once Lafayette Road is returned to the control of the city from the Georgia Department of Transportation, landscaping, lighting, signage, benches and beautifications will be addressed.

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