Austin Calls 2013 Good Year for Toccoa

Toccoa Mayor David Austin looks back at the last 12 months.

Austin spoke with AM 630 WNEG about the year 2013 for the city of Toccoa earlier this week.

He said overall, it was a good year for the city.

“We have done well for the citizens and the city,” said Austin.

Austin said the city accomplished many things in a number of areas.

He said the biggest accomplishment may have been having Billy Morse return as Toccoa’s City Manager.

“With all his years of experience with the city of Toccoa, having him come back and looking at a long term relationship with him, it has been good for the city,” said Austin.

Austin said it was also a good year for the city financially.  He points out that the city improved its financial situation and had a clean audit.

Mayor Austin also said the city assisted with and undertook a lot of improvements in various areas of the city over the last 12 months, including along Currahee Street and in downtown Toccoa.

“With the help of some local businessmen who jumped on this, we have started working on Currahee Street, demolishing buildings,” said Austin.  “On our downtown area, we awarded seven facade grants and the commission this year put more money into that to help business owners with renovations to their storefronts.”

Austin said the city also did some work at HendersonFallsPark and re-surfaced eight city streets, with plans for more work in both of those areas in 2014.

Meanwhile, Austin also said it was a good year for the city’s utilities department.

“The water department has done well with no violations,” said Austin.  “The gas department added 59 new gas taps and installed almost five miles of new gas line.”

The city also replaced three miles of old bare steel gas line, said Austin.

Other accomplishments listed by Austin include getting the city’s police and fire departments re-certified and continuing the city’s wellness program for its employees, which he says saves the city money on its health insurance.

Austin said the city is looking forward to 2014.

Two new commissioners will join the commission this year, as four-year terms for Jeanette Jamieson and Evan Hellenga began Wednesday.

The city commission will meet for the first time this year on January 13, when the commission will select its mayor and vice-mayor for 2014.