It’s hard to believe 2017 is here. Time truly flies when you’re working as hard as Canton is to build a better, brighter future. The coming year is going to be huge for our community, and I am really proud of where we are and where we are headed.
1. New facilities and planning: Our community will see a lot of projects in 2017: renovations to the exterior of our treasured Jones Building in downtown Canton, bringing back the historical character of the structure; new bathrooms and parking improvements to our parks; and the opening of the new Northside Hospital-Cherokee. In addition, fire and emergency services will be fully provided through a partnership with Cherokee County starting in 2017. As part of this, Cherokee County will take the lead on developing a station in the Laurel Canyon area to better serve our city. We will also be working to develop a water and wastewater treatment master plan for Canton’s future. An important note here: all of our improvement projects and normal everyday operations are happening in 2017 with the third year in a row of tax reductions. This is something we are very proud of and is only happening with the excellent leadership of our mayor, city council and dedicated staff.
2. Leading the standard in local government: We continue to strive for innovation in the ways we connect with you daily and provide services, and 2017 will be no different. In 2016, we increased our social media presence and began sending city-wide e-blasts to share city news. We will be enhancing this by implementing a new branding and marketing program with a new website that will provide our residents, business community and visitors the ability to access information about Canton quickly and easily. We will implement more payment options and features for utilities − text to pay, voicemail reminders and overall striving to be more customer oriented. We are very excited about the new ways to connect with everyone.
3. Roads in Canton: Last year we undertook the largest streets rehabilitation project in the city’s history and paved almost 12 miles of our streets. This year, we plan to use $1.5 million dedicated from SPLOST funding to pave more than 12 miles of streets and perform infrastructure improvements. We are committed to keeping our infrastructure progress the most aggressive in Cherokee County.
We have a lot of great projects in store for 2017, but one thing will never change — Canton’s city hall is your city hall. This staff is your staff. We are here to serve you. Do not ever hesitate to contact us to find information or let us know what you think.
If you do not see a project or issue you care deeply about mentioned here, make sure to connect with us socially. We use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our city e-blast to bring you nearly anything you’d ever want to know about your hometown. Check it out some time — you’ll be glad you did.
By Billy Peppers, Canton City Manager