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Ball and David talk up Archway

Grady County remains a candidate to become an Archway community and two members of the Grady County Board of Commissioners are upbeat about the opportunity.
Commissioners Al Ball and T.D. David briefed their fellow commissioners Tuesday on recent meetings they attended with Archway officials and other community leaders.
Archway is an outreach of the University of Georgia and opens up all of the colleges of UGA to Archway communities in much the same way as the Extension Service operates through the UGA College of Agriculture.
“I think the county should be involved in Archway,” Commissioner Ball said Tuesday.
He explained that at a recent Archway meeting he was reluctant to commit financial support for the project until the board as a whole could learn about the program and make a board decision.
Ball said he personally could not commit the time to serve on an Archway executive committee because of the suggested monthly meetings.
“My reluctance to commit to the program, personally, is that I can’t be involved that frequently, but I think the county should be involved in it,” Ball said.
“Who to contact about certain things is sometimes one of the biggest hurdles. These folks know who to contact and who turns the wheels to get things done,” Commissioner T.D. David commented.
David said that no community that has been approached by Archway has ever turned them down, and the Archway communities have all been successful in the projects they took on.
“I’m like Mr. Ball, I think it is a good situation and I certainly believe we should consider it,” Commissioner David said.
The two commissioners explained to the other board members how Archway works. According to Ball, listening sessions will be held in order to gather public input into projects the public believes should be tackled.
“The projects will be developed out of these listening sessions. It will not be the executive committee that comes up with the projects. They will be the ones that have to narrow the projects down,” Ball said.
Commissioner Ball said a $25,000 commitment would be required for the balance of this year and then $50,000 annually. Archway would be active here, if Grady County is selected, for three to five years. UGA would invest $135,000 annually into the local program.
Ball and David said that in addition to local government, other organizations and businesses had been identified as possible financial partners for the Archway project.
County Attorney Kevin S. Cauley pointed out that through the permit application process for the Tired Creek lake the county had utilized research and services from UGA professors. The county has paid for those services, but Cauley noted that through Archway the county would have even greater access to resources for the lake project.
Vice Chairman Elwyn Childs, who presided Tuesday in the absence of Chairman Charles Norton, suggested the board take action on the Archway partnership at its next meeting when a full board was present and County Administrator Rusty Moye, who was also absent, would be present for the discussions. County Clerk Carrie Kines said Moye had already placed Archway on the formal action section of the June 21 commission meeting.

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