JA19 web - Page 33



Boyd Austin, the mayor of county seat Dallas who has
served for 24 years, has witnessed the population
explosion that has obviously brought challenges. Yet he
feels the county is doing a great job meeting them.
“In 2006-2007 the county was approaching capacity
at the two waste treatment plans, and they began making
plans for expansion. But in 2009, the housing market fell
apart and plans were put on hold.” However, according to
the mayor, expansion plans re-surfaced in 2015 and a
consolidated expanded water treatment plant was
opened in 2016. “At that time, the plans were to expand
again in five years,” he said, “However, in three years we
were at capacity again.”
It is one of the only counties in metro Atlanta without
an independent water supply and has long relied on the
Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority to supply water.
But Paulding officials knew that having better access to
reliable, safe drinking water was essential. This need led
to implementation of the Richland Creek Reservoir Water
Supply Program to secure an independent water supply
for future generations of residents.
AN IMPRESSIVE WATER PROJECT
Efforts began in 1999 when Paulding Countians
approved the development of a new water supply reservoir,
a process that often takes up to 20 years. Since that time,
and after significant efforts involving federal and state
governmental agencies including the U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers, the county was granted a permit in October
2015 to allow construction of the Richland Creek Reservoir
Water Supply Program.
The various components of this supply program are
designed to work together to ultimately deliver up to 36
million gallons per day of drinking water available to
Paulding County residents and businesses.
Implementation to reach that future capacity will be
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J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9
phased over time as water demands
increase to keep the investments
affordable. Over $200 million is
being invested in the project.
It was Marietta-based Croy
Engineering that partnered with
GARNEY Construction to
successfully complete the Richland
Creek Reservoir Raw Water Pipeline
project. Located between the
Etowah River in Bartow County and
the new Richland Creek Reservoir
site, completion occurred on May
26, 2017— a full eight months
ahead of schedule.
The final project includes
18,200 linear feet of 48-inch water
transmission from the Etowah River
to the north of the Richland Creek Reservoir site. With an
aggressive schedule and cost controls in place, the
design and land acquisition teams were coordinated in
parallel. And by switching to steel pipe, the Croy team
was able to achieve significant cost savings and finish
ahead of schedule. (As the largest steel pipeline project in
Georgia last year, it will serve as a great foundation for
upcoming reservoir projects.)
“This is a massive program with a lot of players
involved,” says Paulding County Water System Director
Laurie Ashmore. “It is the largest capital investment in
Paulding County, and was so necessary to secure our
future water supply.”
There’s more good news. This is
the ninth healthiest county in the state
as researched by the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation. Paulding County is
also home to the nationally-recognized
WellStar Paulding Hospital— a sevenfloor, state-of-the-art facility that opened
five years ago.
“It’s definitely one of the best in the
country,” said Dallas Mayor Austin. “When
the hospital was built, they intentionally left
two floors open to allow for growth, but we
have had to build them out to meet the
demand. It’s an incredible resource for this
community.”
The 112-bed hospital was built on 33 acres of land
with 57 acres left for expansion.
Another example of the growth explosion is the
Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport, which will be home
to a new aviation academy through Chattahoochee
Tech. The state has appropriated $35 million to the
technical institution to build an aviation mechanics
school. According to officials, Delta Air Lines is a big
player in on the academy, and the aviation industry
leaders are all backing it.
“This is an am amazing opportunity for Paulding to
help with meeting the needs of the aerospace industry for
our state, providing a steady supply of highly trained
skilled workers,” says Chamber President Hamby. “Of
course, on a local level it offers an opportunity for a
career in a high-paying job while being trained
close to home. We also look forward to the
positive exposure our general aviation airport
will receive and the effect it may have to
draw new aerospace companies and make
our airport an economic success.”
“There is expected to be a huge
shortage of aviation mechanics in a few
years,” notes Commission Chairman
Carmichael. “And there is a big push to
train more mechanics. Through this
academy, we will be preparing a new
workforce to take over and fill a lot of vacant jobs.”
There are other big announcements in Paulding
County including GreyStone Power Corporation breaking
ground in July on its new headquarters from neighboring
Douglas County.
But with all this to boast about, Carmichael says
that’s not the bottom line on what makes Paulding
County so special. “It’s been about the people since the
day this county was founded in 1832. The people are our
greatest asset.”
Cindy Morley is a staff writer for James and InsiderAdvantage Georgia.
MEETING NEEDS IN EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE
Furthermore, there’s no doubt that this county treasures
its rich history. For example, a priority is the preservation of
landmarks that are included on the National Historic
Register. In fact, there are four: the Fannin-Cooper Farm,
the Hiram Colored School, the Paulding County Courthouse
and the Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Site.
Paulding Countians are also proud of their superb
educational system, their nationally-recognized hospital
and a state-of-the-art airport which will become home to
Chattahoochee Tech’s aviation maintenance academy.
And they have good reason to be proud.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, the school
district serves about 30,000 students through 19
elementary schools, nine middle schools and five high
schools. More than half of the county’s teachers hold an
advanced degree and, on average, have nearly 10 years of
teaching experience. By the way, the Paulding County
College and Career Academy is expected to open this fall.
Paulding County graduates can also choose to stay
close to home to continue their education. After all, the
county is home to Chattahoochee Technical College,
Georgia Highlands College and a satellite campus of
Kennesaw State University.
J U LY / A U G U S T 2 0 1 9
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