A 300-unit apartment complex is currently under construction behind Publix. Amenities include a pool, fitness studio, private garages and play park for 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartment. The project is just one of many residential construction projects. Photo by Denise Ray
Strong housing, retail growth to continue in Dawson
Dawson County Commission Chairman Billy Thurmond delivered his State of the County speech October 11 at the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce luncheon where attendees were served up more than just a delicious lunch.
Highlights included current projects throughout the county, the March TSPLOT vote, and the FY 2019 budget.
Of note was the Lumpkin Campground Road and Hwy. 53 project. The county has been working with Georgia Department of Transportation to help increase traffic flow at this intersection.
“The intersection will have turn lanes and a left turn signal as part of the modification.” Thurmond explained in an email to Smoke Signals.
According to Thurmond, the changes will help with anticipated residential and commercial growth. GDOT is to provide the material for the project and the county supplies labor. Thurmond stated that he hoped the project would be completed by year end or the early part of next year.
Commercial growth included 177 new businesses year-to-date. Olive Garden is planned for the current Huck’s Apple Barn location on Dawson Forest Road. The surrounding parcels are currently available for sale, according to Thurmond.
“As you all know, we’re a retail-based community,” he said. “We want to diversify that a little bit and try to find some businesses that have higher paying jobs. It’s very important that we diversify our economy in this county and in this community. We will take a constant look at that to make sure that we’re not causing an issue with that.”
Residential building permits have more than doubled from last year, according to the chairman. There will be 683 new homes in developments on Lumpkin Campground Road and Sosebee Road (340), and Dawson Forest Road (60) and Red Rider Road (283). There are also 300 apartments currently under construction off Dawson Forest Road behind Publix and 60 townhouses on Riley Place. Lumpkin Campground road will also be the location of 190 senior homes and Magnolia Assisted Senior Living.
“We’ve got to have a mix of affordable housing as well as the more different homes that we have in this county as well,” Thurmond said. “Not everybody can live or afford to purchase a $250,000 to $300,000 home. You got to have a place for people to live if they want to live in this community and work in this community.”
Dawson Ridge, a 190-member senior community is slated for construction on Lumpkin Campground. Magnolia Assisted Senior Living is also slated to be built on the same road.
The board is looking at potential transportation projects which could be funded by Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, or TSPLOT, which will be determined by a March referendum.
“One of the things I wanted to make sure of as we looked at the 2019 budget was that that budget was efficient,” Thurmond said. “It also meets the need of our elected officials and our departments. It’ll increase productivity. It gives our elected official and staff personnel and equipment to better perform the services they provide for you.”