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Mayor's annual 'State of the Town' report shows Tyrone holding its own

Tyrone Mayor Don Rehwaldt during the annual State of Tyrone address Thursday night was up front with the effects of the recession on the local economy. Rehwaldt said the town is in satisfactory condition but must remain fiscally vigilant throughout the long-running recession.

Rehwaldt said he expected 2011 to be more financially challenging than last year, both for Tyrone and Georgia. And though the state will be faced with a deficit of more than $820 million due to the phasing out of federal stimulus funds, Tyrone is expected to be in a satisfactory financial position, Rehwaldt said.

The lengthy recession and the state’s 10 percent unemployment rate is mirrored in Tyrone by an increasing foreclosure rate.

“Businessmen continue to find difficulty in obtaining loans to either start new ventures or to continue in their current businesses. Commercial foreclosures, coupled with the reduced values of residential property, will cause property tax revenues to lessen,” Rehwaldt said. “The failure of the Fayette County (one-cent sales tax for transportation initiative) last year will also reduce our ability to plan or initiate any capital projects by approximately $250,000. This translates into reduced revenues to maintain the services residents have come to expect.”

Rehwaldt said there were 31 percent fewer residential building permits and 10 percent fewer commercial permits issued in 2010 as compared to 2009. The majority of the residential projects were for alterations, with only eight permitted for new home construction.

The recognition of these and other issues facing the residents of every community are not meant to cause undue concern, said Rehwaldt.

“It is meant to allow those unaware of the very real problems Tyrone is facing to, hopefully, become more aware of some of the elements facing the town and its citizens and to again state that Tyrone, even with its budget shortfall, is in a relatively satisfactory position,” he said.

The economy notwithstanding, Rehwaldt said there were a number of significant accomplishment and improvements that occurred last year. Among those were the acquisition of a Smart Trailer for police to better monitor traffic flows, upgraded tactical weapons for law enforcement, an additional emergency warning siren through negotiations with the county, an updated town procurement manual, up-to-date records disposition procedures, the codification of the town’s ordinances and a 26 percent decrease in major crime, a 44 percent decrease in thefts and an eight percent decrease in reported incidents.

“Will the town be able to provide services over and above the essentials (public safety and sanitation) such as maintaining our infrastructure? Probably. Will non-essential services such as library and recreation be curtailed? Probably not at this time, but unless revenues increase, maintaining these services at their current level may diminish,” Rehwaldt said.

“Will Tyrone be able to expand any non-essential services? Probably not. Steps taken in the past two years, such as reducing expenditures, curbing salary increases, delaying replacement hiring and staff volunteering to reduce hours, have helped Tyrone maintain a relatively stable posture,” said Rehwaldt.

Rehwaldt at the end of the address thanked the town council, town employees, department heads and volunteers for their continuous work on behalf of the town and its citizens.



suggarfoot's picture

Has everyone noticed how quiet we Tyronians have been the past few years after the old mayor, Amos, and friend lost their grip on us? That is because we now have good competent government.

It is now a pleasure to go up to the town hall to pay your bill or check on something. I can remember when just going in there asking for anything of certain people was a real day spoiler.

We are being run right and it shows. Thanks everyone for the EXCELENT jobs you are doing!

For going back on your campaign promise to change that Barry Amos Zoning Ordinance. For doing so much to promote business like the increased sign ordinance restriction you passed, that helps to promote business. For not putting a sign on Hwy 74 saying Exit here for downtown business district. For paying lawyers large fees to defend the Barry Amos Restrictive zoning. For allowing Barry & Valerie to take over $50,000 of taxpayers money in violation of the employee payment plan. And especially for keeping it a secret from everyone by never saying a word about it and not using your lawyers to have the money returned.
Oh, and for not mentioning the GBI investigation that proved it was a civil violation.

Thanks Mayor Rehwaldt for pretending to the people that the zoning ordinance has been codified when that is actually not true. Just getting a person with no legal knowledge to insert a few but not all amendments is not codification.

Thanks for letting us pay for a town lawyer to represent the government and not the citizens.

Thanks for increasing the revenue by allowing the police and town court to fine Tyrone citizens $150 for minor and questionable traffic tickets. And even arresting and jailing elderly women for driving without a license when that was not true.

And real thanks to anyone who is planning to run for council to announce right now that you will be opposing that little liar boy Tracy Young who said when running in 2007 in the citizen newspaper and I quote “If elected I will vote to repeal the zoning ordinance and ask businesses what they want”. Then when elected voted against changing the ordinance and never asked any businesses. Ditto for the mayor and every single council member currently serving, including the planning chairman Gordon Shenkle. Reference: The Citizen Newspaper, Monday October 22, 2007.

To Potential candidates, the entire business community is waiting to support someone who will represent their interests.

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