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Senoia residents speak out on future plans

It is a meeting that is held once every two years in Senoia. Sponsored by the Senoia Downtown Development Authority, the town hall meeting held Aug. 18 at the Freeman Sasser Building solicited input from nearly 100 residents on things they would like to see in the city in the near-term future. And among the top suggestions were path connectivity in and around the city, increased recreational venues along with local businesses being open on Sundays.

The idea for the meeting, said DDA Chair Suzanne Helfman, was to have residents give their input on changes they would like to see or additions to existing businesses or services. And that is what they did.

Consultant Paul Kreager returned to Senoia to conduct the meeting and began the session by explaining that DDA’s process of planning for the future involved receiving input from residents every two years.

The formula at the meeting was essentially simple. Kreager went around the room asking residents to name one thing they wanted to see in the city.
Their suggestions were written on large pieces of paper that were later hung on the walls. Residents then placed colored adhesive dots next to their top preferences.

Topping the list with 19 preferences each were a structured walking area around Merrimac Lake Park, having local businesses open on Sunday and a community center facility outfitted with amenities such as an indoor pool, fitness center and tennis courts.

Coming in next with 18 votes was cart path connectivity to Peachtree City followed by 17 votes for additional recreational opportunities for kids.
Other top vote-getters were items such as a “Shop Local” campaign, better code enforcement, more accommodations downtown for short-term parking and deliveries, an organic community garden, a conference center, a full-time farmers’ market and more local cart paths.

A sampling of the multitude of other suggestions included a local, old-fashioned theater, a general store with an emphasis on kids, a “Senoia” sign for Ga. Highway 74 and Rockaway Road, changes in the fishing season, a local newsletter or newspaper, a hardware store, an Italian restaurant, a bank, additional sidewalks, structured after-school programs for kids, a cigar shop, a Waffle House restaurant and an amphitheater.

DDA holds this type of town hall meeting every two years. Subsequent to suggestions from the last meeting a cart path was installed along Rockaway Road and the seasonal farmers’ market was initiated, Helfman said.

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