The discussion, held at the Villanow Fire Station, was preceded by a recap led by Heiskell. She discussed projects and problems the county has tackled over the past year. Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Pollard summed up im-provements in Walker County Fire and Emergency Services.
Resident Bob C. Longwith said he fears the county does not have enough water to maintain the current population. State officials have predicted northwest Georgia’s population will double within the next 20 years.
“We have appointed a commission in this community to oversee the de-velopment of the water resources here,” Heiskell said. “We don’t have to have a water source that comes from Walker County. We just have to have one that will serve Walker County. We may have to build a water plant, and we’re looking at a regional (water) system in order to get the state to fund it.”
Resident Marion Cargal said he wants street improvements on Shehan Lane near his home. Longwith said better ditch drainage on area roads would extend their lives.
“You can put pavement on sugar, and it will stand up if you can keep the water out from under it,” Longwith said.
County attorney Don Oliver said he believes new county ordinances will help enhance and maintain local roads.
In the past, developers received different treatment “depending who was in the office that day,” Oliver said. “We sat down and developed a checklist that all developers will have to go through before they are allowed to move forward with a subdivision.”
Heiskell suggested some potential projects to put on the county’s next special-purpose local-option sales tax, or SPLOST, referendum. Among those projects were water and sewer improvements, recreation facilities, more fire hydrants, more parking at the Walker County Courthouse and roads improvement.
Residents also asked Heiskell to look into improving poor cell phone reception in the valley, an issue which Heiskell hopes to address any way she can.
“I will definitely work on that,” Heiskell said. “We need them everywhere. We can’t live without cell phones anymore.”
“One of the things we have done is try to work with the cell phone companies and offer potential (cell) tower sites at some of the fire stations so they are spread throughout,” county Coordinator David Ashburn said. “Then, the county could generate revenue that would help decrease your taxes and reach some of the outlying areas.”
Heiskell said she would like to consider producing a new aerial map of the county. The last one was made in 1981