By Mayor Tony Paulk
Hello citizens of Douglas! Our community is poised for a September to remember! Football season has kicked off! Our mighty Coffee High Trojans traveled to Brunswick to secure the first win of the season. This was my type of game! Our Trojans were in command the entire game. We are a team that plays with a gigantic heart. As I was sitting in the stands, I was just amazed at the efforts of students and grateful for their countless hours of preparation to represent our community. I would like to personally thank the parents of the football players, cheerleaders, band members, Trojan fans, Coffee County Board of Education, administrative staff, teachers, principals, janitors, bus drivers, lunch room workers, Motivated Mothers, coaches, CHS Band Boosters, and our Touchdown Club. My heart was filled with joy and I am grateful to God for blessing our community.
The Douglas-Coffee County Parks and Recreation has also launched their football season. Folks this is serious business - our coaches and parents are amazing! I would like to invite everyone to attend at least one parks and recreation football game this year. I guarantee you will get caught up in the excitement. Our players, cheerleaders, coaches, parents, and fans just might as well be at the Super Bowl. Again, our children continue to effortlessly keep me focused on my duties and responsibilities as mayor. Please attend a football game this year. I promise you will enjoy it!
It’s almost time for the Gopher Tortoise Festival! That’s right! Clear your calendar and come out and support our community’s first Gopher Tortoise Festival on September 6 and 7. There will be food, music, arts and crafts, and too many vendors to list! This is going to be awesome. We offer a big thank you to the Douglas-Coffee County Chamber of Commerce for creating the festival. The festival will be located downtown and the city has closed streets to support the overall safety of the community.
Our community has a gospel concert scheduled for September 14 featuring Le’Andria Johnson and Darius Paulk. Le’Andria Johnson is an American gospel musician and singer-songwriter. Ms. Johnson is the winner of season three winner of BET gospel singing competition show, Sunday Best. I am excited to hear her #1 Billboard Gospel chart song titled “I Shall Leap into My Destiny.” Additionally, Mr. Darius Paulk of Douglas will be performing and I am super excited to hear and see this young man. City of Douglas and Coffee County, have you ever been in church and heard the song, “Nobody’s Greater?” Well, Darius Paulk wrote that song! Yes, Darius Paulk from Pearl Avenue wrote “Nobody’s Greater!” Please go listen to Mr. Paulk’s new release “Strong Name.” I promise you will enjoy it!
South Georgia State College Theatre Productions will be performing their first show of the season “Pretty Fire.” The production will be on September 26-29 at McGouirk Auditorium/Peterson Hall. I cannot wait to view the performance. Citizens of Coffee County please support our young adults attending college in our community. My wife has already purchased our tickets.
I was invited to visit the Coffee County 9-1-1 Center by the director, Mrs. Crockett. When Mrs. Crockett invited me, she was so excited about her staff and their service to our community. The first question I asked, why are the lights off? Mrs. Crockett explained that the staff preferred the lights be off and the staff is more productive with the lights off. You will be amazed at the setup of each workstation. Each cubicle has about 3 million monitors (actually 3 or 4). The amount of information displayed on each monitor is overwhelming, but our 9-1-1 Center staff are confident and professional. I had the opportunity to be in the building when a 9-1-1 call came in. Folks, it was all hands-on deck!! The entire environment shifted from relaxed to very focused and extremely caring. Our 9-1-1 Center staff receives over 200 calls per day. I have a newfound respect for our 9-1-1 Center staff. In times of trouble, we call 9-1-1, but we forget that until the police, ambulance, sheriff deputies, and fire department arrives, the 9-1-1 staff is that calming and reassuring voice on the phone. At that moment of uncertainness, you call
9-1-1 and the 9-1-1 staff will control and guide the situation by their professionalism and commitment of serving our community. I was grateful for the invitation, but I was impressed and humbled by our 9-1-1 staff’s heartfelt commitment to our community. God’s grace be upon our 9-1-1 Center.
The vote in November to establish a tax allocation district (T.A.D.) is coming up soon! Get educated about T.A.D. and know the benefits of establishing a T.A.D. for our city. A lot of folks are saying we want a better grocery store…I can’t say much about possible upcoming projects but, I can tell you, if the T.A.D. is not established, it is very unlikely that our community will be looked at for a better grocery store. We have to get PHASE 1 of the project under construction and the way to do this, is with the establishment of a T.A.D. to show that our community can support these businesses which will create the opportunity for other stores to open. We are still waiting for the County and Board to make a decision for the second Town Hall meeting, so be on the lookout for an upcoming meeting.
As many of you know, we have several projects underway and some coming up! Here’s an update on projects as August 30, 2019.
Public Utilities Building – Under construction since week ending July 26, 2019, anticipated completion date Jan 2020;
Public Works Building –Under construction week ending July 26, 2019, anticipated completion date Jan 2020, this project also includes the canopy at the new shop and awning at the Boys/Girl Club;
Recreation Sports Complex – Bids will be released 1st week of Sep 2019, bid opening on 1st week Oct 2019, with construction to begin 1st Nov 2019;
Davis Wade Pool & Miracle Field - Mayor & Council to review/ok plans 1st meeting in Oct 2019, bids will be released bids 1st week of Nov 2019, bid opening 1st week of Dec 2019 with construction to begin mid- Jan 2020;
City Hall - Release bids Oct 2019, bid opening Nov 2019, with construction to begin mid-Jan 2020, this project also includes gutters and soffit at Gym; and
Small Multiple Projects that are in need of repairs such as Airport Terminal ceiling/roof, Fire Station #3 ceiling /roof.
That’s a pretty extensive update for now, and let’s pray, that weather permitting, all CMAR and other building projects will remain on schedule. I hope to have more updates next month - I can’t wait to see these projects completed!
As mayor of the City of Douglas, I am super excited to have so many positive events and phenomenal projects going on in our community. This is truly going to be a September to remember! All these events are already on my calendar – add them to your calendar. Please come out and support all events, take a drive on Sunday and look at how our town is growing and most of all remember these events and projects will keep Douglas shining brightly!