By Mayor Tony Paulk
Hello citizens of Douglas! We have a busy October in Douglas-Coffee County and the vote in November to establish a Tax Allocation District (T.A.D.) will be here soon! It doesn’t matter if you live in the city or county. Local officials and project representatives have tried to ensure the correct information has gotten out to the citizens of Douglas. We want everyone to be able to make an educated vote when it comes to establishing the T.A.D. I believe the benefits will be amazing for our Douglas-Coffee County community. Everyone - here’s your chance to make something happen in Douglas. The establishment of a T.A.D. will help show that our community can support these businesses which will create the opportunity for other stores to open. Let’s all get on board for this fantastic opportunity - this is our moment!
No one should say “there is nothing to do in Douglas” this month. We have Passionately Pink Month as Beta Sigma kicks off their fundraisers to support Breast Cancer Awareness. These ladies work passionately to help support people and families in our community that has been affected by breast cancer. The Chamber is hosting their annual Women in Leadership banquet to support and honor our women leaders in the community. Coffee Regional Medical Center is helping our community become healthier by offering the annual Community Health and Wellness Event. The Douglas Lions Club is celebrating their 20th year of the Big Buck Contest with a FREE concert! Last year, they donated OVER $50,000 to various organizations in our community, nationally, and internationally! The American Legion 515 is working diligently on Wreaths Across America and needs community support. If you have extra funds, donate to one of these great causes or a civic organization of your choice!
I have great news to share! Our Community Development Department learned on Friday, October 4, 2019, that the City of Douglas has been designated as a Georgia Department of Community Affairs 2020 Rural Zone city! What does this mean? This means that businesses in the rural zone may be eligible to earn tax credits for increasing their employment and other benefits. Look for more information about this designation soon!
Continue to pray, that weather permitting, all CMAR and other building projects will remain on schedule. I hope to have more updates next month – these projects are moving along nicely!
Have you seen the proposed plans for Wheeler Park? The Recreation Department along with the Community Foundation of Coffee County has a Plan Proposal for Wheeler Park. Immediate recommended plans for our community to consider include: building up the wheeler parks friends Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/WheelerPark/), hosting a series of family-friendly movie nights/events, build a little library and pop-up reading room, holding biannual park clean-up/volunteer days, introduce fitness-oriented programming, and tying the walking path to the established Douglas Greenway Trail.
The Community Foundation also included future proposed capital plans that include: revamping the playground and include a sprayground, replacing the baseball field with a flexible open area and amphitheater, widening the walking path, formalize and beautify park gateways and entrances, installing the right type of lighting throughout the park, restore the creek and make it into an asset, diversify the tree canopy, makeover the pavilion, and connecting the walking track to the Douglas Greenway Trail.
These are some great suggested plans from the Community Foundation, however, we need to hear from citizens about what improvements are a priority at Wheeler Park. As you can tell, this will be another project for improving our community’s quality of life. We need your support! We need community support to make these changes happen!
As Mayor of the City of Douglas, I am proud to live in Douglas and Coffee County! Positive improvements and projects allow Douglas to shine among some larger communities such as Valdosta or Tifton. Be sure to add these events to your calendar – they will be on mine! I hope to see you around our amazing town soon!