2013 is already shaping up to be a bright year for Powder Springs. That was the message Mayor Pat Vaughn gave during her “State of the City” address on Feb. 12.
Vaughn began her address by focusing on the city’s economic status. She said that even though this year is in its infancy, at least one economic factor has shown growth over the previous year.
“The city continues to recover and we are encouraged by recent signs of economic activity,” Vaughn said. “Our building permits, residential development, is under way on New Macland at the Vineyards development. This year, we have had 24 new housing starts, whereas last year, we only had zero.
“So that is a very, very good sign, and we are quite pleased with that.”
Twenty-one new businesses have come to the city, Vaughn said, including the Governor’s Gun Club at U.S. 278, which is expected to open in April.
Within the government, Vaughn said the city’s expenses are down 7 percent while revenues exceeded expenditures by $600,000. The city’s favorable financials, she said, led the city council to vote to maintain a minimum of a four-month unreserved fund balance.
“The council gave serious thought to what we would do if we had a tragedy like Adairsville,” Vaughn said, referring to the Bartow County city’s Jan. 30 tornado. “They wanted to be very prepared, so we’re very pleased to be able to have a four-month unreserved fund balance.
“We do have a long way to go on the [economic] recovery, but I’m happy to say that we can now see a glimmer of hope.”
Vaughn during her speech highlighted two developments of the city’s police force. One recently completed Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax project was the purchase and installation of an in-car video system for police cars. “It enhances the capabilities of officers in performing their duties, and the system will provide greater accuracy in recording,” she said.
Another public safety acquisition was that of five new police vehicles. Vaughn said the city was “desperately in need” for the vehicles, so city council members voted to use some city fund reserves to purchase the five police cars.
This year, city residents should see the completion of a 7,000-square-foot theater in the Powder Springs Library. When the library was being built, the city installed HVAC and ordered materials for the theater, but the theater portion of the project could not be completed in time for the library’s 2008 opening. Vaughn said the theater build-out is expected to be completed this summer.
City officials, Vaughn said, continue to work with Cobb County and the U.S. Postal Service to change the ZIP code for properties within the city boundaries but currently have a Hiram ZIP code.
“That has been very confusing for people who actually live in Powder Springs, but I assume their licenses and mailing addresses are Hiram. And we also have quite a few residents who live in the city limits of Hiram and they have a Powder Springs ZIP code.”
Vaughn touted several of the city’s annual events, including a July Fourth celebration that “continues to grow every year” and the Christmas tree lighting event, which is typically held the first Saturday in December.
The mayor also brought up Oct. 5’s Powder Springs Day, which is set to commemorate a huge milestone.
“It’s going to be a very special Powder Springs Day, because we will be celebrating our 175th birthday, so we’re in the process of making plans and things for that event, but we’re excited,” she said.
Vaughn ended her address by saying that she and city officials are seeing that “glimmer of hope” and “the light at the end of the tunnel.”
“We are proud of what the city has done, we have maintained our services—we haven’t cut services; we’ve just cut some of our expenditures.”
Flyers containing highlights of Vaughn’s address were given to attendees during the Feb. 12 event, and city residents will receive copies with their water bills. A PDF version of the flyer is attached to this article.