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August 1, 2009

Dixie Kinard: Dalton ready to build a new, strong foundation

The Grow Greater Dalton Plan was officially introduced to our community in a press conference at Dalton State College on Monday. The photo on the front page of this newspaper did not clearly show the room full of citizens who believe that we have to make a more progressive step forward with a pro active plan that will grow and diversify the economic base in our community.

Present were city and county officials, our elected Georgia legislators, small business owners, non-profits, school board representative and industry leaders from the carpet industry. This is a united effort and a well planned approach to strengthen our community and help determine the future of its citizens.

Everyone is at the table. This effort is headed by our Chamber and its staff and board of directors along with the Dalton Whitfield Joint Development Authority, the Downtown Dalton Development Authority and the Dalton Convention and Visitors Bureau as well as small and large business representatives. The county board chairman and mayor of Dalton have helped lead the way.

The Grow Greater Dalton plan did not just happen. Like Target Tomorrow in l996, months of planning and discussion have gone on for over a year. Community leaders and officials selected the best group available to lead and guide our community. We listened to what other communities have tried with success and with failure. We chose to follow those successful communities like Chattanooga, Gainesville and Rome and decided to do an even better job with Grow Greater Dalton.

A few said that is was not the best time to start such a plan, but when is the perfect time? We know that the true worth of character is shown in the hard times and this is true for individuals, companies and communities.

The people and companies supporting Grow Greater Dalton are sincerely passionate about this community and its citizens. We know that economic development is directly connected to the quality of life of the citizens of a community. This plan will help secure a better quality of life for our citizens and as the plan states, “The Future is NOW.”

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