Thomas County looks to the future - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomas County looks to the future

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December 20, 2005

Thomasville-- Over the next two years, county officials will form a comprehensive plan for growth. Thomas County, a growing community, is launching a new comprehensive plan this year.

"It sets direction for counties or cities for future growth." Thomas County Building Inspector, Johnny Reichert, says the 10-year plans are required by Georgia law, so the state knows where to funnel its money.

"This is one quick method of the state assessing what you're doing. Is that money really needed in your area?"

Thomas' plan won't be finished for two years, for action in 2018. It focuses on eight points: Population, economic development, housing natural and cultural resources, community facilities, transportation, land use, and intergovernmental coordination.

Intergovernmental coordination ties in to housing and population. The county is partnering with the city of Thomasville to create an urban service area.

"That's an area the city of Thomasville would like to see their growth because of their utility services," said Reichert.

The city could recoup their money of course from water and sewer and power usage, cable. A consideration that's part of the reason for a 60-day moratorium on new subdivisions in Thomas, as is the plan's preservation of agricultural land.

"Public input is a great part of this. Every citizen will have the opportunity to attend public hearings," said Reichert.

The first of which are expected to start next year. To be adopted, a comprehensive plan has to pass through two review boards.

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