TROUP COUNTY…WORKS

Strategically Planning for the Future

Troup County, Georgia is at a critical juncture with respect to planning for the future given its unprecedented growth prospects.  To create a framework for sustainable development in the face of the economic growth anticipated not only from the arrival of Kia and its suppliers but also from the burgeoning activities in the Columbus and Atlanta metro regions, leaders in Troup County and the Cities of LaGrange, West Point, and Hogansville launched a two-year strategic planning initiative in June 2007.  Our efforts have involved developing innovative strategies for promoting quality growth, fostering healthy economic development, and enhancing residents’ quality of life, while protecting Troup County’s natural environment, sense of place, and community.

 

Our Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development is based on our mutual desire to preserve and enhance places for area residents and businesses by proactively, progressively and creatively directing the community’s growth and development to shape its future.  This plan has benefitted from the insights of approximately 1,500 community stakeholders, including our youth, and many of our partners.  The purpose of TROUP COUNTY…WORKS is to foster the continued implementation of our plan’s initiatives through 2012.

 

OUR MISSION                                                                 OUR VISION

 

 

 

OUR CALL TO ACTION

·         ANTICIPATED GROWTH: Troup County and its cities will experience significant employment and residential growth in the next 25 years, unlike the population and job trends of the past. More than 20,000 jobs and over 1,400 new firms could be created in Troup’s nine-county region due to the economic impact of the Kia automotive plant. The job growth is anticipated to yield a population increase of nearly 50,000 for the region by 2030.  The expansion of Fort Benning and continued growth in the metro Atlanta and Columbus areas are expected to have an ongoing rippling effect on Troup County.

 

·         ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Over 7,000 of the anticipated jobs are directly related to Kia and its suppliers, but new jobs for the region are expected in virtually every industry sector, with manufacturing, transportation and warehousing, and retail topping the list. In terms of enterprise creation, wholesale and retail trade and professional, scientific, and technical services will lead the pack. Regarding the most serious issue affecting Troup County’s ability to prepare for the future, the quality of the workforce was mentioned by community stakeholders more frequently than any other.

 

·         AVAILABLE LAND: Troup County has more than 63,000 acres of land deemed suitable for development, far exceeding the land needs for population and job growth over the next couple decades.  However, community stakeholders want to concentrate future development in and around the cities to take advantage of available infrastructure and prevent sprawling development and its associated ills.    

 

·         GLOBILITY: The strength of the community, educational assets, and governance are all areas that make Troup County a growing contender for “globility” – that is, for attracting and retaining international residents and business investment. This was evident even prior to the arrival of Kia.

 

·         CREATIVE CENTERS: Troup County has ample assets that support the further development of a “creative economy.” Vibrant downtown centers are often at the heart of creative economies, and all three of Troup County’s cities already have advantages in this regard. Recent efforts relating to revitalizing the downtown areas of LaGrange position the city very well. With the help of the Callaway Foundation, LaGrange’s downtown has become one of the premiere downtowns for a city of its size in Georgia. West Point’s depot, collection of unique shops, and potential for loft housing are key assets. Hogansville – with the potential for restoring its downtown theater, its assortment of unique shops, children’s theater, the Hummingbird Festival, and downtown mural – also could be a creative center.

 

·         EYE TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: Many of our community stakeholders expressed a desire for environmental stewardship that balances economic and social factors through a sustainable development approach. Troup County has had an increasing interest in sustainability as evident in efforts such as LaGrange College and its partnership with the United Nations Centre International de Formation des Autorités/Acteurs Locaux (CIFAL) program to raise awareness about sustainable development approaches, planning initiatives under way by local governments, LaGrange’s conversion of landfill gas to energy, and the growing countywide parks and green space conservation system, to name a few.

 

·         COLLABORATIVE FOUNDATION: Troup County has been praised by our community stakeholders and state and regional partners for the partnership we’ve launched among our county and cities.  Together, we have the opportunity to become a model region for maximizing the opportunities associated with economic growth and for doing so in a collaborative and quality manner.

 


OUR GOALS

The following strategic goals have been identified, based on input provided by stakeholders from across Troup County and our partners.  Together, these goals speak to our overall vision for fostering healthy and balanced economic, environmental, and social development. 

1.       The WELL PLANNED Community: Carefully, deliberately and strategically planning for the future; determining where growth and development should go and then allocating resources and available infrastructure to support it.  Inherent in this strategic goal is the allocation of future land use.

2.       The PROSPEROUS Community: Raising the standard and quality of living for citizens through higher performance economic development that provides a diverse mixture of opportunities.

3.       The QUALITY GOVERNANCE Community: Working progressively in a collaborative fashion with other governments; fostering greater opportunities for citizen engagement; and making forward-thinking decisions based on the collective view of the constituency.

4.       The KNOWLEDGE DRIVEN Community: Providing the opportunity for an excellent and competitive education for all ages; fostering an excitement about lifelong learning that will motivate young people to stay in school.

5.       The ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARD Community: Preserving green space and the natural environs; protecting natural resources (e.g., West Point Lake); promoting clean development.

6.       The GOOD HABITAT Community: Facilitating a greater degree of housing choice; increasing the availability of quality housing that is affordable and safe; emphasizing “neighborhood” development; and fostering the availability of comfortable living.  This includes ensuring the safety and security for all residents, and preserving and enabling the optimal conditions for raising children.

7.       The NAVIGABLE Community: Fostering the ease of mobility throughout the community; gearing transportation infrastructure according to future growth plans; providing alternative and viable solutions beyond the automobile.

8.       The ATTRACTIVE Community:  Fostering appealing gateways into the community; retaining the “small town” charm; encouraging aesthetically pleasing development; promoting ongoing beautification.

9.       The NEIGHBORLY Community: Meeting the individual needs of all citizens; promoting a friendly environment to existing and new community members of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures; fostering a strong, cohesive sense of community.

10.  The ENTERTAINING Community: Providing a diverse menu of recreational, cultural, dining, shopping, and other amenities for families and residents of all ages.

 

Independent research and assessments were conducted by Georgia Tech in support of our planning efforts. Please click on the links below for more information:

 

Preparing for the Future in Troup County, Georgia series of reports. 

Troup County Works Presentation