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Towns County discusses developing community

October 7, 2010

By Christelle Vereb, Staff Writer

Towns County and the city of Young Harris convened on Tuesday night at the Towns County Court House. The meeting was set to discuss the Towns County Joint Comprehensive Plan for 2010.  This plan seeks to determine the best ways to advance the level of community in and between Towns County and the city of Young Harris. The Planning Director, Adam Hazel, who is a representative from the Georgia Mountain Commission, led the meeting.

During the meeting county leaders discussed a plan that would aide in community development in Towns County and Young Harris. This plan, entitled the Community Assessment and Participation Program draft, states that “the purpose of community planning and community development is to provide guidance for the everyday decision-making by local government officials and other community leaders.”

The draft also states that  planning the community’s advancement is not only for community members who attended the meeting, but also for the general public and stakeholders.  Through this meeting, leaders of the community created a plan to follow when addressing critical issues in the community.
As a part of the community, YHC plays a large role in the development process of the county and local community.

Vice President for Planning and Assessment Rosemary R. Royston serves as a liaison between YHC and Towns County.

Royston represents YHC by presenting plans for the college and how those plans will affect the community.

“As Young Harris is going through many changes right now, it’s important that we are involved in the community as an institution, because we get the opportunity to be an influential source for the community,” Royston said.  “The goal of Young Harris is to serve as a principal intellectual and cultural engine for the region, making the pursuit of a college degree available in this county as well as a wide variety of cultural and enrichment programs and activities of interests to the community at large”.

The plan for YHC includes five objectives. These objectives include plans to award significant scholarships to local students, to partner with local school systems to implement teacher preparation programs, to support community partner organizations and local businesses through student internships, to offer and promote a variety of fine arts performances and speakers, as well as hosting the Institute for Continuing Learning, and to provide the opportunity for community groups to rent YHC facilities when they are not being used for educational purposes.

These five objectives are outlined so that YHC can meet its goal of aiding the community. Some of the proposed objectives are already being implemented, while others are still in the works.

County meetings are not regularly scheduled, but they are open to all community members, including YHC students. If anyone is interested in attending the meetings contact Royston at rosemary@yhc.edu.

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