Toccoa-Stephens County Tomorrow Group Continues Work

A group looking at the future of the Toccoa-Stephens County community continues its work.

Last Thursday, the “Toccoa-Stephens County Tomorrow” group held its second community input meeting at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center.

“Toccoa-Stephens County Tomorrow” is a privately funded effort that is being done in conjunction with the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce and the Fanning Institute from the University of Georgia.

Barry Roberts is the Chairman of “Toccoa-Stephens County Tomorrow.”

He said Thursday’s meeting allowed the group to update those who were involved in an initial meeting last year where the effort stood.

According to Roberts, that includes talking about the vision statement that the group created.

“We have done that with some research through some existing strategic plans already in place with the city and county,” said Roberts.  “We met with the Fanning Institute.  We also had a community input meeting about a year ago.”

All of that, Roberts said, went into creating the vision statement for the long term for Toccoa-Stephens County.

“That vision is ‘Toccoa-Stephens County will set the standard for dynamic rural communities where residents take pride and contribute to ensure an unsurpassed quality of life’,” said Roberts.

As part of working towards that vision, Roberts said the group has identified 12 issues to work on that it believes are imperative to creating that vision based on previous input from the community.

“The number one, as identified in the first community input meeting, was economic development,” said Roberts.

Other include education, land use, and leadership, said Roberts.

Roberts said another goal of last Thursday’s meeting was to get further input as to where the group should go from here.

“We are organized,” said Roberts.  “We are ready to go and we are already working on some things, but we wanted input on what the community thinks we need to be working on.  We wanted some marching orders.”

With those “marching orders” in place, Roberts says “Toccoa-Stephens County Tomorrow” will continue to meet and work on those 12 issues it has identified.

According to Roberts, there will be quarterly meetings to discuss three of the 12 issues they have identified at each meeting.

Roberts said he hopes the community will continue to embrace this effort.