Hoschton’s Downtown Development Authority held its inaugural meeting June 11 to elect officers, set meeting dates and discuss its short-term goals for 2021.

The DDA elected Dr. Sri Kumar as chairman, Tracy Jordan as vice-chair and Anita Boyd as secretary and treasurer.

The authority will meet on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 6 p.m.  The DDA will hold its next meeting on June 28.

At the top of its priority list is identifying existing and potential funding sources. The group will begin by taking inventories of assets, buildings, businesses and ownerships within the city.

According to city administrator Gary Fesperman, “Once you learn what your assets are, this DDA can be an efficient operating machine.”

Also on its list of priorities, the group is focused on branding itself to the community through advocacy, marketing and community outreach efforts. The authority is planning several community events, including a farmer’s market, Food Truck Friday and a fall festival to help focus the public’s attention on the value of its downtown.

Also part of its branding efforts, the authority plans to purchase billboards and new street signage, including a welcome sign at the city line on Hwy. 53 coming from I-85.

The DDA also discussed plans to work with the Georgia Mainstreet Program (GMP), which focuses on revitalizing historic downtown districts. The GMP partners with a number of state organizations including the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia to provide training courses for city officials to enhance their knowledge and skills in municipal related matters.

“I think each person here has different talents and a different skillset and I think that’s why we're all here,” said Jordan. “You never know where you’re going until you know where you’ve been.”

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