?Comfortably south of Atlanta' - April Avison

We usually reserve breaking news for the front page, but I felt it would be appropriate to announce some news in this space. The Henry County Chamber of Commerce recently completed an intense branding project, compiling surveys and information submitted by those who live here and those who travel here. The result is Henry County's new tagline: "Comfortably south of Atlanta."

When Chamber Executive Director Kay Pippin announced this news at a Business After Hours on Thursday, I thought about it and agree that it's a perfect description of Henry County as this community moves into the future.

Things are changing pretty rapidly around here. It was exciting to see NASCAR race fans taking advantage of all that Henry County has to offer over the weekend. Driving down U.S. Highway 19/41 on Sunday I observed all the signs welcoming out-of-towners to our community. I thought about it, and decided that those who were visiting Henry County for the first time were probably rather impressed at what we have to offer (aside from the rain).

It's also pretty exciting to think that those who went shopping at Tanger Outlet Center and the McDonough Square over the weekend dropped lots of tax dollars into our local economy. That one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax has boosted this county to be able to pay for new parks and libraries, an animal shelter and countless road projects.

Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director Julie Foster took several out-of-towners around on Saturday to Eagle's Landing Country Club, Noah's Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center and Children's Care Home, Peachtree Peddlers Flea Market and Tanger Outlet Center on the annual Familiarization Tour. It's great to see that we have so much to show off and our Chamber of Commerce is doing its job in sharing that with others and presenting Henry County to people from all over the country. Perhaps the race fans who visited this weekend liked Henry County so much that they'll come back on a different weekend, just to enjoy the sights and events in our community.

Although local residents are asked to endure a ridiculous amount of traffic on race weekend, we do always get something in return. We have a great place to show off, and it's only getting better.

It's fun to watch things change before our very eyes as Henry County becomes a better place to live, go to school and do business.

April Avison is the city editor of the Daily Herald. Her column appears on Mondays. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at aavison@henryherald.com.