Chairman Mathis outlines upcoming county address

Budgetary concerns and development prospects are among the highlights Henry County’s top government leader plans to address in her annual speech to county residents.

Commission Chairman Elizabeth “B.J.” Mathis is scheduled to deliver a “State of the County Address,” on Jan. 11, during a luncheon with the Henry Council for Quality Growth. The event will begin, at 11:30 a.m., at Eagle’s Landing Country Club, in Stockbridge.

The address, said Mathis, will be pre-recorded and aired on Henry TV14, simultaneously with the luncheon, to enable all county residents to hear her remarks at the same time.

“We will look back on the [tax] digest, and the impact it has had on the county budget, and ways we balanced the budget without a tax increase,” said Mathis. “We will highlight [Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax] projects that were completed, as well as grants received for various projects within the county.”

Regarding the county’s growth picture, and prospects for the future, Mathis said she plans to talk about the importance of economic development, and “the positive impact even one single business can have on the county, from taxes paid, to jobs provided.”

Mathis said she also plans to call attention to significant moments which occurred in Henry County in 2011, such as the affiliation between Henry Medical Center and Piedmont Healthcare. The partnership, which was scheduled to go into effect, Jan. 1, capped a nine-month process of narrowing down candidates among several health-care entities in the Atlanta region.

Other key points which Mathis plans to tout as accomplishments for Henry County, include securing funding for a Southern Crescent Technical College in Henry County. Gov. Nathan Deal included funds for the campus in his state budget proposal, when he took office in January of 2011. In April, state lawmakers voted to include $5.46 million in the FY12 Budget to help pay for the first phase of construction on the satellite facility.

Mathis said her annual address also will cover Henry’s acquisition of the Tara Field Airport from Clayton County, which was finalized in August. The facility is expected to change its name to Atlanta South Regional Airport in the near future, pending approval by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration.