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Local News Archives for 2021-07

North Georgia City Wins Innovative Fitness Chris Conti Memorial Grant Recipient for 2021

 Innovative Fitness today awarded the 2nd annual 2021 Chris Conti Memorial Grant to the City of Chatsworth, benefiting the city’s Police and Fire Departments. This year, all non-profits, public safety organizations, and public high schools in the state of Georgia were invited to apply. The brand-new fitness center will be housed within the Chatsworth Police Department located at 501 N 3rd Avenue. The police force presently consists of nineteen sworn officers and 2 administrative staff members in a city of 4,300 residents. The fire department maintains 14 full-time and 14 part-time employees. The newly designed fitness space will consist of the latest cardio, strength, and functional training equipment aimed to promote and encourage physical fitness among the police and fire workforce.


Patrol First Class Officer Rowe, of the Chatsworth Police Department stated, “We do not have the resources to provide a gym or pay for fitness memberships for our officers and are currently using donated equipment in a former training room. Having a fitness room on-site is the first step in the creation of our officer wellness program.” Chief Charles M. Baxter of Chatsworth Fire Department commented that, “Physical fitness and strength are critical tools for a firefighter. Fitness equipment that will allow our personnel to develop their strength, flexibility and cardiovascular endurance will have a direct positive impact on our ability to serve the citizens in our community.”


Innovative Fitness inaugurated the Chris Conti Memorial Grant (CCMG) in 2020 to honor the memory of their co-founder. The creation of the CCMG perfectly aligns with the company’s motto, “See a need, fill a need”, and will carry on Chris’ notable generosity and desire to give back to others in his community.


Innovative Fitness is a national supplier of fitness equipment and athletic flooring and provides a full range of services to their clients in both commercial and residential settings. The company strives to identify each client’s specific needs and goals in order to provide custom solutions that result in a one-of-a-kind fitness space. They are led by their core mission: uniting fitness and philanthropy to create and inspire healthier communities.

Plans for NE Cherokee Parks in the Works

Parks and recreation in the northern end of Cherokee County got a boost at the July 20 Board of Commissioners meeting. In two separate votes, the Board approved a construction agreement for the LB Ahrens Recreation Center at Cherokee Veterans Park and an agreement with TSW for the Northeast Cherokee Parks Master Plans.

“I am thrilled to be able to deliver on something I and the Board of Commissioners have seen as a priority in providing more parks and recreation services to the residents of northeast Cherokee County,” said District 1 Commissioner Steve West, who represents the area.

The Board approved, 5-0, awarding the construction contract of the LB Ahrens Recreation Center to Reeves Young LLC in the amount of $10.4 million and an additional $1.58 million in a county-controlled contingency using Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds and impact fees.

The first phase of the recreation center, known in short as “The Buzz” in honor of former Commission Chairman LB “Buzz” Ahrens, includes a double gym, open fitness area, climbing wall, two classrooms, aerobics/dance studio, a large meeting hall with catering kitchen and an office suite along with accompanying restrooms, mechanical, electrical and storage areas. The construction services contract also includes a secondary parking lot, pedestrian crossing to the park playground and infrastructure for EV charging stations.

The Board also approved an agreement with TSW for the creation of the Northeast Cherokee Parks Master Plans, which includes master plans three different parcels. Planning will be for the 102-acre

parcel in Free Home for the future E.W. and Edith Cochran Park, the 532-acre parcel on Yellow Creek Road along the Etowah River and the 23-acre parcel on Ball Ground Road at the Etowah River.

TSW created the SW Cherokee Parks & Trails Plan earlier this year. The plan creation included public engagement with the residents and businesses in the area. The plans for the northeast portion of the county are expected to follow similar processes to engage the community in the future planning of parks in the area.

“This master plan agreement puts a strong focus on residents’ needs in the way of parks and recreation. The process will allow the residents to share what they want and need, giving the county direction on future plans for parks,” West said.

Sheriff Franks Reynolds Appointed to Serve on Georgia Board of Drivers Services

Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds has been appointed to serve on the Georgia Board of Driver Services effective June 30, 2021. Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan made the appointment, which will run a six-year term expiring on June 30, 2027.


“I am very honored to serve on this Board, and I appreciate Lt. Gov. Duncan and Director Spencer Moore for giving me the opportunity to serve the citizens of Georgia,” said Sheriff Reynolds.


The Georgia Board of Driver Services governs the Department of Driver Services (DDS) which, was created on July 1, 2005. The DDS is responsible for enforcing and administering state laws and regulations relating to driver's licenses. All rules and regulations shall remain of full force and effect as rules and regulations of the DDS until amended, repealed, or superseded by rules or regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Driver Services.


The nine-member board will meet monthly to discuss issues related to improving customer service, advancing technology and protecting the safety of the citizens of Georgia.


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