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Local News Archives for 2022-08

Rotary Club of Canton to Present Annual Public Safety Appreciation Luncheon

The Rotary Club of Canton is inviting the community to help celebrate and honor public safety workers.


The club’s Fifth Annual Public Safety Appreciation Luncheon will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Northside Cherokee Conference Center at The Bluffs in Canton. 


The luncheon, which recognizes the community’s law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders, has not been held for the past two years due to the pandemic.  The annual event, which draws a large crowd of public safety workers, elected officials and business and community leaders, includes the presentation of special awards and a guest speaker.


“It’s our honor to recognize our community’s public safety heroes,” Club President Nicole Lawson said.  “We hope to see every seat filled for this special event to celebrate them and thank them for their service.”  


Sponsorships, which range from $250 to $5,000, by local businesses, organizations, families and individuals fund the cost of the event and help the club raise money for charitable activities in the community.  The club’s support for public safety workers is a longtime endeavor, including its establishment of the Cherokee County Public Safety Memorial at Rotary Park in downtown Canton.


Details about sponsorship levels and benefits are posted online at  For more information, please email Rotarian Lewis Brooks at


Hickory Flat Gym receives Preservation Award

History Cherokee recently awarded a Preservation Award to Cherokee County for its efforts in the restoration of the historic Hickory Flat Gymnasium.

History Cherokee held its annual Historic Preservation Awards Banquet on Thursday, Aug. 18 at the Cherokee County Conference Center on Bluffs Parkway in Canton to honor the preservation successes in the county from the previous year.

“The Historic Sites committee was impressed with the county's efforts not only to preserve the gym itself, such as the wood posts, bleachers and hardwood floors, but the extra steps they took to include the history of the Hickory Flat community as part of the renovation,” said History Cherokee Executive Director Stefanie Joyner. “By displaying historic photos and artifacts in the building, they are honoring the community and bringing life to the structure. Historic preservation isn't just about old buildings, it's also about the people who have inhabited and used them. The county did a wonderful job of preserving both the gym and the personal stories.”

In the summer of 2021, the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a construction agreement with Ward Humphrey, Inc. for $1.5 million to begin renovations on the gym that fall.

“The county was excited that the Cherokee County School District agreed to partner with us and lease us the gym, which allowed us to restore the building,” said Cherokee County Community Services Agency Director Bryan Reynolds. “The project not only preserves an important part of Hickory Flat and Cherokee

County’s history, but it also provides much needed recreation space for our residents. We look forward to preserving the building for many years to come and adding to the many stories.”

Updates to the building included structural improvements to the roof and floor, new utility services, ADA improvements for building access, restrooms and stage access, new HVAC, new roof, new cementitious board and batten siding and insulation, signage, and landscaping.

The updated facility reopened to the public in June of 2022 and currently hosts recreational programming like basketball, fitness programs, senior programs, camps, as well as special events and rentals. To learn more about the building or to inquire about hosting a special event, please contact Cherokee Recreation and Parks at (770) 924-7768 or

Cherokee County SPLOST Renewal

The decision to extend the one cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax will move to the voters this November.

During a special called meeting July 28, the Board of Commissioners approved an intergovernmental agreement with all of Cherokee’s seven cities and a resolution to call for the Nov. 8 referendum.

“The referendum on the ballot in November is a request to continue an existing one cent sales tax. With the approval, Cherokee will remain one of just four Georgia counties with a total 6 percent sales tax rate. All others have 7 percent or more,” said Chairman Harry Johnston. “Projects funded with SPLOST dollars are essential, including local road improvements, public safety equipment and facilities. Without SPLOST, those expenses would have to shift and be paid for using property tax revenues, which would equal about 5 mills to garner the same amount of revenue.”

District 3 Commissioner Benny Carter made the motion to approve the IGA, which was seconded by District 1 Commissioner Steve West. The vote was 3-0. District 2 Commissioner Richard Weatherby and District 4 Commissioner Corey Ragsdale were absent.

The Board also approved a required resolution to call for the referendum. Commissioner West made the motion to approve the resolution, which was seconded by Commissioner Carter. The vote was 3-0.

The current SPLOST will not expire until June of 2024, however, the Board of Commissioners opted to call for the referendum a year early to avoid a special election, which would be an additional cost.

The SPLOST renewal is expected to bring in a total of $438.2 million. The Courthouse Annex project will be allocated first as a Tier 1 project, estimated to cost about $74 million. The remaining $364.2 million will be divided among all jurisdictions based on 2022 population and a 5 percent growth in receipts. Cherokee County’s allotment would be $238.1 million, and the cities would divide $126.1 million for their projects.

Cherokee County Chamber Names Volunteer Of The Quarter

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Will Anderson, Field Representative with U.S. Congressman Barry Loudermilk’s Office, has been named the Chairman's Council Volunteer of the Quarter for second quarter 2022. He was honored during the Chamber's August Good Morning Cherokee networking event.

Members of the Chairman’s Council are accepted by invitation only from the Chamber's Board Chair. The Chairman’s Council members are invited to attend Ribbon Cuttings & Ground Breakings, Coffee & Connections…For New Members and special invitation Chamber meetings that aren’t open to the general membership.

In determining the Volunteer of the Quarter, attendance at Chamber events is evaluated for all members of the Chairman's Council. "Will is a dedicated Chamber volunteer, and we appreciate the time he has devoted this year," said Brian Stevens, Chamber Board Chair and CEO & Co-Owner of FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers.

For information on the Cherokee County Chamber and its programs, visit


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