F’ville eyes economy class for Chamber trip

It may be a needed trip to get ideas for economic development, but Fayetteville City Manager Joe Morton said Aug. 16 that in today’s economy the trip to Franklin, Tenn., should be limited to two members of the City Council and one city staff member. The council agreed and will send a total of three people on the October visit.

The trip to Franklin would afford the county’s elected officials and business and community leaders the opportunity to see how a county with similar demographics is successfully addressing issues such as a rapidly aging population and revitalization, said Chamber President Virginia Gibbs.

Information provided by the chamber explained that the strategic leadership visit, “... will explore innovative, impactful ideas and programs in another leading community, which a goal of finding new ways to further enhance the economic viability and lifestyle we enjoy here in Fayette County.”

Though the mayor and council, city manager, police chief and the director of city planning and development were invited, Morton in a July 20 letter suggested that only two council members attend the October session along with Director of Planning and Economic Development Brian Wismer.

After a brief discussion it was decided that Wismer, Mayor Greg Clifton and one additional council member would make the trip.

The visit includes a cost of $695 per person and covers transportation costs. Franklin is located in Williamson County south of Nashville.

Though Fayette has been successful on many fronts, Gibbs noted the benefits of looking at the successful efforts of other communities, especially those that possess similarities on par with Fayette County such as the aging population and efforts to attract visitors to revitalized downtown areas. In terms of aging, Fayette has the third fastest growing senior population in the 10-county Atlanta Regional Commission area. Fayette’s senior population is projected to increase by 450 percent by 2030.

The agenda for the leadership visit includes topics such as the growth of Williamson County, workforce development in education, the arts, maintaining health, wellness and community spirit and collaborative efforts to enhance economic vitality.

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