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Walker County Newsletter  Issue 4
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The State of Walker County
The past several weeks have resulted in a number of significant developments for Walker County. You need not worry about whether you missed any of the latest information. The Walker County Newsletter provides updates on ongoing initiatives, items of interest and upcoming events.

This issue includes information on our new iWorQ app, Flintstone Fire Station, Job Fair/Career Expo, Canyon Ridge development and other topics. If there's something you'd like to see included, send us an e-mail. If you have friends that would like their own copy, ask them to opt in here.
Priceless Pets

 

During the Memorial Day holiday weekend, the Walker County Animal Shelter took an unconventional approach to encourage pet adoptions. The shelter waived its regular adoption fee, offering pet seekers an opportunity to make a match and bring home a new family member for free during the "Priceless Pets" event.

The two day adoption drive proved to be a huge success. 263 people visited the shelter looking for an animal to adopt, resulting in 25 dogs and 16 cats finding new homes.


The Shelter recently became a Target Zero fellow, embarking on a new mission to increase the number of animals saved in Walker County and reduce euthanasia rates. As part of that effort, all dogs and cats of age are now vaccinated and spayed/neutered before leaving the facility. You may have seen the short video we posted on facebook following the return of Wally's Friends to Walker County. This low cost, non-profit organization transports animals from the Ag Center to their clinic for spay/neuter and then brings the animals back the following morning. The next Wally's Friends transport is June 5th.

Dogs and cats housed at shelters often become stressed by their surroundings, making them more susceptible to illness. The longer an animal stays sheltered, the greater their chances of becoming sick. To reduce that risk, Walker County Animal Shelter staff now encourages pet owners who want to surrender their animals to foster them at home, allowing shelter staff to search for a new forever family. The Shelter has also strengthened connections with rescue groups capable of helping animals find new homes.
 
While it’s still early, animal tracking data shows significant improvement. Through the first four months of 2017, nearly 79% of all animals brought to the Walker County Animal Shelter have been saved. This number includes animals adopted, sent to rescues or returned to their owners. This is a significant increase over 2016 numbers, when less than half of all animals brought to the shelter found a good home.
 
To maintain this momentum, the shelter needs more volunteers to walk, wash and train dogs. While visiting the shelter, pet seekers can add their name to an upcoming volunteer information and orientation session to learn how shelter service can be a rewarding experience. The Walker County Animal Shelter is located at 5488 North Marbletop Road, Chickamauga. To learn more, call 706-375-2100.

Next Walker County Commissioner's Meeting: Thursday June 8th at 6:30pm
Commissioner's Office • 101 South Duke Street • LaFayette, Georgia 30728
Mark your calendar!
Walker County Sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield invites you to join him for lunch, as the busy Summer season approaches.

Whitfield will hold his second Lunch Conversation with the Commissioner on June 1st from 11:00am to 1:00pm at Susan’s Diner, located at 3551 Chattanooga Valley Road in Flintstone. The public is encouraged to drop by, purchase a meal and enjoy some friendly conversation about the state of Walker County.

Also, Walker County residents and others interested in learning more about the proposed Canyon Ridge Resort development on Lookout Mountain are invited to attend a town hall meeting on this unique tourism opportunity.

Town hall meetings will take place on Monday, June 5th at 6:00 p.m. and again on Wednesday, June 7th at 6:00 p.m. at the Walker County Civic Center, 10052 North Highway 27 in Rock Spring.
 
The program for both evenings will be the same and includes a presentation on the planned $106 million tourism development. Representatives from Scenic Land Company will be joined by Commissioner Whitfield and Walker County Development Authority Chair Robert Wardlaw to answer questions about this economic growth opportunity for one of the county’s most scenic locations.

Canyon Ridge Resort plans to employ a minimum of 180 full-time workers with benefits when it opens in late 2019. The development is estimated to generate over $1 million in new tax revenue for Walker County. You can read more about the project here.
Quick Hits
We have an App for that: 
The iWorQ Service Request mobile app recently launched.

After downloading the app, users need to enter Walker County’s Agency Code, Wal02, to request service. Once entered, you can create an account to track the progress of your issue or continue as a guest.
 
Along with codes, roads and animals, users can also ask general questions, inquire about renting a county facility and alert the county of concerns with permitting and inspections, drainage and the landfill.

The iWorQ Service Request app is now available for free in the App Store for Apple devices and Google Play Store for Android devices.
Ongoing Initiatives:
Codes Enforcement Officers made 627 checks for violations in April and have already surpassed that number in May. The top violations include junk, high grass/overgrowth and household garbage. 66% of property checked was in compliance.

In May, officers have been able to close nearly 100 cases, as property owners previously found to be in violation took corrective measures.
Help Wanted:
Over 300 job seekers attended the multi-county job fair/career expo hosted by Walker, Dade & Chattooga Counties, the Georgia Department of Labor and the Chambers of Commerce from all three counties.

Roughly 30 companies looking to fill nearly 800 positions took part in the event. Several job seekers interviewed with potential employers on the spot and some even walked out with offers.
Safety Improvements:
Walker County Emergency Management used a portion of a Georgia Emergency Management grant to replace Automatic External Defibrillator batteries in 23 Walker County Sheriff’s Office patrol cars.

The grant also funded new AED’s for the Local Government Services office and the Fire Department Shift Commander’s vehicle. Supplies for AED’s inside the jail were also restocked.
Back Home:
Guess what's open again? The Rossville Public Library recently returned to its McFarland Avenue location. The newly renovated library features a local history section, study rooms, 20 public computers, children's and teen sections, plus loads of books. Drop by and see all the changes for yourself! The library is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Click here to see their hours.
State of the County:
Commissioner Whitfield delivered his first State of the County address at the Walker County Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon.

The presentation covered his first several months in office and looked at projects to be tackled in the future. The entire presentation has been archived on Youtube.
Employment Opportunities
Staffing Changes
Walker County welcomed Tabi Cantrell to the staff in May. Cantrell serves as Payroll Clerk and comes to us from a CPR firm in Chickamauga. Aida 
Balthazor, our longtime Accounts Specialist, accepted an opportunity to move closer to family. Her position is one of several openings currently available
Senior Day Highlights
Career Day
Firefighters with Walker County Emergency Services, Tax Commissioner Carolyn Walker, Public Relations Director Joe Legge and School Superintendent Damon Raines talked with several Rossville Elementary classes about opportunities during Career Day at the school.
Meeting & Events Calendar
Law Enforcement Day
Walker County saluted area law enforcement officers with a special appreciation dinner to coincide with National Police Week. Greg Wood proved key in organizing this event to thank area officers for their diligence in the dedication of "Justice For All." 
Our Codes Enforcement & Inspections Office has moved! The office is now located at 122 Hwy 95 in Rock Spring. The phone number has changed to 706-638-4048.
Walker County Profile - Gilbert Elementary: Full STEM Ahead
Walker County Profile - Gilbert Elementary: Full STEM Ahead 
See why the U.S. Department of Education named Gilbert a "Green Ribbon School" for 2017.
Coming next issue: The One Walker Mobile App
Copyright © 2017 Walker County Commissioner's Office, All rights reserved.


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