Reprinted from March 28, 2018, article in Towns County Herald written by Jarrett Whitener, Staff Writer.

TURNER SPEAKS ON GOOD DEEDS OF CIVIC ASSOCIATION

Towns County Civic Association President Noel Turner spoke on the history and goals of the association in the weekly Mountain Movers and Shakers meeting on Friday, March 23.

Originally, the organization sprang forth from a small group that was against the construction of an interstate highway project known as Interstate 3, according to Turner.

If ever constructed, the project would result in an interstate that runs from Savannah to Knoxville, TN, and would pass through Hiawassee.

The group was against this project because they wanted to avoid the high traffic being forced into the rural area.

From this project, the group expanded to become a larger movement representing Towns County.

Those who are unfamiliar with the association may recognize the group by its former name, the Towns County Homeowners Association.

The name change occurred in January and will help [prospective] association members to avoid confusion over whether they’re advocating for a single subdivision.

“I think the name change will help us get a broader respect and presence in the community,” said Turner.

The Towns County Civic Association has been a non-partisan/non-political homeowner association since July 2004.

The goal of the TCCA is to provide a venue for all homeowners and qualified renters in Towns County that addresses issues and problems in the management, planning, and development of the county, and to hold dialogues with elected government officials to resolve any of the found issues.

TCCA wants to improve the City of Hiawassee by working to resolve issues of sidewalks, street crossings, permits and a mayor’s park.

The group also listens to the public and has taken requests for improvements that include sidewalk repairs in front of the hospital, a lighted crosswalk sign for the U.S. Post Office, and personnel salary justifications.

Members of the TCCA also endeavor to volunteer and donate to the Hamilton Gardens of Lake Chatuge, making it a goal to maintain and fund the continuation and expansion of the gardens.

More than $20,000 has been raised for the gardens, and there are hopes that the donations will increase further into the year.

Another project that TCCA works on is the improvement of infrastructure and organization for better delivery of water to neighborhoods.

“Our water and sewage bills are exponentially higher than comparing cities and counties,” said Turner. “There is a redundancy in job responsibilities.”

Successfully completing this project would help to lower the premiums paid by homeowners. The organization aims to donate to a variety of charities, including those that sponsor scholarships for Towns County High School, along with donations to the Food Pantry for the county.

There are currently about 200 members in the group, but they are sitll searching for more members to assist them in their projects.

“Our big push is to get everybody behind the platforms that we have represented,” said Turner. To become a member of the association, an applicant must be a homeowner or renter in Towns County, and there is an annual fee of $25, though 95 percent of this fee is donated to local charities.

For information regarding membership information and applications, visit townscountycivicassociation.com