DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Dahlonega City Councilwoman Helen Hardman was asked a tough question during Thursday’s Downtown Development Authority/Main Street Board meeting regarding council’s vote that allowed Roberta-Green Garrett to move forward with demolition of the Parks and Butler buildings to make room for a new hotel.
The 4-2 vote did not sit well with many long time Dahlonega residents and Hardman was asked if she felt the board had caved to pressure from Green-Garrett and her attorney Joey Homans.
Hardman expressed confidence the decision was the right one.
“I didn’t cave,” she said. “I know how much we need hotel rooms. Our visitor expenditure shows we are 10th out of 17 counties in our region. We’ve got a lot of work we need to do. We need help and that is going to help. That is going to increase business. Just having people stay in the hotel and visit the retail shops. We also will get increased corporate business which we need. “We think it’s something we need badly.”
Hardman said it was hard to sit and listen to the criticism council was getting. “But that’s the way it is, I guess. That’s the way politics are. The four of us who voted for it felt we needed to get that behind us so we came up with some strong stipulations that we’re going to make her do a certain way.”
Downtown Development Authority members approved the April financial report and the first reading of the first reading of the fiscal year 2018-19 budget.
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