Whitfield County residents, others asked to share their views on the community

·2 min read

Sep. 17—Those who live in Whitfield County or who work in Whitfield County and live elsewhere have an opportunity to voice their opinions on what the community is doing right and where it needs to improve.

A survey can be found at www.believegreaterdalton.com and www.daltonchamber.org and can be taken in either English or Spanish. The survey was put together by Believe Greater Dalton, an organization sponsored by the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce that is working on a five-year plan in six areas to improve the community: educational outcomes, housing, entrepreneurship, economic development, downtown development and community pride.

Believe Greater Dalton was formed in 2017, and 2022 will bring the end of that five-year plan. But Believe Greater Dalton Project Director Allyson Coker said officials have decided to continue the organization after that.

"We want to make sure we are focused on the right plans and priorities for the future," said Coker.

Believe Greater Dalton Co-Chairman Joe Yarbrough said he believes the group has been very successful.

"We think that successful communities have this sort of planning process as on ongoing effort, so we wanted to continue our work," he said.

Among its other efforts, Believe Greater Dalton helped found the Dalton Innovation Accelerator, a space for entrepreneurship in downtown Dalton. In partnership with the Downtown Dalton Development Authority, it worked with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia on a downtown master plan that was presented to the community in February 2019. It also sponsored the area's first housing study.

"We want as many people as we can get to take this survey, from middle-schoolers up to senior citizens," Coker said. "We want to hear from our community. We really want to hear from our youth about what they think about Dalton and what their opportunities here are for their future and what they would like to see Dalton become."

The survey asks questions about the quality of life in Whitfield County, housing and education, among other topics.

"This is more of a community development survey, not an economic development survey," Coker said.

The survey will be up until 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1.

"We want to hear from everyone," Yarbrough said. "You don't necessarily have to live in Dalton. If you work here and live somewhere else, we want to hear from you. If you lived here and moved somewhere else, we want to know why."

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