Hogansville agrees to pitch in portion of$70,000 county-wide strategic study

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, March 9, 2022

HOGANSVILLE – The Hogansville City Council made the decision to pitch in on $70,000 a county-wide strategic study, which comes with a $14,000 price tag for Hogansville.

The funds will come from the remains of a cemetery pavement project, explained Hogansville City Manager Jonathan Lynn, which amounted to about $13,800. Utilizing the funds would not negatively impact any project or department, Lynn said. The remaining $200 would need to come from an additional line item.

At a previous meeting in January, the Hogansville City Council decided to table the conversation to gain a further understanding of what the study would mean for the Hogansville community and where the funds would come from.

Councilmembers Toni Striblin and Mandy Neese particularly voiced opposition to funding the plan, unsure if the study would benefit Hogansville and if it was worth the $14,000 price tag.

Neese particularly voiced reservations about Troup County’s Center for Strategic Planning. She said she had not been aware at its existence at that point and that the city of Hogansville contributed $5,000 annually to its operations.

However, Neese voted in favor of funding the plan and even made the initial motion to pass it.

Striblin, who said at the January meeting that she previously witnessed a strategic study conducted and felt that its results had not been properly utilized in Hogansville, abstained from the vote.

On Tuesday, Maryanne Lovejoy, Troup County’s Center for Strategic Planning’s executive director, further explained the need for the study and about the group set to initiate it, Boyette Strategic Advisors.  The study will entail that Boyette Strategic Advisors conduct two surveys, one covering the community as a whole and the other with a focus on the millennial and Gen-Z population. Through these surveys, the group will create a livability index that will compare Troup County against national norms in terms of its attractiveness and accessibility, Lovejoy explained. Items in this livability index will include aspects of Troup County’s cost of living, crime rate, arts and culture, transportation and housing components.

“We want to have an equal voice amongst all of our cities,” Lovejoy said. 

A similar strategic study for Troup County was conducted in 2009 and stated that planning and growth management was the most frequently identified challenge affecting Troup County, followed by challenges relating to transportation, K-12 education, water and sewer infrastructure, and addressing the needs of the at-risk population.

Boyette Strategic Advisors was selected to perform the new strategic plan at a cost of $70,000 in late 2021. The agreement between Boyette and the county states that Troup County and the three cities of LaGrange, West Point and Hogansville would each contribute $14,000 toward the study. The Callaway Foundation has also agreed to provide the remaining $14,000. LaGrange previously consented to contribute their portion of the $14,000 in late 2021. West Point consented to its portion as well, said West Point Mayor Steve Tramell.

Hogansville Mayor Jake Ayers also voiced support for the study and elected to turn the discussion item into a motion. Ayers is a member of the Troup County Center for Strategic Planning as each leader of each is elected on the board or can elect a councilmember in its place.

“I believe in the past Hogansville may have not been represented like this, but I also believe we’re in an interesting time where we need to work extremely hard to make sure that we have unity within our county and work with the other municipalities,” he said.