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City of Barnesville is ‘prospering’

By Sherri Ellington While hammering out the 2013 budget, Barnesville city council took time to note some of the highlights of 2012. ’In spite of the worst economic conditions in several years, we’re prospering in Barnesville,’ said city manager Kenny Roberts. ‘Piedmont Green Power has been a huge local stimulus over the past 24 months and we’ve increased our water service territory by 186 square miles, 100 miles of pipeline and nearly 1,000 customers without any serious investment requirements. Most of the system is undeveloped and we intend to grow it slow.’ In addition, Barnesville took out a bond to finance a new, environmentally sound wastewater treatment plant that will allow for future economic growth as PGP’s construction ends and the power plant comes online. Construction of the wastewater plant is expected to begin in fall. ’Barnesville is way ahead of other cities in preparing for future growth,’ Roberts said. ‘We’re not having to borrow to pay the rent.’ While taking on new debt this year, Barnesville’s credit rating went up instead of down. ‘Our $2 million debt service is low compared to other cities,’ said councilman Mark Stone. Also noted were plans for Summers Field park improvements and the rebound of jobs at Jordan Forest Products.

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