New Chatham County initiative aims to improve quality of life

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Chatham County Commission Chairman Chester Ellis on Friday unveiled a new initiative to tackle several important issues across the county. The One Chatham initiative will cover everything from stormwater drainage and road projects to homelessness.

Ellis said One Chatham is a collaborative and cooperative effort between the county government and all municipalities in the county, as well as the Savannah-Chatham public school system and other community stakeholders.

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“We are deploying One Chatham to ensure that we are good stewards of the resources that the citizens of Chatham County have given us to work with,” Ellis said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

Since January, the county has met with all of the county’s mayors, as well as city and county managers, business leaders and the Savannah area chamber of commerce, to get their views.

During these meetings, mayors and managers were asked to identify problematic areas or places requiring special attention. In addition to stormwater drainage, road projects and homelessness, One Chatham will also assess recreation projects, such as bike paths, as well as affordable housing.

“We’re going to cover the whole gamut in One Chatham,” Ellis said.

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Once the list of projects is established, a budget can be created and Ellis hopes the initiative can also be a way for the county and other municipalities to save money.

“By December, we’ll have a better plan of what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it,” Ellis said.

The next phase of One Chatham will be for county commissioners and all their cohorts in each municipality to hold meetings for their districts. Meetings will take place by October.

Potential projects will emerge from these meetings, as well as from the needs of each municipality. The initiative will also be presented to state and federal delegations, Ellis said.

“It’s time for us to come together to make life so much better here in Chatham County. So just remember One Chatham, together we stand together,” he said.

Katie Nussbaum is the city and county government reporter for the Savannah Morning News. Contact her at [email protected] Twitter: KmartSMN



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