The city already saw one business, Front Porch Creamery, open in November, and it’s eagerly awaiting the opening of Subway on Reinhardt College Parkway.
Mayor Doris Jones said the city will explore options to bring more businesses into the city limits.
“The more people we bring into the city, the better off we’ll be in the city,” she said. “We would like to get more people involved to shop with us and enhance businesses we have now.”
City Clerk Aimee Abernathy said it could be possible to work with Reinhardt University to create economic development opportunities.
Abernathy said economic development will benefit Reinhardt students along with helping Waleska and its neighbors from Lake Arrowhead.
Councilwomen Edna Cook and Mary Helen Lamb echoed the mayor’s sentiments.
Cook said the city did a survey of people within a 12 mile radius of the city to see what they’d like to open in Waleska.
She said she believed the city can make good progress toward economic development in 2012.
“It will take some time, but I see a lot of things happening this year,” she said. “I feel like we’re coming alive.”
Cook also stated a desire to increase parks and recreation amenities.
Lamb said she’d like for there to be movement on a library coming into Waleska.
The city is on the state’s list to receive a new library. The city now owns five acres adjacent to Waleska City Hall on Fincher Road, which could be used for a library site.
Abernathy also said 2011 was a year of progress for Waleska.
The city finally closed out its water line improvement project on Highway 140.
The city replaced a 6-inch line on Highway 140 from Lower Burris Road north to Reinhardt University with a 10-inch line.
Internally, she and both Lamb said the city was able to streamline services to make city operations more effective.
Abernathy said the city previous had a lot of “disorganization,” so they streamlined procedures to make operations more timely and “in order.”
She also said the city brought its water meter reading services in-house, which helped save the city $20,000 per year.
“We’re making sure we make the best of our own resources,” she said.
Along with streamlining internal operations, Lamb noted the Waleska Farmer’s Market, which is organized by Reinhardt instructor Zach White, have been really popular.
Jones said the farmer’s market has “brought more people to come in to look around and shop.”
For 2012, Jones said the city could see yet another boost, as football gears up at Reinhardt University in the fall.
“That’s going to bring a lot of people in on Saturdays,” she said. “I hope while they are here, they will look at what we have.”