Houston & Peach

Centerville economic development director to focus on new town center

Kate Hogan
Kate Hogan

Centerville has a new director of marketing and economic development.

Or it will in the next several days after an offer and contract is prepared and presented to Kate Hogan. Hogan is currently an assistant project manager with the Houston County Development Authority, a position she’s held since May 2015.

The City Council voted in a Tuesday work session to make the offer. It will make Hogan the head of a new city department, though she’ll be the only department member.

Because she will be a department head, the council had to approve her job description and the offer in open session before officially preparing and presenting it.

Hogan said Tuesday she would accept the offer.

After the vote, Councilman Randall Wright exclaimed, “It’s about time!”

Wright, the longest sitting council member, has been a longtime proponent for Centerville hiring a marketing/economic development professional.

Councilman Cameron Andrews called the vote historic, saying the position and Hogan were just what the city needed for future growth and projects such as a planned town center park, which the council approved initial plans on Tuesday.

Coincidentally, Hogan is originally from Suwanee, Georgia, a small town that successfully developed a town center that Centerville officials have visited and are using as a pattern for their own.

The Suwanee town center reportedly spurred economic development and enhanced quality of life in the community.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to work with Mayor (John) Harley and the City Council as director of marketing and economic development,” Hogan said. “As a native of Suwanee, I understand first-hand the importance of town centers and look forward to the fruition of Centerville’s town center plan.”

A true marketer, Hogan used the opportunity to encourage Middle Georgians to “like Center Park at Centerville on Facebook” and stay up to date with progress.

“Kate has the needed expertise to help us grow our community,” Harley said. “I can’t tell you how pleased I am to make this offer. I hope (everyone) can sense the excitement. She not only has the expertise but is smart, energetic and knows everybody in the area.”

The new position carries a $45,000-a-year salary, according to a statement by City Attorney Becky Tidings during the meeting. The vote to make the offer was unanimous.

Also in Tuesday’s meeting, the council voted unanimously to purchase property at 304 Houston Lake Blvd., also known as “the duplex lot,” according to council members.

The property is between Houston Lake Boulevard and city-owned property intended for the town center park. It increases the future park’s frontage to the major thoroughfare by 150 feet, bringing the total to 300 feet thus far.

The city will pay $150,000 to owner Charles Olson for the property.

In other business, the council agreed to continue to have department heads submit bimonthly progress reports to council members, renewed a contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation for grants toward city sidewalks and gave a nod to installing an after-hours emergency call box outside the city police department facility for a previously budgeted $1,478.