By Sandy Springs City Councilwoman Diane Fries

Diane Fries

It is hard for me to believe that it has been five years since cityhood was established, and what a wonderful city it is.

If I had to pick one thing that I am most proud of, I think it would be the innovative public-private partnership we developed for the city of Sandy Springs. Our model has been looked at by businesses and governments all over the world and has proven to be the most cost-effective and efficient way to run a municipality.

A very close second is our public safety departments, from our state-of-the-art ChatComm (911 Center) to our outstanding police and fire departments. Not only do we have spectacular, responsive personnel but they have been so engaged with the community. That’s something we have not seen in our community in 30 years.

What we have accomplished in our short five years is mindboggling to me. We have resurfaced 95 miles of the city’s 360 miles of roads, installed 7 miles of new sidewalks, with 24 sidewalk projects in either design or construction, and completed several intersection improvements, with several more planned. That is pretty tough to top by anyone’s standards.

Then you have our wonderful parks! We have revamped Allen Park with an artificial turf soccer field. We have done considerable updating to the Tennis Center and Hammond Park, installed a large Astroturf field at Hammond Park as well as a new playground. The addition of a bathroom facility at Big Trees is under design.

Sandy Springs did not stop there – the Morgan Falls ball fields have been totally rebuilt with new baseball fields, football fields, playground, weather-safe dugouts, bleachers and a beautiful athletic building with a concessions and press box.

You would think that was enough in five short years, but no. In addition to all of these accomplishments there was the opening of our fabulous Morgan Falls Overlook Park just above the Morgan Falls dam. This park is really a gem. There is a large playground, hiking trails, grass lawn, a large pavilion, fire pit, historic chimney and many relaxing bench swings overlooking the beautiful Chattahoochee River.

It has been a short five years but this city has been extremely busy, as you can see. It has been an honor to be part of this development and I expect the next five years to be even more exciting. The parks are full, the streets are clean and I am proud to be a Sandy Springer!

Happy birthday to the City of Sandy Springs and its community.

Diane Fries was among the members of the first Sandy Springs City Council. She is in her second term and represents District 2.