Downtown Development Authority

The Ellijay Downtown Development Authority meets at 4:30 pm on the second Wednesday of every month in the Better Hometown Office at City Hall.
Members of the authority are Larry Robinson, chair; Melinda Hadden, vice-chair and organization committee chair; Jeff Riblet, treasurer and economic restructuring chair; Patty Kyle, design committee chair; Jim Stover, marketing and promotions chair; Kent Sanford and Al Fuller. Mona Lowe is recording secretary and executive director.
The Vision of the Ellijay Downtown Development Authority is for Ellijay to be a vibrant destination for people of all ages to shop, dine, live, work, play and do business.
 The Mission of the Ellijay Downtown Development Authority is to enhance our community identity and heritage, to foster a center of activity and to ensure economic stability. 

The DDA operates Ellijay’s Better Hometown program, a  community-based, self-help framework to develop and maintain our city’s economic health and quality of life. It is grounded in the principles of historic preservation and the National Main Street Center’s four-point approach to downtown revitalization: organization, design, economic restructuring and promotion. This approach which has been implemented in more than  1,800 cities and towns in 44 states. The public-private partnership is aided by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Office of Downtown Development.

For more information, visit

Downtown Development Authority Proposed Work Plan 2013

Economic Restructuring/Business Development Committee

  1. Assist county in best use and protection of  Watkins House
  2. Develop target list of businesses and attractions to assist and recruit  — emphasis on agribusiness, diversified retail, and businesses already in development or expansion
  3. Master planning to include design charette
  4. Harrison Park Involvement/Assistance
  5. Develop business incentives and requirements for receiving incentives working with ETC, Georgia Power, Water Authority, etc.
  6. Assist in improving business establishment processes including license application, zoning, etc.
  7. Research and possibly advocate the rerouting of Hwy. 52 (at least truck route) to avoid square


Promotions Committee

  1. March 16 – St. Petrick’s Day
  2. July 4 – Independence Day Parade/ No Buffet Live, etc.
  3. October 5 – Scarecrow Celebration
  4. November 29 – Light Up Ellijay; theme – “Whoville”
  5. Sponsor jointly with Chamber of Commerce and Gilmer Arts First Saturdays May, June, July, August, and September – all to include special shopping programs coordinated with stores
  6. Assist Master Gardners  Farmers Market
  7. Recruit other sponsors of downtown events


Design Committee

  1. Remove old directional signs to merchant locations and replace with signs that can be read easily, replaced as needed, consistent with overall view of future downtown Ellijay;
  2. Plant vegetation in planters that will remain attractive and green through the year;
  3. Complete future design for N. Church Street and submit to Council;
  4. Research viability of permanent decorative lights for downtown.

Organization Committee

  1. Continue to enhance Social Media Outlets
  2. Develop a DDA website to be linked to the City of Ellijay site
  3. Develop an Annual Calendar of events
  4. Identify Fundraising for upcoming year/ Identify a large fundraising event or program
  5. Develop sub-committees to carry out goals





Phone: 706- 635- 4711, ext. 5, Email:

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