News

“Walker Rocks” Outdoor Adventure Tourism Initiative Launched in Walker County

Chickamauga, GA – The Walker County Chamber and Walker County Government proudly launch Walker Rocks, an initiative to showcase the unique outdoor activities available in Walker County.

Walker Rocks highlights the scenic and stunning destinations available in our community for rock climbing, caving, kayaking, hiking, biking and other outdoor adventures. This new tourism focus, which includes the creation of WalkerRocks.com, invites outdoor enthusiasts around the world to come explore Walker County’s environmental wonders.

In 2016, the tourism industry supported 640 jobs in Walker County and generated over $63 million in direct tourist spending. “Walker County has organically developed into a destination for people seeking outdoor adventures, but there is plenty of room for growth,” said Lacey Wilson, President of the Walker County Chamber. “The experiences available in Walker County create lasting memories and it’s time to share those experiences with others,” added Wilson.

Walker Rocks is a platform to encourage outdoor enthusiasts to make the Walker County trip. “Walker County is the outdoor adventure destination of the south,” noted Robert Wardlaw, Economic & Community Development Director for Walker County Government. “Those who come to ride horses, hike to waterfalls or venture through our caves will spend money here, increasing demand for new businesses, such as outfitters, restaurants and hotels,” added Wardlaw.

Along with the launch of the Walker Rocks brand, Wilson revealed plans for the “Walker Rocks Start-up Challenge,” a pitch competition to help a new recreational, travel or hospitality business get started or expand in Walker County. A $5,000 start-up grant will be offered to the winner, funded by a partnership between the Chamber and Peach State Federal Credit Union. Applications are available starting today at WalkerRocks.com and due by August 20.

Statement from Commissioner Whitfield Concerning Preservation Society’s Plans to Drop Lawsuit

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield released the following statement after learning the Preservation Society planned to drop its legal action against Walker County, relieving taxpayers of the financial burden of defending costly litigation.

“Though well-meaning citizens may have varying opinions about specific economic development opportunities, everyone agrees job and wage growth remain a common goal,” said Whitfield. “We will continue to represent the citizens of Walker County in good faith and with the highest integrity as we pursue companies that desire to create quality jobs and be good corporate citizens in our community.”

“By working together to achieve our common goal, we enhance our appeal to prospective partners around the world and present our community in a positive light,” Whitfield added.

Nick-A-Jack Road to be Closed for Maintenance June 4th – 8th

Lookout Mountain, GA – Walker County residents who travel Nick-A-Jack Road as part of their daily commute will need to find an alternate route next week. The road will be closed from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from Monday June 4th through Friday June 8th for road maintenance.

Walker County Public Works crews will be working to correct a mudslide that occurred near the roadway several years ago. The dirt and rock have blocked the natural flow of water off Lookout Mountain leading to excess water on the road when it rains.

After crews correct the slide spot, they will rebuild the shoulders along Nick-A-Jack Road.

These two maintenance projects to improve the safety of the road must be complete before Nick-A-Jack Road can be repaved in the future.

Commissioner Whitfield Responds to Lawsuit to Discourage Job Creation in Walker County

Walker County was served today with a lawsuit from a group of citizens demanding county officials stop talking to companies interested in locating in our community. This lawsuit is designed to prevent the county’s ability to attract great paying jobs and generate new tax revenue to benefit all of our citizens.

Although this lawsuit makes reference to one specific company, if successful, it will set a precedent for all future attempts to attract industry. Walker County would be hamstrung and unable to compete on the same playing field with other communities, if even given the opportunity.

Read the documents here:

Also, please take a moment to watch Commissioner’s Whitfield’s response.

Second Retire Your Tires Amnesty Day Outperforms Original Event

Chickamauga, GA – Hundreds of Walker County residents took advantage of an opportunity to dispose of old, unwanted tires for free Saturday at the Walker County Landfill.

The county hosted its second Retire Your Tires Amnesty Day. Residents brought 6,741 tires to the landfill during the seven hour event, including 106 tires from a satellite drop off site in Rossville.

6,741 bests the county’s original goal of collecting 5,500 tires. Last fall, the community cleaned up 5,543 tires during Walker County’s first tire amnesty event. The tires will be sent to an approved recycling center and turned into industrial fuel or rubber mulch for landscaping and playground applications.

Along with cleaning up the community, the county hopes this event will help eliminate mosquito breeding sites and cut down on the mosquito population this summer.

Ironman 70.3 & Down Home Days Return to Walker County This Weekend

Chickamauga, GA – Thousands of visitors will converge on Walker County this weekend to experience a popular triathlon, along with music, dancing, artisan demonstrations and a car show.

This year’s Ironman 70.3 event will follow Down Home Days in Chickamauga.

The Chickamauga Lions Club kicks off the weekend with the kid friendly festival on Saturday, May 19th. The event begins with a pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Chickamauga Masonic Temple, located at 106 Cove Road. A farmer’s market, yoga at the Gordon Lee Mansion and a cruise-in get underway shortly thereafter.

Down Home Days will also feature nearly 90 vendors lining the streets of downtown Chickamauga. Parades, children’s game and live music highlight the street party, as well. Vendors will be open from 9 a.m. until at least 5 p.m., while entertainment will runs from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Ironman May 2018 CourseAs the sun rises on Sunday, May 20th, thousands of triathletes will test their metal in the Ironman 70.3 competition. The bike course runs through Walker County and residents are encouraged to review the areas that will be impacted while cyclists trek through an area awarded the 2017 Athletes Choice Award for Best Overall Bike course in 2017.

The race begins at 6:50 a.m. in Chattanooga, but race organizers warn roads in Walker County along the course could encounter delays between 5 a.m. and 1 p.m. The areas at greatest risk of delays are Hwy. 193 at Hwy. 341, Hwy. 136 at Hwy. 193 and Hwy. 136 at Hwy. 341.

Ironman Best Bike CourseWalker County residents interested in watching the race are encouraged to line the streets of downtown Chickamauga, where the first cyclists are expected to start passing through around 10 a.m.

FAST FACT: Did you know, nearly 30 Walker County residents competed in an Ironman Chattanooga event last year? That’s nearly three times as many local competitors since 2015!

Peace Officers Memorial Day is May 15

LaFayette, GA – Walker County will join other communities across the country during “Police Week” to salute the selfless work of law enforcement officers and acknowledge the debt we owe those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

On May 15th, Peace Officers Memorial Day, Walker County will pause to remember eight officers who served the Walker County Sheriff’s Office until their end of watch. The courage and sacrifice of these officers will not be forgotten:

Officers:

  • A. Harvey Mix (2/7/1879)
  • Albert G. Catron (5/28/1921)
  • John C. Parrish (2/2/1922)
  • Joseph W. Morton (3/18/1922)
  • Toliver C. Hearn (8/29/1925)
  • D.C. Alexander (8/11/1934)
  • George E. Kemp (8/8/1955)

K9 LODDs

  • K9 Tanja (6/13/2014)

President Donald J. Trump has directed that flags be flown at half-staff and encourages all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and businesses on May 15th. Walker County will lower the flags at the courthouse, 103 S Duke Street in LaFayette, at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Retire Your Tires Amnesty Day Returns May 19!

Chickamauga, GA – The overwhelming success of last fall’s tire amnesty day event prompted county officials to ask the state to green light a sequel. On May 19th, the Retire Your Tires Amnesty Day will return to the Walker County Landfill, 5120 N Marble Top Road, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Car and light truck tires with wheel sizes 20 inches or less will be accepted, as well as ATV (all-terrain vehicle) tires. All tires must be dismounted from any wheels and free of debris. Tires with rims and large truck, tractor or heavy equipment tires will not be accepted.

This event is only for the public, not for commercial businesses. Proof of residency, such as a driver’s license or current utility bill, will be required to dispose of tires for free during the amnesty event. Those participating will also be required to unload their own tires.

Properly disposing of scrap tires helps eliminate mosquito breeding sites. The wet spring has provided mosquitoes with plenty of locations to lay their eggs. A female mosquito only needs an inch of standing water to lay a batch of over 100 eggs. More mosquitoes this summer could hasten the spread of West Nile Virus. Commissioner Shannon Whitfield hopes by removing thousands of old tires from the community we will cut down on the mosquito population.

Last fall, the community cleaned up 5,543 tires. Walker County aims to collect a similar number this spring. Tires will be sent to an approved recycling center and turned into industrial fuel or rubber mulch for landscaping and playground applications.

Walker County Commissioner Meetings Move to New Location

LaFayette, GA – Walker County Commissioner Shannon Whitfield’s meetings will move to a new location this month. The Commissioner’s regularly scheduled meetings, which are held at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of the month, will now take place at the Walker County Courthouse Annex III building, located at 201 S Main Street in LaFayette.

Many residents know this building as the old Kitchens Clinic or the former Tag & Tax office. The building underwent an emergency renovation to house the Public Defender’s office, Drug Court and other judicial services. Those government functions had to be relocated after the Walker County Judiciary Annex was deemed unsafe, following the collapse of a nearby building in LaFayette’s downtown square.

Meetings will take place in the courtroom, which has seating for over 70 community members. The building also has ADA compliant bathrooms and additional parking.

The first meeting in the new location will be on May 10th, which will also include a Public Hearing on the revised Animal Care Ordinance.

New Public Safety Concerns Arise After Demolition of Collapsed Building

LaFayette, GA – The collapse of a building in LaFayette’s downtown square earlier this year continues to pose problems.

Late this afternoon, officials with the City of LaFayette notified Walker County Government about additional structural issues at the Walker County Judiciary Annex, following demolition work on the building that collapsed in February.

Annex Issues  3

Upon being notified, Walker County Government brought in a structural engineer and the county’s building official to investigate the situation. They discovered issues that could pose a threat to public safety and advised Highway 193 between South Duke Street and Main Street be closed again. The road had just reopened earlier this week.

Annex Issues 2

A construction team is now on site working to prevent the front facade of the Annex building from falling into the road.

The Judiciary Annex housed the Public Defender’s office, Drug Court and other services. The building was closed in February due to public safety concerns caused by the building collapse on the square. Court services that were in that building have been relocated to the Walker County Courthouse Annex III, 201 S Main Street in LaFayette.