Metter City Council, Candler County Industrial Authority and Candler County Board of Education have all expressed an interest in participating in the University of Georgia Archway Partnership.

“Archway is an incredible opportunity for our community to become affiliated with The University of Georgia and have one of their staff members come here to help the community meet whatever needs we have,” said Mayor Billy Trapnell to city council members on Dec. 10.

The program will require a $50,000 annual local contribution, which local officials are hoping will be spread among the city, county, board of education, industrial authority, hospital authority and private contributors. However, no commitment has been made at this point from the county or the hospital authority.

The issue was brought before the board of education at their regular meeting on Dec. 13. However, as Mayor Trapnell explained, the BOE would not be able to make an actual monetary commitment until January.

Trapnell also stressed that he could not speak on behalf of the county commissioners, especially in light of the fact that a new chairman and a new commissioner will be taking office in January. The Archway program was not on the agenda at the December county meeting.

About the program

The Archway program is a partnership that provides the resources of the 16 schools of the University of Georgia for local community projects that are chosen by the local community itself.

Archway partners with eight communities at a time and adds new partners once a prior partner “graduates” from the program. Once a community is selected, an Archway professional moves into the community to help facilitate planning among the community’s leaders.

For participation, the program costs an estimated $50,000 a year in community dollars, which is typically divided among city, county, board of education and other agencies. The Archway Partnership invests about $100,000 of its own funding into the community.

For more information, visit archwaypartnership.uga.edu.