Three Questions With the Mayor: Car Wash Grand Opening, Avoiding Water Problems and Significant Changes in Dacula
Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks answers questions about our community.
UPDATED 6:08 p.m.
In this week's "Three Questions With the Mayor," Dacula Mayor Jimmy Wilbanks provides an update on the latest city news and discusses the changes he has seen in Dacula over the past several decades.
Dacula Patch: What's new in Dacula this week?
Mayor Wilbanks: The Quick Shop Exxon, at the corner of Fence and Dacula Roads, is premiering its new Xpress Car Wash on Wednesday, Sept. 19 at 8:30 a.m.* This is a replacement and upgrade of the old car wash that has been out of service for several months. If your car is like mine and needs washing, visit the Quick Shop Wednesday for a wash.
Dacula Patch: What is something Dacula residents need to know?
Mayor Wilbanks: Our area is supposed to get some much needed rain this week, some of it may be heavy. So let me encourage each homeowner to check downspouts, drainage ditches, and drop inlets. Minor maintenance to these, including making sure they are not clogged, makes a big difference in the amount of complaints the City receives about water problems following heavy rains. When the rains are over, please take mosquito prevention a priority. As we get further into the fall, the mosquito population will fall off drastically. Until then, take precautions against mosquito bites.
Dacula Patch: What is the most significant change you have seen in Dacula during the past 10 years? The past 20 years?
Mayor Wilbanks: Most of the commercial growth in the City occurred in the past 10-12 years. This has provided essential goods, services, convenience, and tax-digest stability for our residents as the City and surrounding areas have grown.
Let me back up to about 40 years ago (I know the question was the past 20 years). I was first mayor here in 1971, and I served four years (two-year terms then). We had a population of only about 400 in the City. Over that 40 years we grew from 400 people to nearly 5,000. If we can extrapolate for the next forty years to 2052, the City might expect to have a population of nearly 40,000. Changes that I saw during the previous 40 years included going from dirt streets to paved streets, the expansion of the interstate system, the construction of Georgia 316, the last outhouse in the City, the expansion of the water system and what little sewer we have in the City. I saw my home church expand from around 120 members to over 12,000 members. I saw our historic downtown dwindle, and other parts of the City become the commercial centers. I saw the loss of innocence in our City as we went from being able to leave the doors unlocked to making sure everything was secured when you left home. I saw the decline of stay-at-home agricultural use of land and the rise of other forms of “public” work that necessitated going somewhere else to work.
In other words, I have seen the transformation of Dacula from a rural, agricultural demographic to the start of a suburban center, and I hope I have had a part in making that transition as smooth and as acceptable as possible. Change is inevitable. Change isn’t easy. Change ruffles feathers and costs. For the foreseeable future, change will be clouded with decisions made as a result of our current, terrible economic situation. In the next forty years, we will need to decide how best to face the challenges which will surface. I believe that our area needs to provide the infrastructure that will encourage local job centers and growth. As we move forward in our long-range planning, that should be our focus.
*In an email to Dacula Patch, store owner Peter Thakkar advised the grand opening time has been changed to 8:30 a.m.
How long have you lived in the Dacula area? What are the most significant changes you have seen during that time? Let us know in the comments.
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