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Key takeaways from 2023 State of the County Address

(Lawrenceville, Ga., March 2, 2023) – Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners Chairwoman Nicole Hendrickson on Thursday addressed hundreds of business owners, residents and stakeholders during her third State of the County address.

“The choices of almost a million people — and more over the years — created Gwinnett’s steady past, its vibrant present and its promising future. And whether subconscious or not, every decision we make is guided by intention — the choice to proactively solve a problem,” Hendrickson said. “It’s the small, yet intentional acts of bravery, kindness and support that fuel the Gwinnett spirit. This is serving with intention.”

Hendrickson said that intentionality has been the reason Gwinnett has solidified itself as a proven leader in the region. From water testing and quality of life to public safety and a low unemployment rate, she said the County’s proven track record has forged public-private partnerships that are key to the County’s success.

During her remarks, Hendrickson acknowledged the death of Gwinnett Corrections Officer Scott Riner by leading a moment of silence. Sadly, Riner was killed while arriving to work last December. Within days, Gwinnett Police identified and arrested the suspect in the case – due to quick actions and excellent investigative work. Here are more takeaways:

Gun Crimes Unit, Gwinnett Safe Communities Program

“Our police department is also leveraging technology to reduce and respond to gun violence. When a gun-related crime is committed in Gwinnett, our Gun Crimes Unit uses ballistic science to connect shell casings from scenes to guns possessed by suspects,” said Hendrickson.

That information is then entered into a national database to make connections with other crimes across the country.

Connections are also what has made the Gwinnett Safe Communities Program a success. The program allows police to work with community stakeholders to provide access to cameras, license plate readers and other technology.

Housing and a new homeless shelter

While access to affordable housing continues to challenge communities across the country, the County will do its part to make sure Gwinnett is a place where everyone thrives.

“Over the next few years, in partnership with the Gwinnett Housing Corporation and Gwinnett/Walton Habitat for Humanity, we will be able to provide 390 affordable low-income housing units,” said Hendrickson. “But the work doesn’t end there.”

A multi-family building in Lawrenceville will be converted into shelter units to serve adult men and couples with no children. Federal funds will be used for the shelter.

New name, new look for Gwinnett Transit

2023 kicked off with a new look and a name for Gwinnett Transit: Ride Gwinnett.

Hendrickson added, “Not only does it tell you what to do, this new name and look connects with Gwinnett County’s brand to show riders that they can expect the same great service they get from their County government in their local transit.”

Building a future with the Rowen Project

“Late last year, I joined federal, state and local partners to break ground on the Rowen knowledge community — another gleaming example of intentional collaboration that will unlock opportunity for Gwinnett and beyond,” Hendrickson said. “Built atop a portion of the land being supported by our Eastern Regional Infrastructure project — which is bringing water, sewer and trails to 8,500 acres in east Gwinnett — Rowen will be home to innovation in the agricultural, environmental and medical fields.”   

Of the overall contractors, Rowen is prioritizing economic equity with a goal of 30% of the contractors being small, women- and minority-owned businesses. 

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