This portion of the plan includes an inventory of public facilities and services. The facilities are assessed for their adequacy to serve present and future population and economic needs. Results of the community survey are incorporated into this analysis as applicable. Goals and objectives, as well as actions to be taken related to community facilities are presented in Chapter 9. 8.1. General Government. Hart County general government functions are located at the Hart County Courthouse located in central Hartwell. Space for administrative functions is considered inadequate. 5,000 square feet of office space is included in the county's work program. Land use related ordinances and regulations in Hart County are listed in Table 8-1 below.





Building Permit

Junkyard Ordinance

Mobile/Manufactured Homes Permitting

Mobile Home Park Ordinance

Sewage Disposal Requirements


Subdivision Regulations

Hartwell and Hart County should consider consolidating some general government services. This can be studied a local efficiency grant available from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. The City of Bowersville operations are centered in the town hall. Town Hall is open Monday and Thursday mornings and is staffed by a part-time clerk. Space is considered adequate for the planning horizon. Ordinances and regulations in Bowersville are listed in Table 8-1.

8.2. Public Safety.

Operations of the Hart County Sheriff's Department are located on West Johnson Street in Hartwell. In addition to the Sheriff, there are 14 full-time deputies, 2 part-time deputies, 2 investigators and one secretary. The department handles all sheriff dispatch services with a total of six dispatchers, three of whom are part-time employees.

Bowersville has no police force and is served by the Hart County Sheriff's Department. The county operates a jail with a 52 person capacity also located on West Johnson Street. The jail facility and personnel are considered adequate for the planning horizon. Respondents to the community survey appear satisfied with Sheriff's department services by a wide margin; 584 were satisfied and only 155 dissatisfied. While overall assessment indicates department operations are considered adequate throughout the planning horizon, it is recommended that dispatch services be handled by the countywide 911 system.

8.3. Fire Protection.

Fire protection in Hart County is provided by a volunteer fire force comprised of 159 persons. The volunteers staff eight fire departments dispersed throughout the county. A part-time fire chief provides organizational support to the fire force. Locations of fire stations are indicated on the existing land use map. Table 8-2 presents fire call data for each of the stations.


FIRE CALLS; 1991 AND 1992






Carolina Street (Hartwell)



Reed Creek

Reed Creek Road




Goldmine/Airline Road



Shoal Creek

Highway 336







Nancy Hart

Cokesbury Road




Bowman Highway










Source:Hart County, 1993.

The Insurance Services Organization (ISO) rating is 6/9 (revised 2001) county-wide outside Hartwell. Current Soil Conservation Service efforts to install dry hydrants in the county should result in a decrease of the rating to seven or eight upon completion. Further decreases are unlikely in the short-term, due to lack of public water systems and the volunteer status of the department. Present facilities and staffing are considered adequate for the planning horizon. Equipment needs are addressed annually through the operating budget. Bowersville officials are satisfied with existing fire protection services. The vast majority of survey respondents (640 satisfied; 101 dissatisfied) report satisfaction with fire services in Hart County.

8.4. E-911 System.

An enhanced 911 system is in place in the county which dispatches for fire and ambulance service in the county. Currently, the Sheriff's Department handles dispatch in-house for Sheriff's services. The plan supports the centralized dispatch by the 911 system for Sheriff's Department service, as well as City of Hartwell police and fire services. Equipment and personnel are considered adequate for the planning horizon. 8.5. Water System.

Hart County currently provides no water service. However, the Hart County Water and Sewer Utility Authority is currently meeting and discussing future possibilities for service. Lake Hartwell is viewed as a likely water source, due to its abundance and proximity. The plan supports the continued efforts of the Authority to develop and implement plans for water service in unincorporated portions of the county, possibly in conjunction with the Cities of Hartwell and Bowersville, which have established water systems. Satisfaction with the lack of water system elicited a significantly more negative response from community service respondents than several other government services.

Interestingly, this issue also elicited one of the higher categories of respondents with no opinion. (341 satisfied, 262 dissatisfied, 221 no opinion)

 This spread of survey results indicates this issue is subject to a wide range of public opinion and any strategy devised to provide water service in the county should attempt to address the diversity of opinion. The majority of respondents indicated they were not supportive of a special purpose sales tax to fund a county water system (314 support tax, 451 did not). Support is likely to be limited to a few select areas of the county in which a special assessment may also be a viable option for provision of water service. For the future viability of the county, it is crucial that initiative be taken to secure a water allotment from Lake Hartwell while it is available, and/or to secure water supply through the City of Hartwell.

Detailed analysis is necessary to determine the economic and technical feasibility of proposed system designs and service areas, as well as the political feasibility of joint action between the municipalities and county. The Town of Bowersville operates a water system which serves 99 customers, all of whom are located within the city limits. Water is drawn from two deep wells and treated; average monthly water provision to customers is 2,247,000 gallons. A 75,000 gallon water tank provides storage capacity. No major expansions are planned; however, the city will provide water outside the city limits should the interested party(s) be willing to pay for costs of line extension. Existing facilities are considered adequate for the planning horizon. A Water Superintendent manages the system, performing maintenance and repairs as necessary. Personnel is considered adequate for the planning horizon.

8.6. Sewerage System.

Hart County and Bowersville currently provide no sewer service. Community survey respondent support for a county sewer system was overwhelmingly negative. Twice as many indicated they did not support a special purpose sales tax (547) as would support such a tax (271) for countywide sewer. The Hart County Water and Sewer Utility Authority may, in the long-term, wish to consider sewer service provision in certain portions of the county.

8.7. Natural Gas Systems.

The City of Hartwell provides natural gas to 1,759 customers, 352 of which are located outside the city limits. The gas is supplied via the Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corporation of Houston, Texas. There are no major system expansions or repairs anticipated throughout the planning horizon. 8.8. Parks and Recreation. Hart County operates a park located in Hartwell, which contains a senior center and six lighted tennis courts. In addition, there are four lighted ballfields and an administrative building. A privately-operated golf course, located south of Hartwell, is open to the public on a fee basis. The golf course is well utilized and there is a need for an additional golfing facility. Additional recreational facilities (state and federal) in the county are discussed in the Natural Resources element.

Based upon standards suggested by the National Recreation and Park Association and analysis by Recreation Department staff, expansion of existing recreational facilities is desperately needed. Because church facilities may not be available to the general public, they have not been included in the following assessment of needs. Such facilities do, however, provide a greatly needed resource in Hart County. At the present time, approximately five more baseball/softball fields, four basketball courts, four tennis courts and one swimming pool are necessary to meet existing demand. Approximately 1,000 square feet of storage space is needed at the park. Projected population increases will also increase the demand for recreational facilities. The community survey indicated a high level of citizen satisfaction with the parks and recreation facilities in the area. In order to maintain this level (627 satisfied, 150 dissatisfied), additional facilities are proposed. Table 8-3 indicates the number of existing facilities and the needs throughout the time span of this plan.

Additional recreational facilities are available through several local churches. It is estimated that five to six basketball courts are available as well as some baseball fields.


*To be provided by future YMCA facility.

Due to the high-level of satisfaction with recreational facilities expressed in community survey results, and the availability of church facilities to at least some portion of the county population, most recreational facilities are considered adequate in the short-term. Available facilities at the schools are limited, but may serve as an economical means of providing for at least some of the short-fall in recreational facilities. Steps should be taken to develop agreements with the Hart County Board of Education for use of school gyms and fields for the community. In addition, the county may be able to arrange joint sponsorship of programs of church facilities.

The existing county park has no space for additional facilities; thus additional lands for recreational facilities must be purchased and developed in the long-term. Vacant land in the vicinity of the existing park is a possible site for expansion. However, the need for a swimming pool are considered of short-term importance. YMCA has been established in Hartwell. This will help ease, although not eliminate, the burden on the public recreational facilities in Hart County. The YMCA is also viewed as the most likely avenue for the provision of a swimming pool for the area.

Although standards indicate that two pools are desirable, the availability of Lake Hartwell for water recreation purposes reduces the need for more than one pool in the county.

8.9. Hospitals and Other Public Health Facilities.

The Hart County Hospital is a 74 bed, full service facility, which includes a twenty-four hour emergency room and EMS services. As indicated in Table 8-4, the Hart County area contains the largest number of hospital beds of any of the four surrounding counties. The 3.75 beds per 1,000 persons in Hart County is slightly lower than the state average of 3.93. Community survey results indicate overall satisfaction with hospital services (464 satisfied, 272 dissatisfied). Hart County Hospital has recently been leased to Ty Cobb foundation (Cobb Memorial Hospital in Royston) for five years. This should enhance and improve the quality of health care in Hart County. The comprehensive plan supports the continued efforts at the Hart County hospital to improve.


Source:Georgia Office of Planning and Budget, Georgia Descriptions in Data, 1990-91, Hospital Officials.

As an integral part of the improvement of the hospital and health care provision in the county, three broad goals are recommended for the Hart County Hospital. These include increased sensitivity to the healthcare marketplace, continued efforts of physician and staff recruitment as needed, and the improvement of the physical facilities at the hospital. Improvements to certain portions of the hospital are needed. These areas include the emergency room, surgery, outpatient, laboratory, radiology, and physical therapy areas. Over the next three to five years these renovations are anticipated to cost approximately $4.5 million.

The Hart County Health Department, with support of the Georgia Department of Human Resources, offers a variety of medical services, some of which include well-children screenings, and vision and hearing screenings. A new health department facility, located at 64 Reynolds Street in northeast Hartwell, is considered adequate throughout the planning horizon. The Hart-Franklin County Mental Health/Substance Abuse Center, located in Hartwell, provides counseling, referral, and rehabilitation services to area residents.

8.10. Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

EMS services are based at the Hart County Hospital. Equipment and personnel are considered adequate for the planning horizon. Public satisfaction was overwhelmingly high for EMS (638 satisfied, 71 unsatisfied). The purchase of a new ambulance every year is scheduled in the Short-Term Work Program. A new EMS Center is planned for 1995/1996. The current system employees fifteen full-time EMT's, one director and one administrative staff member.

8.11. Nursing and Personal Care Homes.

There are no publicly sponsored nursing homes in Hart County. Two privately-operated nursing homes provide a total of 209 beds. In addition, a personal care home in Hartwell has a capacity for fifteen residents. A personal care home is a residential facility...providing for compensation, productive care and oversight of ambulatory, non-related persons who need a monitored environment but who do not have injuries or disabilities which require chronic or convalescent care, including medical, nursing, or intermediate care. (State Health Planning Agency)

While the nursing home facilities are considered adequate in the short-term, local health care/social service professionals indicate that additional personal care home facilities would be well utilized. A market study is needed, however, to determine the exact need for such facilities. The construction and operation of health facilities, including nursing and personal care homes must receive state approval. As such, proposed facilities are subject to the certificate-of-need rules of the State Health Planning Agency. This requirement exists to prevent an oversupply of health facilities/services since an oversupply tends to increase health care costs. The State Health Planning Agency calculates allowances based on population projections of the Georgia Office of Planning and Budget. Currently, Hart County nursing homes are at capacity and there is a waiting list for entry into these facilities. Personal care homes with fifty beds or less are exempt from state certificate-of-need requirements. In addition, a personal care home with between 51 and 150 beds is also waived from certificate-of-need requirements if certain criteria are met. The criteria are as follows:

 (1) No nurses station, physical therapy room, or examination rooms are allowed. (2)The application provides documentation satisfactory to the State Health Planning Agency that the program design, including staffing patterns and the physical plant, are such to promote services which are at high quality, are cost effective, and are consistent with client needs.

8.12. Libraries and Other Cultural Facilities.

The City of Hartwell jointly funds the Hart County Library with Hart County and the State of Georgia. The facility, which is open 59 hours per week, is a vital part of several community programs and activities. The library serves as the location for GED classes, as well as for the volunteer efforts of Literacy Volunteers of America. Several organizations also utilize the library for meeting space. The library provides materials at several locations besides the headquarters. These include the Hart Detention Center, the county jail, schools, and nursing homes. In addition, books are delivered to homebound persons as necessary. The library, located in Hartwell, has 19,990 square feet of space and 52,000 circulating items. Based upon minimum state standard of 0.7 square feet per capita, the library has adequate space throughout the planning horizon. The American Library Association recommends that libraries should contain at least two volumes per person.

According to population projections, the library has adequate holdings through 1995. After that point, additional volumes should be added regularly to keep up with population growth. By the year 2015, a total of 4942 additional volumes (compared to the 1990 holdings) will be needed. Continued support of the library is supported by the plan and purchases of additional materials are indicated in the short-term work program. The Hart County Community Theater located in Hartwell produces live productions at their theater located on Depot Street in Hartwell. The Hart County Historical Society has recently restored the Teasley-Holland house, located at 31 East Howell Street, to be used as The Hart County Museum. The museum contains two permanent exhibits, one about the revolutionary heroine, Nancy Hart, and a second addressing Native American culture. Additional space will be utilized for revolving exhibit space. The Chamber of Commerce is also located in museum.

8.13. Educational Facilities.

8.13.1. Public School System.

Public educational facilities are governed by the Hart County Board of Education. There are seven county public schools, five of which are elementary schools, one is a middle school, and one is a high school. Four elementary schools are located in the unincorporated portions of the county.



As indicated in Table 8-5, the school age population in Hart County is expected to decline through the year 2015. Based upon these projections, public educational facilities are considered adequate throughout the planning horizon, with the exception of the middle school where there is currently a need for additional space.

8.13.2. Colleges and Universities.

Although there are no colleges or universities based in Hartwell or Hart County, opportunities for higher education exists. Truett McConnell College offers courses at a satellite location in Hartwell. The University of Georgia at Athens and Clemson University in Clemson, South Carolina are both just over forty miles from the Hartwell. Emmanuel College at Franklin Springs is located approximately twenty miles from the Hartwell area. Brenau College, based in Gainesville, offers extension courses at several nearby locations. Anderson College in Anderson, South Carolina is located approximately twenty miles from Hartwell.

8.13.3. Vocational Schools.

Technical training is available at the Athens Area Vocational-Technical School which is thirty-five miles southwest of Hart County. Athens Tech also has a satellite campus in Elberton, approximately twenty miles south of Hartwell. Additional Vo-Tech training opportunities are available at Tri-County Technical School in Pendleton, South Carolina.

8.14. Transportation.

8.14.1. Roads.

As indicated in Table 8-6, there are approximately 661 miles of roadways in Hart County. State routes comprise almost 93 miles and county roads 533 miles of total roadways. There are approximately 185 miles of unpaved roadways in the County.


(In Miles)

Total Roads


State Routes


County Roads


City Streets


Unpaved Roads


Source:The University of Georgia. The Georgia County Guide, 1993, P. 164.

*2.25 miles of state routes are Interstate Highways.

The number of both passenger cars and trucks registered in the county has risen since 1982. This is expected with the growth in county population.


Source:The University of Georgia. The Georgia County Guide, various years.

Traffic counts and roadway classifications are presented in Table 8-8. Arterial roads are utilized for the movement of through traffic and have a capacity of anywhere from 5,000 to 13,500 vehicles per day. Collector roads connect local roads to arterials and generally have a capacity of 7,500 vehicles per day. Local roads provide land access and are generally two lanes wide.


Source:Georgia Department of Transportation Road Counts.

Note:Road classifications based upon standards recommended by the Institute of Transportation Engineers. All state routes are classified as arterials. All remaining road segments are considered local.

A Roads Department, employing 23 personnel, is responsible for roadwork and maintenance. In addition to ongoing maintenance, the department intends to continue the paving of currently unpaved roads. Equipment is considered adequate for the short-term planning horizon. Personnel levels are considered adequate. The Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) has scheduled the following road improvements presented in Table 8-9. In addition, several preliminary routes have been suggested by DOT for a Hartwell by-pass. Map 8-1 displays the routes.


Source:Georgia Department of Transportation, State Transportation Improvements Plan.
A =unknown;SR =State Route; CR =County Road

Community survey results indicate a substantial number of persons dissatisfied with existing road conditions (444 satisfied, 376 dissatisfied). Analysis of written comments indicates the source of dissatisfaction relates to the large number of unpaved roads in the area. Use of a special purpose sales for tax road/bridge improvements was the most popular use of such funding.


8.14.2. Sidewalks.

Due to the rural nature of Hart County, sidewalks are not considered realistic or necessary infrastructure in most areas. However, county subdivision regulations should be modified to require sidewalks in subdivisions.

8.14.3. Railroads.

The Norfolk-Southern Railway provides rail service in Hart County. Rail lines are presented on the existing land use map.

8.14.4. Airports.

The nearest commercial air service to Hartwell is located in Athens, GA and Greenville South Carolina. The nearest public airports are located in Franklin County and Anderson County, South Carolina and several private airstrips are located in Hart County. In the economic development element, discussion was made of the need to improve the Franklin County Airport for corporate jet service.

8.14.5. Navigable Water.

The nearest navigable river is the Tennessee River with a nine foot channel depth. A public barge dock is located at Chattanooga, Tennessee, approximately 170 miles from Hartwell. Savannah, Georgia, approximately 229 miles away, provides the nearest seaport with a maintained channel depth of 38 feet.

8.15. Solid Waste Collection and Disposal.

The Hart County Landfill has been closed. A transfer station has been constructed to serve in place of the landfill and a recycling building is under construction. Hart County is currently under contract with Speedway Waste Disposal, Inc. to dispose of the waste generated in Hart County. The greenbox system formally used in Hart County has been discontinued and replaced by seven staffed centers for garbage collection and recyclable recovery. Further details regarding sanitation are addressed in the Hart County Solid Waste Plan.

Georgia Department of Industry, Trade and Tourism. "Georgia Economic Profile: Hartwell-Hart County", October 26, 1992.
Georgia Department of Transportation. Fiscal Years 1993-1995. 3 Year State Transportation Improvement Program.