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Conyers vies for status as retirement community

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

CONYERS -- City officials want to pursue a certification that possibly could put Conyers on the map as Georgia's first certified retirement community.

Downtown Development Authority member Daniel Digby presented the idea during Tuesday's regular DDA meeting. He referenced a recent Wall Street Journal article that explained how a few Southern states have started an initiative to attract adults 64 years old and older to relocate to certified retirement communities in their states. The article said communities would have to meet certain criteria and prove what is offered to retirees in order to gain the designation and use it for marketing efforts.

Digby suggested the certified retirement community should be something DDA or the Main Street board should consider pursuing for Conyers. He compared it to the bicycle-friendly designation, a national designation offered by the League of American Bicyclists. A retirement-friendly designation may prove to be helpful in the future, according to Digby.

"I think that's something we ought to look into because, certainly, that can be an arrow in a quiver as we go down the road," Digby said, mentioning future developments in Olde Town.

He said city officials still needed to check with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to see if the state has such a designation. And if the state does not offer the certification, Digby thought it should in order to compete with the other neighboring states that are offering it and gaining more residents because of it.

Authority member Marty Jones and DDA Chairman John Fountain thought it was a good idea.

"Even better, if nobody in Georgia has it, if we're the first ones to get it, maybe we can get some headlines," Fountain said.