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Woodstock DDA to Consider Trolley Lease

The authority will hold a called meeting to consider leasing the trolley from Cherokee County.

The Woodstock Downtown Development Authority will hold a called meeting to review a proposal to lease a trolley for one month.

The DDA will consider using the trolley, owned by Cherokee County, during the height of the holiday season, between Nov. 30 to Dec. 27. DDA Executive Director Billy Peppers said the lease won't cost any money on the authority's side.

The meeting will start at 4 p.m. at the Johnston Building on Main Street in downtown.

"We will, however, need to approve expenses for a driver, fuel, insurance and some signage to cover up 'city of Canton' (written) on the side," Peppers said, adding the cost of that will also be discussed at today's meeting.

Cherokee County Manager Jerry Cooper said the trolley was transferred to the county when the city of Canton "discontinued city transit services per an agreement between the City and County." He noted the trolley is "rarely" used. 

The Cherokee County Commission will consider the lease with the DDA during its Nov. 20 meeting, Cooper added.

Peppers told the Woodstock City Council in October that the DDA plans to use the city's fall events and the Christmas Jubilee parade as an opportunity to test the trolley's popularity.

He also told the council the trolley could be used to shuttle people from the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta and to downtown.

After the meeting, the DDA will hold a ceremony to dedicate the railroad pedestrian plaza to one of its former members.

The DDA at 5 p.m. will dedicate the plaza to Herbert Priest, Jr. The plaza is located at 350 East Main Street in downtown Woodstock.

Known by friends as Herb, Priest was the owner of Priest Home Furnishings, a long-time business in downtown Woodstock, until he retired in 2011.

Priest was born in 1942 in Cherokee County and attended Cherokee High School. He went on to attend college at North Georgia College and Georgia State University.

He returned to the county and took over his family's furniture business that started in the 1940s. The company operated in other locations, but came to downtown Woodstock in the early 1960s and was one of the longest running businesses in the central business district until he retired in 2011. The location is now home to Woodstock Art and Glass.

Along with owning his business, Priest served on the Woodstock Downtown Development Authority, the county's Hospital Authority and was a charter member of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce.

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