By Matt de Simone
Since March of this year, George Hayfield has worked diligently to better the Town of Buchanan’s maintenance and upkeep. The Tennessee native arrived in Buchanan earlier this year following a search for a permanent replacement for former Town Manager Sue McCulloch, who resigned in October.
Since taking over in Buchanan, Hayfield has seen similarities and differences in Buchanan as in the other localities where he’s worked.
“(Buchanan) is very similar to the town I was just coming from – Glasgow,” Hayfield said in a recent phone interview. “It’s amazingly similar in size. Glasgow’s population is 1,300 and the population here is almost identical size wise, but there is a great deal of difference in the way things are organized and operated.”
Hayfield works to give Town Council the best options regarding town maintenance and other projects. He commended his work with Town Council since coming on board.
“They are very easy to work with,” Hayfield said. “My job is to give council all the options they need to make informed decisions. There is quite a bit going on here at the time.”
At last Monday’s Town Council meeting, council voted to get a few much-needed maintenance projects underway that include a backup water generator at Carson Hill as well as paving projects in alleyways connecting Main and Lowe Streets and the firehouse. Most of these projects will utilize the ARPA funds (approximately $490,214) the town still needs to spend before the end of 2024.
Hayfield is also involved in the ongoing revitalization of two properties in town: the Factory Flats project and the renovation of the old high school being redeveloped into a dozen apartments.
“In just the time I’ve been here, a number of buildings have been totally redone and renovated and started up again,” Hayfield added. “And a lot of buildings are also seeing major improvements in the downtown area.”
Some of the key issues in any town are water and sewer, which Hayfield is already working to improve the town’s infrastructure to make sure the well system is receiving enough power. In the last two months, Hayfield put together a plan so that all wells in town are covered with two permanent generators and one that is portable.
Hayfield’s main advantage to his work within the town is that he’s an experienced administrator. He is an ICMA Credentialed Manager and has 15 years’ experience as a planner. Hayfield arrived in Buchanan after working in Glasgow, and he served as town manager in Scott County and the Town of Louisa. He also previously served as city manager in Johnstown, Pa., and worked in administration in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography and Cartography from Loch Haven and a graduate’s degree in Urban Planning from Indiana University.