Grant & Loan Awards: McDuffie County
BRIDGE funds to assist with two regional technology studies for the McDuffie, Columbia, Lincoln, Warren and Wilkes five-county area. With a geographical footprint of 1500 square miles, a combined population exceeding 150,000, and four of the five counties having a poverty rate greater than 17.5%, the five counties propose to work with Georgia Tech's TechSmart program to identify gaps in broadband infrastructure, benchmark current technology utilization and develop a community and regional technology roadmap. Digitel responsibilities include inventory of vertical assets, topography and infrastructure needs to deploy broadband to the underserved areas of the five counties. The five counties will join forces to expand high speed internet access to underserved areas in the five-county region to promote economic development. In addition, they have an opportunity to leverage their collective bargaining power to attract private partners, control cost of equipment and enhance their regional competitiveness.
Equity funds to assist with the construction of one nine-bay nested and one nine-bay oversized hanger at the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Level III Airport. The airport, jointly owned by the City of Thomson and McDuffie County, will also make improvements to the apron and taxiway area as well as site preparation for the possible construction of additional hangers. The airportâ€™s fixed-based operator is Spirit Aviation who employs three and has just entered into a long-term lease. The existing runway is 5,200 feet and can accommodate greater than 85% of corporate jets. With existing hangars at 100% occupancy, the proposed new hangars will provide airport users with a protected area to store aircraft while also making the airport more regionally competitive.
Equity funds for construction of a rail spur in addition to drainage and paving improvements in support of Thomson Plastics, a manufacturer of custom plastic injection moldings. The company needs to make these improvements in order to remain competitve in an increasing competitve market with foreign and local competitors. Thomson Plastics is located in the West Thomson Industrial Park and currently employs 235 people. The company commits to create 30 new jobs in Thomson in addition to the 75 news jobs at the new Sandersville plant and make $120,000 in capital improvements.
Equity funds to assist with development of a 73-acre industrial park near the I-20 interchange north of Thomson to attract new prospects. The development includes grading, water, sewer and an access road into the site.
Equity funds for construction of 5,917 SF airport terminal/welcome center at the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport, recently designated as a regional airport. Terminal building and meeting facilities will assist in enhancing marketability of the Tier One and Two counties within the region.
Equity funds to fund a water and sewer engineering design study for a proposed regional industrial site in Warren County. Six counties, Hancock, Lincoln, Taliaferro, Warren, Glascock, McDuffie will share ownership in the site.