Grant & Loan Awards: Stewart County
Equity funds to assist with the development of a regional comprehensive marketing/tourism plan to effectively position the Hwy 27 corridor and the associated 18 counties as a travel and tourism â€œdestination of choice.â€ The Hwy 27 Association was formed to promote economic development, tourism and the protection of cultural and scenic resources along US Hwy 27, which runs 352 miles along the western portion of the State. The Association's 18 member counties seek to build on their existing tourism industry and develop additional products. The group has provided $52,000 of in-kind work/investment to-date, and they recognize the value of developing key partnerships and alliances. These include working with GA DOT on their plans to four-lane Hwy 27. Add 18 counties
BRIDGE funds to conduct a TechSmart feasibility study, to create a Business and Marketing Plan and to develop an RFP for the development of a Carrier Class High Speed Back Haul Network for broadband connectivity in unserved and underserved areas of this four county area (Clay, Quitman, Randolph, Stewart.) This is phase 1 of the project. If deemed viable, a design/build phase (phase 2) will be the Authority's next step.
Equity funds to assist with the construction of a well with supply of 300 GPM and a 100,000 gallon water storage tank and connecting pipe on Georgia Highway 27 between the cities of Richland and Lumpkin to be owned by the Stewart County Water Authority. This activity will support the development of the 1,524-bed Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. This project will create 269 new jobs within two years.
E 9-1-1 funds to expand the Clay & Quitman E 9-1-1 Center to serve Randolph and Stewart Counties. Grant funds will be used to assist with mapping, signage and equipment purchases to expand the system. The Clay and Quitman E 9-1-1 Center, funded with a $400K grant in 2003, is located within the Clay County Sheriff's office. The applicant will use a centralized dispatching system in the four-county coverage area with a combined population of about 20,000 people. With such a large geographical footprint, the proposed four-county centralized dispatch is the most efficient approach to provide emergency medical services. The expansion of the two-county system into a four-county system represents significant progress in the development of regional collaboration and partnerships in one of Georgia's most economically challenged areas.
Equity funds to assist in the construction of a 19,244 SF Columbus Regional Technology Center, a small business incubator focused on technology innovations. Partnering with Columbus State University, the Center, will nurture and assist startup technology companies with high growth potential. The center, with 8 incubator sites, will provide facilities and networking opportunities to startups seeking to establish a market presence in the 7-county Valley Partnership Region (Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Muscogee, Stewart, Talbot, Taylor.)