Grant & Loan Awards: Talbot County
BRIDGE grant funds will support fiber optic connectivity within the Richard B. Russell State Park. Areas to be served with OneGeorgia funds include: Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course and clubhouse area, Olympic Rowing Center Boat Ramp, Mega Ramp, and the McNeely Lakeside Pavilion. The Park drew is projected to draw over 600,000 visitors in 2010 and generate an estimated $35 million for the local economy. It also supports an estimated 407 local jobs. Other project activities include providing fiber connectivity to 800 rural homes as part of the 67-mile system expansion. In 2001, the City of Elberton constructed a hybrid fiber optic-coaxial cable network to serve residences and business in a 5-square mile area in and around the city limits of Elberton by investing over $6.5 million. This new system was named ElbertonNET. ElbertonNET offers Cable TV, high speed data and Internet access and Voice-over-Internet Protocol digital telephone service. Currently, the system serves 2,442 customers. In December 2009, an ElbertonNET expansion project began to connect unserved and underserved rural areas of Elbert County where there is no incumbent broadband provider. Future plans for the Park include the construction of a lodge/conference center that will benefit from broadband service.
Equity funds for road and site improvements to the 100-acre Talbot County Industrial Park located off of Highway 80 in the City of Talbotton. The property was donated to the Development Authority of Talbot County and will include 15 sites. The Development Authority plans to construct a 25,000 square-foot speculative building. As recommend by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), Fort Benning will be expanded over the next four years. As a result, the community expects substantial population growth and military contracts, which will need â€œshovel readyâ€ sites for development. In addition, up to 70% of County residents must travel significant distances outside the County for employment. Two prospects have committed to locate in the park with projected employment of 14.
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.)