THOMSON - During a stop last week at McDuffie County's Augusta Tech branch, Gov. Sonny Perdue had plenty of good things to say.
Perdue visited Thomson to take part in the OneGeorgia Authority's monthly meeting, where it awarded 14 loans and grants to boost economic development in rural areas across the state.
Thomson was chosen as the site for the meeting because, in 2001, McDuffie County was awarded a $500,000 grant toward the development of the Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport.Work was completed last month.
Perdue approved of the new facility.
"It's a great front door to McDuffie County and Thomson, with corporate clients flying in, and an instrument landing system," he said, adding that the improved airport "will help this community grow for years to come as clients come in and see what an attractive front door this county presents from this airport, and that's a great first impression."
The Thomson City Council and McDuffie County Board of Commissioners had lunch with Perdue, where they discussed many local issues, including the success of the airport.
"We're not only honored to have the government here locally, but also to have the OneGeorgia Authority because they've made such a difference for us," said Charlie Newton, chairman of the board of commissioners. "This terminal with this ILS system is going to open things up for Columbia County, Warren County, Wilkes County, all of the counties here along I-20. We've got the transportation and now we've got the corporate aviation draw. It's going to do tremendous things for us for a long time."
The OneGeorgia Authority received $62 million this year, one-third of the state's tobacco settlement money. Over the next 25 years, the authority is expected to receive close to $1.6 billion.
Other recipients included the Development Authority of Warren County, which received a $500,000 loan to reopen the Wheland Foundry.
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