The discussion topics may have been varied, but McDuffie County officials seemed to come back to the same thing over and over during their Wednesday with Whitehead gathering.
State Sen. Jim Whitehead persuaded Gov. Sonny Perdue to visit with members of the regional partnership.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
A regional partnership among five counties surrounding Thurmond Lake was on everyone's mind during the regular meeting with state Sen. Jim Whitehead, R-Evans, especially with a visit from Gov. Sonny Perdue to the Thomson-McDuffie County Airport looming in the near future.
Officials from the city of Thomson, the McDuffie County Commission and Forward McDuffie gathered at the courthouse in Thomson to discuss plans already in motion by the group that Whitehead said was ground-breaking.
"It may be the first time I've heard of somebody doing something like this with five counties partnering," he said. "The governor is going to be pleased. To me this could be the best thing that has happened to this end of Georgia."
Representatives from McDuffie, Columbia, Warren, Wilkes and Lincoln counties met at the airport June 14 to discuss how to best proceed with the partnership. Whitehead then persuaded Perdue to visit the airport Saturday.
Whitehead said the group is considering the name "Clarks Hill Partnership." The aim of the partnership will be to promote lake tourism and make improvements to the airport that could bring corporate jets to the area.
Whitehead said the area has a true diamond in the lake, and that the airport was an unexpected bright spot that emerged during the initial meetings.
"I think we have two real diamonds, and there's more to come," he said.
Another topic that officials discussed was last year's proposed legislation to create a sales tax to support indigent health care. McDuffie County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton presented the idea to state legislators near the end of the session.
But Newton said McDuffie's Wednesday with Whitehead meetings shouldn't continue to take up much of the senator's time.
"We don't have a lot of new stuff come up. We're just working on old stuff," he said.
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