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Outlook 2007: Much of Thomson's projects are planned outside city limits

Not much is new on the horizon for the City of Thomson in 2007. Continuing the work already begun will be the theme for the New Year.

In fact, much of what the city plans on doing happens to be taking place outside the city limits. Several projects to enhance the water and sewer systems are on tap, and work at the airport is set to begin this year.

Overall, the soon-to-be outgoing City Administrator Bob Flanders said 2007 will be a year to develop new projects for the future while finishing up the ones currently in process.

"I think in the next year, we're going to be in kind of a developmental stage and some planning stages for new utility improvements," Mr. Flanders said. "...There will be a number of projects that will come along. There are a lot of opportunities for new industry to come in here that would end up getting us involved in some kind of utility extension."

Currently along those lines, the sewer expansion that will serve the I-20 and Hwy. 150 interchange should be completed by spring, Mr. Flanders said.

Also, expansion of the Big Creek Water Treatment Plant to double its treatment capacity will begin construction by early summer. And the granular activated carbon filtration systems at the Augusta Road and Big Creek Water Treatment Plants should be finished by summer.

As for road construction in the New Year, the transportation enhancement project in downtown Thomson, which was delayed last year, should begin in spring, according to Mr. Flanders. That project will result in some parking lot paving and the reworking of Main Street and the walkways through town.

Some joint projects with the county include completion of new hangar space at the airport which should be finished by May. The runway extension at the airport should begin in July, Mr. Flanders said.

Work at the old Thomson Company, such as environmental clean up, will be finished in early February, and stabilization of the buildings will be ongoing. The Landmark group is scheduled to submit an application for its project in April that would turn the oldest buildings into loft apartments.

Perhaps the biggest change for Thomson in 2007 will be a new man at the helm. Whoever the new city administrator is, he or she will have access to Mr. Flanders' intimate knowledge of the city and its projects.

"I'm just going to be comfortable with providing the city service as long as it is needed. I'll be ready to step down at whatever point that it's appropriate," Mr. Flanders said.

Web posted on Thursday, January 04, 2007

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