County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton gave his "State of the County" address to the Thomson Kiwanis Club on Monday. And from the sound of it, the county government has the most on its plate of all the governmental entities inside McDuffie in 2005.
Two new ordinances will be considered; industrial parks are under construction; a bypass is in the works; the website is being redesigned, and several water/sewer issues will be dealt with. The first of the two ordinances to be considered will be a business license program that was presented to the commissioners as a finished draft during their Jan. 3 work session.
The other ordinance under consideration is the proposed smoking ban in public buildings. Hearings will be held in the coming months to get the public's input and a survey of businesses is underway.
On the water/sewer front, lines are currently being installed on the Warrenton Highway to connect to the Warren County water system. The installation was at minimal cost to McDuffie County, and water will be sold to Warren County at a low cost as part of the cooperation.
Other water/sewer projects in conjunction with Thomson that will continue this year are the water filtration system of which construction is due to commence this summer and the expansion of water and sewer services to outer areas of the county.
"Precision Planning is right now in the process of doing the final design on that water project," Chairman Newton said.
McDuffie County is also assisting Thomson in the cleanup and redevelopment of the Thomson Company area.
"That will be a big thing if we can get that done down there," Chairman Newton said. "We want somebody to move in there and create some jobs."
Roadwork is also scheduled to begin in several places in the county this year. Groundbreaking will take place on the three points interchange on I-20 in July of 2005. And the right of way purchasing for the East Thomson Bypass should be finished by the end of this year.
The county road department has been working on the industrial parks, one of which near I-20 should be completed soon.
Easements along Highway 150, Dallas Drive and in Belle Meade to run sewer to that area are nearly complete. Once the park has sewer hook-ups, officials say it should be very attractive to industry looking to locate in Georgia.
"It won't be a true benefit to us until we get that sewerage taken care of," Chairman Newton said.
But probably the first project to be finished in the new year is the redesign of the county's website, due for completion this month.
Outlook 2005 - Related Stories
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• New middle school, SAT change on horizon for students
• Dearing's mayor looks forward to final year
• Animals, downtown work in Thomson's future
• County commission faces smoking ban discussions, water work, new ordinances and web redesign
• Here's to a successful 2005 in McDuffie