For years Thomson residents and businesses have forked out a little extra cash to make phone calls to Augusta and vice versa. The nearly 30 miles continues to be considered long distance when it comes to land phone lines.
If a proposal from the Augusta Commission is approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission, that could soon change.
At their May 16 meeting, McDuffie County Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution supporting the proposal to expand Augusta's local toll-free two-way calling area to include Thomson, Waynesboro and Wrens.
The resolution states that "the Augusta-Richmond County Commission is of the opinion and belief that Augusta and said cities and the respective counties in which each is located would benefit economically from a toll-free calling area."
McDuffie County Commission Chairman Charlie Newton agreed that expanding the local calling area could be an economic boost for both residents and business owners in Thomson and much of the rest of the county.
"I think it's a good thing," he said. "I think allowing our citizens to call Augusta is going to help them and especially businesses."
Currently, only the portion of McDuffie County in and around Dearing is included in Augusta's local calling area.
Augusta commissioners voted unanimously in favor of the proposal to expand the calling area on May 2. They also asked the GPSC to conduct a tariff study to determine the feasibility and cost.
The resolution approved by the Augusta Commission stated that the GPSC was to be sent a copy of the request. According to the GPSC website, no date has been set for hearings or discussion on the issue.