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City of Thomson to take over First Avenue properties

Calling it a "good use of a private-public partnership," Thomson City Council members have agreed to take over two buildings recently purchased by Camellia Partners in downtown Thomson.

The First Avenue properties would be incorporated into a series of projects in the works for the city, including an improved parking lot behind the McDuffie Museum, City Administrator Bob Flanders said during last week's Thomson City Council meeting. Much of that work is being paid for using state Transportation Enhancement grant dollars.

The city plans to demolish the two buildings - an old dry cleaner and a tin-sided warehouse - and build a parking lot behind the Main Street properties recently purchased by Camellia Partners. Thomson Mayor Bob Knox - a member of Camellia Partners - said the city's old artesian well could also be renovated and preserved as a historic structure, complete with a gazebo and other amenities.

"Let's make it ... a meeting place for people," he said, adding that he thought the project would be a "great enhancement" to the downtown area.

"It sounds like a good move to me," said Councilman John Wiley, who made the motion to approve the transfer of the property.

City Councilman Kenneth Usry - also a member of Camellia Partners - abstained from the vote on the property.

Web posted on Thursday, May 18, 2006

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