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Council is urged to help with infrastructure for development

A developer asked the Thomson City Council on March 10 to help create "jobs, jobs, jobs."

Brink Bradshaw of Bradshaw Realty asked the city to help with infrastructure for development of 15 acres north of Hill Street and east of Black Street, approximately in the area behind Sonic Drive-In.

Bradshaw said that the development was approved through the planning process a couple of years ago but that private investment money then became scarce.

"I want to talk about jobs, jobs, jobs," Bradshaw said. "This property could be divided into 10 parcels for businesses," he said. He said those businesses could support 10 to 20 jobs each.

He asked for help with roadways and infrastructure and said successful businesses would add to the city's tax base.

Bradshaw said the property is owned by Roger Greene of Dearing.

Bradshaw also said a client plans to build a full-service Verizon Wireless store just inside the city limits, on Washington Road. He said the building will be adjacent to the former Grubby's restaurant, which is outside city limits. He said a deal for a new restaurant is likely soon.

"We need to bring this whole property into the city," Mayor Kenneth Usry said. He added that the improved fire insurance rating alone should offset any increase in taxes.

Usry said Bradshaw's presentation was for information purposes only, and no action was expected of the council.

In other business:

- The council heard a report from Bob Howard, the director of Thomson-McDuffie Recreation Leisure Services. Howard gave an update on the skate park under construction at Pitts Street Recreation Park. He said the project should be complete in early April.

He said Leadership McDuffie has volunteered to help beautify the park.

Usry applauded the speed bumps that he said will prevent motorists from cutting through the park.

- The council heard from Lewis Hoats, of 315 King St., and other residents of that neighborhood of about 50 houses east of Central Road Southwest. Hoats said a landowner has built unsightly, substandard and unsafe storage houses with multicolored salvaged material. "These are dangerous buildings," Hoats said. He said the buildings could harbor rats, wild dogs or termites. "A person could hide in there," he said.

"Our purpose in being here tonight is to have these buildings torn down and moved outside the city limits," Hoats said.

"We will be driving through your neighborhood," Usry promised.

- The council approved a resolution to apply to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for a Community Development Block Grant of $800,000. The city has received three such grants in four previous applications. Multipurpose grants cover infrastructure and rehabilitation. The city has received one grant of $670,000 and two grants of $800,000 each.

- The council adopted an ethics resolution prepared by the Georgia Municipal Association. The conditions are: Serve others, not ourselves; use resources with efficiency and economy; treat all people fairly; use the power of the city council for the well-being of constituents; and create an environment of honesty, openness and integrity.

- The council appointed Renee Wright to serve on the Revolving Loan Committee. Wright, of First Bank in Thomson, replaces George Lokey, who retired from the committee. Tommy Phelps of First Citizens Bank replaces Lokey as committee chairman.

- The council approved a recommendation from the committee for a $250,000, 10-year loan from Two State Construction Co. The local firm has been awarded primary-supplier status for Hill Phoenix of Covington, Ga. Two State will manufacture the steel base frame for solar power centers. The estimated demand this year is 300 frames. The project creates jobs for welders, steel fitters and painters.

- The council heard City Manager Don Powers' report, which included a financial breakdown. "I suspect that fuel is going to be a problem," he said, "and we are not going to be immune to that."

Powers said the heating and air-conditioning units at the city-owned Chamber of Commerce building had to be replaced on short notice during cold weather. He said Duggan Heating & Air Conditioning and Electrical Services of Thomson received the $10,504 contract. He said Duggan's 10-year parts and lifetime warranty on compressors and heat exchangers justified paying more.

Pool Heating and Air Inc. of Thomson had offered a proposal of $9,200. Dozier Heating and Air Inc. of Thomson had bid $10,600.

A Pool representative asked whether Duggan's warranty applies to public buildings.

The warranty assurances from Duggan have been obtained in writing, Powers said Monday.

Web posted on Thursday, March 17, 2011

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