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Authority’s Project Named ‘Best Of The Best’

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) recently named a collaborative effort by the four counties of the Southeast Georgia Economic Development Authority (SGEDA) as the Best of the Best in Regional Economic Development projects.
The award was part of DCA’s annual recognition of economic development efforts through Georgia.
During the virtual awards ceremony, commentators explained that several years ago, Pierce County officials began seeking a way to become part of the then 3-county SGEDA which consisted of Jeff Davis, Appling and Bacon counties. It took a couple of years to arrive at an agreement as, since the three counties had expended resources over the course of its existence, Pierce County would have to buy into the authority with an investment comparable to Jeff Davis, Appling and Bacon counties’ investments. Not wanting to spend down their monetary resources, Pierce County agreed to a plan to deed 58 acres of its 300-acre industrial park to SGEDA in exchange for membership in the authority.
Work began on seeking funding to build a railroad spur to the 58-acre site to enhance its attraction for potential industries.
As a result of the 4-county regional cooperative effort, Georgia’s OneGeorgia Authority awarded a $500,000 Equity Fund grant to the SGEDA to accomplish the rail spur plan.
The OneGeorgia Equity Fund provides financial assistance to help build community capacity and infrastructure for economic development. Such investments are intended to spur economic development in rural Georgia. OneGeorgia programs are administered by DCA.
DCA Commissioner Christopher Nunn said of the SGEDA project, “Regional thinking and investment are key to economic prosperity, especially in rural parts of our state.”

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