2018-02-07 / Front Page

City receives $3.4 million USDA loan

To assist contruction of city’s public safety facility

The USDA announced investments last week in projects to provide essential services for nearly 300,000 people in rural areas across Georgia in Fiscal Year 2017.

“Community Facilities investments by USDA are investments in rural prosperity, State Director for Rural Development Georgia Joyce White said. “Improving schools, public safety facilities and public works departments in communities improves quality of life; we’re committed to the future of rural communities.”

Included among the recipients in Georgia was the City of Blakely which received a $3,397,000 loan to construct a new public safety facility that will house the fire station, EMS facility and government services offices at the site of the existing fire station on Magnolia Street which will be demolished.

Other projects in Georgia are in Bartow, Berrien, Chattooga, Cherokee, Coffee, Crawford, Greene, Lanier, Meriwether, Screven, Stewart, Toombs and Walker counties.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas.

Nationwide, USDA infused $1.5 billion into rural areas in 2017 through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. Of the total investment announced last week, $97 million was for projects such as school construction and improvements; fire, rescue and public safety equipment and vehicles; and public works vehicles in Georgia.

The city approved a bid in January from PDC Construction of Bainbridge to construct the new Blakely Fire Station and Governmental Complex.

The 11,000 sq. ft. complex was first proposed in late 2016. When completed it will provide space for the Blakely Fire Dept., the E-911 center, the City Marshall’s office (code enforcement and building official), the emergency operations/training center and technology offices.

The complex, designed to serve the community for 40 to 50 years or longer. The Fire Dept. moved in November. and is now located at Polly’s at 42 North Main Street. Space is also being utilized in the former Hattaway body shop behind the Voter Registrar’s office and the area behind those buildings for firetrucks on Singletary Street.

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