Gov. Sonny Perdue awarded the Liberty County Development Authority a $1 million OneGeorgia EDGE grant for the Firth Rixson Forgings site and the city of Hinesville a $500,000 OneGeorgia Equity grant for the Bryant Commons park project Wednesday in Dublin.
The OneGeorgia Authority awarded a total of $27 million to government entities across the state. These grants will fund a multitude of economic development projects for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs, stimulating new private investment and enhancing regional competitiveness, according to a press release from the governor’s office.
The LCDA will use the grant to prepare a 26.4-acre site in Tradeport East Business Center for Firth Rixson Forgings, LLC. Firth Rixson Limited, Firth Rixson Forgings’ parent company, is based in Sheffield, England. The plant in Liberty County will manufacture aircraft components.
“We are extremely pleased to have received a $1 million EDGE grant from the OneGeorgia Authority for the Firth Rixson Forgings LLC project in our Tradeport East Business Center,” LCDA Chairman Allen Brown said. “The state’s support validates the on-going work of the LCDA’s board and staff; and Firth Rixson’s location creates new, high quality jobs and introduces advanced manufacturing in the aerospace sector into Liberty
Earlier this year, LCDA received $823,000 in federal grant money from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to help construct water and sewer lines, roadways and reclaimed water facilities to support Firth Rixson’s new 200,000-square-foot manufacturing facility at Tradeport East in Midway. The estimated total cost of the project is $93.1 million, according to the governor’s office. Once completed, the plant will create about 204 jobs in four years, according to the release. LCDA was one of eight development authorities in Georgia to receive an EDGE
Hinesville will use its grant to build a 1,500-seat amphitheater within Bryant Commons, a 150-acre property. The city’s park project was defined by the governor’s office as a “large scale outdoor, cultural entertainment venue.”
“We’re excited about the OneGeorgia grant,” Hinesville City Manager Billy Edwards said. “We’re very thankful to the OneGeorgia Authority and its board of directors as well as Nancy Cobb, the board chairman. We’re appreciative of their partnership in this project. It will enhance our community and allow us to provide a venue for a number of different things. It will better the quality of life not only for residents in Hinesville and Liberty County but also for the region.”
An amphitheater will provide the community a space for concerts, plays and educational events, Edwards said.
The city also plans to construct a 15-acre man-made lake, walking trails, a pavilion, picnic areas and a play structure and renovate existing buildings on the site. The total cost of the project is estimated at $6.2 million, according to the release from the governor’s office. SPLOST funds also will be used to pay for developing Bryant Commons, Edwards has said. In addition, Hinesville recently received a $4.6 million loan from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority to improve Bryant Commons’ pond and canal.
The OneGeorgia Authority was established with money from the state’s tobacco settlement to assist Georgia’s economically challenged areas, according to the release. The authority is expected to receive $1.6 billion over the settlement’s 25-year term. So far, OneGeorgia has awarded 506 grants totaling $299 million, helping to retain and create 51,865 jobs, according to the governor’s office.