Draft application argues funds needed for economic development
Walton County Commission Chair David Thompson did not file an application for federal relief funding of a water treatment plant and distribution system for Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir on Aug. 19 as he had promised, or on Aug. 31, the original application deadline.
Walton Board of Commissioners Clerk Rhonda Hawk explained Thompson’s decision by noting that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has extended the deadline to Oct. 31 for applications for allocation of federal funding for pandemic relief.
A draft of the Walton County application shared with Oconee County officials after the Aug. 11 meeting of the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir Management Board states that the treated water is needed to serve “the emerging industrial corridors” along Interstate 20, U.S. 78 and SR 316.
The water, including that drawn from the Apalachee River in the future, also would be available to nine adjoining counties, the draft document states.
The draft proposal, by the Walton County Board of Commissioners, asks for $121 million in federal relief funds and promises $25 million in local funding.
The intergovernmental agreement signed by Oconee County with Walton County in 2008 says that Oconee County is responsible for 28.8 percent of project costs, or $7.2 million of that $25 million.
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