Members of the Georgia Utility Contractors Association Inc. (GUCA) hosted a site visit to bring to light to Georgia citizens how funding for water and wastewater infrastructure helps stimulate and create significant economic growth and benefits right away.
Vikki McReynolds, GUCA executive director, welcomed Congressman Lynn Westmoreland along with West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson IV, City Council Member Sandra Thornton and W.C. Blackman, USDA rural development specialist to the city of West Point’s wastewater treatment facility located at No. 1 Georgian Terrace on Feb. 23, 2009. McReynolds highlighted the significant economic impact infrastructure projects have across Georgia as well as the importance of continued funding for future projects. Keith Steen, vice president, P.F. Moon and Company Inc., explained the impact this project has had on the community by directly employing 35 workers, creating $35 million in associated projects and generating an estimated $92 million in total impact which includes several other utility projects throughout West Point, such as sewer outfall lines and lift stations all associated with the KIA Automotive Plant.
Several GUCA contractor members are currently working on these projects including Strack Inc., Brent Scarbrough & Company Inc., Don Hall Construction Inc. and BRI Utility Construction Inc.
According to GUCA, Westmoreland understood the need for infrastructure improvement projects and supports further funding. While he views the infrastructure funding as positive towards the industry and believes it will create jobs, he is concerned it will not be enough to complete the needed projects once they have begun. Westmoreland cited his reluctance to support the stimulus package based on its wasteful spending and lack of actual stimulus and pointed out that the $1.14 million directed towards infrastructure improvements will have strings attached and needs to be studied.
Following the conversations everyone participated in a site tour guided by Keith Steen of P.F. Moon and Company Inc. The wastewater treatment facility will upgrade services for the citizens of West Point as well as provide the necessary capacity for the soon to open KIA Automotive Plant. The plant originally treated a flow of one million gallons a day and the expansions will double the flow to two million gallons per day. The total cost of the project is $8,844,730 and was funded through the USDA Rural Development Community Project Program.
GUCA member P.F. Moon and Company Inc. is scheduled to complete the project by November 2009.
For more information, visit www.guca.com.