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City council agrees to Archway funding

The Archway project through the University of Georgia continues to build support locally.
The Cairo city council voted unanimously Thursday to fund $5,000 for the first year of what could be a five year agreement to make Cairo-Grady County an Archway community.
The Grady County Joint Development Authority, Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce and the Grady County Commission have previously voted to help fund the Archway project.
Grady County is in the running for a partnership project with the University of Georgia that would give this community access to the expertise of the full university. Currently, the county benefits through Cooperative Extension Service, from the resources of UGA’s colleges of agriculture and environmental science; forestry and natural resources; and family and consumer sciences. Archway Partnership would allow the county to also utilize, through a structured format, the resources of the rest of UGA’s colleges such as the colleges of business, public health, environment and design, etc.
Archway already has partnerships in eight Georgia counties, Colquitt; Sumter; Pulaski; Glynn; Washington; Clayton; Whitfield; and Hart.   Colquitt County was Archway’s pilot community in 2005, and “graduates” from the program this year; the average commitment between Archway and counties is 3-5 years, according to Mel Garber, Archway director.
There is a shared project cost between UGA and its partner communities; with the community leveraging a $25,000 investment for UGA’s $135,000 investment.
“That’s pretty good leverage and we believe it will make a big impact on the community,” City Manager Chris Addleton said Thursday night.
Mayor Richard VanLandingham said the decision to continue with funding would be made each year and the project would not necessarily last for five years.
“That is something that will be determined by the committee,” the mayor said.
A local committee made up of Grady County citizens would be established to govern the Archway project and the public would be invited to have input on projects to be tackled by the consortium.
In other business Thursday night, the council:
Accepted the low bid of $249,723.05 from Kimmel Development Services, Inc. of Tallahassee for the stormwater improvements that are part of the Davis Park redevelopment project. The council also approved of adding a $33,990 alternate to the bid to include fencing for the park. Proceeds from Special Purpose Local Option Sales Taxes will finance the multi-phase project.

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