Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

May 1, 2014

State budget money comes home

VALDOSTA — Area legislators shared some good news this week for South Georgia.

On Monday, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a $20.8 billion state budget that includes millions of dollars for projects in the immediate South Georgia region.

This funding includes:

— $1.9 million in pre-design funds for the $25.6 million Lanier Hall, an Allied Health Building on the Valdosta campus of Wiregrass Technical College. This addition will allow Wiregrass Tech to provide classroom space for seven medical programs and additional space for many of the college’s 17 existing allied health programs.

— $1.9 million for the University Center renovation project at Valdosta State University.

— $1.605 million in library funds, including $280,000 in state funding for South Georgia Regional Library, divided as follows: $100,000 for roof, $100,000 for heating/air conditioning, $75,000 for mold remediation and $5,000 for structural improvements. With $280,000 in state funds plus a local match of $1.06 million, the project costs will total $1.34 million.

Wiregrass and VSU provide a wealth of skilled employees for the region and throughout the state. Valdosta State and Wiregrass are also dynamos in South Georgia’s economic engine. They employ hundreds of area residents. VSU attracts thousands of out-of-town and out-of-state students to the Valdosta area — students who rent homes here, pay taxes, purchase items from area stores, eat in local restaurants, etc.

South Georgia Regional Library has long needed infrastructure improvements. The state funds will hopefully provide the infrastructure investment needed to keep the library viable for years to come.

The budget will also provide funding to upgrade rural health care throughout South Georgia and the state.

The South Georgia legislative delegation should be commended for acquiring these funds for the improvement of the region.

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