The Georgia House of Representatives passed their version of the state’s budget on Friday which includes the $17.1 million funding allotment for the Coastal Pines Technical College Camden Campus.
Other significant funding projects for the local area include $300,000 for hurricane debris removal and $250,000 for the Coastal Greenway project.
The Greenway project looks to increase tourism by revitalizing and creating dedicated trails while for pedestrian safety in each of the six coastal counties in Georgia. In Camden County, the trails in St. Marys, Woodbine, and White Oak would be connected to all the other trails along the coastline in the six coastal counties.
The House also passed House Bill 322, the Georgia Stewardship Act looks to use a percentage of sales tax off every sporting goods sale to perpetually fund the Coastal Greenway Project in Coastal Georgia. The bill also uses the new funding source create conservation land efforts.
“I have worked closely with my colleagues in the House to put our collective support behind funding projects that are meaningful to coastal Georgia and Camden County’s economic development needs. As a result of our collective efforts, we were able to secure funding in the budget for the Coastal Pines Technical College Campus, funds to clear hurricane debris removal for our coastline and additional funds to support the coastal Gateway project. We also passed the HB 322, the Georgia Stewardship Act, which will create a perpetual funding source for the Coastal Greenway Project in the future.” Said Rep. Jason Spencer (R -Woodine). “Coastal Georgia and Camden County are big winners this year, and it has been a long time coming and a lot of hard work.”
The Camden County Joint Development Authority (JDA) has been a critical catalyst in aligning local leaders on the vision of the technical college funding.
“Years of hard work and advocacy by the Joint Development Authority, Camden County Chamber of Commerce, the Camden Partnership, our elected officials and private citizens have finally paid off,” said James Coughlin, Executive Director of the Camden County JDA. “The State has recognized the collaborative efforts of this entire community along with the generosity of the Gross family who donated the land for this new campus by awarding Camden County with its own campus of Coastal Pines Technical College. This new campus will enable us to assure new and existing businesses that we can meet their workforce needs locally, as Camden citizens get the education they need to fill high demand jobs in our area and beyond. This is an exciting day for Camden County. We are grateful for the cooperation of the Governor and our state legislators.”
The entire funding package now heads to the Senate for their vote. Once the Senate votes, the bill heads back to the House for a conference committee where the final discussion occurs before sending the bill to Governor Deal to become law.