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Wheeler Wood Producer Awarded

Wheeler Wood Producer Awarded Wheeler Wood Producer Awarded

$2.65 Million for Gas Line Expansion

The Georgia Public Service Commission has approved a $2.650 million grant to expand a gas line to T.C. Logging in Wheeler County. The money will be used to increase wood production at the large logging and sawmill operation outside of Alamo, and the expansion is expected to create 50 new jobs. The company produces lumber that is shipped domestically and overseas. Installation of gas lines will supply natural gas to the lumber yard kilns, which are used to dry and preserve the lumber, said company owner Tommy Clark. The funds were part of the annual $15 million in ECON-1 tariff funds allocated to Georgia economic projects that create jobs and grow the natural gas network. “I’m extremely proud of the economic win for Wheeler County,” said Sen. Blake Tillery, R-Vidalia. “This would not have been possible without the investment by Mr. Clark, Rep. Robert Pruitt, and the assistance of Public Service Commissioners Tricia Pridemore and Jason Shaw.” The five-member PSC regulates utilities across the state and ensures that consumers receive safe, reliable, and reasonably priced telecommunications, electric, and natural gas services. PSC Commissioner Jason Shaw of Lakeland, said, “I am a resident of rural South Georgia myself and understand the importance of expanding our natural gas capacity in our rural communities, particularly in the forest industries with oper­continued from page

ations like T.C. Logging.”

He added, “For a saw mill with a dry kiln like T.C. Logging to have the ability to use natural gas, to have that capacity, and to take advantage of the savings is a game changer.”

Shaw said, “I am proud that we have been able to do quite a few of these type expansions, and we hope to be able to continue to do more of these in rural Georgia. Fifty more jobs in a town like Alamo, that’s big deal.”

He noted, “I have a passion, going back to when I was in the Legislature to help rural communities. This is one of the biggest things we can do to help rural Georgia, making sure the rural communities have access to natural gas, just like industries in more populated areas. Regardless of where you are located, you need to have that savings to compete. We are always willing to work with others who are passionate about rural Georgia, like Sen. Tillery.”

PSC Commissioner Tricia Pridemore said that when she reviewed the project in Alamo, it was a proposal in which she was very interested because she recognized the job potential there and what it could mean for Wheeler County. “It just made sense to me. I realized there are real high-paying, skilled jobs there that will directly benefit the community.”

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