Augusta leaders travel to Atlanta to discuss economic development

Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 11:33 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2023 at 2:10 PM EST
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ATLANTA (WRDW/WAGT) - On Wednesday morning, new Augusta Mayor Garnett Johnson and other city leaders attended the “Eggs and Issues Breakfast” in Atlanta.

The Georgia Chamber breakfast serves as a kick-off to the state’s legislative session, which began earlier this week, and as an opportunity to discuss the state’s economic growth and impact into 2023.

“In addition to Atlanta, our impact is felt in Albany, Augusta, Brunswick, Columbus, Savannah, Valdosta,” said Peter Carter, E.V.P. External Affairs, Delta Airlines.

We caught up with our mayor on the excitement he hopes to bring to Augusta.

“I think it’s been a great day. You know, I have nine of my colleagues on the commission who are spending the day kicking off their Georgia legislative session here in Atlanta, hearing all of the wonderful ideas being presented, so many that resonate with the city of Augusta,” Johnson said.

“Couldn’t be more proud to be here today. It gives us a great opportunity to work with our colleagues around the state. We get to engage our legislative delegation,” he said. “It’s just been a great day.”

Leaders presented their plans for the economy to grow, with the CEO of the Georgia Chamber saying talented workers, economic dynamism, and future infrastructure are key needs.

Gov. Brian Kemp eventually made his way to the stage with a boom, promising a third consecutive national championship for the Bulldogs and 2,500 jobs for North Georgia, thanks to a new solar plant.

“There’s generic growth in Atlanta, in our urban areas whether it’s in Augusta where Aurubis is going, and we know it’s happening down in Savannah, so it’s been incredible,” he said.

While lots of praise was raised around record money into the rural community and being number one in the U.S. for business nine years in a row, one issue stuck out.

“You cannot have treasurers and our input and our commitment to helping create jobs in our community but then not have places to live,” said Kemp.

Johnson: “I am so glad that affordable housing is a priority. That’s a conversation I think we need to delve deeper into Augusta, and I’m just excited to be a part of it.”

While it’s still early for Johnson, Kemp announced he’s going to put a billion dollars into a property tax relief grant. But for now, the future looks promising for more growth.

“We’re excited about the beginning of the session, we’re excited about the collaboration of the delegation, and I’m just proud to have my colleagues from the commission here with me today to take this all in,” said Johnson.

Participants watched the presentations from finely set round tables, where they were served breakfast from Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A.