Leaders envision new park as crown jewel for downtown Thomson
THOMSON, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Thomson and McDuffie County leaders are excited about a $2.2 million state grant that will pay for the construction of a new park adjacent to the county government center.
Announced Thursday, the Improving Neighborhood Outcomes in Disproportionately Impacted Communities Grant was part of more than $220 million in awards.
The city of Augusta will get funds for improvements at two parks as well as a project to link Jones Street and the Augusta Common. Also in Augusta, the Boys & Girls Clubs and Salvation Army will get $2.2 million each. Also due for funds are Emanuel, Hancock, Jefferson and Jenkins counties as well as the city of Waynesboro.
In Thomson, the money will be used to build a public park along Railroad Street. Plans call for playgrounds, picnic areas, a water fountain, an amphitheater and other amenities.
“We wanted to focus on something that would give families a place to gather and have fun, while giving us another option for a venue for events,” McDuffie County Manager David Crawley said. “We are very excited about this grant project and appreciate the state’s support of our efforts to improve our community.”
Officials hope the park will become a centerpiece for the revitalization of downtown Thomson.
For example, a planned walking trail, dubbed the “Music Mile,” would start from the park and route through the downtown area. Along the way, there would be information points about local music history.
“This park is a very important piece of our plan to improve Thomson,” said Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry, who has advocated for the park for several years. “I am ready to see it move from being just a set of plans on paper.”
Officials expect construction to begin later this year with work taking about 18 months to complete.
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