Clay County receives One Georgia grant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Clay County receives One Georgia grant

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March 13, 2006

Clay County--Go about a hundred miles down the Chattahoochee River from West Point and you'll come to Fort Gaines, another sleepy town that could use an economic boost.

Leaders there in Clay county hope a One Georgia Equity Award for a bike trail will be that boost by increasing tourism that's the basis of the County's economy.

Clay county's historical charm and peaceful scenery keeps Cherie Reed of Wood's Foodmart busy.

"People on boats and everything come from everywhere, especially on the weekends, it's very busy," she says.

"You're looking at one of the best kept secrets in southwest Georgia right here," says Ken Penuel, with the county's economic development council.

He says the county thrives on tourism. "One of the main things we're trying to do, is provide entertainment for our tourist community that's coming through," he says.

From Walter F. George lake to Frontier Village, the county will soon add a bike trail to its list of attractions.

"The trail will be ten feet wide, asphalt, and have a spur trail running off of it too," he says.

More attractions, mean more business for Reed.

"With that, it sure will be extra busy, but I'm looking forward to it," she says.

"We hope that it generates $70,000 dollars a year in local revenue," says county commissioner, Trey Anderson. He says tourism generates about 1.5 million dollars a year for the county, and a new bike trail will only help generate more money.

"We consider this a key piece to tourism infrastructure. We hope it's just another piece of the puzzle that allows us to bring more visitors to the area," says Anderson.

"Increasing the tax base is one of the important things to us," says Penuel.

For others, like Reed, the extra attractions also mean: "A lot of people can see what we're about," she says.

Construction on the bike trail will begin in about six months. When it's finished, it will run from Bagby State Park lodge to Frontier Village.

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