LEE CO., GA (WALB) - The Lee County hospital is expected to bring in millions to Southwest Georgia, officials said.
The Lee County Medical Center, to be built on the former site of the Grand Island Golf Course, will potentially provide 350 news jobs within the first year of opening.
With those jobs, over $21 million is expected to be paid out in wages, a Georgia Power study found.
“I mean the economic impact, not just for the citizens and tax payers of Lee County but for the entire area will be huge,” said Billy Mathis, the Lee County commission chairman.
The Georgia Power IMPLAN study states the hospital will employ 130 “indirect” employees like HVAC techs or pest control workers.
The study found over $4 million is estimated to be paid to those employees within the first year.
“The hospital itself, the brick and mortar and the equipment in that hospital, is estimated to bring in $1.2 to $1.4 million a year in property taxes to Lee County,” said Winston Oxford, a Lee County Development Authority member.
Oxford said both commercial and residential property values are expected to increase.
Those increases, Oxford pointed out, will be in Lee, Dougherty and other surrounding counties.
Development authority officials said staff will need places to live, thus increasing supply and demand in the housing market.
County leaders are still expecting to break ground for the hospital in the summer of 2019, according to Mathis.
Tax dollars from retail shoppers is also expected to bring a positive impact, officials said.
Oxford said he believes people will travel as far as 50 miles to see doctors and shop.
“The new investments in that area, whether it be commercial or residential, will increase our tax base," said Oxford. "In other words, we’ll have more funds coming to our local tax dollars you know, to help pay for local government services.”
Oxford said the sales tax dollars from shoppers will help continue to rehabilitate county needs and boost the one percent TSPLOST sales tax.