Company powers through process, still plans to build

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Stuart Bird, superintendent of Troup Independent School District, spoke to the group assembled for the January 2017 Chamber of Commerce meeting. The topic was the possibility of a natural gas fired power plant to be built by FGE Power.

Bird again addressed those gathered for the annual chamber meeting this past Thursday, Feb. 1, and stated the power company is near to closing on a property approximately 10-12 miles southwest of Troup.

Last year the Tri County Leader reported that such a plant was projected to produce enough electricity to power more than 3.5 million homes.

The company, whose proposed project is FGE Eagle Pines, originally acquired the property outside Troup through a lease-purchase agreement 5 or 6 years ago, according to Bird.

“Tell them we’re still coming,” Bird said was the message Brian Drinkwine of FGE told him to convey.

Bird also reported that it would take approximately 800 people to build the facility with 50-60 full-time employees to run the plant. Bird added the company would add an approximate $2 billion to the tax rolls according to information he received from FGE.

Bird said it is a slow, drawn-out process, filled with red tape, but he remains fairly secure in the eventual building of the power plant.

“I know we’ve talked about it a lot,” Bird stated. “I’m anxious for them to get a piece of equipment on there and move some dirt. It’s going to be a great deal for Troup and the surrounding area and hopefully it will be here before too long.”

An official announcement from FGE is expected sometime this summer.

New Executive Director Suzanne Loudamy announced the Troup Chamber of Commerce now has a facebook page. Loudamy also acknowledged the many years of service Gene and Carol Whitsell have given to the chamber.

Loudamy, also serving as executive director for the Troup Community Development Corporation (TCDC), stated the next project the TCDC is looking at is the Façade Improvement Grant Program currently being done in Jacksonville. The program allows businesses to apply for grants that can be used for improvements such as window replacement, new signage, new lighting, awnings or canopies. The maximum award for these grants is $2,500.

It was also announced that the date for the chamber’s annual awards dinner is scheduled for Thursday, April 19.

The refreshments and decorations for the evening meeting were of a Mardi Gras theme and king cake bites were served. Michael Rushing found a tiny plastic baby in his bite and was awarded the centerpiece from the refreshment table for his discovery.

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