Georgia Governor Says Water Deal With Florida Possible

Photo: Governor Nathan Deal
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It's been a tough issue.

Oystermen say because Georgia is holding back the supply of fresh water to the Apalachicola River flowing into the bay, it's hurt their industry.

Florida has filed a federal lawsuit against Georgia to get that water release.

Georgia has asked the U-S Supreme Court to
toss out the suit.

"We thought we were making progress in our negotiations with with both Florida and Alabama and we'd like to resume that because we think we are very close to being able to reach an agreement without the necessity of a lawsuit," said Georgia Governor Nathan Deal.

The Georgia Republican made his remarks not far from Florida's state line in Thomasville.

That city has had its own ecomomic issues.

At the end of 2013, Southwestern State Hospital was shut down, leaving 600 employees looking for work.

Deal said the U.S. Justice Department forced the closure.

Now Georgia is replacing the mental hospital with community mental health services.

"That is a tremendously difficult undertaking," said Governor Deal.

But Deal brought along a cabinet member who said many Southwestern State employees have been re-hired in new facilities.

The governor also said his primary focus is job creation for the whole state.

Last week, he announced the opening of a new plant in nearby Bainbridge.

"And I know that we want to be able to make announcements in your area of new jobs that are coming your way as well. We constantly work on that," Governor Deal said.

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