Concerned Citizens Respond To Proposed Industrial Site

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Thomasville and Thomas County officials have proposed to sell over 200 acres of uninhabited forest land to the local payroll development authority for an industrial park.

Local officials say industrial development is needed in Thomasville and say it is difficult to find a quality piece of property to develop.

"The reason this property needs to be developed or partially developed is because we don't have anything else at this time that we can get at this price and don't have to pay for it all up front," said Roy Campbell, Chairman of Thomasville Payroll Development Authority.

It was approved unanimously on its first reading and now awaits a second reading.

But a group of concerned citizens has organized calling itself "Save our Forest" in response to the proposal.

One of its members, Charles Conklin says it's a shame to even think about destroying such a valuable resource to Thomasville.

"Its a stable ecosystem, we've had biologists come out and walk with us and there is no invasive species which is unheard of in this region, something we harp on a lot but its truly an amazing thing," said concerned citizen Charles Conklin.

"This is a high priority habitat as classified by the Georgia DNR its a slop forest, the whole forest slops down to a very significant wetland which feeds back into the Aucilla River so we have great concerns for the water as well as for the land," said Beth Grant, coordinator of "Save Our Forest"

But aside from the location of the proposed property, the Chamber President, Don Sims, says industrial development is critical to the area, and it will bring many jobs to Thomasville .

Sims says every industrial job brings two and a half service jobs to the county, so industrial growth is critical to the well-being of a community.

The second hearing on the proposed industrial park has not yet been scheduled.

The "Save our Forest" Group will hold an informational meeting on the land Thursday June 12th at 6:30 pm at the Thomas University Conference Room. Anyone interested is invited to attend.