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Chairman unveiling plans for Henry

Says county finances are in a mess

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

McDONOUGH — New Commission Chairman Tommy Smith said he wants to clean up the county’s economic picture.

“Henry County’s in a mess financially,” he said.

The county owes about $52 million between the airport and Nash Farm Park in Hampton, the Cotton Fields Golf Course in McDonough and other items.

“That’s a financial obligation that we have to contend with,” Smith said. “The financing is in a very unique situation that the current board will have to address diligently.”

Smith will be the featured speaker Wednesday at a luncheon for the Henry Council for Quality Growth. It will be at Eagle’s Landing Country Club in Stockbridge.

Smith said his speech will likely differ from those normally given by elected officials at the beginning of the year. Although he acknowledged economic woes, Smith said he plans to focus on positive developments in the county.

“Obviously, I cannot give a ‘State of the County Address,’ ” said Smith. “Having said that, I’m going to talk about the technical school that’s coming. I think that school is about as important as Mercer University.”

Smith is planning to attend a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning for Southern Crescent Technical College’s McDonough campus. He said small businesses will benefit from the school’s presence in the county.

“I’m sure these companies are going to need a whole lot of trained technical people,” he said.