Grant & Loan Awards: Rabun County
Equity grant funds to provide gap financing for needed sewer infrastructure along the northern sector of US Hwy 441 between Mountain City and Dillard to sustain existing businesses. The community has executed documents with GEFA for a $1 million loan and received an Appalachian Regional Commission grant of $300,000. With the Georgia Department of Transportation's completion of the widening/improving of the Northern section of Hwy 441, acceleration of tourism and commercial business sectors is anticipated in an area where topography and environmental protections often limit development opportunities. Because the northernmost portion of this highway (1.25 miles) is without sanitary sewer, existing businesses are threatened by failing onsite septic systems, and new businesses are unable to locate without this basic infrastructure. For example, both the Feed Mill Restaurant and Osage Farms are considering expansions due to business growth. However, due to failing sewer systems, these expansions are in jeopardy. Located in the northeastern corner of the state, Rabun and Habersham Counties are strategically positioned to attract and conduct business within a four-state region which includes Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.