2018-10-04 / Front Page

Local leaders give briefing and driving tour to Garrison Commander Colonel Clifford


Community leaders briefed Colonel Jim Clifford, Ft. Gordon Gar­rison Commander (center) on the county’s commitment to the base and escorted him on a tour of local facilities and subdivisions. Those welcoming the colonel were (l-r), John Stone, Director, Lincoln County Economic Development Authority, Beth Putnam, Chairper­son, Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Walker Norman, Chairman, Lincolnton County Board of Commissioners, Curley Avant, Lincolnton County Liaison to the Ft. Gordon Alliance, Greg Dukes, Director of Workforce Development and Education, Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Ricky Edmond, Assistance Superintendent, Lincoln County Board of Edu­cation Community leaders briefed Colonel Jim Clifford, Ft. Gordon Gar­rison Commander (center) on the county’s commitment to the base and escorted him on a tour of local facilities and subdivisions. Those welcoming the colonel were (l-r), John Stone, Director, Lincoln County Economic Development Authority, Beth Putnam, Chairper­son, Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Walker Norman, Chairman, Lincolnton County Board of Commissioners, Curley Avant, Lincolnton County Liaison to the Ft. Gordon Alliance, Greg Dukes, Director of Workforce Development and Education, Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce, and Dr. Ricky Edmond, Assistance Superintendent, Lincoln County Board of Edu­cation The new Garrison Commander for Fort Gordon, Colonel James Clifford received a ground-level tour of Lincoln County accompa­nied by county officials last Tues­day, September 25.

County Commission Chairman Walker Norman, Assistant School Superintendent Dr. Ricky Edmond, Development Authority Director John Stone, Chamber of Commerce Chairman Beth Putnam, Chamber Workforce and Education Director Greg Dukes, and Ft Gordon Alli­ance Liaison Curley Avant first met with Col. Clifford at the Lincoln County Welcome Center, where officials briefed the garrison com­mander on the role of each orga­nization, along with current and pending developments.

Avant explained that the “garri­son commander’s function is much the same role as mayors in the ci­vilian world, with oversight of ac­tivities and infrastructure on their respective bases, including troop housing both on base and informa­tion on off-base opportunities.”

Col. Clifford received informa­tion on Lincoln County's public education system including the county's dual enrollment college program, business opportunities for defense contractors seeking outly­ing locations, and residential hous­ing capabilities.

The afternoon driving tour in­cluded visits to the county's ready- to-build subdivisions, Camp Lake­side Regional YMCA facility, Elijah Clark State Park, lakefront county parks, and Lincoln County High School, among other locations.

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners and Development Authority have been members of the Ft. Gordon Alliance since 2017. The Alliance consists of the seven counties contiguous to the base.

Since Ft. Gordon was selected as headquarters of the Army's Cyber Command, the base has grown ex­ponentially in both military and ci­vilian personnel and is expected to continue strong growth in coming years with the transfer of additional personnel.

“Lincoln County is already ex­periencing residential growth from the military installation and ex­pects more in 2019-2020 as trans­fers from the Ft. Meade, Maryland, area step up,” Stone said.

Lincoln County and the City of Lincolnton have a five-year Joint Comprehensive Plan for 2018- 2022 which designates specific ar­eas of the county to accommodate the expected residential growth.

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