Augusta-based businesses, institutions and people collected more than $400 million in federally-funded grants, payments, subsidies and salaries last year, an Augusta Chronicle analysis of federal spending data found.
From making prosthetics and orthotics to automated systems for federal prisons, Augusta-based companies also entered into more than 600 federal contracts valued at more than $155 million during 2012.
Using data compiled from various federal government databases by the Illinois-based watchdog Web site openthebooks.com, The Chronicle reviewed only entities and individuals in Richmond County.
With Fort Gordon and two Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals in Richmond County, the highest-paid federal employees, excluding classified personnel whose information was not available, were 128 medical officers earning between $157,681 and $365,361 annually.
Veterans Affairs employs 2,005 federal workers in Augusta, ahead of the U.S. Postal Service, which has 249 Augusta postal workers, and the Social Security Administration, which has 89 federal employees. The U.S. Department of Transportation employs 24 air traffic controllers here.
The largest federal contract signed by an Augusta firm last year was a $80.9 million agreement between ACC Construction-McKnight Joint Venture and the U.S. Department of State. The firm, founded by Mason McKnight, leads his son Locke McKnight’s GCS Construction, which landed $37.2 million in U.S. Army contracts in 2012, according to the data.
The consolidated Augusta-Richmond County government was Augusta’s third-largest federal contractor last year, with a large water treatment project at Fort Gordon. The local government secured federal contracts worth $8.6 million last year.
Residents secured many millions in federal Pell Grants to attend Augusta Technical College, Augusta State University or Medical College of Georgia last year, including about $52.8 million in Pell grants used by medical students.
They also borrowed money to attend a university or college, including $54.7 million in federal loans to attend MCG, $32.7 million for ASU and $11.1 million for third-place federal student loan recipient Virginia College Augusta.
The Small Business Administration guaranteed $11.9 million in federal loans for Augusta-based businesses such as the new Steak ’n Shake, which opened last year with help from a $805,000 SBA certified loan.