WAYNESBORO, Ga. — The mayor of Waynesboro, Gregory Carswell Jr., said that it’s been a week of waiting and hoping but that now that the decision has been made to proceed with the two reactors at Plant Vogtle, the city is ready to do likewise.
He said the city has been working with developers and real estate agents to build new housing for the area in addition to new restaurants, but many have been apprehensive about continuing discussions until the fate of the Vogtle reactors had been decided. Carswell said they will proceed with those projects, something Florence Reignier, at Yvonne’s Flowers and Gifts, said she is excited to see.
“This place needs to be booming, it really does,” she said.
As word of the decision trickled down Liberty Street and the rest of Waynesboro, business owners and residents breathed a sigh of relief that the construction jobs at the plant would remain and the community spared from a devastating hit to the economy.
Rob Green, a co-owner of Vintage on Sixth, recently opened the vintage and antiques business in October and is hopeful for the future now that the decision has been made.
“I’m thinking it’s going to be good. We’re happy about it,” he said.
Reignier said she had worried about the decision and its immediate impact.
“It would have been bad, not only for the businesses, but for the community itself,” she said.
Although business owners and employees were excited for the future of the economy, Haley Parker was relieved for friends whose family members work at the plant.
“It means that they’ll get to keep their job. My best friend’s dad was going to have to move to Florida or Alabama, and now they get to stay here and finish school,” she said. “It definitely would have moved a lot of people out and hurt the local businesses.”