Gov. Sonny Perdue leaves office in a week but Georgians will spend the next two decades paying off some controversial hometown projects he pushed.
Taxpayers will spend almost $4 million annually paying off Perdue’s Go Fish aquatic wildlife and fishing education center, some new equine and livestock facilities at the Georgia National Fairgrounds near his home and the purchase of the Oaky Woods conservation property at a price some lawmakers considered excessive. All are in Houston County, where Perdue was born, raised and plans to return when he leaves office.
The state is making debt payments on those three projects — worth a total of $60 million — at a time when legislators are approving tight budgets that forced teacher furloughs and layoffs, and brought spending cuts on everything from economic development efforts to health care.
The three projects are part of the about $1.2 billion a year the state is now paying on long-term debt, up about 60 percent from the year Perdue took office.
A complete accounting of Sonny’s eight years in office.