Grant & Loan Awards: Berrien County
AIRGeorgia grant funds will be used to assist with improvements to the Berrien County Airport including the extension of its runway from 4,006 feet to 5,000 feet and the construction of turnarounds. The County has lost 1,000 jobs in the past two years to industry closures, layoffs and cutbacks. Given the current critical state of the local economy, it is imperative that the County maximize the use of all available economic development resources, including its airport. The longer runway is expected to help market the new 180-acre industrial park on Highway 82 in the northern part of the County. The Berrien County Airport is located just east of Nashville and has approximately 5,000 takeoffs and landings per year. It has six hangars with 10 airplanes based at the airport even though 16 aircraft are owned by County residents. An agricultural spraying service operates two aircraft from the airport but there is no Fixed Base Operator, thus, aviation fuel is not available. Long range airport improvement plans address the need for fuel sales and a terminal building. Due to current airport limitations, both existing industry and industrial prospects must use airports in Tifton, Valdosta and Jacksonville, Florida.
Equity funds to assist Berrien County Development Authority acquire 174.455 acres for a new industrial park. The land is located on U.S. Highway 82, a major four lane east-west route that traverses the northern part of Berrien County between Alapaha and Enigma. The site contains significant highway frontage as well as frontage on two existing county roads. Berrien Countyâ€™s two existing industrial parks are currently at capacity demonstrating the Countyâ€™s ability to bring in new industries. In fact, an industry has already agreed to locate in the new park. Sulyn Enterprises, which manufactures wooden stakes for use in erosion control, has committed to creating 15 new jobs and generating $94,000 in private investment.