Grant & Loan Awards: Habersham County
Equity funds to assist with public infrastructure improvements to the Town's water system by providing a backup source of drinking water and upgrading/replacing their 30-year old PVC waterlines with 6-inch ductile iron pipe. The Town has a population of 200; however, an estimated 250,000 visitors travel to Tallulah Gorge State Park and YMCA camp each year, pushing the Town's current infrastructure beyond its limits. The current system includes one well and 3-inch lines that are deteriorating and inadequate to serve current business or support growth. Improvements, including a second well and replacement of 4,089 LF pipe, would allow for the development of a 55-room lodge and a U.S. Forest Service district office that will employ between 30 and 35.
Equity funds to assist with improvements to the City of Cornelia's wastewater treatment plant to accommodate the expansion of Fieldale Farms, Inc., a poultry processing plant. Currently, the City of Cornelia cannot adequately process wastewater to accommodate the expansion which could result in the relocation of Fieldale Farms altogether and the loss of 1,500 jobs. In addition, these improvements will allow Fieldale Farms to increase production at their Gainesville plant resulting in the creation of 200 new jobs. Fieldale Farms, a multi-faceted poultry processing integrator with locations in Habersham, Hall, Stephens and Franklin Counties, qualifies as a regional employer with over 4,700 jobs in these four counties.
Equity funds to assist with sewer improvements to serve a blighted 7.3-acre tract slated for commercial development along State Route 365 in Baldwin, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and heavily dependent on tourism. Contingent upon adequate sewer infrastructure, the anchor tenant has committed to invest over $1.7 million to construct a 2,000 square-foot upscale fast-food restaurant, creating 30 new jobs with excellent fringe benefits. The infrastructure improvements, consisting of the extension of a 3,500 LF 8â€ gravity sewer line, are expected to spur additional private investment and job creation in a part of the state where tourism and the hospitality industry are significant economic drivers.
Equity funds to support the retention and expansion of GlobalTech Industries, Inc., and Applegate Insulation Systems. These businesses have committed to retain 267 jobs, create 20 new jobs and provide $3,000,000 in new private investment (Applegate). At least 20 additional businesses located along US Highway 441 are in need of public sanitary sewer due to failing septic systems. These sewer improvements will allow businesses to expand, eliminate existing environmental health threats and provide adequate sewer capacity for future growth.