Grant & Loan Awards: Walker County
Equity grant funds to assist with the construction of a new 2,660 SF airport terminal building and the demolition of the existing airport terminal building and attached hangar at the Barwick-LaFayette Airport in Walker County. The Barwick-LaFayette Airport is the only airport located in the northwest Georgia region of Walker, Dade, Chattooga and Catoosa counties. Visitors are attracted to the many tourism sites in this region, and people from around the region base a total of 45 planes at the airport. Local industries fly visitors into town and ship parts through the airport. With a new terminal and other planned upgrades, the airport will be better able to serve existing industries, and the facility will be made more appealing to industrial prospects and tourism visitors alike. Construction of the new terminal is part of a long-term plan to bring the facility up to Level III standards. The existing 1,250 SF terminal building is attached to a T-hangar that is out-of-date and lacks the facilities to meet the needs of pilots and guests. The proposed terminal building will have a lobby, observation deck, public restrooms, pilots’ lounge, flight planning room, more storage room, a large meeting/conference room and will be ADA accessible.
Equity funds to assist with the development of a regional comprehensive marketing/tourism plan to effectively position the Hwy 27 corridor and the associated 18 counties as a travel and tourism â€œdestination of choice.â€ The Hwy 27 Association was formed to promote economic development, tourism and the protection of cultural and scenic resources along US Hwy 27, which runs 352 miles along the western portion of the State. The Association's 18 member counties seek to build on their existing tourism industry and develop additional products. The group has provided $52,000 of in-kind work/investment to-date, and they recognize the value of developing key partnerships and alliances. These include working with GA DOT on their plans to four-lane Hwy 27. Add 18 counties
BRIDGE grant funds will be used to assist with the cost of a Georgia Institute of Technology TechSmart study by Techâ€™s Enterprise Innovation Institute to facilitate a planning process to create an information infrastructure â€œtechnology roadmapâ€ for each of the four northwest Georgia counties of Polk, Chattooga, Floyd and Walker. The counties will work together on a regional strategy for enhancing and better utilizing their information infrastructure. Specifically, the study will target the needs of the automotive industry to help the region realize its goal of becoming the â€œAutomotive Alleyâ€ and increase its competitiveness for attracting automotive suppliers. The regionâ€™s comprehensive plan includes the goal of improving telecommunications, including creating partnerships and educating leaders for this purpose.
EDGE funds to assist with the construction of a 54,000 SF manufacturing plant to be leased to Findlex Georgia Corporation, a manufacturer of Honda brake components. At least 45 new jobs will be created, with long term job projections at 100.