Grant & Loan Awards: Hart County
EDGE grant funds of $200,000 are awarded to assist with site preparation to support the location of Ritz Instrument Transformers, Inc. (RIT), a power transformer manufacturer, to Lavonia in Hart County. Ritz, founded in 1991, is a German manufacturer of instrument transformers used in electrical transmission power systems. The Company will construct a new 37,000 square-foot manufacturing facility on ten acres in the newly established Gateway II Industrial Park located in Hart County. Ritz, with facilities worldwide, including three in Germany and one each in Austria, Hungary and China, will manufacture and market low and medium voltage products in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. The Lavonia facility will be the sole operation in the United States.
EDGE grant funds of $1,400,000 are awarded to assist with the purchase of machinery and equipment to support the expansion of Tenneco Automotive Operating Company, Inc. (Tenneco), a leading manufacturer of emission control and ride control products and systems for the passenger car and light truck markets. Tenneco’s ride control manufacturing facility has been in Hartwell since the 1960’s. This facility produces shock absorbers and currently employs 220 people. As a result of the economy and the state of the automotive industry, Tenneco is restructuring operations which include the closure of a manufacturing plant in Cozad, Nebraska. Those manufacturing processes will be transferred to the Hartwell plant. The Company will improve its existing facility where there is sufficient space for expansion in addition to purchasing machinery and equipment. Tenneco, a Fortune 500 company, operates 84 manufacturing facilities worldwide and employs approximately 21,000 people.
Equity grant funds to assist with water improvements to benefit Cobb-Vantress, Inc. (CVI) and Crystal Farms, Inc. (CFI), two of the state’s leading poultry industries. Cobb-Vantress is a leading supplier of broiler breeding stock and is currently served by three groundwater wells. A consistent, reliable water source is needed to hydrate and cool the 60,000 great grandparent birds at the location. Their 43 employees also take approximately 100 showers a day. Crystal Farms, Inc. is the largest commercial egg producer in the state of Georgia and the southwestern Hart County facility houses 1.4 million hens. The site currently has sixteen wells, three of which are dry. With a cumulative $24 million private investment and nearly 100 jobs, both poultry companies, located along an unserved 10-mile stretch of Hwy 29, are without fire protection and must solely rely on private wells for water. Over the past several years, both companies have had to rotate water supplies to sustain operations. Improvements include an interconnection between Hart County's Water Authority and the City of Royston.
Equity funds to assist with sewer infrastructure extension from Gateway Industrial Park to 114 acres of developable land adjacent to the Park which is owned jointly by Hart and Franklin counties. The site is located along I-85 between Atlanta and Spartanburg. Specifically, the funds will be used to provide 3,272 LF of 10 inch PVC gravity sewer infrastructure to serve the additional acreage and will provide economic development capacity to Hart County and the region. Correspondence from Georgia Department of Economic Development indicates that Fenner Dunlop Americas, Inc. plans to locate a 300,000 SF facility in the Gateway Industrial Park, and if this project comes to fruition the Park will be at capacity, and no remaining industrial land will be available in Hart County. This project is anticipated to be a tremendous stimulant to future industrial development and to the Hart County economy where unemployment is high due to numerous plant closings.
Equity funds to improve and extend a publicly owned rail spur on the Hartwell Railroad main line to serve businesses in Hart County. Specifically, 330 LF of existing rail spur would be refurbished, 1,130 LF added, and a required switch on the main line of Hartwell RR will be installed. Contingent on the rail spur, Quality Industries, with a private investment of $1.7 million and 50 employees to date, has committed to an additional $300,000 investment and will hire 25 new employees. Best Powder plans to invest $500,000 and create 4 jobs. Liberty Pultrusions will invest $435,000 and create 15 jobs.
AIRGeorgia funds to extend the existing runway from 3,500 feet to 5,000 feet. Project activities include easement acquisition, site preparation, paving, constructing a blast pad, extending the runway safety area, constructing a taxiway turnaround, extending runway lights and installing taxiway lighting and signage.
EDGE funds to assist with site grading of approximately 22 acres within the newly established 150-acre Gateway Hi-Tech Industrial Park in support of the location of TI Automotive. TI Automotive, headquartered in the U.K., is the world's leading supplier of fuel storage and delivery systems for cars and trucks and fluid carrying systems for braking and powertrain applications to automakers. Hart and Franklin Counties are in competition with Anderson, South Carolina. The project will create 130 new jobs within two years.
Equity funds to support a professional market segmentation and consumer analysis study as this tri-county authority (Franklin, Hart, Stephens) establishes a goal of branding the Lake Hartwell region as the Great Lake of the South. The study will be conducted by a unit of the Economic Development Institute at Ga. Tech, known as the the Tourism and Regional Assistance Center. The tri-county authority intends to build on the natural beauty of the lake, interstate access, strong heritage and history, while also balancing the preservation and protection of its natural and historic resources.
Equity funds for Development of Gateway Regional Industrial Park, 150 acre prime site along I-85/GA 77. Park will target high-tech companies aimed at diversifying regional economy.