Grant & Loan Awards: Meriwether County
Equity funds to extend a water line from the City of Hogansville to provide a stable & sufficient water supply to companies locating inside Meriwether Park. Meriwether Park, located off I-85 on GA Hwy 54, is a public-private partnership with Greenbow, LLC to be developed as a progressive, mixed use planned community for industrial and commercial development. Greenbow is developing a landfill at Meriwether Park to handle solid waste for the county as well as provide a recycling center. The County committed $13 million for public road improvements and infrastructure. The County drilled for water at the park site in June 2008 and found that the wells did not provide sufficient water. Equity funds are needed to construct a water main from Hogansville to the Park and into its interior, fire hydrants and a booster pump station. The City of Hogansville, Troup Co, and Meriwether Co have entered into an intergovernmental services agreement for maintenance and operation of the system. Local investment includes $13 million, and an application as been made for $500,000 from EIP.
EDGE funds for site preparation costs to support the location of Dongwon Autopart Technology Georgia, LLC (DATG), a Korean-based auto parts manufacturer, to Lone Oak in Meriwether County. DATG plans to construct a 120,000 to 150,000 SF facility on a 30-acre site in the new Meriwether Park. The Company has been a KIA supplier for three years and will manufacture door frames, side impact beams, roof molding, side absorbers and cross bars for the new KIA facility in West Point. DATG is a subsidiary of Dongwon Metal Company, Ltd. (DMC), founded in 1971 and headquartered in the Republic of South Korea. Previously, DMC had a total of nine manufacturing plants on three continents. The Georgia facility is #10 and its second facility in North America.
AIRGeorgia funds to assist with the extension of the 3,000 ft runway to 5,000 ft and rehabilitate and overlay the existing runway. With five industrial parks within 20 miles of the airport, the ramping up of the KIA project and location decisions by key suppliers such as Dongwon, along with the success of the tourism industry in Warm Springs, it is critical to have the capacity to land business aircraft and corporate jets in this region of Georgia. The expansion will also strengthen the competiveness of neighboring Spalding, Pike and Talbot Counties. The airport extension is the first of a series of proposed airport improvements that include a new t-hangar, new apron, expansion of existing aircraft parking apron, planned future corporate hangars, new modern terminal building, and safety and security upgrades. The County recognizes that its ability to compete globally hinges in part on its capacity to land corporate clients, prospects, tourists and other visitors at the local level.
Equity funds to acquire 22 acres and a 350,000 square-foot building located on the 37-acre former Goodyâ€™s plant location at 1000 West Main Street. The building was originally built in 1969 and expanded in 1979. The Development Authority of the City of Manchester (DA) already owns buildings and 15 acres of the site and seeks to own and control the entire plant site. Upon securing the facility, the DA plans to make needed repairs to the roof and electrical system. The DA proposes to market the entire facility as speculative space for the recruitment of prospects. This is an excellent local economic development marketing strategy given the addition of the Kia plant in nearby West Point. With the new plant, many Kia suppliers will be looking for available industrial space as they locate to the region over the next few years. The DA has a prospect that is currently considering the site. If the Company locates to Manchester, then it would mean 140 new jobs immediately and 300-400 after five years.
EDGE funds to assist with site preparation costs for the addition to an existing 50,000 SF spec building in support of the expansion of G&S Metals, Inc. The Authority has applied on behalf of G&S Metals, Inc., a producer of high quality, recycled aluminum. This project is in competition with Cleveland, Tennessee. The proposed facility will create 77 new full-time jobs in two years.
Equity funds to assist with construction of a 9,265 square-foot workforce development center on a 47-acre site in Meriwether County in Greenville. The project represents collaboration between West Georgia Technical College and Meriwether County. The center will provide workforce training opportunities including welding, certified nursing assistant (a Governorâ€™s Strategic Industry core), office technology, adult literacy programs, and customized training for business and industry. It is estimated that as many as 300 students from Meriwether and surrounding counties will receive training from the center each year. The workforce development center is expected to improve economic conditions in the County as one third of the adult population lacks a high school education, and the poverty rate in Meriwether County exceeds the Stateâ€™s average.
Equity funds to assist with construction of a new wastewater treatment facility that will serve the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation, the Warm Springs Medical Center and surrounding heritage-based tourism businesses. The treatment plant will replace the existing wastewater infrastructure which is over 50 years old and deteriorating. The Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation and the Warm Springs Medical Center employ over 800 people, almost twice the population of the City. The new treatment plant will help ensure these two large employers maintain their existing operations and allow for possible future expansions. In addition, the wastewater improvements will enhance the regionâ€™s heritage-based tourism, which is a major industry for Warm Springs due to the communityâ€™s ties to President Franklin Roosevelt.
Equity funds to assist with road improvements along a one-mile section of Old Woodbury Road and Georgia Hwy 85 West to provide truck access to the new manufacturing facility of Sims Bark Company. The company, with three plants and headquartered in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, manufactures landscape materials and produces mulch for sale at retail outlets such as Loweâ€™s, Pikeâ€™s Nursery and Home Depot. The company, expected to be operational early next year, is expected to invest $10 million at the 101-acre facility just outside Woodbury and hire 54 jobs immediately and up to 70 employees over the next three to five years.
Equity funds to assist in the construction of a 53,000 SF speculative building in the Manchester Industrial Park located in Meriwether County. The county, with a declining agricultural economy and insufficient infrastructure development, has an unemployment rate over 8%. The community plans to aggressively market the facility in hopes of expanding the industrial base and job opportunities in the area.