Grant & Loan Awards: Wilkes County
EDGE grant funds to assist with building improvements to support the location of Callaway Farms Manufacturing, LLC (CFM), an animal bedding manufacturer, to Washington. The Company plans to rehabilitate an existing 20-acre site previously occupied by International Paper Company Sawmill. CFM is a privately held company that was created in 2007 by three individuals who have over 75 years of agricultural and business experience. The Company’s principal product will be animal bedding for horses that will be made out of pulpwood and unusable timber procured from a five-county area surrounding Wilkes County.
BRIDGE funds to assist with two regional technology studies for the McDuffie, Columbia, Lincoln, Warren and Wilkes five-county area. With a geographical footprint of 1500 square miles, a combined population exceeding 150,000, and four of the five counties having a poverty rate greater than 17.5%, the five counties propose to work with Georgia Tech's TechSmart program to identify gaps in broadband infrastructure, benchmark current technology utilization and develop a community and regional technology roadmap. Digitel responsibilities include inventory of vertical assets, topography and infrastructure needs to deploy broadband to the underserved areas of the five counties. The five counties will join forces to expand high speed internet access to underserved areas in the five-county region to promote economic development. In addition, they have an opportunity to leverage their collective bargaining power to attract private partners, control cost of equipment and enhance their regional competitiveness.
Equity funds for land acquisition. The Equity funds would be used to assist in purchasing the 123-acresite of the former International Paper Mill to redevelop and create a functioning industrial park.
EDGE funds for the purchase and repair of a 86,700 SF building to benefit Wellington Leisure Products. The Company makes life preservers and would employ 125 workers in the new facility.