By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Industrial Development Authority discussed an ongoing potential company coming into Dade County during their Monday, April 19th meeting. The project is known as “Project Flavor” due to a current non-disclosure agreement.
Executive Director William Back reported that there was a site visit for Project Flavor, and the company has narrowed their choices down to four locations. Board member Evan Stone, Mayor Alex Case, and County Executive Ted Rumley were also present for the site visit.
Stone noted that this company is a national company, but family-owned.
“They’d like to keep things family based, and they recognized that here. That was a plus for them,” Stone said.
“We’re on the hometown side of Chattanooga,” Back added. “We’re 20 miles to downtown, but we still have the work ethic associated with a rural area.”
Stone noted that during the meeting with “Project Flavor,” a few things happened, including a downpour of rain, that led him to realize that the IDA should have a logistic plan for Back.
“[Back] was having to go get all of the stuff, go get food. When the folks showed up, he had gone to get something else, and I was here. We should come up with a logistic plan to help him when we have these site visits, and I believe we’re going to have more,” Stone said.
Stone also suggested that a drone be flown over the industrial park to get video clips of the area, which could be shown to companies potentially wanting to come into Dade County.
The board members agreed to hire Alex McAlpin to create a video with drone footage for $350.
Board members heard from Trenton Pressing Vice President Hans Pfunder, who asked about the possibility of gaining access to a section of land in the industrial park from the IDA. The land currently has a parking lot and some vegetation.
“This refers to a strip of a land that is roughly one half acre in dimension, and about 50 feet wide,” Back explained. “In the past few weeks, Trenton Pressing has made an investment in the properties to the east and the west of that strip. But the IDA owns the land right in the middle.”
According to Pfunder, Trenton Pressing currently has two buildings.
“What we are doing right now is stamping the parts in Plant 1, and storing them in boxes. We have excess storage costs because of this and handling costs. We need to bring them down to Plant 2. Over the course of time, my biggest objective is to bring this company to a super-efficient level. The only fraction of efficiency which is missing is the transportation between the buildings,” Pfunder said.
Pfunder said that he would like to have an L- shaped building, to have the assembly portion connected to Plant 1, which would be going over the strip of land.
The board members said that they would look into different options, and get back in touch with Pfunder.
The board members went into executive session to discuss real estate and legal matters, but did not take any action afterward.
The next IDA meeting will be May 17.