By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Industrial Development Authority agreed to let Executive Director William Back help the Dade County Water and Sewer Authority with possible upcoming water line projects, during their monthly meeting on Monday, Sept. 20.
“There are two projects that they are considering, which may have some relevance to the IDA,” Back said.
The first project is running a second water line, eight inches, through the Industrial Park. The proposal is to run the new line up parallel to the railroad tracks, into the Industrial Park, where it would possibly join existing piping.
“It would be good to have that. If ever there was a line break on Highway 11, where the water pipe is now, that would be a big problem for the companies in the Industrial Park,” Back said.
The second project is a six-inch water line running west from Highway 11 to GA-299.
Back said he wanted to be available to assist the Water and Sewer Authority in the grant writing process.
“Sherri Walker, at the Dade County Water and Sewer Authority, said that these were high priority projects for them, and we would agree,” Back said.
Also during the meeting, it was noted by Back that there was a meeting in early September to discuss “Project Flavor,” which was attended by members of the Environmental Protection Division, Sen. Jeff Mullis, officials from the city of Trenton and the waste water plant.
“We had a pretty far reaching discussion about what issues may be present if the company were to come to Trenton,” Back said. “It is a food manufacturing business, and food manufacturing generates a lot of things we don’t want in our waste water system. It’s all a question of how much pre-treatment the company will do.”
It was also decided that there would not be an incentive or PILOT program (payment in lieu of taxes) for Beltline Energy, a company that is looking to acquire acreage owned by the IDA to construct a solar farm adjacent to Bull Moose Tube Company.
Beltline Energy is a solar development company that is located and headquartered in Atlanta.
This solar farm will be a part of a specific program being offered by Georgia Power called the Georgia Power Customer-Connected Solar Program. According to Georgiapower.com, this program allows Georgia Power customers to partner with any solar developer to build a solar facility on or adjacent to a customer’s property.
“There is an amendment to the option agreement, Beltline would like to acquire an additional three acres for $6,000 an acre at the far eastern end of the parcel,” Back said.
The authority also agreed to give the Alliance for Dade $1,000 to help with signage costs for the Job Ready Dade event, which was held Saturday, Sept. 25.
It was noted that the IDA helped to sign up different companies for the event, including ones from the Industrial Park, retail, and fast food restaurants.
“This is to make sure that the 60 percent of the workforce that go outside of Dade County to work, to understand that there are a number of open jobs here,” IDA member Evan Stone said. “Dade County has had a 30 percent increase in pay, overall, in the last three years.”
There are at least 200 jobs available in the county, which only includes positions within the Industrial Park.
The authority also discussed providing Back with regular feedback, to evaluate Back’s job as director.
“I think we should do this on a regular basis. I think whoever has that spot, is owed that,” Chair Peter Cervelli said.
The IDA is looking for new office space for Back, but so far a space has not been found. It was noted that there are space issues in the County Administrative Building, and the Board of Elections will be moving as well.
There was a short executive session to discuss real estate matters. There was no action taken afterward.
The next IDA meeting will be Monday, Oct. 11, a week earlier than usual, due to schedule conflicts.