By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Industrial Development Authority discussed two companies, referred to as “Project Greenleaf” and “Project Panther,” that have submitted requests for information and are proposing investments in Dade County, during the IDA’s meeting on April 18.
According to Executive Director William Back, Project Greenleaf is a hydroponics company that is proposing a $40 million investment, with 40 employees. The IDA does not own property that would be suitable for the company’s needs, so the IDA is talking to private property owners.
“They need sewer, but their demands are not as extreme as Project Flavor was,” Back said, referring to a company that was looking into expanding to Dade County last year, but ultimately withdrew.
Project Panther is proposing a $110 million investment with 650 employees.
“They don’t mind building a building of their own. They haven’t specified the acreage yet, but we know it will be huge,” Back said.
Also, during the meeting Back noted that the Dade County Water and Sewer Authority, and the County are in the process of applying for American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds.
“We are going to support that effort as much as we can,” Back said.
The IDA agreed to write letters of support to accompany the grant applications.
“They look to see that the communities are behind these projects. It should help,” Chair Evan Stone said.
Trenton Mayor Alex Case attended the meeting and informed the board members about the ARP funds.
“We are competing with the whole state of Georgia for these funds,” Case said. “There were two series of that. You have to have a worthwhile project with a lot of heavy numbers, quickly. What we are going for is mostly water, sewer, and broadband utilities.”
New member Leisa Cagle was welcomed to the IDA board. George Williams, who is the Chair for the Alliance for Dade, is also a new board member, but he was absent from the meeting.
“I appreciate the timely response of the Commission, the Mayor and the Probate Court Judge that put the new members on the board. One of the things that we have been plagued with is having a quorum. I think with the addition of the two new members, and getting further down the road from the pandemic, this will have a big effect on making sure we always have a quorum,” Stone said.
Cagle told the board members that she works for McKee Foods Corporation and will retire this September.
“I am responsible for negotiating all of the incentives on behalf of the company as we expand. I’m very familiar with PILOT (payments in lieu of taxes) agreements. I love that part of my job,” Cagle said.
The IDA members also approved Adam Austin, from Trenton Telephone, to be the IDA’s new non-voting member.
The IDA went into executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss property matters. No action was taken afterward.
The next IDA meeting will be May 16.