By REBECCA HAZEN
The Industrial Development Authority discussed multiple projects during their Monday, Sept. 19 meeting.
Executive Director Evan Stone informed the board members that there have been RFIs (Requests for Information) for new projects, code named Project Mayfair and Project Abraham.
“These are just initial packets of information that we have sent out. Both of these companies have requested land 20 acres or less, and we fit the bill for both of these,” Stone said.
Stone continued, “We’re running out of land. We’ve got to be able to have some land to sell. The good thing is that we have the assets to be able to get the land, the bad part is where we’re getting the land, and we can still have the infrastructure needed to be able to expand existing locations or starting new locations for industrial development.”
Spencer Hogg, Project Manager of the Northwest Georgia Joint Development Authority. (NGJDA) attended the meeting. Hogg informed the board that they have received multiple RFIs as well, and the majority of them are for about 50- to 100-acre sized sites.
“North of Atlanta, there’s just not a whole lot of sites prepared to handle that. That is something that we continually try to work on,” Hogg said.
Stone also informed the board members that he attended a Georgia Economic Development conference in Savannah.
“It was informative. Driverless vehicles are here. One of the things that was talked about at the conference is that there are going to be vehicles that do industrial transportation to our parks and the technology will be available for our companies to utilize. It would greatly reduce freight costs,” Stone said.
Stone noted that the industrial park is in a unique position, being close to the interstate, and he said in the future he would like to see the IDA be prepared to accept driverless technology.
“We have looked at this. They are already testing this technology; it’s proven to work. As these radio transmitters continue to go up, if we can find a way to be competitive, I believe it’s going to be an advantage,” Hogg added.
Stone also spoke about the roof replacement for the CHI Memorial building. The IDA received proposals, and the lowest bid was $44,000, but only $35,000 was designated for the project in the budget. The IDA voted to amend the budget, and then voted to accept the lowest bid.
Stone also provided an update on Project Beltline, which will be a solar farm project adjacent to Bull Moose Tube Co.
“We have some rocky grade of property that’s under our control. It’s not the best suitable for building, we are selling that to Beltline to put in solar panels. They want to move ahead and close on that,” Stone said.
The IDA entered into executive session to discuss property matters. Afterward, the IDA voted to enter into an agreement with Beltline Energy to sell the property by Dec. 15. The IDA also voted to approve a lease for CHI Memorial.