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Industrial Development Authority Sells and Swaps Land

News Editor

The Industrial Development Committee is working with two companies – one already in Trenton and one coming soon – to sell and swap land. The Nov. 21 meeting covered these topics as well as several ongoing and upcoming projects in the county.

The first company, Beltline Energy, has been in discussion with the IDA about buying approximately 21 acres. Robin Rogers is solidifying the contract with them for a sale of $120,000.

According to Beltline’s website, they are a “Georgia-based solar development firm…Our projects deliver low cost clean energy to local communities and premium land rates to the landowners.”

The company describes themselves as partners with the communities where solar panels are placed, saying, “We recognize the importance of developing quality solar assets that integrate seamlessly within their local communities. Beltline complements the pursuit of financial returns with shared community value created through local partnerships and collaboration. In this manner, we maximize the positive impact of each solar facility.”

The land in question is behind the industrial park, and although the terrain presents some challenges for most building opportunities, Beltline believes it is an ideal location for solar panels.

The second company, Trenton Pressing, requested a land swap with the IDA so that they can connect two of their plants and expand, while still allowing access to Lookout Creek for the county and all who need access. Two owners from the company attended the meeting to address the IDA.

Trenton Pressing bought Gill Industries two years ago. They make auto parts, and in the two years since operating in Trenton, they’ve reached the point of expanding. Evan Stone (executive director) said, “In 24 months, they went from a business that was struggling to now it’s very successful, very profitable, and now expanding.”

The authority entered an executive session to discuss further details about both land-related topics. After the executive session, they voted to accept the land swap from Trenton Pressing.

Stone reported, “This will give us access to our land by the creek and allow them to build their expansion.” Dr. James Cantrell (chair) noted that Trenton Pressing will be able to hire 20 more employees.

Regarding other business (handled earlier in the meeting), Stone noted that Integer expects the expansion to move ahead quickly. He also noted that he was contacted by McLemore Club about upcoming development on the Dade County side.

The IDA voted to continue as an investor with the Alliance for Dade at the non-profit ($100) level. William Back noted, “We’ll have an ongoing relationship with the Alliance over the next 12 months. There will be various opportunities to support programs.”

Carey Anderson, public information and relations for the county, gave another update about the website, saying, “We’re hoping the launch will happen in January or February.” Anderson created an informational section for the IDA on the current county website until the new site is up and running.

She encouraged the IDA, “This is a great time to think about what kind of content you want on the website. You can look at other industrial and economic development sites to see what you like and don’t like.”

Stone noted that the IDA will be able to stop paying the old website company the $100 monthly fee (come January).

Regarding the Chattanooga Fire Protection Inc. annual inspection of CHI Memorial, a question arose among IDA members about an additional cost of $1,265.

The company reported that for that fee, they would complete a project which would “repair deficiencies found at the above location, restoring a state of compliance per NFPA and Local Authority. Deficiencies to be corrected include:

  • Past Due Five-Year internal inspection
  • Missing FDC Sign.
  • Two out of date Gauges.”

Back noted, “I think what they’re saying is they do an annual inspection, and once every five years, they do a deeper inspection in which they need to go into the building.”

Cantrell asked to receive clarification from Chattanooga Fire about whether or not this fee includes the $400 for the annual inspection and why the five-year inspection is passed due since the company has been coming every year.

The IDA confirmed that the sprinkler system is functional and not in any immediate need of repair. They will decide how to proceed after receiving confirmation of what is included in this cost and why it is “past due.”

The IDA voted to cancel the December meeting, and due to Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 16, (the day of the scheduled January meeting), they will meet next on Jan. 9, 2023.

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