Ashley Biles Associate Editor
September 13, 2013
The decision by the Upson County Board of Commissioners to fund the Thomaston-Upson Industrial Development Authority an additional $600,000 is already having a positive effect according to TUIDA Executive Director Kyle Fletcher. She noted that had talked with E Jane Carraway of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, who had already mentioned it to the project managers for the state and the response was impressive. TUIDA Board member Scott Blackstock stated that he did not think enough appreciation could be given to the county for their efforts.
“Things have changed since then; it is absolutely two different environments from the one we had a month ago to what we have now,” said Blackstock. “Just the reactions we’ve have had from prospects, the State of Georgia and everyone else… we are a totally different place as to how we are perceived. It changed that quickly.”
Fletcher noted that between now and December she will be making more trips to Atlanta to meet with project managers and show them power points of what we have to offer as a community through not only buildings and land, but monetary incentives also. Even though the word is already out, she wants there to be an organized effort of meeting with project managers and prospective industries.
“We now know that we have a mechanism to seal the deals,” said Fletcher. “I just thank everyone involved because this was a team effort.”
On not as good of a note, Fletcher told the board the broadband initiative that Thomaston-Upson County had signed on with other surrounding counties did not receive the DCA grant. The main idea behind the project was to better supply broadband coverage to the area, which included Upson, Troup, Meriwether and Heard counties. Fletcher stated it was disappointing to find out because the group had been led to think the funding would come through, however, there are plans to reapply for another grant in the works.
In other business, the board was updated on the appraisals of the two industrial parks and the spec building. Fletcher stated that the cost of the project was going to be between $4,000-5,000 and before she proceeded, she wanted to make sure the board was ok with that amount. The consensus of the board was that seemed a little steep, however, Fletcher noted the gentleman doing the appraising was going to have to visit other nearby parks to get an idea of what the fair market value would be, as it is very hard to appraise an entire park compared to a single piece of property. TUIDA Attorney Joel Bentley suggested Fletcher ask for just a basic appraisal to establish as close of a fair market value as possible and see what the price would be then. The rest of the board agreed that seemed like a good idea and after an amount was given they would go from there.