The Thomaston-Upson County Industrial Development Authority is celebrating its 50th anniversary! Created in 1964, the mission of the IDA is to attract capital investment to the community that will create jobs and enhance the tax base, which includes:
• Assuring that assets, including infrastructure, sites, workforce, etc., are in place.
• Helping existing industry maximize return on past investments.
• Identifying, evaluating and pursuing appropriate industrial prospects, potential prospects, and other sources of capital investment.
• Marketing and promoting – raising awareness of the community.
According to Executive Director Kyle Fletcher, the IDA has issued over $287 million in bonds over the years. She stated the benefit is for both the industry (with tax savings) and local citizens by creating jobs and capital investment in our community.
“Over the past few years, there has been an emphasis on strengthening our partnerships with education (both Southern Crescent and the Upson-Lee School System), local governments, and utility providers,” said Fletcher. She went on to add that the IDA works closely with the Upson County Board of Assessors in the issuance of bonds.
“When it comes to economic development, it is certainly a team effort,” said IDA Chairman Billy Johnston. “There are many components that come into play when recruiting industry and assisting existing industries and we rely on a number of our partners.”
The 2014 IDA board includes: Frank King, Scott Blackstock, Steve Daniel (IDA Vice Chairman), Thomaston Mayor Hays Arnold, Upson County Commission Chairman Rusty Blackston, and IDA Chairman Billy Johnston. AS the IDA celebrates 50 years, they have unveiled “Build Upson,’ an initiative to target specific industries and offer more incentives to industries that have chosen Upson County as “home.”
The IDA board meets the fourth Monday of each month at 4 p.m. in the IDA office on the second floor of the government complex, and the meetings are open to the public.