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OneGeorgia Grants Approved
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
June 30 – Governor Sonny Perdue and members of the OneGeorgia Authority Board met today at Festival Hall in downtown Greensboro to approve grants and loans from the OneGeorgia Authority’s portfolio of financing programs. (Editor's Note: Many of these grants have been announced presiously including the $1 million for the Chicken of the Sea project in Toombs County.)

            These awards will assist with a variety of economic development projects in rural Georgia aimed at creating jobs, stimulating new private investment, supporting the retention of existing jobs and enhancing regional competitiveness through capacity-building projects. These projects, along with their respective local leadership representatives, were recognized at the OneGeorgia board meeting.

            Company officials and local leaders associated with the most recent EDGE awards were recognized at today’s meeting. The nine EDGE awards, totaling $12.2 million are leveraged against approximately $500 million in total project costs and are projected to create over 2,200 jobs as well as the retention of an additional 314 jobs.

Development Authority of Twin City / Stitch-N-Print, Inc.

EDGE grant funds of $42,000 will assist with building improvements to support the expansion of Stitch-N-Print, Inc. (SNP), a sewing manufacturer headquartered in Twin City, Emanuel County, Georgia. The company, specializing in the production of uniform embellishments, has contracts with Aramark, Blue Force Gear, Jensen Apparel and Cintas Uniforms. In addition, the company has recently become a vendor for federal government procurement contracts. The company has expanded its current facility which included replacing the HVAC system. SNP, a privately held company started in 2001, has facilities in Twin City and Millen, Georgia as well as Bluefield, Virginia. The company’s newest capability is producing and heat-sealing reflective designs and garments.

§         EDGE Award: $42,000 / Total Project Cost: $307,000

§         20 new jobs in two years / retain 94 jobs / Interstate competition: Virginia

Toombs County Development Authority / Tri-Union Seafoods, LLC d.b.a. Chicken of the Sea International

      EDGE grant funds of $1 million are awarded to assist with building improvements at the location of a manufacturing and distribution facility for Tri-Union Seafoods, LLC d.b.a. Chicken of the Sea International (COS). Chicken of the Sea is one of the top producers of canned/pouched tuna capturing 25 percent of the US market share. The company, located in an existing industrial building, constructed a 14,000 square-foot freezer facility that is connected to the existing building. The facility is situated on a 27 acre site in the Toombs Corporate Center on US Hwy 1 north of Lyons. Tri-Union Seafoods, LLC (TUS) is a subsidiary of Thai Union International, Inc. (TUI) which is based in San Diego. The parent company is the second largest processor of tuna in the world and with the opening of the Georgia plant; Thai Union Frozen Products anticipates that it will become the largest tuna processor in the world. The Toombs County canning operation is the first in Georgia for TUI and its’ many subsidiaries.

§         EDGE Award: $1 million / Total Project Cost: $21.5 million

§         310 new jobs in four years / Interstate competition: South Carolina

Savannah Economic Development Authority / Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc.

      EDGE loan funds of $5 million are awarded to assist with site preparation and infrastructure in support of the location of Mitsubishi Power Systems Americas, Inc. (MPS) to the mega site near Pooler in Chatham County. Mitsubishi, with a history dating back to 1884, is publicly traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a diversified Fortune “Global 150” company with more than $30 billion in annual revenues and 40,000 employees worldwide. The company, with construction well underway on the new, state-of-the-art facility along the I-95 corridor, expects to make a private investment of approximately $325 million. In particular, this plant will produce gas turbine combustor components to support operating units in the Western Hemisphere and new turbines worldwide. The site location provides convenient access by road, rail and sea. It is anticipated that this project will provide strong regional economic impact, creating jobs not only in Chatham County but also in other neighboring counties.

§         EDGE Award: $5 million / Total Project Cost: $349 million

§         500 new jobs by end of 2016 / Interstate competition: Alabama, Florida, South Carolina

Development Authority of Richmond County / Automatic Data Processing

      EDGE grant funds of $2.4 million are awarded to assist with the Phase II construction of a 160,000 square foot customer care center in support of Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (ADP). ADP, a Fortune 500 company based in New Jersey, is a diversified outsourcing service company employing over 45,000 people throughout the world. The company is a leading provider of computerized transaction processing, data communication and information services for employers of all sizes. Business units include: 1) Employer Services, 2) Brokerage Services, 3) Dealer Services and 4) Securities and Outsourcing Services. As an example of their strong track-record of success, ADP processes the paycheck for one-in-every-six private-sector workers in the U.S.  The company previously met their Phase I job creation goals of 450 new jobs and private investment of $4.1 million.

§         EDGE Award: $2.4 million / Total Project Cost: $36.4 million

§         550 new jobs by 2012 (Phase I created 450 new jobs) for a total of 1,000 jobs / Interstate competition: Fayetteville, NC

Development Authority of Houston County / Georgia National Guard Joint Cargo Aircraft Training Mission (L-3 Communications Integrated Systems as Contractor)

      EDGE grant funds of $300,000 are awarded to assist in the expansion of the Georgia National Guard Joint Cargo Training Mission (JCA) at Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. The expansion supports L-3 Communications Integrated Systems (L-3), who has been contracted by the U.S. Department of Defense to carry out the JCA Training Mission. This mission involves transporting time-sensitive/mission critical cargo to the military’s various areas of operation around the globe. L-3 has been in business for over 33 years and is headquartered in New York, NY. The company employs over 66,000 people worldwide and is ranked #182 on the Fortune 500 listing of America’s largest public companies. The company will produce and maintain the new C-27J as well as train crews to operate the JCA. In addition to 41 highly skilled jobs created as a result of this project, 300+ military personnel from all over the world will contribute to the local and regional economy during the repetitive 19-week training course. This will be the first facility in the world to house the new aircraft as part of the ongoing JCA Mission for the U.S. Military. In order to carry out the JCA Training Mission, L-3 will invest approximately $45 million in building modifications and the construction of the Joint Cargo Aircraft Cockpit and Fuselage Simulator.

§         EDGE Award: $300,000 / Total Project Cost: $46.8 million

§         41 new jobs in two years plus regional impact of 300 military personnel / Interstate competition: Texas, Oklahoma

Hart County Industrial Building Authority / Ritz Instrument Transformers

      EDGE grant funds of $200,000 are awarded to assist with site preparation to support the location of Ritz Instrument Transformers, Inc. (RIT), a power transformer manufacturer, to Lavonia in Hart County. Ritz, founded in 1991, is a German manufacturer of instrument transformers used in electrical transmission power systems. The company will construct a new 37,000 square-foot manufacturing facility on ten acres in the newly established Gateway II Industrial Park located in Hart County. Ritz, with facilities worldwide, including three in Germany and one each in Austria, Hungary and China, will manufacture and market low and medium voltage products in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. The Lavonia facility will be the sole operation in the United States.

§         EDGE Award: $200,000 / Total Project Cost: $3.4 million

§         50 new jobs in two years / Interstate competition: South Carolina

Crisp County-Cordele Industrial Development Authority / Big Tex Trailer Manufacturing, Inc.

      EDGE grant funds of $360,000 are awarded to assist with the location of a manufacturing and distribution facility for Big Tex Trailer Manufacturing, Inc. (Big Tex). Big Tex is a leading manufacturer of flatbed utility, equipment and dump trailers in the United States. The company is expanding into the Southeastern United States to gain market share by locating in two existing buildings that consist of 178,000 square-feet on 56 acres in Cordele’s Industrial Park. Big Tex began operations in 1981 in Texas and has manufacturing plants, distribution centers, and sales outlet stores in several states including: Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana and California. The Company has 700 employees.

§         EDGE Award: $360,000 / Total Project Cost: $10.9 million

§         150 new jobs in two years / Interstate competition: Florida, South Carolina

Hart County Industrial Building Authority / Tenneco Automotive Operating Company, Inc.

      EDGE grant funds of $1.4 million are awarded to assist with the purchase of machinery and equipment to support the expansion of Tenneco Automotive Operating Company, Inc. (Tenneco), a leading manufacturer of emission control and ride control products and systems for the passenger car and light truck markets. Tenneco’s ride control manufacturing facility has been in Hartwell since the 1960’s. This facility produces shock absorbers and currently employs 220 people. As a result of the economy and the state of the automotive industry, Tenneco is restructuring operations which include the closure of a manufacturing plant in Cozad, Nebraska. Those manufacturing processes will be transferred to the Hartwell plant. The company will improve its existing facility where there is sufficient space for expansion in addition to purchasing machinery and equipment. Tenneco, a Fortune 500 company, operates 84 manufacturing facilities worldwide and employs approximately 21,000 people.

§         EDGE Award: $1.4 million / Total Project Cost: $10.4 million

§         180 new jobs in two years + retention of 220 jobs equals 400 jobs / Interstate competition: Nebraska, OH, Mexico

Development Authority of Columbus, Georgia / NCR Corporation

      EDGE grant funds of $1.5 million are awarded to assist with the acquisition of a 350,000 square foot facility within Corporate Ridge Business Park on behalf of NCR Corporation (NCR). The facility manufactures state-of-the-art ATM machines for delivery to its customers in North America. NCR, founded in 1884, as “National Cash Register Company”, is known as the global leader in financial self-service, leading how the world connects, interacts and transacts with business. A Fortune 500 company, NCR moved its corporate headquarters from Dayton, Ohio to Duluth, Georgia and also made the decision to build its U.S. manufacturing facility in Columbus. NCR states that more than 150 employees have already been hired for the initial phase of operations. However, the company expects to create 425 jobs by the end of 2011 and make a private investment of approximately $17.5 million.

§         EDGE Award: $1.5 million / Total Project Cost: $25.3 million

§         425 new jobs in two years / Interstate competition: North Carolina, Mexico

            The Equity Fund is designed to assist communities and regions in building the necessary infrastructure to support economic development. The program’s flexibility also provides financial assistance to enhance publicly-owned tourism initiatives, workforce development opportunities and downtown revitalization projects. In addition, loan funds are available through the Equity Revolving Loan Fund to assist small business owners with business growth and expansion opportunities. Today, eight Equity awards, totaling $3,484,010, are leveraged against approximately $148 million in total project costs.

Washington County – Enhancing Airport Growth and Competitiveness / Terminal Building

Equity grant funds will be used to assist with the construction of a 4,200 square foot terminal building at the Kaolin Field Airport in Sandersville. The new terminal will replace a 1,000 square foot concrete block building constructed in 1967. Improvements will also include a redesigned entrance road, signage, landscaping and a new parallel taxi way. Numerous aviation measures have been and are being added to the 5,000 foot lighted runway at Kaolin Field Airport, including pay-at-the-pump Avgas, Jet-A fuel capability, and a parallel taxiway which is currently under development.

§           Equity Grant Award: $500,000 / Total Project Cost: $2.3 million

Union County Development Authority– Enhancing Regional Competitiveness / Speculative Building

Equity loan funds will be used to assist with the construction of two 8,000 square foot speculative buildings and the extension of water and sewer lines on a prepared site in the Blairsville Airport Regional Industrial Park. Union County is located in northeast Georgia and has been especially hard-hit by the recession. The county’s unemployment rate has tripled over the last three years and the county believes that marketable facilities will allow them to attract new businesses and create desperately-needed jobs. This project is Phase I of a two-phased project, with the second phase being the construction of two additional 8,000 square foot buildings. The conceptual design of the buildings allows for each building to stand alone or be connected to one or more of the others. The counties of Towns, Fannin, Habersham, Lumpkin, White, Rabun, Dawson and Gilmer are in full support of this project.

§           Equity Loan Award: $484,010 / Total Project Cost: $1.01 million

CCity of Alamo – Facilitating Business Growth and Development / Water and Sewer Infrastructure Improvements

Equity grant funds will be used to assist with the construction of public water and sewer infrastructure improvements to support the expansion of Corrections Corporation of America, Inc. d.b.a. Wheeler Correctional Facility in Wheeler County. Based on data from the Georgia Department of Labor, Wheeler County and the surrounding region has lost over 6,368 manufacturing jobs since 1995. The Corrections Corporation of America, Inc. is committed to expanding their Wheeler facility from just over 1,600 beds to 2,500 beds and to creating 75 new jobs, retaining 288 jobs, and making a private investment of approximately $30 million dollars. The overall project will consist of the expansion of the prison, construction of a 200,000 gallon elevated water tank, upgrading the prison well pump and sewer improvements to enable the City to treat the excess sewerage from the plant expansion.

§           Equity Grant Award: $500,000 / Total Project Cost: $38.5 million

§           Create 75 new jobs / Retain 288 jobs

Development Authority of Emanuel County & City of Swainsboro – Enhancing Regional Competitiveness / Road and Water Infrastructure

Equity grant funds will be used to assist with the construction of an access road and production well to support the development of a 570 acre industrial park located south of Swainsboro, approximately 1.4 miles north of I-16 on the west side of SR-4/US Hwy 1. Lack of water, sewer and road access into the industrial site impair the county’s ability to attract new business, especially those prospects who intend to locate quickly. The construction of a large capacity deep well suitable for serving the entire Park and extension of the existing entrance into the Park are proposed to increase marketability of the Park’s industrial sites, located less than 90 miles from the Georgia Port in Savannah.

§           Equity Grant Award: $500,000 / Total Project Cost: $1.9 million

Douglas-Coffee County Industrial Authority – Enhancing Regional Competitiveness / Speculative Building

Equity loan funds will be used to assist with the construction of a 100,000 square foot speculative industrial building in Park West in Coffee County. Coffee County’s spec building program has proven successful and has brought 2,283 jobs to the area. This will be the community’s fifth spec building and will benefit not only Coffee County, but the region as well, as it has been reported that over 20 percent of Coffee County’s workforce does not reside in Coffee County. The Georgia Department of Labor (DOL) located a new Regional Career Center in Park West and, as a part of its strategic plan, the Industrial Authority entered into a long-term agreement with DOL and private partners to construct a new Regional Workforce Development Center at the Park Entrance, which serves Atkinson, Bacon and Coffee counties as a source for regional labor delivery. There is also a marketing strategy and plan to market this speculative building to other prospective businesses for Park West.

§           Equity Loan Award:  $500,000 / Total Project Cost: $2.9 million

Butts County – Facilitating Business Growth and Expansion / Sewer Infrastructure

Equity grant funds will be used to assist with sewer infrastructure improvements to support the commercial development of an 80-acre site located at the intersection of I-75 and SR-16. The proposed project will benefit Great American Travel Center and a popular hotel chain, as well as provide increased capacity for future commercial growth and the creation of jobs. The proposed project lies within the I-75/SR-16 interchange approximately 10 miles west of the city of Jackson and requires the installation of 5,240 feet of 8-inch gravity sewer and a sewage pump station with 4,975 feet of 5-inch force main. The pump station capacity will be sized to provide the future projected wastewater needs of the Travel Center, hotel and the northeast and southeast quadrants of the Interchange. Great American Travel Center seeks to expand its operations to Butts County and will offer full services and amenities to highway motorists with a concept design that includes two well known restaurants. The private sector partner also plans to locate a well known hotel chain at this exit in Butts County.

§           Equity Grant Award: $500,000 / Total Project Cost: $7.9 million / Create 71 new jobs

Baldwin County – Facilitating Business Growth and Expansion / Road Infrastructure

Equity grant funds will be used to assist with road infrastructure improvements to support the build-out of a large commercial center at the intersection of Log Cabin Road and Highway 441. The proposed commercial development includes as an anchor tenant a 93,000 square foot Kroger Marketplace, restaurants, a drive-in bank and other retail establishments. The development is focused on meeting the needs of Baldwin County’s growing population as well as supporting the growing tourism industry at Lake Sinclair. US Hwy 441 is one of the only major highways leading from the north Georgia border to the Florida border in the south. Baldwin County has previously invested over $5 million in water and sewer infrastructure with the goal of developing this section of Hwy 441 as an economic development corridor. This proposed project will result in over $16 million in private investment, the retention of 81 jobs and the creation of 89 new positions, or 55 FTE jobs within 24 months of start-up.

§           Equity Grant Award: $200,000 / Total Project Cost: $16.9 million

§           Create 55 new jobs / Retain 81 jobs

Whitfield County – Facilitating Business Growth and Expansion / Road Construction

Equity grant funds will be used to assist with the construction of a new county access road to support the location of International Vinyl Company US, Inc. (IVC) to a 44-acre industrial site located southeast of Dalton. IVC plans to construct a state of the art manufacturing and distribution facility that will produce the longest vinyl line in the world. IVC US Inc, is a subsidiary of the second largest vinyl manufacturer in Europe with headquarters in Belgium. The facility, currently under construction at a cost of $70 million, will be IVC US Inc.’s first manufacturing facility in the USA

§         Equity Grant Award: $300,000 / Total Project Cost: $76.3 million / Create 150+ new jobs by 2013

            The AIRGeorgia Fund is intended to accelerate the completion of critical airport infrastructure improvements, including expanding runways to 5,000 linear feet in order to support increased air traffic in Georgia’s Level I and Level II airports in rural areas With today’s announcement, 13 communities have received grant awards to support runway extensions and needed infrastructure. Today’s AIRGeorgia award of $1.5 million is leveraged against more than $2.8 million in total project costs.

City of Hazlehurst – Level I Airport – Runway Extension

AIRGeorgia grant funds will be used to assist with improvements to the Hazlehurst Municipal Airport (HMA) including extending the airport’s sole runway from 4,508 feet to 5,008 feet. The runway construction will include storm drainage improvements, base, paving, striping, associated erosion control and aviation lighting. Lighting improvements include connecting to existing PAPI and MIRL systems as well as installing new lighting along the proposed extension. HMA is owned and operated by the City of Hazlehurst and situated on approximately 150 acres. The airport, operates with a full-time manager and provides 24-hour self service fuel station.

§           AIRGeorgia Grant Award: $1.5 million

§             Total Project Cost: $2.8 million

            Governor Perdue and the board recognized the most recent recipient of technology grants from the BRIDGE (Broadband Rural Initiative to Develop Georgia’s Economy) Fund. The BRIDGE fund program is designed to support the build-out of broadband infrastructure in Georgia’s more rural areas.

City of Elberton

BRIDGE grant funds will support fiber optic connectivity within the Richard B. Russell State Park. Areas to be served with OneGeorgia funds include: Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course and clubhouse area, Olympic Rowing Center Boat Ramp, Mega Ramp and the McNeely Lakeside Pavilion. The Park drew is projected to draw over 600,000 visitors in 2010 and generate an estimated $35 million for the local economy. It also supports an estimated 407 local jobs. Other project activities include providing fiber connectivity to 800 rural homes as part of the 67-mile system expansion. In 2001, the City of Elberton constructed a hybrid fiber optic-coaxial cable network to serve residences and business in a 5-square mile area in and around the city limits of Elberton by investing over $6.5 million. This new system was named ElbertonNET. ElbertonNET offers Cable TV, high speed data and Internet access and Voice-over-Internet Protocol digital telephone service. Currently, the system serves 2,442 customers. In December 2009, an ElbertonNET expansion project began to connect unserved and underserved rural areas of Elbert County where there is no incumbent broadband provider. Future plans for the Park include the construction of a lodge/conference center that will benefit from broadband service.

§         BRIDGE Grant Award:$62,009

§         Total Project Cost: $1,180,695

            The Regional E 9-1-1 Fund provides grants or costs associated with the start-up of E 9-1-1 emergency services in Georgia’s most economically challenged counties. The Regional E 9-1-1 Fund, created in 2002, was established to create multi-county emergency management centers in rural communities where a single county system was not financially sustainable. When the program was established in 2002, 31 counties were identified without any emergency services. With today’s announcement of Talbot County, only three counties remain without sufficient emergency services. Governor Perdue acknowledged the partnership between the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the OneGeorgia Authority as critical to the success of the program over the last eight years. Today the Authority congratulated the local leadership on the expansion of the Middle Flint E 9-1-1 Center to also serve Talbot County.

Talbot County

Grant funds will be used to assist Talbot County in joining the existing seven-county Middle Flint Regional E 9-1-1 Authority which consists of Dooly, Macon, Marion, Schley, Sumter, Taylor and Webster counties. The Middle Flint Regional E 9-1-1 Authority received a $700,000 E 9-1-1 grant to assist in start-up costs on August 7, 2003. OneGeorgia funds will be used to assist in the costs of purchasing equipment, addressing and signage. The project is estimated to provide 6,500 persons in Talbot County with E 9-1-1 service. The Middle Flint Regional E 9-1-1 Authority has existing E 9-1-1 capability and has been successful. The Authority is allowing Talbot County to take advantage of their expertise with signed agreements in place. This will save the County a great deal in start-up costs as well as lowering the overall cost for the system.

§         E 9-1-1 Grant Award: $118,471

§         Total Project Cost: $141,396

             The board reviewed the latest ESB Loan Fund Guarantee recipients. The Entrepreneur-Small Business Loan Guarantee Program was created to support the growth of entrepreneurs and small businesses in less developed areas. The ESB Loan Guarantee Program is the Authority’s first public-private partnership, providing a shared risk with Georgia lending institutions for loans ranging from $35,000 to $250,000.

Jennifer Howard, DVM dba Boulevard Veterinary Hospital/Pinnacle Bank (Elberton)

The loan proceeds will be used to purchase new equipment, leasehold improvements and working capital in support of Dr. Jennifer Howard, DVM. Dr. Howard, who resides in Madison County, will market to those individuals living in the surrounding neighborhoods that are within walking distance of the small animal hospital.

§         ESB Loan Guarantee Amount: $75,758 / Total Loan Amount: $181,516

§         Proposed new jobs to be created: 3

 Waste Away Services, LLC / Pinnacle Bank (Elberton)

The loan proceeds will be used to purchase additional residential and commercial containers. In June 2006, an ESB loan guarantee totaling $15,750 was made to Pinnacle Bank in Elberton to support the start-up of this residential trash company. The company has been successful and requires additional residential and commercial containers to support their growth. Currently, Waste Away Services employs 5 and expects to create 1 or 2 additional jobs.

§         ESB Loan Guarantee Amount: $80,000 / Total Loan Amount: $160,000

§         Retained jobs: 5 / Proposed new jobs: 2

           The OneGeorgia Authority was created utilizing one-third of the state’s tobacco settlement to assist the state’s most economically challenged areas. The OneGeorgia Authority is expected to receive about $1.6 billion over the 25-year term of the settlement. From the Authority’s inception to-date, OneGeorgia has made 458 awards totaling $251 million leveraged against total project investment of $5 billion, a return on investment of 20 to 1. Impacting 132 economically-depressed counties, more than 45,000 jobs have been retained and created.

 
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