EC Commission Again Discussed Economic Development

March 7, 2014

Economic development has been a popular topic of conversation for the Elbert County Board of Commissioners, and that trend continued last night during the commission’s work session yesterday evening.

A plan of action is already being developed should the ¾ mill increase for economic development pass on the May 20th primary.

Executive Director of the Elbert County Development Authority Beth Eavenson elaborated on that plan.

“We are going to contract with a company, which will have to go through a competitive selection process to build a spec building that is between fifty and sixty thousand square feet”, explained Eavenson.

The building would be located in the Elberton Industrial Park on a track of land off of Mineral Springs Road and Progress Boulevard.

The building could be expanded up to a maximum of 70-80 thousand square feet if need be.

Commissioner Kenneth Ashworth, however, wanted other options to be considered incase other opportunities arose.

“Can you look at it from all angles and say this is best, or say this right here may be better, just look at all the plans that could be there and then present them”, said Ashworth.

Eavenson said having nothing to offer a prospective manufacturer will cause a community like ours to be eliminated from landing that potential manufacturer.

“So if you don’t have a building, a lot of times that’s the first thing that eliminates you. It doesn’t matter if you’re willing to help them train the work force, it doesn’t matter if you have land for them to build on, it doesn’t matter if you’re willing to work with them on permitting”, said Eavenson. “What matters is, you didn’t have what they were looking for, so you were eliminated before you had a chance to offer them anything.

The proposed spec building as of right now would cost anywhere from 1.5-2 million dollars, depending on the amount of site work that had to be done.

However, this will be all for not if the May 20th referendum does not pass a general vote by the Elbert County citizens.