Economic Development Becoming a Focus Point for EC Commission

June 6, 2013

Moving forward, Economic Development is going to be one of the primary focus points for the Elbert County Board of Commissioners.

With the Athens area Caterpillar Plant slated to begin manufacturing soon, the Elbert County Commission are discussing ways to be aggressive in landing one of the plants suppliers, which are expected to locate near the plant.

Beth Eavenson, Elbert County’s Economic Development Director says one thing to make that process easier is to actually have something to offer for those suppliers that plan to relocate.

“It’s hard to attract a prospect if you don’t have anything concrete to offer. Land and property and buildings are three of the most commonly used incentives in economic development”, explained Eavenson. “So that is something that we want to build on moving forward as a development authority.”

An idea that was bounced around during Tuesday’s work session of the Elbert County Commission, was for a millage rate increase of ¾ mills for a period of three years until a new S.P.L.O.S.T. can be voted on to fund the construction of a new spec building.

Elbert County Commission Chair Tommy Lyon says it all could time out perfectly.

“If we time this thing right, the highway department is supposed to four lane SR 72 to Elbert County only, and we get a building within the next year or two years, we can hit all that at the same time”, said Lyon. “The odds are we can get someone out of it, but there are no guarantees, but if we don’t do anything, I can guarantee you we are going to go down.”

According to Elbert County Administrator Bob Thomas, any vote to change the millage rate would occur in the month of July or August, and if they plan on increasing the rate, then public hearings will need to be held.

No official decisions were made regarding this topic, as Tuesday’s gathering of the Elbert County Commission was only a work session, where only discussion can take place.