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Governor Perdue Announces OneGeorgia Awards; Approves FY07 Budget

Tuesday, June 13, 2006  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Governor Perdue Announces OneGeorgia Awards; Approves FY07 Budget

METTER, Ga. - Governor Sonny Perdue and members of the OneGeorgia Authority Board approved today the 2007 budget totaling $56.3 million which provides continued funding for a variety of programs and initiatives focused on strengthening rural Georgia’s competitiveness, creating new jobs and promoting small business and entrepreneurial activities.

The Governor and the board also approved approximately $4 million in grant and loan awards from the OneGeorgia Authority’s Equity and EDGE programs to spur economic development in Georgia’s most economically distressed communities. These awards will assist with a variety of economic development projects in rural Georgia to create jobs, stimulate new private investment, support the retention of existing jobs and enhance regional competitiveness through capacity building projects.

The projects along with their respective local representatives were recognized at the regularly scheduled OneGeorgia board meeting held in Metter today. The OneGeorgia Authority was created utilizing one-third of Georgia’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.

The Equity awards are designed to assist communities and regions build 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.

Nine Equity awards totaling $2,232,148 included seven grants of $1,972,354 and two loans totaling $124,794 were made today. These awards include:

City of Davisboro – Grange Specialty Wood Products, LLC
Equity grant and loan funds will be used to assist with the location of Grange Specialty Wood Products, LLC (GSWP), a manufacturer of fence posts and other special-sized wood products. Grant funds will be used for public infrastructure improvements, and loan funds will be used for building construction and improvements. The company will be the first tenant in the Davisboro Industrial Park. The improvements will serve all 98 acres of the Davisboro Industrial Park and include water, septic and road construction. The company has committed to the creation of 30 jobs by the end of 2007 and a $1 million private investment. Davisboro is an ideal location for the company because more than 10 percent of the state’s planted pines are located within a 40 mile radius.

  • Equity Grant Award: $124,794
  • Equity Loan Award: $135,000
  • Total Project Cost: $1,635,524 (Private Investment = $1,228,480)
  • Date of Award: 6/13/06
  • 30 new jobs

Greene County – Flying J Truck Stop Travel Plaza
Equity grant funds will be used to assist with construction of sewer improvements that will assist with the location of a 15,000 square-foot Flying J Truck Stop Travel Plaza, creating 60 jobs at I-20 and State Road 77 in Greene County. Flying J, a Utah-based company with more than 165 travel plazas and 14,000 employees located in 41 states, plans to have a full service Travel Plaza including a country restaurant, two fast-food restaurants, a concessions store, a fuel center and bathroom and shower facilities. While the infrastructure will support the Flying J Travel Plaza, it is anticipated that the infrastructure investment will result in further private development of the now undeveloped exit.

  • Equity Grant Award: $500,000
  • Total Project Cost: $9,758,000 (Private Investment = $7,300,000)
  • Date of Award: 6/13/06
  • 60 new jobs

City of Cornelia – Sewer Improvements Equity grant funds will be used for construction of a sewer extension to serve two major employers: Global Tech, a maker of specialty candles, and Applegate Manufacturing, a maker of insulation for heating and cooling equipment made from recycled materials, and 20 additional businesses along State Route 441. These jobs combined with other commercial businesses make the cumulative total of direct job impact at least 400. With these improvements, Applegate will explore the possibility of expanding operations which would result in 20 new jobs and a $3 million private investment. In addition to the direct jobs that this project will retain, tourism activities and small business/commercial development are expected to be positively impacted by the sewer improvements and proposed widening of State Road 441.

  • Equity Grant Award: $300,000
  • Total Project Cost: $3,779,233 (Private Investment = $3,000,000)
  • Date of Award: 6/13/06
  • Create 20 new jobs; Retain 270 jobs

McIntosh County Industrial Authority – Workforce Development
Equity grant funds will be used to support a Workforce Training Center. The center will provide skills training for McIntosh, Long and Glynn County residents. Phase I will involve the location of three modular units that are in excellent condition which are being donated by the McIntosh Board of Education (BOE). Curriculum includes healthcare-related industry, hospitality training, adult literacy, business/computer and office technology. Other partners are McIntosh BOE and Coastal Georgia Community College. Strategies include the opportunity for high school students to earn postsecondary credit in a specific field, and empowering students of low-income families to receive job skills without leaving the high school campus. Adults will be able to attend courses and programs in close proximity to their homes. Long-term plans focus on the construction of a “stand alone” facility, accommodating anticipated growth in the area. With a 50 percent high school drop out rate, McIntosh County ranks 151 out of 159 in per capita income.

  • Equity Grant Award: $177,756
  • Total Project Cost: $284,527 (Other Public Investment = $106,771)
  • Date of Award: 6/13/06

Development Authority of Lumpkin County – Timken US Corporation
Equity grant funds will be used to construct public water and road infrastructure improvements to support the expansion of Timken US Corporation and their new distribution center which will be located in the new 50-acre Red Oaks Flat Industrial Park off Highway 60 and a few miles south of Georgia 400. As the premier occupant in the new industrial park, Timken's expansion is seen as a catalyst in promoting industrial growth and economic vitality in Northeast Georgia. Timken has operated their 148,000 square-foot manufacturing facility in Dahlonega since 1980 where they employ 250. This plant produces needle rollers used in automotive and industrial applications including General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Timken plans to construct a 15,000 square-foot distribution center. The distribution center as well as a 6,000 square-foot expansion at its existing Dahlonega operation will result in 50 new jobs and a private investment between $14 and $16 million.

  • Equity Grant Award: $193,369
  • Total Project Cost: $15,496,431 (Private Investment = $15,259,000)
  • Date of Award: 6/13/06
  • 50 new jobs

Montgomery County Development Authority – Industrial Park Road Improvements
Equity grant funds will be used to construct an accel/decel lane to serve the entrance of the 56-acre Higgston Industrial Park. The park’s recently-announced anchor tenant, Patriot Gas Company, has committed to an investment of $900,000 and the immediate creation of six jobs within the park. With the landing of this anchor tenant, the urgency for the road improvements has increased. In addition, the accel/decel lane is seen as an opportunity to enhance the industrial park to prospective industries as heavy trucks and other vehicular traffic will have an easier time entering and exiting the park. The application indicated several prospects to the park expressed concern with the absence of an accel/decel lane. As a result, the new lane will alleviate a potential public safety hazard. Georgia Department of Transportation funds were not available for the project to meet the needs of the anchor tenant.

  • Equity Grant Award: $61,820
  • Total Project Cost: $1,044,556 (Private Investment = $900,000)
  • Date of Award: 6/13/06.
  • 6 new jobs

Dodge County-Eastman Development Authority – Industrial Park Land Acquisition
Equity grant funds will assist with the acquisition of 75 acres to support the expansion of the Heart of Georgia Airport Industrial Park. Less than 15 acres remain in the existing park where infrastructure enhances the cost effectiveness of the expansion. In addition, the proposed aviation park expansion is adjacent to the Georgia Aviation Technical School and the Regional Airport where runway extensions have pushed the runway to 6,400 feet. The proposed project is expected to improve both local and regional competitiveness as well as support the continued growth of the aerospace industry in rural Georgia. By expanding the industrial park which already serves as the home base for several aerospace-related industries, the applicant reflects a sound strategy by building on the critical mass of aviation resources and industry which will provide workforce training and job opportunities across the region.

  • Equity Grant Award: $200,000
  • Total Project Cost: $265,892 (Other Public Investment = $65,892)
  • Date of Award: 6/13/06

Joint Development Authority of Franklin, Hart and Stephens Counties – Downtown Revitalization
Equity grant funds will be used to assist with streetscape improvements, demolition of the 30-year old canopies and other downtown revitalization efforts in the city of Toccoa. The region is anchored by Lake Hartwell, Georgia Foothills and significant history/heritage. The communities of Toccoa, Lavonia, Royston and Hartwell share tremendous regional tourism opportunities that can be maximized when downtown areas are open and inviting for tourists and visitors. Downtown Toccoa, the region’s largest city, has shown a steady economic decline for nearly 26 years and serves as a gateway to North Georgia. The application contained numerous letters of support from local businesses who pledged to retain existing jobs in addition to the creation of new jobs as well as make significant private investment in façade improvements.

  • Equity Grant Award: $339,409
  • Total Project Cost: $4,112,719 (Private Investment = $2,765,500)
  • Date of Award: 6/13/06
  • Create 25 new jobs; Retain 61 jobs

Development Authority of the City of Gordon – Industrial Park Infrastructure Improvements
Equity grant funds will be used to assist with infrastructure improvements (water, sewer and road) to serve the 18-acre Hartford South Business/Industrial Park. The park is needed to support the growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs in this rural area. The strategy includes subdividing the acreage into parcels ranging in size from under two acres to 5.5 acres. In addition, the proposed water and sewer improvements will support an additional 250 acres adjacent to the business park which is under negotiation for purchase by the local government and located near The Fall Line Freeway. The infrastructure supports existing small business needs but also is a capacity-building investment for future growth resulting from completion of the Fall Line Freeway.

  • Equity Grant Award: $200,000
  • Total Project Cost: $549,050 (Other Public Investment = $349,050)
  • Date of Award: 6/13/06

Governor Perdue commended the communities receiving Equity awards as well as the quality of the projects receiving state financial support. “Today we are leveraging $2.2 million in Equity grants and loans against nearly $37 million in total project costs. We are protecting 331 existing jobs and creating nearly 200 new jobs. These nine awards reflect the program’s diversity – infrastructure activities to support new private investment and jobs, a workforce training center, downtown revitalization and tourism.”

Governor Perdue and the board also recognized the four recipients of EDGE awards. The four awards, totaling more than $1.6 million and leveraged against total project costs of nearly $45 million, are projected to create 750 new jobs. The purpose of the EDGE Fund is to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants that are being considered as a relocation or expansion site and are competing with another state for location of a project.

“We are extremely proud to welcome these fine companies to Georgia,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “It is critical that we continue to grow and diversify our economy, attracting large, medium and small companies to join Georgia’s successful business family.”

The companies and awards recognized today include:

Joint Development Authority of Winder-Barrow County/Chico’s FAS, Inc.
The EDGE funds will be used to assist with the acquisition of a 49,765 square-foot building located on 19.22 acres for the location of a customer service center for Chico’s FAS, Inc. This facility is adjacent to Chico’s 235,000 square-foot distribution center that employs 211 in Barrow County. Chico’s, headquartered in Fort Myers, Fl., is a specialty retailer of private label clothing and accessories for women. The company has been in business since 1983 and now operates over 672 stores throughout the United States, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Both the distribution center and the proposed customer service center provide jobs across a large regional area. The company has committed to actively recruit new employees from Barrow, Jackson and Madison Counties.

  • EDGE Award: $200,000
  • Total Project Cost: $10,356,827 (Private Investment = $10,156,827)
  • Date of Award: 4/3/06
  • 134 new jobs in two years
  • Interstate competition: outsourcing to Amazon or Yahoo

Development Authority of Columbus, Georgia/Road America
The EDGE funds will be used to assist with site preparation costs in support of the location of Road America, a full service wholesale and retail provider of motor club plans. Road America is part of the MAPFRE Group, a mutual insurance conglomerate based in Madrid, Spain. The company plans to construct a 25,000 square-foot call center on a 3.73-acre site on Victory Drive in Columbus. Road America currently services over 150 corporate clients including Alltel, Harley-Davidson, GEICO and more than 13 million members. The project received strong regional support from Chattahoochee and Talbot Counties.

  • EDGE Award: $336,000
  • Total Project Cost: $5,581,960 (Private Investment = $4,188,460)
  • Date of Award: 4/3/06
  • 100 new jobs in first year increasing to 300 new jobs in four years
  • Interstate competition: Florida

Development Authority of Emanuel County and the City of Swainsboro/ R&F Marketing
The EDGE funds will be used to assist with building improvements to a 62,000 square-foot facility located on Highway 80 East in Swainsboro in support of the location of R&F Marketing, a manufacturer and distributor of a large line of home accessories. Furthermore, the company wishes to improve and expand the facility that is situated on 6.35 acres to 103,000 square feet. R&F will manufacture, warehouse and distribute pillows, table runners, comforters, towels, throws, dog beds and giftware at the Swainsboro location. These activities are currently being performed at a New Jersey facility. Some of its clients include T.J. Max, Marshall's, Kirkland's, Ross, Tuesday Morning and the Bombay Trading Company. With this expansion, the company will also target smaller retailers in the southeast.

  • EDGE Award: $125,000
  • Total Project Cost: $2,102,500 (Private Investment = $1,315,000)
  • Date of Award: 4/26/06
  • 66 new jobs in two years
  • Interstate competition: Monroe, North Carolina

Douglas-Coffee County Industrial Authority/American Insulated Wire, Inc.
The EDGE funds will be used to assist with building acquisition costs in support of the location of American Insulated Wire (AIW), a national supplier of quality wire and cable to electrical distributors and other manufacturers. The company has a catalog of more than 22,000 products that serve the residential, industrial, institutional, OEM, utility and telecommunications markets. AIW, headquartered in Mansfield, Massachusetts, is a subsidiary of Leviton Corporation that was founded in 1906 and is headquartered in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The company plans to locate in a 342,475 square-foot facility (formerly occupied by Tecumseh) located in the Southwest Industrial Park in Douglas on a 53.27-acre tract.

  • EDGE Award: $1,000,000
  • Total Project Cost: $26,550,000 (Private Investment = $25,400,000)
  • Date of Award: 5/16/06
  • 250 new jobs in two years
  • Interstate competition: Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina

Today Governor Perdue also congratulated Upson County for receiving a $10,000 grant from the Entrepreneur Friendly Implementation Fund (EFIF). The grant program is only available to communities who have successfully earned the designation as “Entrepreneur Friendly” counties. The $10,000 grant award to Upson County will be matched with local and other private investment to create EMBARC (Entrepreneur Management & Business Assistance Resource Center). EMBARC, a fully staffed hands-on resource center to support business start-ups and entrepreneurs, is the result of a partnership between the Thomaston-Upson County Chamber & Development Authority and Flint River Technical College. It will serve Upson, Talbot and Taylor counties.

Leaders from Bacon, Brantley and Hart Counties were recognized as the most recent communities to earn the “Entrepreneur Friendly” designation. To date, 18 Georgia counties have completed the rigorous process of identifying local entrepreneurs, understanding the economical and social impact of small businesses and entrepreneurs and developing a tool kit that can be used to support small business and entrepreneurial growth. Another 62 Georgia communities are in the process of earning the designation.

Governor Perdue also recognized the most recent ESB (Entrepreneur Small Business) Loan Guarantee Recipients. The ESB Loan Guarantee Program was the result of Governor Perdue’s 2004 Executive Order charging the OneGeorgia Authority to seek innovative ways to spur and support entrepreneurial enterprises in Georgia’s rural communities. The ESB Loan Guarantee Program is available to support small business start-ups and expansions located in any of OneGeorgia’s 112 directly eligible rural counties.

Cason Morris International, Inc. / Flag Bank (Vienna)
The ESB loan guarantee will be used to support Cason Morris International, Inc., located in Vienna. Cason Morris International is a full service machine shop offering milling of ferrous/nonferrous and superalloy materials. The company currently employs two and expects to create two to four more jobs.

  • ESB Loan Guarantee Amount: $15,750
  • Proposed new jobs to be created – 2 to 4

Floyd’s Fiberglass, Inc. / Flag Bank (Montezuma)
The ESB loan guarantee will be used to support Floyd’s Fiberglass, Inc., a start-up boat manufacturer located in Montezuma. John Floyd started his business at the Business Expansion Center, a business incubator at South Georgia Technical College. Floyd's will produce 42 Lancer Boats (small fiberglass boats) for the first year at a retail price of $3,048 per unit. The second year projection is 60 boats and the third year projection is 100 boats.

  • ESB Loan Guarantee Amount: $50,000
  • Proposed new jobs to be created – 3

Since the authority was created in October 2000, nearly $150 million has been awarded in grants and loans. These projects support the creation and/or retention of over 31,520 jobs in 113 of Georgia’s most economically depressed counties. Additional information is available on the authority’s website:

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