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Governor Perdue Announces OneGeorgia Awards

Friday, December 19, 2003  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Douglas - Governor Sonny Perdue announced today over $14 million in grant and loan awards from the OneGeorgia Authority to nine of Georgia's most economically distressed communities. These funds will assist with a variety of economic development projects in rural Georgia aimed at creating new jobs and private investment, the retention of existing jobs, capacity building projects, and centralized dispatch Regional E-911 systems. The regularly scheduled OneGeorgia board meeting was held today at South Georgia College in Douglas, Georgia.

"These awards support the creation of nearly 700 new jobs for Georgians as well as the retention of 350 jobs in a variety of industry sectors including manufacturing, food processing, distribution centers, and value-added agriculture," said Governor Sonny Perdue, chair of the Authority. "Stimulating new job growth and private investment is a top priority of my administration."

Equity awards total $1,825,587 and include two grants totaling $941,426 and two loans totaling $884,161. EDGE awards total $12,150,000. The E-911 award totals $400,000.

The Equity awards, round one of FY 2004 funding, are designed to assist communities and regions in building the necessary infrastructure to support economic development. Project awards are given through three competitive rounds annually and are capped at $500,000. Tier 1 and 2 communities and in some cases, Tier 3 communities, are eligible for Authority Assistance. The next Equity application deadline is January 27, 2004. Awards being announced today include.

Tattnall County Development Authority

A loan of $384,161 to assist with the purchase of machinery and equipment to support the expansion of Claxton Peanut Farms, LLC, a company that processes and markets green boiled peanuts. This expansion will take place in both Evans and Tattnall counties. The partners, Ralph Cavendar and Kenny Tarver, bring over 60 years of agri-business experience to this company. Mr. Cavendar owns Antioch Farms where he grows, grades, and markets Vidalia Onions, Asian Pears, and green peanuts. Mr. Tarver is President of Mascot Pecan Shelling Company, Inc. located in Tattnall County. This project will have a regional impact as farmers in Tattnall, Evans, Candler and Bryan Counties will have a market for peanuts, as land that was previously used for tobacco production is available for peanut production. Claxton Peanut Farms, LLC commits to creating 54 full-time jobs and make an investment of $527,712.

  • $384,161 Loan
  • $914,873 Total Project Cost
  • 54 new jobs

Downtown Waycross Development Authority

A loan of $500,000 to assist with the renovation of the historic Phoenix Hotel located in downtown Waycross. Upon completion, the hotel will be anchored by a corporate tenant, an existing Ware County company; in addition to new retail, restaurant, and office space. Beef O'Brady's, a sports pub and restaurant, has committed to locating in the hotel and has a draft lease agreement in place. The hotel is expected to be a significant catalyst in spurring downtown economic activity by bringing over 120 jobs (80 existing 40 new) to the downtown area upon completion.

  • $500,000 Loan
  • $7,585,930 Total Project Cost
  • 40 new jobs; supporting 80 retained jobs; 120 total jobs

Carroll County Development Authority

A grant of $500,000 to assist with renovation costs in the creation of a mixed-use, small business incubator to help foster entrepreneurial development. The 24,454 square foot facility selected for the incubator is located in the Carrollton Industrial Park on a six-acre site. Approximately 75% of the facility is oriented to offices and suited to a wide range of tenants, ranging from blue-collar service industries to technology-oriented firms. The remainder of the facility will accommodate light-manufacturing concerns. The incubator will serve 14 counties in western Georgia and be located within the West Carrolton State Enterprise Zone. This project involves strong public participation such as partnering with Carroll Tomorrow, who will provide ongoing marketing and management. In addition, Georgia Tech's Economic Development Institute will locate their regional office directly in the incubator.

  • $500,000 Grant
  • $2,380,000 Total Project Cost

Treutlen County Development Authority

A grant of $441,426 to support infrastructure development in the Soperton-Treutlen County Industrial Park. The Industrial Park, strategically located along GA 29 and near I-16 is within two hours of the Savannah Port Terminals. The park consists of approximately 175 acres of which approximately 140 acres are available. However, the remaining acreage cannot be served by the current infrastructure. The project consists of constructing water, sewer and roadway improvements to existing systems that will allow continued development to the County's Industrial Park. This project will enable a Tier One County to attract potential industry and create jobs.

  • $441,426 Grant
  • $1,040,000 Total Project Cost

Governor Perdue also announced the third award from the OneGeorgia Regional E-911 Fund in the amount of $400,000. The Regional E-911 Fund was created with a budget of $3 million to assist the 28 counties in Georgia to create a regional dispatching system. Applications must be regional in nature with a minimum of two counties to be eligible for funding. Previous award recipients include the Middle Flint E-911 Authority with seven counties and the Tri- County E-911 Authority with three counties.

Quitman-Clay Joint E-911 Project

$400,000 to assist with the construction/renovation of a regional E-911 center that will be housed on the first floor of the Clay County Sheriff's Department located in Ft. Gaines. In addition, funds will be used to purchase dispatching and radio equipment to serve the 5,955 residents of these two Tier 1 counties. Total OneGeorgia assistance per person served is $67.17. There will be one new position created with a total E-911 staff of five. Total project cost is $544,792.

  • Award: $400,000
  • Total Project Cost: $544,792
  • Counties: Clay, Quitman
  • Total Residents: 5,955

Governor Perdue congratulated those communities who have received EDGE awards totaling $12,150,000 since the previous OneGeorgia Authority Board meeting on August 26, 2003. 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; and, where the EDGE Fund is used when the health, welfare, safety and economic security of the citizens of the state are promoted through the development and/or retention of employment opportunities. Awards being announced today include:

Tift County Development Authority

$500,000 to assist with the purchase of machinery and equipment for a new 112,500 square foot manufacturing and distribution facility on a 19-acre tract of land in Magnolia Industrial Park located in Tift County for the expansion of Aladdin Manufacturing Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mohawk Industries, Inc. With an additional private investment of $4.5 million, this expansion will provide Aladdin with its first distribution facility in Georgia. In addition, the manufacturing facility will produce carpet pads. This project is expected to create 50 new jobs by January 1, 2004. At the present time, 42 jobs have been created.

  • EDGE award $500,000
  • Total Project Cost $6,780,000 (approx. $4.5MM private investment)
  • 50 new jobs
  • Interstate competition: Florida

Tift County Development Authority

$500,000 to purchase an inventory racking system to serve the expansion of Orgill, Inc.'s existing distribution center in Crossings Park in Tifton, Tift County. Orgill, Inc., a worldwide distributor of home improvement products, will construct 330,000 square feet of new distribution space in two phases on 50 acres adjacent to their existing facility that contains 405,000 square feet. Orgill is an independent distributor of more than 70,000 different products that include hand and power tools, hardware, lumber and building materials, paint and accessories, and plumbing, electrical and other home-improvement products. The Tifton facility is one of Orgill's four distribution centers in the United States. The company committed to retain its 200 existing full-time jobs and create an additional 200 new jobs within six years of the new space being completed and operational.

  • EDGE award $500,000
  • Total Project Cost $10,000,000
  • 200 new jobs; 200 retained jobs; total jobs = 400
  • Interstate competition: Martinsburg, West Virginia

Development Authority of Peach County

$8,500,000 is requested to assist in the rehabilitation and upgrade of existing bus and motor coach manufacture and production facilities, installation of new chassis production lines, and the purchase and installation of chassis production machinery and equipment. The Blue Bird Body Company, founded in 1927, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Henlys Group in England. Henlys is the leading school bus and commercial transit manufacturer in North America. Blue Bird also manufactures luxury motor coaches under the name Wanderlodge. In addition, Blue Bird has an extensive network of distributors and service parts facilities throughout North America. This phase of planned expansion will create 630 new jobs within three years.

  • EDGE Award $8,500,000
  • Total Project Cost $59,000,000 ($32.5MM Industrial Revenue Bonds)
  • 630 new jobs; supporting retention of 1,500 jobs = 2,130 total jobs
  • Interstate competition: Iowa and South Carolina

Development Authority of Washington County

$350,000 to assist with the purchase of machinery and equipment for the production of a new high-end kaolin paper product for J.M. Huber Corporation. Additionally, the company will invest in new processing equipment to reduce energy-usage costs. With an additional private investment of $13,733,000, J.M. Huber has the ability to remain competitive with the high-quality Brazilian imports. This diversification effort will retain 246 employees at the Sandersville facility.

  • EDGE award $350,000
  • Total Project Cost $14,083,000 (approx. $13.7MM private investment)
  • Retention of 246 existing jobs
  • Interstate competition: Brazil

Development Authority of the City of Milledgeville and Baldwin County

$315,000 to purchase machinery and equipment to support a five-phase expansion of Aladdin Manufacturing Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mohawk Industries, Inc. The Milledgeville facility, which manufactures and distributes carpet fiber, will retain its existing 340 jobs, create 210 new jobs and invest approximately $15 million in the project's remaining four phases over the next three years. These phases include infrastructure, site preparation and machinery and equipment. Part of the expansion will take place in the Company's existing facilities located on Barnet Drive, while other portions will require construction of one or two 45,000-square-foot building additions.

  • EDGE award $315,000
  • Total Project Cost $15,283,662
  • 210 new jobs; 340 retained jobs; total jobs = 550
  • Interstate competition: South Carolina

Dodge County - Eastman Development Authority

$750,000 to assist with the purchase of machinery and equipment as well as the construction of an additional 4,800 square feet for expansion of Pace American of Georgia, Inc., a cargo trailer producer in Dodge County. The facility is located within the Dodge County-Eastman Industrial Park. This expansion will allow Pace to produce steel-framed, aluminum-skinned trailers and to introduce a new product line, an all-aluminum trailer. Pace, the leading manufacturer of cargo trailers in the USA, intends to hire 150 new employees and invest approximately $1 million in machinery and equipment and building modifications within two years. The facility currently employs 58.

  • EDGE award $750,000
  • Total Project Cost $1,711,723
  • 150 new jobs
  • Interstate competition: Indiana, Utah, Texas

Tift County Development Authority

$200,000 to purchase machinery and equipment for Avondale Mills, Inc., a denim manufacturer. Avondale Mills, Inc., originally known as Tift Cotton Mill, exemplifies longevity as it has been in Tift County since 1901. During March 2002, a fire broke out in the plant causing extensive damage to the plant and machinery and equipment. The company committed to retain its 85 existing full-time jobs, of which 25% have been with the company for more than 30 years, rather than relocate the functions to an existing plant in another state. The company has made a capital reinvestment of over $2 million.

  • EDGE award $200,000
  • Total Project Cost $2,800,000
  • 85 retained jobs
  • Interstate competition: Alabama and South Carolina

Okefenokee Area Development Authority

$1,000,000 to assist with the construction of a 215,000 square-foot mattress manufacturing/distribution facility for Simmons Manufacturing Company, LLC, a subsidiary of Simmons Company. Simmons is the third largest bedding manufacturer in the United States behind Sealy and Serta and currently maintains headquarters in Atlanta. The facility will be located on a 42.3-acre site on U.S. 1 in the Waycross-Ware County Industrial Park. This project will create 200 new jobs with private investment of at least $6.75 million.

  • EDGE award $1,000,000
  • Total Project Cost $12,327,931
  • 200 new jobs
  • Interstate competition: Jacksonville, Florida

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.