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Mathis negotiating with new ag business

Chadd Mathis, executive director of the Grady County Joint Development Authority, briefed authority members Tuesday about a prospective new employer he is working with and referring to as “Project Grow.”
Mathis could not elaborate due to confidentiality and ongoing recruitment, but he said the company is agriculture related and has operations in the northern United States.
“It would not be a whole lot of jobs and we are in the early stages of talks. I will keep you informed as we progress,” Mathis said.
The prospect would need approximately 50 acres, but would employ fewer than 25 people, Mathis said.
In other business this week, Mathis updated the JDA members on his efforts to have one of the local industrial parks certified as Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD).
“There are only about 20 in the state and I am working toward getting Phase 2 of Milestone Industrial Park GRAD certified,” Mathis said.
According to the JDA chief, prospects needing to move forward with a project quickly would be directed to the GRAD website and shown those communities first.
He said there is a significant list of criteria that must be met, but he plans on facilitating the effort and wrapping it up as soon as possible.
Mathis selected Phase 2 of the Milestone park because the JDA already has a survey of the property as well as geotechnical and topography data on the tract. He said access to the railroad is another key factor in GRAD certification.
He said this is a “high priority” for him.
JDA member Chuck Thomas suggested the Wight Road industrial park would be another possible GRAD candidate and Mathis agreed.
“Whichever you can get certified the easiest and quickest I would be comfortable with. Once we can get them here, we can always show them other locations,” Thomas said.

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