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Members of the Grady County Joint Development Authority are being told the JDA likely could be awarded a state grant of up to $500,000 toward the construction of a new 40,000 square foot spec building that is proposed to be built in the Milestone Industrial Park annex.
JDA executive director Julian Brown updated the authority on the project during the board’s August meeting, which was held Tuesday.
According to Brown, grant writer Bob Roberson has told authority officials the JDA would eligible for a $500,000 OneGeorgia grant. The preliminary engineering on the expandable speculative building is in the process of being completed and Brown says he is waiting on Robinson to finalize the grant application.
“If we aren’t successful, then that would completely change things,” Brown said Tuesday. The JDA executive director said that with $500,000 in grant funding the authority could seek additional financing for the balance. According to Brown, the state would take a second mortgage position on the facility which would make it acceptable to other sources of financing for the balance of the project funding.
Authority member Drew Pyrz asked Brown for a timeline on the project.
“Once the grant is finalized we can advertise for bids. We are just waiting on Bob (Roberson),” Brown said.
Brown also said that once it was made public that the proposed building would be 40,000 square feet in size he has had a number of calls from potential prospects interested in that size facility.
“Once construction starts I believe there will be lots of interest,” the JDA executive director said.
In other business Tuesday, the authority:
•Heard a report from Brown that he had filled in some additional potholes at the Heritage Industrial Complex with cement. According to Brown, officials with the largest tenant at the facility, Big Bend Agri Service, were satisfied with Brown’s patch work, but the JDA executive director said a more permanent solution may need to be considered as the authority considers future capital projects.
•Heard a report from Brown concerning local participation in an International Economic Development Council project. According to Brown, two volunteers representing IEDC would come to Grady County for up to two weeks at no cost to the JDA to assist the authority in select project analysis. For example, Brown said the group could analyze the local response in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael and the March 2019 tornado to determine what could have been done better with regards to local industry recovering from the storm and its damages. The JDA executive director said he would also be consulting with Cairo city manager Chris Addleton to help select the program of work the volunteers would engage in through the IEDC memorandum of understanding.
•Authorized Chairman Charles M. Stafford to execute the audit engagement letter with Tucker, Plymel & Davis, PC, the firm which has served as the JDA auditor for the last several years. According to Brown, the cost of the annual audit will be $5,900, which he said was about $2,000 less than the next lowest bidder.
•Welcomed guests at the meeting including Grady County Commissioner Phillip Drew, Grady County Administrator J.C. (Buddy) Johnson III, and former Cairo High School principal and retired Chattahoochee County School Superintendent David McCurry.