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The Grady County Joint Development Authority continues to make investments to enhance the Heritage Industrial Complex.
As part of the authority’s lease with Big Bend Agri Services, annual improvements are required. Julian Brown, JDA executive director, reported Tuesday that a project to improve air flow and ventilation in the section of the Heritage Industrial Complex that is leased to Big Bend has been undertaken.
Brown says the authority is spending $25,000 to install fans and louvers in the warehouse to improve ventilation and lower temperatures during the summertime heat.
Brown also announced plans for the authority along with the Chamber of Commerce and the Cairo High School College and Career Academy to host a Job Fair on May 20. The event will be open to high school students from 9 a.m. until noon and then the fair will open to the general public from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. The event will be held in the Cairo High School gym.
“Everyone is struggling to hire employees and this will be an excellent time for seniors who will be graduating who are looking to enter the workforce to meet with area employers,” Brown said.
The JDA director also reported that Nivel Manufacturing is hosting its own job fair on Saturday, May 1. According to Brown, Nivel officials say they have an immediate need for 20 employees for its second shift.
In other business, the authority:
• Heard a report from Brown about the construction of a new speculative building at the Milestone Industrial Park. A pre-construction meeting was recently held and six prospective bidders attended. Once required advertising is completed, Brown hopes to award a bid in late June or early July. The authority has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the state for the construction of the building and has plans to borrow approximately $300,000 from four local banks to finance other related project costs.
• Heard a report from Brown and JDA attorney Thomas L. Lehman concerning the refinancing of debt by the Turner Furniture Company. As part of the refinancing, the company will pay off the debt on its store located in Beachton. The existing loan was in the name of the JDA but the debt was paid by Turner’s. Now that the debt is being paid off the property will transfer into the name of the company and Turner’s will cease to pay the JDA a payment in lieu of taxes, which amounts to approximately $25,000 annually.
• Met with Jennifer Jarvis the new executive director of the chamber. Brown introduced Jarvis to the authority and JDA Chairman Charles M. Stafford invited her to attend all future authority meetings.