Coweta In Focus
Are there really two county development authorities?
by Greg Wright, President, Coweta County Development Authority
“Are there really two county development authorities?”
That is a question I hear many times when I speak to local civic organizations, and the answer is… yes. Back in the 1960s, Coweta County, along with several other Georgia counties, decided to take a more proactive approach to economic development, so they approached the state and asked to create a development authority.
H.R. 274-596 was introduced by Representatives Blalock and Davis and proposed an amendment to the State Constitution to create the Coweta County Development Authority. The bill outlined the powers, authority, funding, purposes and procedures connected with the proposed authority. The bill passed the General Assembly and was presented to and approved by the voters in 1966. Thus, the Coweta County Development Authority was created.
As counties like Coweta had success through their development authorities, more and more Georgia counties asked that the State Constitution be amended to create similar organizations in their counties. Rather than constantly amending the Constitution, the General Assembly passed the Georgia Development Authorities Law, which authorized a development authority in every city and county in the state. All that was necessary for a development authority to be activated was for the local governing body – either a county commission or a city council – to pass a resolution. Coweta County did this in 1973, creating the Development Authority of Coweta County. As you may have read, the City of Senoia recently activated a city development authority using this same method.
The powers of both our constitutional development authority and our statutory development authority are outlined in the documents that created them. Having two county development authorities may seem cumbersome and redundant; however, having the two provides us with greater flexibility when working with economic development prospects.
At a time when competition for economic development projects is at an all-time high, having the two organizations working together for quality job growth helps our community be more proactive and more creative in meeting the needs of our prospects.