Coweta enjoys summer of economic growth

by Clay Neely

The summer has shown continued growth for Coweta County, according to Greg Wright, president of the Coweta County Development Authority – with Niagara Bottling continuing to take the forefront in economic development.

The Job Fair for Niagara Bottling held last week at the Coweta campus of West Georgia Technical College was a huge success, according to Wright.

“We’re very grateful for the role that the Georgia Department of Labor played in organizing the event and to the college for hosting it. The company was very pleased with the response and the quality of the applicants.”

The Niagara project was also featured at the Georgia Economic Developers Association luncheon in June. Niagara representatives spoke to the process of finding the right location for the company and how the synergy between the educational system, the local government and development made the decision to locate in Coweta an easy one to make.

“We’re very fortunate to have such an infrastructure in place,” Wright said. “It’s something that we are extremely proud of here in Coweta County.”

Construction of the new 450,000-square-foot bottling facility in Shenandoah Industrial Park has continued throughout the summer and the company remains on its projected schedule – aiming to begin production by late 2014.

Existing industry activity has remained strong with Cardinal Gates, the creator of safety gates for children and pets, seeking a variance request to allow the company to add to its existing building in Shenandoah Industrial Park.

The Patillo Construction Corporation is also currently extending Coweta Industrial Parkway to create access to more sites in the park – their clearing of Site #14 will accommodate a building of up to 1.3 million square feet.

“In addition, we remain hopeful that we will see some spec buildings going up in the near future,” Wright said. “We have talked to several developers who are interested in the Coweta market for spec building development.”

The Three Rivers Regional Commission is still looking to relocate its workforce from their office in Griffin to Newnan, while the CCDA has continued to work with Georgia Power and Pattillo Construction about more possible projects.

HealthSouth is also ready to move forward with their bond development with their tax incentive agreement set out during Thursday’s meeting.

Jerry Ann Conner, legal counsel for the CCDA, stated that the total amount for bonds issued would be $25 million and would also guarantee at least 120 new jobs in the first four years of the project.

“It’s a similar structure as CTCA – it’s a ten year bond with three years up front,” Conner said, referring to the financing for Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern. “The taxes will be delayed until year four. The personal property is on a five-year depreciation schedule.”

Newnan’s business development director, Hasco Craver, cited HealthSouth as yet another successful example of the city and county working together to create more health care services for its citizens.

“We’re coming down to the home stretch and it’s very exciting,” Craver said. “It’s a great location and the 120 new jobs will have an average annual salary of $55,000. We’re looking forward to having them in our community.”

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