Bar­tow com­mis­sioner ex­pected to OK new TAD dis­trict south of Cartersville

♦ Acreage will en­com­pass sites on both sides of I-75.

Rome News-Tribune - - EDITORIALS & OPINION - By Doug Walker [email protected]

Sole Bar­tow County Com­mis­sioner Steve Tay­lor is ex­pected to ap­prove the cre­ation of a Tax Al­lo­ca­tion Dis­trict of close to 1,500 acres when he con­ducts his busi­ness meet­ing Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Up to this point a spe­cific new plan for the area has not been sub­mit­ted but, Tay­lor said, At­lanta de­vel­op­ers had laid out hopes for sev­eral ma­jor com­mer­cial and res­i­den­tial projects in the area on ei­ther side of I-75 in the Emer­son area.

TAD fi­nanc­ing in­volves the es­tab­lish­ment of base­line prop­erty tax val­ues for a par­cel and once new devel­op­ment be­gins, a por­tion of the in­creased tax value is re­turned to the de­vel­op­ers to off­set ex­penses for a de­fined pe­riod of time. The idea is de­ferred tax rev­enue paid as prop­erty is de­vel­oped will net greater tax rev­enues in the fu­ture.

The pro­posed TAD area in­cludes three pri­mary devel­op­ment ar­eas. One of the ar­eas is near the old Paga Mine prop­erty which was tar­geted for a ma­jor en­ter­tain­ment theme park sev­eral years ago un­til those plans col­lapsed. An­other area is around Al­la­toona Land­ing on the east side of I-75 and a third area is across U.S. 41 from the LakePoint Sport­ing Com­mu­nity.

Pre­vi­ously the for­mer Paga Mine prop­erty was con­sid­ered by Ja­coby Devel­op­ment of At­lanta for a mixed-use devel­op­ment with up to 2,000 sin­gle-fam­ily and multi-fam­ily res­i­den­tial units as well as close to one mil­lion square feet of com­mer­cial space.

In this case, Tay­lor said, Ja­coby is a pos­si­ble de­vel­oper, or co-de­vel­oper of ad­di­tional ameni­ties around Al­la­toona Land­ing, a large mo­bile home com­mu­nity and boat area off Ga. 293 on the lake. The third area, west of U.S. 411 ad­ja­cent to LakePoint is an area that was tar­geted for devel­op­ment more than a decade ago, but plans col­lapsed as the re­ces­sion set in.

“That’s an area that we thought should be in a TAD and give some­body an in­cen­tive to get back and start de­vel­op­ing that again. There are a lot of grad­ing is­sues and so forth with that devel­op­ment,” Tay­lor said.

The area is cur­rently gen­er­at­ing ap­prox­i­mately $300,000 in prop­erty taxes, Tay­lor said. Af­ter he votes on the cre­ation of the TAD dis­trict Wed­nes­day, Tay­lor said the de­vel­oper would need to speak with the Bar­tow County School Board to get their bless­ing for the project.

Tay­lor said the county part­nered with Cartersville for the rede­vel­op­ment of the ex­tended Main Street com­mer­cial dis­trict out to­ward I-75 where the new Kroger is lo­cated but this TAD would be the first un­der­taken with­out a city part­ner­ship.

That project in­volved re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of an old aban­doned mine and land­fill.

“That worked out re­ally well for that area there, so hope­fully this other one will do the same,” Tay­lor said.

It also in­volves a much larger aban­doned ochre mine.

All of the money gen­er­ated by the in­cre­men­tal tax abate­ment would be used for pub­lic in­fras­truc­ture, Tay­lor said.

“The big lift on this one is re­me­di­at­ing the old aban­doned mine that was there — just a deep hole in the ground — so that’s what the big money will be used for, re­claim­ing that prop­erty,” Tay­lor said.

Ge­off Koski, pres­i­dent of the Bleakly Ad­vi­sory Group which wrote the doc­u­ment that helps de­tail the el­i­gi­bil­ity of the area for TAD fi­nanc­ing, said the ma­jor lack of in­fras­truc­ture in the area is pri­mar­ily what qual­i­fies the dis­trict for TAD fi­nanc­ing.

“There have been a lot of peo­ple look at (the Paga Mine) prop­erty for po­ten­tial devel­op­ment, but no one has even been able to make it work. There’s just too much clean up that has to be done and there has to be in­fras­truc­ture put in place to have any sort of devel­op­ment oc­cur,” Koski said.

Steve Tay­lor

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