DAPC hears LEAD Polk update, discusses prospects
The Development Authority of Polk County decided to hold their November meeting early as October comes to a close, covering everything from a quick update on the LEAD Polk program and their pending graduation next week, to discussions over ways to better attract new industries.
GEO Specialty Chemical plant manager Mike Hunter, who is among the members of the LEAD Polk Class of 2017, talked about the variety of things that he’e learned about the place he lives in the past months of participation since the class started during the summer.
“We took a tour the other day of farms around the area, and for instance I didn’t know we had any agritourism,” Hunter said.
He added that the program has opened his eyes about the need for additional people to become involved in the community as a whole, and not rely on the “same four or five people you see at every meeting.”
Hunter’s presentation was kept brief, giving the DAPC board time to hear a brief financial report from treasurer Britt Madden Jr. and to discuss prospects with DAPC President Missy Kendrick.
Interest is being shown again in the SPEC building at the Northside Industrial Park, Kendrick said, but no firm commitments have yet been made as the building reaches 36 months on the market following a ribbon-cutting ceremony in 2014.
Chair David Williams pointed out that on average, a SPEC building remains empty in Georgia for about three years before it finds an industrial partner willing to put in the effort to move in.
Discussions among the board determined that additional marketing efforts will be forthcoming on the property, and that the way the SPEC building is handled in the future might require some future discussions on what size building the county should invest in providing. No decisions were made on the SPEC building, but discussions were expected to continue into the future.
An update on the DAPC’s incentive policy for industries moving into Polk County in the future remains under review with local attorney Mike McRae providing his legal expertise to ensure all parties are getting fair deals, and what updates might be needed or benefits that have been missed can be used to attract new industries to invest in Polk County.
Kendrick said any changes will be brought before the board to discuss and decide prior to any implementation of new policy.