DAPC hears LEAD Polk up­date, dis­cusses prospects

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - By Kevin Myrick SJ Ed­i­tor

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.

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