ARC grant cut back for Cedar­town

♦ York prop­erty clear­ing costs re­moved large por­tion of money city is re­ceiv­ing

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­nal.net

The City of Cedar­town won’t have as much as they ex­pected to use to clean up and get the York prop­erty ready to show off to po­ten­tial in­vestors af­ter the grant they re­ceived was cut back.

City Man­ager Bill Fann in­formed com­mis­sion­ers of the de­ci­sion to re­duce the amount the city could rea­son­ably claim as work on the York prop­erty that was given an OK back in Fe­bru­ary.

De­spite the fact the city doesn’t have equip­ment needed to do the work them­selves.

“Veg­e­ta­tion clear­ing wasn’t ap­proved,” he said. “They’re the­ory is that the veg­e­ta­tion will just grow back.”

He said be­cause t he veg­e­ta­tion at the mo­ment is too thick to use reg­u­lar ci t y equip­ment on t o main­tain, they need the help to cut it back and make it pre­sentable to in­vestors. The project to clear the area and make it more en­tic­ing was es­ti­mated at $1,500 an acre, and for the full prop­erty would have cost around $ 360,000 to com­plete.

That made up around 65 per­cent of the grant money the city was awarded by the state on a pre­lim­i­nary ba­sis for help with the York prop­erty. They re­ceived no­ti­fi­ca­tion in the win­ter t hey were s e t t o get $552,000 of the $600,000 re­quested.

“Hon­estly, it was a shot in the dark and hope you get l ucky,” Fann said. “What kind of threw me was that it got ap­proved at the state level and turned down at the fed­eral level.”

He said that por­tion of fund­ing re­quest was re­moved, and the rest of i t would be f unded im­me­di­ately so long as the clear­ing work re­quest was taken out.

Fol­low­ing that, Fann said he tried to use the ARC web­site to see what changes were made to the project and the site was down, and wouldn’t be back un­til the fall.

The 240 a c r e s was pur­chased from the York fam­ily for $700,000 by the Cedar­town Devel­op­ment Au­thor­ity with fi­nanc­ing from the city i n hopes of gain­ing more area to ex­pand t he i ndus­trial park across Davis Road as acreage dwin­dles in the cur­rent busi­ness park.

Since mak­ing the 2016 prop­erty pur­chase, Fann said a num­ber of peo­ple have been able to come out and take a look at the site. How­ever, with­out ex­ist­ing

wa­ter and sewer or ac­cess roads, it makes it a harder sale for in­vestors look­ing at Polk County as a pos­si­ble place to lo­cate.

Not hav­ing the grant money to clear the prop­erty of veg­e­ta­tion – in­clud­ing t rees – will make t he process much harder since the city will have to now take on the bur­den of clear­ing costs it­self, or seek other grant money for the work.

How­ever the city’s match of 30 per­cent will go down on their part of the fi­nal lo­cal cost of the ARC grant, since they have less­ened the value of the amount of money the city is set to re­ceive for York prop­erty im­prove­ments.

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