ARC grant cut back for Cedartown
♦ York property clearing costs removed large portion of money city is receiving
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.