MILLEDGEVILLE — It’s been more than five years since Shaw Industries left town, leaving 150 residents in search of new employment.
Since then the once busy manufacturing hub has changed hands, now a city project with lots of untapped promise.
Yes, there have been lots of ongoing discussions on the potential of this 93,000 square foot space and the formation of an entrepreneurial and economic development center that could change the landscape for Milledgeville and Baldwin County.
But as of yet, we can only speak of the potential and possibilities — and no concrete action.
Months of delays in lease negotiations are stifling this potential, and the city has to step in and step up to stem the tide in order to move the communiversity project forward.
While most actions of this type are hindered by legalities and normal complications, this effort is past due to be completed. Instead of being occupied and operating, the Shaw Building is a shell of the building it was only two years ago.
This building is of no help to the community if it continues to sit idle and isn’t maintained.
In the past several months vandals have diminished the property, taking valuable copper from the building. Failure to protect the property has no doubt complicated the lease negotiation process and potentially poses unnecessary financial obligations for the city.
Why no security system to protect this potentially valuable resource? In the short time the city has owned the property, the problems with security and theft have occurred.
More importantly, the city’s inaction has resulted in the degradation of this valuable community asset. The current situation leaves the impression of culpable and poor stewardship of valuable city resources.
Just last week culprits struck again, moving multiple bundles of copper wiring. If they can see the potential value of this space, then why can’t we recognize it enough to secure it and move the lease negotiation process along?
If nothing else, the residents of Milledgeville should at least be kept more abreast of the developments and the hiccups and delays.
The city must take increased action to secure this valuable property, which could be such asset to this community, and in particular, the southside of town.
The former Shaw building is still waiting on its rebirth. So too, is the entire community.