Jackson said different options were presented.
“One was to ask the state take their low bid and our low bid and split the difference. That’s certainly acceptable to the development authority, but we didn’t seem to get any traction,” he said. “I believe it’s solvable, but right now we are just not there.”
Environmental studies costing $100,000 were completed. Poyner said the SPC requested more on projected impact as well.
The Middle Georgia Regional Commission will complete a property feasibility study and economic impact analysis.
“We will be able to show the state if we do XYZ with the property we feel like in time we can have this many jobs or this much investment just to have a master plan going forward,” Poyner said.
State Sen. Burt Jones, District 25, is involved with the process.
He said the state holds all the cards because it owns the property and he hopes the SPC offers a number to trade on.
“I’m representing the folks in my district but at the same time looking at this from a practical third party standpoint. We’ve got use for the property in Baldwin and Wilkinson County, and the state does not. It doesn’t have future plans for it, and we do,” Jones said. “We feel locals have the best plan in place. We just need direction on how we can come to an agreement and get started.”
Poyner said the Fall Line Industrial Park includes big land tracts attractive to major companies, but the local development authority can’t market them without buying first.
“Our opportunity to buy it ends the last day of next year’s session,” Poyner said. “We’ll be in contact with the state quite a bit between now and next year to see what we can do to make this work.”