The Union Recorder


July 4, 2014

Development Authority starts shovel-ready certification

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority recently started the Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development (GRAD) Sites Program certification process.

Development Authority Executive Director Matt Poyner said at a recent board meeting that 33 Georgia industrial parks are currently GRAD certified.

Preparing available sites for industrial development with advance due diligence is the work behind the program, established by the Georgia Allies. To qualify for GRAD status, available sites are submitted by a local community or economic development organization to the Allies and reviewed by a third party.

Categories of due diligence and review include a minimum of 50 acres, ownership security, zoning designation, road and rail accessibility, utilities service, and wetlands and stream delineation.

“We have the majority of that. It's just a matter of finding the documentation and putting it together,” Poyner said.

These shovel-ready sites are available for rapid industrial development. Surveys already conducted for these sites include topographical, geotechnical, and environmental (Phase I), and investigations for cultural resources and endangered species.

A lot of in-state industry recruitment competitors are GRAD sites.

Another untapped development authority resource Poyner hopes to bring to Milledgeville is millions of dollars in workforce incentives.

He sits on the Middle Georgia Workforce Investment Board grant acquisition committee.

“This group controls millions of federal workforce dollars that's been sitting. They basically turn the money back over to the feds every year,” Poyner said. “There is a lot of money going to waste that we need to keep here for companies needing assistance to hire. I hope to help pump those dollars back into Baldwin County and the region as a whole.”


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