The Development Authority of Bartow County approved the incentive agreement and an accompanying bond resolution during its Thursday morning meeting. The approval comes a day after Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor signed off on the document and hours before the Adairsville City Council was expected to approve the same document.
“This inducement resolution is to induce the company to acquire the property, which is scheduled, I believe, Dec. 9. Don’t hold me to that date, but it’s sometime early December, for them to then develop, construct and equip the facility,” said authority attorney Boyd Pettit.
Cartersville-Bartow County Economic Development Executive Director Melinda Lemmon said the inducements were a mix of local and state incentives. Local incentives include cooperation with rezoning and Adairsville pursuing an opportunity zone, she said.
“It’s a very special designation that allows job tax credits to be earned at a higher level and to be used against payroll withholding taxes,” Lemmon said of the opportunity zone. “Now, the state approves that designation, not the community, but the community’s commitment has been to pursue that. There’s certain documents that Adairsville will have to put together.”
The approved bonds total $125 million and will be split between two planned phases. Phase one is the initial $85 million investment, which will cover the property acquisition and construction of a 600,000- to 700,000-square-foot facility. Phase one, Pettit said, is expected to generate a mix of 340 manufacturing and office jobs. Phase two, if approved within five years, would increase the job count to 650 and expand the facility to 1.1 million square feet. The new plant will manufacture carpet tile for commercial applications. Current plans estimate a mid-2014 groundbreaking, with the plant being operational in mid-2015, Pettit said.
Pettit also clarified none of the involved governments would be holding the debt.
“This is debt solely repayable by the proceeds of the company. It is not a debt of Bartow County, the city of Adairsville, nor of the Bartow County Development Authority. We are the conduit for issuing the debt, but the repayment is solely the responsibility of the company. There is no tax pledge in connection with this. There’s no public financing in connection with this from the local governments,” he said.
In other business, the development authority agreed to reimburse costs associated with the 2013 SEUS-Japan Conference held in Biloxi, Miss., Nov. 17 through Nov. 19. Taylor, County Administrator Peter Olson, Lemmon and Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini will be attending the conference. The development authority agreed to reimburse $2,000 per attendee. Lemmon said the group would be driving to Biloxi to save money.
The authority also approved a $220 due to remain a 2014 member of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce.
After the meeting, Lemmon said Pat Crook’s resignation as city manager of Adairsville would probably not impact the process of getting Shaw into the city. Crook announced last month she was taking the city manager position in Villa Rica.
“I hope that it doesn’t. The reality is that we’re putting a transition team together. The majority of the work still falls to the city of Adairsville, and the department heads that she’s got,” Lemmon said. “But they’re all very capable teams in their own areas of expertise and she has had a month to prepare them for this project and for working collaboratively with the county team to take care of this project. I expect it to go smoothly, but obviously we’re going to miss her and really appreciate the work that she put in on the project.”
The Development Authority of Bartow County plans to meet again on Nov. 22 at 9 a.m. in Pettit’s office at 100 W. Cherokee Ave., Cartersville.