JDA sets 2011 operating budget
by Matt Shinall
Jan 19, 2011 | 1471 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cartersville-Bartow County Joint Development Authority met Tuesday for regular business, approving its fiscal year 2011 operating budget at $311,000.

Split between the county and the city, each funding $155,500, the overall 2011 budget did not increase from last year's operating budget.

Land sales at Highland 75 -- the development authority's capital project, a 700-acre master planned industrial site -- has been hit hard by economic struggles. The industrial park was completed last year but marketing to sell the first piece of property continues.

John Watson, principal with TPA Realty Services, works with the Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development to better market the property. His outlook for market conditions locally and nationally are optimistic for the coming year.

"The effort that we've had over the two-plus years of building credibility in the marketplace, of building awareness to the brokerage community in conjunction with the state, I think puts us in a decent spot when there is actual buying," Watson said. "Springtime, first quarter, I'm really optimistic that that will coincide with the brokers having more things on their desks."

Authority board members hope to create this year a seamless plan for abatements and freeport exemption throughout the county. Currently, incentive levels differ within city limits.

Watson added the prospects viewing the property have chosen not to proceed with projects at Highland 75 for economic reasons not for lack of offerings.

"The majority of them, if they have not moved forward, it was not because of a decision to locate or do a deal with someone else. It was because they put the brakes on globally and that is why I'm optimistic, as we see more deal flow -- and while we're not going to bat a thousand -- we're going to be able to get our proportionate share of opportunity and sell land and build buildings and create jobs," Watson said.