Highland 75 sees heavy spring traffic
by By Matt Shinall
May 17, 2012 | 1295 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Matt Shinall

matt.shinall@daily-tribune.com

With spring flowers in bloom, the Cartersville-Bartow County Joint Development Authority discussed Tuesday the increased site traffic seen in recent months at Highland 75.

Still awaiting their first land purchase for the 707-acre, master-planned industrial/corporate park, the JDA has seen positive signs of interest this spring.

"It's just been incredibly busy trying to keep up with requests for information and that is the best kind of problem to have," said Melinda Lemmon, Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development executive director.

JDA Vice Chairman Tommy Strickland also commented on the recent activity, hopeful for a project announcement from the site tours.

"We've gotten a good bit of activity in the park in the last 90 days. The more activity you get, the better chance you have of landing a new industry, so we hope that activity keeps up," Strickland said.

Located on Cass-White Road, Highland 75 is a Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development site overseen by the JDA -- a board working on behalf of Bartow County and the city of Cartersville. JDA Chairman James Jarrett feels this cooperation will help attract new industry. The recent meeting he gives as an example occurred with a site selection company, which officials hope could lead to more prospects than the typical visit by a single company looking to build.

"The meeting we had earlier this week with a site selection company, I would say, as opposed to a project, was very, very positive. Even as we were discussing being backed by the city and the county, our whole arrangement and cooperative nature of all this -- I think that was a good mood. And people that take the time to learn what we're about will be equally as impressed," Jarrett said.

In other business, JDA members discussed the action of the Bartow County Development Authority last month to assist in a new economic development marketing project. Currently in talks with winning bidder Blue Bike Creative, the JDA looks to obtain a new website with analytical tools and updatable content, create a new logo and develop six new ads for different target audiences.

In April, the JDA approved the proposed marketing project with the condition of securing an additional $8,000 to bolster the organization's 2012 budget, which otherwise would not fully cover the project costs. Meeting after last month's decision, the Bartow County Development Authority approved its financial support up to $8,000 if needed. The project is slated to cost no more than $24,500.

"The Bartow authority actually met the very next day after our board meeting, and when we get to the point that we've spent our entire marketing budget and we still need up to as much as $8,000 more to get this project done, they will cover us for that amount," Lemmon said. "It is my hope and intention not to need all of that backup but it is very nice to have it, and we certainly appreciate their partnership."

In other business, the JDA ratified an earlier vote approving an advanced payment of $100,000 to the city of Cartersville to occur before the city's fiscal year ends June 30. The payment was originally scheduled to occur during the fall.