JDA continues work at Highland 75 industrial park
by Matt Shinall
Oct 17, 2012 | 1388 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Highland 75, the 700-acre, master-planned industrial park created and developed through a cooperation of Bartow County and city of Cartersville governments, recently gained its first residents with the signing of intent from voestalpine last month.

The Austria-based company has locations in about 60 countries around the globe employing some 46,000 people. Focusing on the production of steel products, voestalpine’s Bartow facility will provide formed-metal components for the automotive industry, creating 220 jobs with a $62 million investment.

Members of the Cartersville-Bartow County Joint Development Authority met Tuesday in conjunction with a secondary JDA, primarily for work related to Highland 75 and voestalpine. The two authorities signed a resolution to vest the second JDA with the possession of Highland 75 property titles, while the original JDA maintains their management duties for the park.

The passing of land titles from one authority to another is to allow for Special Local Option Sales Tax funds to be used in debt service payments for the property and its development. The SPLOST list, including Highland 75 debt payment, was passed by voters in November.

“In October of last year, you approved an intergovernmental agreement related to SPLOST and that those funds would be used to pay for Highland 75 park,” said JDA legal counsel Keith Lovell. “It is now time in that process to transfer the property into the second JDA. ... As part of that resolution, you are also approving the purchase and sale agreement, which allows the first JDA to act as manager for that property.”

Regular business of financial statements and previous meeting minutes were approved and a proposed marketing contract was tabled.

Work is ongoing at the park to accommodate the site’s first clients. Currently a truck turnaround is being constructed at the end of the park’s current roadway to prepare for a groundbreaking ceremony slated for next month. The company is working on a tight deadline to meet product demand from automobile manufacturers in the Southeast.

“It is certainly exciting to have some activity in our park out there. They are anxious to get started,” said JDA Vice Chairman Tommy Strickland. “I was with them this morning and they are definitely ready.”

The voestalpine project at Highland 75 also has worked to build interest from other parties, including site selection companies responsible for locating new industrial projects. The news even garnered a mention in the September issue of Georgia Trend.