Authority Chairman James Jarrett was first to honor the pair Wednesday as Brown and Bradley prepare to retire at the end of the year.
“Today is actually the commissioner and Steve [Bradley’s] last official meeting with us as an authority,” Jarrett said. “I’m sure that in the commissioner’s, as well as Steve’s, [retirement party] they talked about how unique a community we are and the cooperation that we have between the city and county and how that, from the standpoint of an industrial or business perspective, we’ve created a very good climate in this community. The last 20 years have been outstanding in the development of Bartow County and the city of Cartersville and we appreciate the two of you for everything you’ve done and the part you’ve had in bringing this authority about and the cooperation that has made it possible for us to really shine in our state as far as a community and in economic development.”
The JDA is a board of volunteers working in tandem with city and county officials to coordinate and implement economic development efforts. The JDA, comprised of representatives from small business and large industry, have managed recent economic development projects for Toyo, Georgia Highlands College and other noteable expansions, including Highland 75 industrial park and voestalpine.
“I have been amazed how people from different business backgrounds come together on all these projects. It just amazes me every time I come to meetings like this,” Bradley said. “But I also want to say to the staff, I think y’all have an excellent economic development staff. I’ve worked with Melinda [Lemmon] for a long time keeping us abreast of a lot of different things. I know it’s been tough times through these last four years with the downturn, but to see the county still moving forward is important and I give credit to all of you and the staff.”
Commissioner-elect Steve Taylor was in attendance Wednesday, but had officially resigned his post as secretary effective Tuesday in advance of his swearing in as commissioner in January. State Rep. Paul Battles, R-Cartersville, has been appointed to take his place on the authority.
At the meeting’s end, Brown said his own thank you to those on the authority that have served during his tenure as commissioner the past 20 years.
“I appreciate all of you, all the free time you’ve given and all the work that you’ve done,” Brown said. “I’ve always said that volunteers are what makes our community great and stand out even in tough times. Again, I appreciate all you’re work and that’s why we’ve got the community that we do.”
During the authority’s regular business, an additional development authority created to handle business related to Highland 75, known as the Second JDA, was present and officially took possession of the 707-acre, master-planned industrial park on Cass-White Road.
Both the second and the original JDA approved an extension of existing agreements and right of entry with voestalpine, an Austrian company building a facility at Highland 75, through December of 2013 or until occupancy is established. Both authorities also approved covenants for Highland 75, including planning, land use, easements and safety requirements.
After the conclusion of the Second JDA meeting, the original JDA conducted business, including the approval of the proposed 2013 operating budget of $342,700 — contingent on the removal of funds to be used for a separate budget for the Second JDA.
Lastly, the authority approved the chairman to sign a marketing agreement with Marketing Alliance, who won the contract after several attempts to secure a new marketing plan. Previous discussions have outlined a plan to improve Bartow’s economic development marketing efforts with the use of a new logo, print ads and website.