The authority approved Thursday an intergovernmental agreement OK’d Wednesday by County Commissioner Steve Taylor. Initial work began in October when the Cartersville Development Authority entered into the first agreement with 411 Progress Partners. The intent of the project is to mobilize the planned road construction of the Burnt Hickory connector, which extends Burnt Hickory Road 1 1/2 miles before connecting with U.S. Highway 411 adjacent from Shaw Plant X.
“This is kind of a partnership between the county government and private enterprise to accomplish a goal the county wanted to accomplish and probably would have already accomplished had the economy not gone south and the SPLOST proceeds reduced so much,” said Cartersville City Attorney David Archer.
The Burnt Hickory extension project was already planned by the county and included on the 2014 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax project list as approved by voters. 411 Progress Partners, a development group with land along the proposed route, has already signed a letter of intent with a “big-box” grocery store chain worth $10 million in capital investments and upwards of 200 jobs for the county. The property could also be developed for other business prospects.
With a letter of intent in hand, 411 Progress Partners approached Bartow County about fast tracking the road project funded by Cartersville Development Authority bonds, which then would be reimbursed by SPLOST funds as they become available.
“They have been working with the county to try to determine when the county wants to do that project because it is a part of the original SPLOST the county did that starts in 2014. After long negotiations, they have finally reached an agreement with the county,” said Assistant City Attorney Keith Lovell. “The county will hire Southland Engineering to design the project and assist with the acquisition of the right of way. Once that is done, the county will make the decision whether or not to authorize us to make a bond issuance to pay for construction of that road and reimburse it for all the expenses to be paid back by the SPLOST money that will be coming in.
“The total amount of the project is estimated at about $6.2 million. The county has told us that if the cost is too great, or if estimates come in too much higher than estimated, they may not proceed with the project at that point, but no one is expecting that.”
The Cartersville Development Authority approved Thursday three agenda items, including an intergovernmental agreement with Bartow County and a memorandum of understanding with 411 Progress Partners, both items defining terms of agreements and relationships. The third item was $4,000 for legal fees to be paid by 411 Progress Partners.
Work will begin shortly by Southland Engineering toward the acquisition of right of way. About 11 acres will be needed for right of way with eight of those acres to be donated by 411 Progress Partners.
The Burnt Hickory Road extension project was planned as a link for a potential Cartersville perimeter to be paired with Old Alabama Road/Ga. Highway 113 to the south, Interstate 75 to the east and the proposed 411 Connector to the north. In addition to moving traffic around the city of Cartersville, the extension also would connect Burnt Hickory Road to Highway 411 and bridge access to bypass railroad crossings currently unavoidable on Burnt Hickory Road.