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Gateway Industrial Centre making costly progress

Nearly half of pledged funds already committed

POSTED: September 10, 2013 12:30 a.m.

Hall County has spent much of what it has currently pledged for the Gateway Industrial Centre, according to a presentation at the board of commissioners’ Monday work session.

The county has about $6.6 million in funds it has awarded to contractors for roads, water lines, storm water lines and construction. It has spent about $3 million so far for Phase I and Phase II work installing infrastructure inside the 518-acre park. The county committed to $10 million in improvements to the industrial park, including water, sewer, storm systems and roadways.

With more than $6 million already committed, the county has slightly less than $4 million to establish sewer service for the park in North Hall.

The county agreed to provide sewer service to the industrial park within 36 months of its first tenant, the Georgia Poultry Lab, closing on its property there.

“We have yet to bid out the gravity sewer and pump stations,” said Ken Rearden, county Public Works director. “We believe that we will have adequate funding with the $10 million.”

The state lab closed on its 10-acre property there in October 2012. The funding from the county is coming from the current special purpose local option sales tax revenue collection.

Tim Evans, vice president of economic development for the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce, said the industrial park is seeing some interest.

Evans said his staff has been working on marketing the site for more than a year. The chamber hosted a bus tour last week of the site with 25 project managers, he said. He wants some signage put out near White Sulphur Road and the Georgia Poultry Lab site now that there’s some roadway work completed.

“That would go ahead and get us some visibility,” Evans said.

About 40 percent of the industrial park does front on Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, Evans said. Rail sites with utilities draw companies, he said.

“We think that that’s a very attractive part of the site that’s at the northern end of the site,” Evans said. “Those are very rare things to find.”

Now is the time frame where projects start to consider sites with all utilities because typical projects take about nine to 12 months to build.

“We have been active with some inquiries, as you know,” Evans said. “That’s encouraging. There’s some projects that have enough lead time that we can go ahead and show this property before the sewer delivery in early 2015.”

Hall County estimates sewer capability for the Gateway park will be available in early 2015.

“I think there’s a lot out there that people don’t know and I can’t say,” board Chairman Richard Mecum said. “I’m in a hurry to get it done.”

The Gainesville-Hall Development Authority is developing the land, which the county is managing. The authority recently reimbursed the cost of the land to the county in the amount of $690,000, which was reimbursed by the Georgia State Properties Commission.


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