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DAMBC updated on projects, potential retail

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DAMBC updated on projects, potential retail

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>> ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Several projects in the area are continued works in progress.

The Development Authority of Milledgeville and Baldwin County (DAMBC) met on Thursday, May 30 to receive updates from Project Manager Hank Griffeth on a number of projects.

Project Snowflake, which could be a $65 million investment in the county and bring in 400 jobs was one Griffeth said he continues to work hard on.

“We continue to work with that project,” Griffeth said. “I’m in contact with the corporate principals at least a couple of times each week.”

Griffeth told board members the company is doing due diligence in where that project is going,” he said.

While there are no details on the company or what they do, Griffeth told the Baldwin Bulletin in a previous interview it would be a company that does not already have a footing in Milledgeville.

“It would obviously be a big shot in the arm looking at different property sites within the county and he has been helping them identify engineers and other people who could work well with it.

“I feel good about economically for our area if they come here,” he said.

Another project, Green 2.0 was also discussed during the monthly meeting. This company could potentially net as many as 500 jobs.

“They are still considering Milledgeville as one of their two sites in Georgia,” Griffeth said. “We made it to the top two in the state.”

Griffeth said he was unaware if the company is looking at other states aside from Georgia.

Tax allocation

Following his update on those projects, Griffeth asked the board for guidance and direction over another issue that could potentially bring additional retail to the city.

“The city was approached by a developer for a blighted area in the community,” he said, noting that outside of the Milledgeville Main Street/DDA downtown, there isn’t an entity to work with retail development.

Griffeth said in regards to this particular project, there would need to be discussions held by the City of Milledgeville, Baldwin County Government and the Baldwin County Board of Education. It was requested by Milledgeville City Manager Barry Jarrett to discuss this proposal with the DAMBC.

“All of the property that could be in the Tax Allocation District (TAD) could have potential for redevelopment and could be good for the community,” Griffeth said.

A TAD is a defined area within a community where property taxes are frozen for a period of time so developers can make improvements to certain properties.

“You basically put a period of time in (the agreement) where the property tax value or the value the property tax is based on is frozen and that’s at the beginning of the process,” he said. “Any improvements made on that property doesn’t go toward taxes for a number of years.”

Board Chair Ed Walker said he would be OK with the board working some on this project.

“Anything we can do to benefit the community seems to be the right thing to do,” he said.

Griffeth said the developer mentioned one retailer he had been talking to and if they came to Milledgeville, it would help “fill a retail leakage” that exists in the town.

Griffeth also noted the property is within the city limits of Milledgeville, and is also within the federal opportunity zone.

“There’s a number of things that can be stacked to make it appealing to a retail developer,” he said.