Sylvester gets substantial grant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sylvester gets substantial grant

August 3, 2005
from the Department of Community Affairs

Atlanta, GA - Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Mike Beatty announced today the award of a $232,964 Employment Incentive Program grant to the City of Sylvester.

"Sylvester leaders are to be applauded for their efforts to help existing businesses grow," said Commissioner Mike Beatty. "DCA is proud that these grant funds will be leveraged with a significant private investment from Southland Technologies, one of the community's newly emerging corporate partners. The development of partnerships like the one between the City of Sylvester and Southland Technologies is expected to yield significant benefits for years to come,"  Beatty said.

Founded in 2001, Southland Technologies, Inc. provides general contracting services to install business automation systems. The company provides products and services that allow its customers to replace and/or update inefficient heating, cooling, security and communications systems. Southland's principal offices are located in three Georgia cities - Sylvester, Columbus and Warner Robins.

Sylvester officials will loan grant proceeds to Southland Technologies. DCA funds will be leveraged with a $1.1 million private investment from the company to cover construction and administrative costs for a new 12,000 square foot office building. The new building will allow Southland Technologies to consolidate its three Sylvester, GA offices into a single location. Company officials project that its consolidated operation will create 30 new full-time positions for low- and moderate-income citizens.

"DCA is an active supporter of communities like Sylvester that work to help themselves. Cutting-edge technology companies like Southland have found welcome partners in many Georgia Cites. We applaud the efforts of Sylvester and Southland Technologies officials to join forces on this unique venture. Job creation in Sylvester and throughout the state remains an essential element in keeping Georgia's economy healthy and growing," said Beatty.

The Employment Incentive Program (EIP) is capitalized with State of Georgia Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. CDBG funds are used mainly to expand economic opportunities in cities and counties for low- and moderate-income residents by providing funding to viable projects that cold not take place without its financing assistance.

The EIP provides up to $500,000 in the form of grants to local governments for three primarily uses: (1) installation of public infrastructure to support eligible economic development projects, (2) loan of proceeds to a sub-recipient industry to finance various fixed assets to be used with eligible economic development projects and (3) support for local development entities and other local non-profit corporations which assist low and moderate income persons to acquire employments, employment skills and/or basic educational training. EIP projects must always create or retain employment principally for low and moderate income persons.

Since 2000, DCA has provided more than $1.5 million in funding to the City of Sylvester through Community Development Block Grants, Local Assistance Grants and other funding sources for various economic development, infrastructure and redevelopment projects. In 2000, DCA awarded a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to the City of Sylvester to construct a senior citizens center. Today, the Sylvester Senior Citizens Center serves residents from all parts of Worth County.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) was created in 1977 to serve as an advocate for local governments. DCA operates a host of state and federal grant programs; serves as the state's lead agency in housing finance and development; promulgates building codes to be adopted by local governments; provides comprehensive planning, technical and research assistance to local governments; and serves as the lead agency for the state's solid waste reduction efforts.

For more information please visit the dca website at: http://www.dca.state.ga.us

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