Governor announces $13 million in OneGeorgia Awards -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Governor announces $13 million in OneGeorgia Awards

June 1, 2007
from the Governor's Office

AMERICUS, Ga --  Governor Sonny Perdue announced more than $13 million in grant and loan awards from the OneGeorgia Authority to Georgia communities that will create jobs and implement economic development projects. The regularly scheduled OneGeorgia board meeting was held this morning at the South Georgia Technical College in Americus.

Governor Perdue and members of the OneGeorgia Authority Board approved the grants and loans from the OneGeorgia Authoritys portfolio of financing programs including EDGE, Equity, SILF and ESB. These awards will assist with a variety of economic development projects in rural Georgia aimed at creating jobs, stimulating new private investment, supporting the retention of existing jobs and enhancing regional competitiveness through capacity-building projects. These projects, along with their respective local leadership representatives, were recognized at the OneGeorgia board meeting.

Company officials and local leaders associated with the most recent EDGE awards were recognized at todays meeting. The EDGE (Economic Development, Growth & Enterprise) fund is designed to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants that are being considered as a relocation or expansion site and are competing with another state for the location of the project. The eight EDGE awards, totaling $9,450,000, are leveraged against more than $348 million in total project costs and are projected to create over 2,615 jobs within the next five years.

The EDGE recipients include:

Crisp County-Cordele Industrial Development Authority/ Goldens Foundry and Machine

EDGE funds will be used to assist with the purchase of the former Wescast facility, a 149,000 square foot building located on approximately 30 acres in Cordele. This acquisition is in support of Goldens Foundry and Machine Companys (GFM) efforts to remain competitive in the global market. GFM, a 124-year privately held business located in Columbus, manufactures gray iron and ductile castings as well as power transmission machinery. The Cordele facility will focus on the production of ductile iron castings for the industrial, oilfield, truck, pump and compressor markets. The company has committed to the creation of 100 new jobs in two years and private investment of $5 million.

Total Project Cost: $8,450,000
Interstate competition: Phoenix City, Alabama

Grady County Joint Development Authority / Timken Company

EDGE funds of $800,000 will be used to assist with water and sewer infrastructure improvements in addition to the purchase of machinery and equipment to support the expansion of the Timken Companys existing Cairo plant. Timken is a leading manufacturer of engineered bearings, alloy steels and other related products that are being used in the aerospace, automotive, computer, industrial and rail industries. Started in 1898, Timken now has operations in 27 countries, over 27,000 employees and recorded $2.5 billion in sales in 2005. The Cairo facility, approximately 258,000 square-feet and situated on 87 acres, manufactures bearings for the automotive industry. Timken is closing another plant, adding 168 new jobs at the Cairo facility in addition to the existing 356 employees.

Total Project Cost: $21,810,000
Interstate competition: Other Timken locations

Adel Industrial Development Authority / Xella International

EDGE funds of $500,000 will be used to assist with pavement repair, lighting installation, land acquisition and building improvements in support of the location of Xella International (XI) toAdel, Georgia. Xella International, founded in 1966, is a leading supplier of construction materials and raw materials to the European market. XI is expanding its global reach in the U.S. andNorth America with the purchase of a former HEBEL manufacturing plant. This North American operating division is registered as Xella Aircrete North America, Inc. The Adel facility will manufacture concrete. The parent company, Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH (HFC), is one of the oldest family-owned conglomerates in the world. HFC companies operate in 40 countries and on five continents and employ over 58,000 people.

Total Project Cost: $21,000,000
100 new jobs in two years
EDGE Award: $100,000
Interstate competition: Quincy, Florida

Tift County Development Authority Equipment for Spring Hill Produce

Equity loan funds will be used to assist Spring Hill Produce, LLC, with the acquisition of machinery and equipment to be used in the company's new produce and fruit packaging and shipping operation in Tift County. The parent company, Lewis Taylor Farms, plans to construct a 40,000 SF building on 12.5 acres to allow the company to use new technology that is currently only being used in California to fresh pack broccoli, cauliflower and melons. Spring Hill Produce will contract with farmers in Turner, Tift, Worth, Colquitt and Berrien Counties. Customers include Kroger, Publix, Winn Dixie, Wal-Mart and Food Lion. The refrigeration equipment needed for this process includes a compressor skid ($468,850) and a hydro-cooling tunnel ($332,816). This project will have a significant impact on the regional agricultural economy.

Total Project Cost: $1,896,666 (Public Investment = $300,000; Private = $1,096,666)
Create 30 new jobs

The board also reviewed the latest ESB Loan Guarantee made since the last board meeting. The Entrepreneur-Small Business Loan Guarantee Program was created over two years ago to support the growth of entrepreneurs and small businesses in less developed areas. The ESB Loan Guarantee Program is the Authoritys first public-private partnership, providing a shared risk with Georgialending institutions for loans ranging from $35,000 to $250,000.

One ESB Loan Guarantee was approved by the board:

Stephens Auto Works/Colony Bank (Ashburn)

Stephens Auto Works is an auto mechanic shop in Ashburn, GA. Scottie Stephens is a young auto mechanic who started this business from his home. After two years, the business grew and Scottie purchased a shop in Ashburn. The business continues to grow and the customer seeks to purchase an adjacent building to expand the work area. The customer repairs, buys, trades and sells vehicles. The business currently employs 6 and expects to create two additional jobs.

Total Loan Amount: $75,000
Current jobs: 6

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