Industrial prospects and site-selection consultants have expressed increased interest in the economic development project jointly funded by the city of Cartersville and Bartow County. The Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development promotes and maintains the park located on Cass-White Road.
“It’s rocking and rolling out there,” said Existing Industry Director Rachel Rowell, referring to prospects interested in Highland 75. “It’s getting a lot of attention with the state, we’ve been showing it quite a bit to prospects and construction on voestalpine is moving along pretty well. Bartow County is out there now working on the road project and they are working very quickly at it too, which will be appreciated by the company.”
Roads are being put in place now for acess to the voestalpine site currently under construction. Voestalpine is an Austrian steel company with a metal-stamping division manufacturing parts for the automotive industry. The metal-stamping division is building a $62 million facility in Bartow’s Highland 75.
While a memorandum of understanding was signed in August, the Cartersville-Bartow County Joint Development Authority and the Second Joint Development Authority approved an amendment Tuesday for additional site work and easements for drainage before the Second JDA again formally approved the issuance of $62 million in bonds for the financing of site development and building construction.
Upon completion, the voestalpine Stamptec Division will employ about 220 people at the Bartow site.
To ensure the leads generated and enhanced by voestalpine’s construction activity are supported in their research efforts, the JDA also approved Tuesday a new phase one environmental report on all 707 acres of Highland 75. Bids from two companies were received with the price for environmental studies of varying sizes where the authority discussed whether to have a study completed for the 32 acres owned by voestalpine, the 205 acres comprising phase one of the park or the entire 707 acres. JDA members approved the low bid for studying the entire park for $2,600.
“During some of the recent activity we’ve had, in meeting with consultants all of them have been pleased with the level of information with respect to archeology, geo-tech and other studies,” said Assistant City Attorney Keith Lovell. “But one of the comments we’ve heard is that they prefer to have basic environmental studies on a three- to four-year cycle just to show that we don’t have a 10-year-old study and that we don’t know what’s happened on the property since then. Also, one of the things voestalpine has requested as a part of due diligence is an update on their property within phase 1, which this would include.”
Additional property development work was approved for a total of $200,000 to complete necessary geo-technical studies, surveying and soil tests.
The authority also approved economic development staff to execute scheduled payments throughout 2013 according to a prepared debt-service worksheet with the approval of the JDA treasurer.