Members of the Bartow-Cartersville Joint Development Authority (JDA) approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with an Oregon-based flooring manufacturer concerning a possible $51 million bond at a meeting on Thursday afternoon.
Wellmade Performance Flooring announced plans to construct a 328,000-square-foot development off Busch Drive in Cartersville in June.
“They haven’t made a decision yet on doing a bond issue, but we thought we would go ahead and put an MOU in place in case they decide to do one between now and the first of November,” said JDA legal counsel Keith Lovell. “It involves the same type of structure that we did with Constellium — they will have a landlord who will be Panattoni or one of their related entities, and the company, of course, would own the equipment.”
As of Thursday, Lovell said he did not believe that any Wellmade Performance Flooring representatives had reviewed a draft of the MOU.
Cartersville-Bartow County Department of Economic Development Executive Director Melinda Lemmon said the project is expected to bring about 240 new jobs to the community.
“There was an offer of community assistance, and they are just in the process of determining which of those offers they’ll execute in regard to the abatement and certain other things that allows them time to make their decision,” she said.
Earlier this year, Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor said the company had been offered a phased-in tax abatement.
“Ten years on real estate, five years on personal property,” he told The Daily Tribune News in June
. “And as standard abatements, the first year they get a complete 10-year abatement, then as the years roll out, it would phase in until it's completely gone in year 10.”
Members of both the JDA and the Bartow-Cartersville Second Joint Development Authority (2JDA) also approved a sewer easement agreement for a proposed industrial development next to the Highland 75 industrial park off Cass-White Road.
“There is an adjoining property — I’ll call it the Galco property — that is now controlled by a developer who is proposing to be our new neighbor in the industrial park,” Lemmon said. “They have at least one building planned for the foreseeable future, eventually more.”
Lovell said one easement is adjacent to the Constellium facility and the other is on a property which is also leased to a Texas-based holding company.
“It is my understanding that both the holding company and Constellium have approved the documents on their end,” he said. “I did see a late email [Wednesday] from [Bartow County Administrator] Peter Olson indicating he may want to make some changes to the easement.”
Lovell noted that the local government was obligated to provide a sewer easement to the Galco parcel after purchasing some nearby property in 2004.
While the authority is required to provide such easements, Lovell said the JDA nonetheless has the ability to determine their locations.
“By ya’ll bringing these two easements to them at this time to the County, your obligation to provide any future easements for water and sewer lines at no cost or anything else to them is hereby terminated,” he said. “But it doesn’t mean that there may not be a future project that may need it and ya’ll may work it out separately, but this takes care of that pre-existing obligation.”
Both Lovell and Lemmon confirmed representatives of the Galco property have already signed a document affirming that the obligation would be terminated pending the easement requests are fulfilled.
Board members, however, did not indicate if the same developer — or the same project described in last year's DRI application — is now planned for the same property. Bartow County Board of Tax Assessors data indicates Ronkonkoma, New York-based Galco Investment III still owned a 236-acre parcel beside Highland 75 as of May 2020, while Galco Investments III L.P. was listed as the owner of an abutting 28-acre parcel.
The 2020 fair market value of the larger parcel was tabbed at $578,620, while the smaller parcel was assessed at $840,000.