Development Authority’s announcement is fantastic news

Published 7:40 am Friday, May 17, 2013

Decatur County got fantastic news Thursday, when the Bainbridge-Decatur County Industrial Development Authority voted to pursue purchasing the currently empty Traco Building, with plans to then lease it to a new industry.

Assuming the purchase and leasing deal go through, Global Air Inc., of Miami Gardens, Fla., would then begin employing 75 people in its first year, with hopes of increasing its staff to (roughly) 250 over the next several years. Global Air’s manufacturing processes utilize the latest in engineering and robotics technologies. Having this type of business in our community would not only provide jobs, but would be a great partner to our local schools and Bainbridge State College.

This is an exciting announcement for several reasons. First, our county badly needs jobs. Second, motorists on U.S. Highway 27 have been driving by an empty Traco building for a long time, and it does not make a good first impression to visitors of our community. By filling the building and establishing an industry there, it will make a much better entrance to the industrial park and Decatur County, and could result in attracting even more industry to our area.

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The planned lease includes incentives that would allow the industry to operate here for 10 years without paying property tax, and then gradually increase its payments over the next 10 years after that. While the county is in financial dire straits and could balk at the loss of revenue over those first 10 years, we believe that there will be major long-term economic benefits when this short-term tax abatement is issued. The old adage that you have to spend money to make money is very applicable in this case.

We encourage the Decatur County Board of Commissioners and the Industrial Development Authority to work together to make this deal happen. Our community must take advantage of this outstanding economic opportunity.