New company coming to town

Published 2:32 pm Friday, August 9, 2013


Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds, left, and Development Authority Chairman Keith Lyle, right, sign a memorandum of understanding that will allow a newly formed company called Bainbridge Manufacturing to set up shop in the Decatur County Industrial Air Park.

Bainbridge Manufacturing will set up at Industrial Air Park

The empty building, formerly occupied by Traco, in the Decatur County Industrial Park, will soon again be occupied.At Thursday’s Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County’s board meeting, an agreement was approved unanimously to bring Bainbridge Manufacturing, a newly formed Georgia corporation, to begin operations in Bainbridge in the near future. Bainbridge Manufacturing is a subsidiary of a 30-year-old privately-held corporation currently headquartered in south Florida.“Attracting such a strong company is very important to the community. Having so many cars in that parking lot, at the entrance to the industrial park, will be a sign that we are a vibrant, progressive community,” said Industrial Development Executive Director Rick McCaskill. “Having this company in Bainbridge will make us all proud.”

The new company will manufacture and sell automotive air-conditioning components to every major automobile manufacturer in the world. Initially, the company will employ 100 people and after initial planned expansions over the next couple of years, the staffing will increase to roughly 250.

“We are excited that a company the caliber of Bainbridge Manufacturing has chosen Bainbridge as its global headquarters. One of our main jobs, as the Industrial Development Board, is to facilitate the creation of jobs through recruitment of new industry and, with this agreement, we have taken the first step in job creation,” said Development Authority Chairman Keith Lyle. “We look forward to assisting them in the transition into the community.”

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Despite the building not being in the city limits, the City of Bainbridge will facilitate the purchase of the building for Bainbridge Manufacturing’s use. The city will purchase the building from Traco for $1.7 million and the company will occupy the building at no cost.  The Georgia Department of Economic Development provided a $300,000 grant to be applied to the purchase of the building.

“We are issuing a bond offering for the purchase price of the building and the city will guarantee the payment of the debt service of the bonds,” said Chris Hobby, Bainbridge City Manager. “This was an employer that we just couldn’t let go and that’s what would have happened if we didn’t buy the building.”

Hobby indicated that Peoples South Bank has offered to purchase all of the bonds, effectively becoming the mortgage holder of the building.

“One of the integral parts of the successful recruitment of Bainbridge Manufacturing was the assistance of the city with the financing of the project. We thank them for that,” Lyle said. “Their willingness to step up and make this deal happen sealed the deal.”

In late May, the Decatur County Board of Commissioners approved a 10-year property tax abatement schedule as an incentive to attract Bainbridge Manufacturing to Decatur County. In year 11, the company would pay 10 percent of what it normally would be assessed on its property tax bill. In year 12, the company would pay 20 percent, until it reached paying 100 percent of its taxes in year 20.

Additionally, all fees associated with permits and licenses connected with building expansions will be waived by Decatur County.

According to the agreement, if the company does not employ at least 192 people at the end of ten years, the company will owe the county Community Recovery Payments. The amount of those payments would be calculated by determining the difference in actual jobs provided, subtracted from 192, and then multiplied by $7,500.

If preparations to begin operations go according to plans, Bainbridge Manufacturing should be operational by January 2014.