Georgia officials tour Bainbridge industrial parks, visit local leaders

Published 12:57 am Saturday, November 21, 2015

A delegation from the Georgia Department of Economic Development visited Decatur County last Wednesday to tour available build sites and to hear from local leadership.

The Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr, along with Chief Operations Officer Pat Wilson and Policy Director Elmer Stancil, toured the two industrial parks in the county, visited Bainbridge State College, and met with local political and business leaders at Bainbridge City Hall.

The visit and tour was arranged by State Senator Dr. Dean Burke in an effort to expose the state’s top industry recruiters to Bainbridge and Decatur County.

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During Thursday’s Development Authority of Bainbridge and Decatur County Board of Directors meeting, Chairman Keith Lyle said the visit was a success.

“It was truly a good presentation for the community and the group left here with a good impression,” Lyle said. “They came to town to find out if Bainbridge is serious about recruiting industry and if they brought us a prospect, would we be able to put a deal together to land it.”

“It was a very good meeting and we let them know that the city and the county are working together again and we let them know that we want to do our part to recruit industry,” said IDA Executive Director Rick McCaskill.

Both Lyle and McCaskill praised Burke for arranging the meeting.

“He certainly cares about Bainbridge and he is working at putting us in the right place in order to attract and recruit new industry,” McCaskill said of Burke.

In other business at the IDA meeting, McCaskill indicated that there is interest in locating another solar project in the county. The potential new project would cover 1,700 acres. Although it is early in the process, McCaskill said he remains cautiously optimistic about the project.

After closing the meeting to discuss personnel, the board voted unanimously to increase McCaskill’s compensation by three percent, to $102,169 annually, and grant a bonus of $1000 in Bainbridge Bucks. Executive Assistant Dyann Howell received a $1000 cash bonus and $500 in Bainbridge Bucks.

Finally, the board approved the 2016 fiscal year budget. The budget plans for $308,125 in total income, of which $210,000 will come from county millage allocations and $62,225 will come from the City of Bainbridge contribution. Expenses are budgeted at $300,875 for the next fiscal year.

The next scheduled meeting of the IDA is Thursday, January 21.