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Authority ready to get in high gear
(From left) Gwen Strickland, Sean Register, Jean Bacon and Frank Dubose during the Development Authority meeting. - photo by Ross Blair

The imminent construction and enhancement of Interstate Centre II dominated the agenda at the Oct. 16 meeting of the Bryan County Development Authority board members, held at the Black Creek Golf Course. The board will host a construction conference on Oct. 25 with a groundbreaking to follow shortly thereafter.

"Let’s put the financing in high gear and get this thing started," said Authority Chairman Sean Register near the end of the meeting. "We’re ready for some more big business here in Bryan County."

Authority Executive Director Jean Bacon reported to the board she has spent much of the last week with a prospective client for the new park. "I can’t say who it is yet, but they are very serious about coming to the park," she said.

Although negotiations fell apart with fire truck manufacturer E-One last year, which would have opened the door for about 1,000 available jobs at the site, the park is primed and ready to house a manufacturing plant or distribution center for any given big name company, Register said.

Phase I of the industrial park, home to Oneida, Oracal and Kawasaki, is already booming with commerce, and Authority members spent much of the meeting delegating different committees in which to handle the initial part of the second wave.

Bacon discussed the need to establish a marketing committee in which to get the word out to various companies the advantages of moving their company to the Black Creek facility. These advantages include the proximity to the ports, airport, and interchange and the fact that the park is a public-private partnership with the successful firm Technology Park Atlanta. Board members Derrick Smith and Ted Akins seconded the idea of the committee and volunteered their efforts, speaking specifically of how a revamped website could prove to be a key to booking the remainder of Interstate Centre.

Signage and landscaping of the park, including the entranceway, the road and the ponds, was discussed. Smith expressed the need for "a consistent landscaping plan throughout the park so that it will look uniform." A meeting of an appointed landscaping committee amongst the board members will finalize the plans for the outer appearance for Interstate Centre later this week.

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