Grant & Loan Awards: Union County
Equity loan funds will be used to assist with the construction of two 8,000 square foot speculative buildings and the extension of water and sewer lines on a prepared site in the Blairsville Airport Regional Industrial Park. Union County is located in northeast Georgia and has been especially hard-hit by the recession. The county’s unemployment rate has tripled over the last three years and the county believes that marketable facilities will allow them to attract new businesses and create desperately-needed jobs. This project is Phase I of a two-phased project, with the second phase being the construction of two additional 8,000 square foot buildings. The conceptual design of the buildings allows for each building to stand alone or be connected to one or more of the others. The counties of Towns, Fannin, Habersham, Lumpkin, White, Rabun, Dawson and Gilmer are in full support of this project.
BRIDGE funds to assist a regional partnership in evaluating the feasibility and economic impact potential of extending fiber optic broadband from Forsyth County to Lumpkin, Dawson, White and Union counties. The evaluation includes completion of Georgia Tech's TechSmart Program as well as a detailed engineering and system design plan. The regional partnership believes that the North Georgia Network (NGN - pronounced Engine) has the potential to create a new technology-based economy for the North Georgia Region. Initial activities will evaluate high speed connectivity, network redundancy and multiple carrier criteria deemed critical for existing and prospective technology-based companies. Subsequent activities will include design, engineering and business modeling to test the feasibility of building and operating a North Georgia fiber optic network.
Equity funds for Phase I of the Byron Herbert Reece Farm project to promote tourism within this region of the state. OneGeorgia funds would specifically be used to construct a 1,928 SF visitor's center that will duplicate the exterior appearance of the original Reece home. This project is a component of the Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Interpretive Center. The farm will be a focal point for Georgia's Appalachia presenting the historical legacy of the life and achievements of Georgia's greatest mountain poet/novalist, Byron Herbert Reece. In addition, this project expects to create four, direct part-time jobs as well as 30 indirect jobs and increase tourism in the region.
EDGE funds to partially fund land acquisition costs in support of the location of Applewood Doors & Windows, Inc. (Applewood) to Blairsville, Georgia. Applewood, a manufacturer of wooden doors and windows, will construct a new 113,400 square-foot manufacturing facility on a 10.06-acre tract of land in the Blairsville Airport Regional Industrial Park. The Company sells its products in a very small trade area (within 50 miles of Elijay).