Thursday, April 11, 2013
Ryan Moore comes to Athens from Effingham County in South Georgia.
Thursday, April 11
From an ACC press release: The Athens-Clarke County Unified Government announces that Ryan Moore has been named as the Director of the new Economic Development Department by Manager Alan Reddish. Moore has served as the Project Manager for the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority (IDA) since 2006. In this position, Moore played an integral role in attracting over 600 jobs and over $175 million of direct community investment while managing the planning and engineering of over 4,300 acres of industrial property. His job responsibilities included responding to all requests received from industries seeking information about possible locations in Effingham County and creating proposed incentive packages for prospective new …
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The scope and duties of the office will continue to evolve, officials said.
After brief debate, the Athens Clarke Commission voted to create and fund a department of economic development, housed within local government and reporting to the county manager. The vote was 9 to 1, with Commissioner Doug Lowry dissenting. According to the ordinance passed at Tuesday night's meeting, The purpose of the Department of Economic Development is to be the primary point of contact for industries, large commercial developments, site location consultants, and state economic development organizations interested in developing, expanding, or locating new or expanded businesses in Athens-Clarke County. The ordinance's passage comes about a year after Mayor Denson appointed more than 20 people to a Mayor's Task Force on Economic …
Monday, December 31, 2012
The manufacturing plant in Bogart is expected to have a strong economic impact across northeast Georgia.
Monday, December 31, 2012
What's coming in 2013? The ramping-up of hiring at Caterpillar, according to plant manager Todd Henry, which will eventually reach 1,400 employees by 2018. Henry will be the key note speaker at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce member's banquet on Jan. 24, 2013 at the Civic Center. Take another look at Caterpillar news from this past year. December Caterpillar Posts More Job Opportunities for Plant in Athens, Ga. Caterpillar Decided To Send Sewage to Athens-Clarke, Not Oconee County, For Treatment by Lee Becker November Georgia DNR Waiting On Caterpillar Application For Discharge Permit For Oconee County/Clarke County Site by Lee Becker October Commissioners Tweak Task Force Plan for Economic Development in Athens, Ga. September …
Monday, November 26, 2012
The Chamber of Commerce voices its support for letting the local government land the big economic fish.
Before Doc Eldridge, CEO and Executive Director of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, took his current job, he was an insurance executive, an Athens Clarke County Commissioner and Mayor of Athens Clarke County. His experience, he says, has given him first-hand knowledge of how the local government works. Which is why he--and the Chamber Board--are supporting a move to create an office for economic development, fund it well and house it within the local government. His support places him at odds with some business people in town and with some members of the Economic Development Foundation, a body he helped create to bring businesses and jobs to Athens. "The realization is that the commission is willing to fund economic development at a …
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Members of the Economic Development Foundation will likely attend and comment on plans for economic development.
They won't speak as one voice, but you should expect to hear from members of the Economic Development Foundation (EDF) at Thursday night's agenda setting meeting. Some of the board members aren't happy--at all--with plans proposed by ACC Commission members that would establish an office for economic development within the local government. On Thursday night, the Commission could decide to vote on the proposal at their December meeting. Some EDF members would prefer that the local government fund the organization, at least initially, but that it remain a separate entity, like an authority. Based on discussions over the past few weeks, Commissioners say that isn't likely. Mayor Nancy Denson appointed four Commissioners--Andy Herod, Kelly …
Thursday, November 8, 2012
A lack of effective leadership has held back Athens on economic development, a task force member said.
One thing emerged from Wednesday's meeting of the Mayor, Commission members, government staff and folks concerned about economic development in Athens Clarke County: Public money won't be flowing to a private entity. Instead, said Commissioner Harry Sims, any economic development office funded with tax dollars will be part of the unified government--because public money means public accountabiity and transparency. Commissioners approve the budgets, and they answer to their constituents. Many of those attending the meeting were members of the Mayor's Economic Development Task Force, a group of 25 or so people appointed in 2011 to come up with a plan for moving Athens Clarke County forward economically. There were also some people from …
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The five-member committee likes the idea of raising taxes to recruit businesses.
After years of not raising taxes, should the Athens Clarke County Commission do so in the name of economic development? That's the issue members could consider during their December voting meeting, after hashing it out during a work session and an agenda setting session in November, according to a story in the Athens Banner Herald. The group's second meeting, on Tuesday, focused on the same issues as the first meeting, in which they tossed out some and embraced other ideas offered by the Mayor's Task Force on Economic Development, the newspaper story said. The 23-member group met for months, refining their proposals into a report that called for a private entity, funded with public money, to handle economic development in Athens. That …
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Increasing taxes without public accountability won't work, Mayor and Commissioners agree.
If the ACC Commissioners are going to put more money in the purse for economic development, they're going to control the purse strings. Meaning that, they're not likely to create a private entity that will control economic development in Athens Clarke County. A committee of four Commissioners and Mayor Nancy Denson agreed Thursday that raising taxes without guaranteeing accountabilty is a nonstarter. "With public money, you need to have accountability, and you get that with elected officials," said Commissioner Andy Herod, who serves as Mayor Pro Tem. "I want to make very certain how that money is going to be spent." The committee was assembled to deconstruct a report created by the 23-member Mayor's Economic Development Task Force. The …
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Pittsburgh-based Fourth Economy Consulting says Athens, Ga., has the right stuff.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Athens has a flagship university that pulls in about $330 million a year in research funds, a growing medical community, and a piece of a new Caterpillar manufacturing plant. Now, a consulting firm has listed Athens-Clarke County as the community between 100,000 and 150,000 people that's in the best position to prosper in the 21st century economy. Pittsburgh-based Fourth Economy Consulting evaluated the nation's small counties on investment, talent, sustainability, place, and diversity, and Athens-Clarke came out on top. “It is not surprising ... to see the leading fourth economy counties blend both rural and urban character, offering their residents diverse living and working options,” Stephen McKnight, a Fourth Economy Consulting vice …
Saturday, March 17, 2012
"Manufacturing is not only alive in Georgia, it's growing in Georgia." -- Chris Cummiskey, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
Caterpillar broke ground on its Athens-area manufacturing plant on March 16, 2012.