Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

July 16, 2014

Developing a new authority

VALDOSTA — The Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority met Tuesday night in its new building located at 103 Roosevelt Drive, voted to change its name, and discussed the challenges of recruiting new businesses to the area and how it plans to overcome these challenges.

Members adopted the new name of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority to more accurately reflect the overall scope of work in today's marketplace.

“We do much more than develop industrial parks and offer incentives,” said Andrea Schruijer, executive director. “Fundamentally our operations are the same, but with a more comprehensive approach to economic development. We now have existing industry programs, which help retain our existing industries and provide opportunities for expansions, foreign direct investment and financial support and work force opportunities. We take a proactive approach to business development by visiting location advisors and prospective companies, attending trade shows and maintaining strong relationships at the state and federal levels.”

The new location is ideal because it allows prospects to see the potential for growth through Valdosta State University Health Sciences Center, South Georgia Medical Center expansions, new professional mixed-use office developments,Valdosta Middle School, parks and other quality-of-life aspects. Meghan Dukes, Authority public relations and marketing manager, announced the Authority's ribbon cutting and open house ceremony, 11a.m. today, at the new office.

During the Tuesday meeting, the authority announced that it traveled to Atlanta on May 20-21, with city and county officials, and met with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Power, Georgia EMC, and Electric Cities of Georgia project managers at the Georgia Resource Center.

“Georgia Power hosted us and walked us through the process of economic development and how we get through the funnel of not being eliminated in that process,” Schruijer said. “We wanted to look at our demographics and what they really look like in relation to the recruitment of a project. I think we all learned some very interesting things. The make-up of our work force is probably not what we originally thought it to be.”

Schruijer said that the Development Authority is addressing this concern as it relates to the recruitment of projects.

“If we can get them here, then we can sell them on our community. The majority of projects are looking towards the metro areas because right now they are looking at how to minimize their risks. They are saying, 'the best place to minimize my risk is to be closest to the largest population, which is Atlanta,'” Schruijer said.

So, knowing all of this, the Authority hosts a meeting on Aug. 20 with community leaders, both city and county school systems, higher-education facilities, and others to discuss plans on how to combat these concerns.

The Authority postponed its budget vote until the next meeting. In the budget, the authority proposes a 2.7 percent increase. Operating costs are estimated to decrease by 5.1 percent due to the cost savings of the new office location.

The Authority does receive one mill from the county's millage rate, and the Authority is not requesting an increase in its mill allotment.

Project Manager Allan Ricketts presented an update on the new and existing industries.

Project Maroon is a new project that is in progress. Partnering with the state Department of Economic Development, the Authority is working to recruit an international company in bioscience products and therapies manufacturing operations. The Authority submitted a proposed location.

Project Royal is a new project in progress. The logistic and distribution company is looking for a location in South Georgia along the Interstate 75 corridor to support its operations in the Southeastern U.S.

Visiting six existing industries in May and June, Ricketts and the Authority found several promising opportunities for growth and expansion.

Project Wire, a manufacturing project, is in progress; this project could bring $2.1 million in capital investments and retain 27 jobs and create 33 jobs.

Project Treadway, a logistics and distribution service company, is in progress; phase one of this project is expected to bring $2 million in capital investments, retain six jobs, and create 10 jobs.

Project Loaf, a logistics and distribution project, is in progress; this project is expected to bring $1 million, retain 13 jobs, and create five jobs.

Project White Cadillac, a logistics and distribution project, is in progress; this project is expected to bring $1.5 million in capital investments, retain 21 jobs, and create eight jobs.

Project Patient is a customer/patient service center, and it is in progress; this project is expected to bring $750,000, retain 56 jobs, and create 38 jobs.

More information on the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority, contact them at (229) 259-9972.

Text Only
Local News
  • EOM July 2014.jpg Sgt. Jonathan Yeargin Honored as July 2014 Employee of the Month

    Valdosta Mayor John Gayle and Fire Chief Freddie Broome honored Jonathan Yeargin as the July 2014 Employee of the Month at the July 10 City Council meeting.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clay Griner.jpeg Griner wins Lowndes commission runoff

    A long nine-week runoff election between Clay Griner and G. Norman Bennett came to an end Tuesday night with Griner beating Bennett by 1,060 votes, with approximately 70 provisional ballots left to count.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140722-Runoff_Voting003.jpg State Senate District 8 too close to call

    The race for State Senate District 8 appeared too close to call as of The Times print deadline late Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senate Georgia_Stew.jpg Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Georgia’s U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a matchup against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn that will help determine which party controls the Senate for the final years of the Obama administration.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • County OKs $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment

    By a divided vote, the Lowndes County Commission approved spending $1,638,000 to purchase two pieces of equipment to improve the county’s water quality as per an agreement with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

    July 23, 2014

  • Baytree Animal Hospital LB copy.JPG Animal hospital named Business of the Week

    Baytree Animal Hospital was named Leading Business of the Week by the  Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce for July 14.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gavel-courtroom.jpg Water treatment plant discussed

    The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners discussed purchasing two pieces of equipment for the Alapaha Water Treatment Plant and the Spring Creek System for a total of $1,638,000 during its Monday work session and is expected to vote on the issue tonight.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • education.jpg Charter school petition denied

    Both the Valdosta City and Lowndes County school boards unanimously denied the joint charter petition from Scintilla Charter Academy during their respective meetings Monday evening.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • echols_alapapa.jpg WWALS gets grant from river network

    The Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) received a $500 Alapaha Water Trail Grant from the Georgia River Network

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-ARJim2.jpg Teacher at home anywhere in the world

    Variety is the spice of life. South Georgia is home to a diverse group of people, each with a unique life story. One man with glorious tales of travel and selfless volunteer work is Jim Kokoruda.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Top News

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results