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IDA still seriously courting 'Project Supreme'

POSTED: July 24, 2007 5:02 a.m.

Project Supreme may turn out to be the big fish for the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority.

IDA Chief Executive Officer John Henry said Effingham remains very much in the running for the unnamed prospect. Such prospects customarily are kept confidential. What is known about Project Supreme is that it is a European-based manufacturer of electrical components with an expected impact of $100 million, with 450-500 jobs.

“The impact is so large,” Henry said. “Every analysis we ran was extremely positive.”

The IDA has not finalized its offer to Project Supreme. That company’s board of directors met Thursday and will meet again July 26. It will not meet in August, since that is a month of vacation for Project Supreme’s home country.

“We anticipate a decision by July,” Henry said.

Effingham County is one of four finalists for Project Supreme, and Henry remains optimistic about the IDA’s chances.

“I’d like to think the indicators point to us,” he said. “But we don’t know.”

Site selection specialists also met with Project Supreme’s board Thursday. Henry also pointed to some recent favorable publicity for Effingham County that help curry favor with Project Supreme’s board.

“We’ve got ‘Georgia Trend’ and several things working in our favor,” Henry said. “We can step to the head of the pack.”

County commission Chairwoman Verna Phillips and schools Superintendent Randy Shearouse have been briefed on the prospect and its expected impact on the community, should the IDA land it.

“(They) both seemed to be very positive on Project Supreme and very supportive of it,” IDA Chairman Martin Wilkins said.

Project Supreme likely would occupy the frontage tract along Highway 21 at the IDA’s industrial park between Rincon and Springfield should it choose to come to Effingham.

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