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Deal for IDA land still on the table
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An offer from one of its tenants at the Effingham Industrial Park is still on the Effingham Industrial Development Authority’s table.

IDA members told representatives from Bonded Service Warehouse that they want to think about the proposal to buy 30 additional acres in the park. Board member Charles Hinely said the IDA had two concerns about the property, including the number of vehicles already on Highway 21.

“That’s the only piece of land we’ve got with infrastructure on it,” he said. “We’ve also been turning down people because of the truck traffic on Highway 21. We can’t sell a man a piece of land and tell him he can’t put trucks on it.

The price Mr. (Tom) Ghegan is offering is very fair. It’s the other issues we’ve been wrestling with.”

Board member Rose Harvey said the sale of the land to Bonded Service Warehouse would bring in income, but the traffic issue worried her.

“I’m a little concerned that going ahead with this may not be the best thing,” she said. “If we wait a little bit, I would feel better.”

Bonded Service Warehouse has a 100,000 square foot building already in the park and expects to finish a 112,000 square foot building before the end of March. The land they want would house a third building which would be approximately 200,000 square feet.

Bonded Service Warehouse representatives said the impact on traffic would be minimal compared to other park tenants and that Ghegan has not only performed but gone above and beyond his original commitments.

But what EFACEC, the Portuguese manufacturer that will be coming to the park in the next few years, needs also weighs on the minds of IDA members.

“We’ve got a lot of unknowns today with support,” IDA Chairman Chap Bennett said. “We also want investment in our county. We’re just kind of in a catch-22. There’s a lot of things out of our control.”

BSW representatives said their planned third warehouse and EFACEC’s needs could be a perfect match.

The improvements to Old Augusta Road may not be a factor in alleviating truck traffic from the industrial park on Highway 21. Harvey pointed out that the road will go through a school zone and truck drivers would rather not go through a school zone if necessary.

IDA members are scheduled to meet Feb. 21 for their regular meeting.

“I hate to keep them hanging,” IDA Vice-Chairman David Carter said of Bonded Service Warehouse. “But I don’t want to tell them ‘no.’”