The Effingham Industrial Development Authority’s undertaking at I-16 and Old River Road could be getting some help from the state.
IDA Chief Executive Officer John Henry met with officials from the OneGeorgia Authority to discuss the plans for the industrial park being developed with DP Partners. OneGeorgia could provide as much as $500,000 in assistance with the project, but the IDA needs to get letters of support from the Bryan and Screven county commissions and perhaps the Bulloch County commissioners as well.
Henry said OneGeorgia officials recognized the impact of the development for the region.
“We’ve said that all along,” he added.
The OneGeorgia Authority was created to help economically disadvantaged communities. It is bankrolled by the state’s settlement with the coalition of tobacco companies.
OneGeorgia money is directed to rural counties with populations less than 50,000 and poverty rates of at least 10 percent. Counties with populations of less than 500,000 that border an eligible county are conditionally eligible.
OneGeorgia will support conditionally eligible counties if they demonstrate a regional project that will help a directly eligible county.
Under EDGE (economic development, growth and expansion) fund guidelines, a single county can receive up to $200,000 for a project. If its project involves three or more counties, that total maxes out at $500,000.
EDGE funds can be used for public infrastructure, site improvement and land acquisition.
Effingham County is considered a tier 4 county because of its employment level and per capita income. As such, it usually does not qualify for OneGeorgia grants.
But the magnitude of the proposed development and its impact on surrounding counties — it is estimated once DP Partners’ LogistiCenter at Savannah is finished, it will result in 2,000 to 6,000 jobs — caught OneGeorgia’s attention.
Last year, OneGeorgia gave out 372 awards totaling $196.2 million and creating 35,776 jobs in 116 economically-disadvantaged counties.