Blue Ridge, Ga. – Christie Arp, Executive Director of the Fannin County Development Authority, announced that TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) has pledged $50,000 to renovate the grounds surrounding the area of the historic homes located near Blue Ridge Dam.
“This is owned by TVA,” Arp clarified the legalities of the area, “and leased to the county.”
“TVA has committed $50,000 to provide ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible walkways and some other minor improvements,” Arp said explaining the purpose of the monies devoted to this area.
Among the minor improvements, pads will be poured for picnic tables, and if funds allow, decking could be installed to look out over Lake Blue Ridge.
The county would be responsible for providing the picnic tables, making minor improvements to parking areas, and continuing with maintenance such as mowing.
Arp described this new project as “a really great contribution to the county” that “will help improve an already public area”.
TVA has suggested a start date of the improvements for late July or early August of this year.
Arp did stress, “The houses are considered historic. Nothing is going to happen to the houses right now.”
An update was also given on the county’s SPEC (Speculative) Building located off Highway 5 on Kyle Road.
It was announced earlier this year that the building would be leased by Ed’s Supply Company, Inc. This announcement came just a little over a year after the building’s completion.
Ed’s Supply was founded in Nashville, Tn. in 1957. The primary focus of the company is to provide wholesale distribution of air conditioning, refrigeration, as well as heating parts and supplies across Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas.
“Construction was funded by primarily grants,” Arp spoke of the progress of the SPEC building, “at a total of around $670,000. The majority of that is grants that will not have to be paid back.”
Of the amount that will have to be paid back, the Development Authority was able to secure a One Georgia Equity Loan in the amount of approximately $230,000. This is an interest free loan with quarterly payments due over a 20 year period.
“Ed’s Supply was able to give me an estimate of roughly $3 million in sales that will be brought to and kept in the county,” Arp spoke of the new tenants. According to Arp this would equate to approximately $90,000 in tax revenue.
Beyond these sales estimates, Ed’s Supply plans to hire employees in the county starting out with six positions with intentions to grow.
“They are investing, with their equipment, with their inventory, along with all the build out of the interior, roughly $1 million,” Arp said explaining Ed’s Supply immediate commitment in signing a 10 year lease with the county.
Fannin County Chairman Stan Helton praised the Development Authority for their hard work in completing all aspects of the SPEC Building project: “I know some of the fellow commissioners in other counties tell me the typical timeframe to fill a SPEC building with a valid company is closer to five years, and you and your board made this happen in a little over a year.”
Post 1 Commissioner Earl Johnson, who has been with the BOC since approval was given on the building project, thanked the Development Authority for working so diligently: “Hopefully some of the people who didn’t believe in it back then, will now look and say that it was a good investment.”
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