Work on Stanton Springs remains on schedule
By Stephanie Johns
The Joint Development Authority (JDA) of Jasper, Morgan, Newton and Walton counties learned that the work at Stanton Springs continues to go well.
Paul Michael, Development and Land Sales for Stanton Springs, said that their Georgia Power, AT&T, water and sewer infrastructure makes them competitive with data centers and in the IT arena. He added that he is going to spend time working on a marketing message going forward.
He said they are waiting on Georgia Power regarding the location of their substation. He expects to know that location by their next meeting.
He noted that AT&T has run fiber optic cable down the parkway now and that TPA Realty Services (TPA) will grant AT&T an easement for a switching station. He also said that AT&T collapsed a portion of sidewalk and damaged the irrigation system but that he is working with AT&T to get that cleaned up.
Within the next 60 days they will go before the Newton County Water and Sewer Authority requesting easements for both gravity and force main lines.
Michael said TPA will meet with the JDA-TPA Design Control Committee to review plans for the Baxter facility. He said the people from Baxter have suggested “minor tweaks and adjustments” resulting in nominal changes.
“I’m amazed at the bar they’ve set,” he said, adding that the public will be impressed. “It has the look and feel of a Class A office building – it’s that impressive.”
They have cleared the entrance on the front 50 acres of the Baxter site. This land will be used for parking and a concrete batch plant as well as a place to stockpile materials for the 100-acre site.
“There will be hundreds to thousands of people out there on a daily basis during the peak of construction,” he said.
Authority members voted to approve three resolutions.
The first allows Verner to fill out and sign documents pertaining to a GEFA Loan, contingent upon approval of the counties.
The second allows the authority to execute intergovernmental contracts regarding the same loan.
The third authorizes the sale of nine acres to Stanton Springs, LLC.
During its Tuesday morning meeting the Morgan County Commission voted its approval to execute an intergovernmental contract regarding the $5.9 million GEFA loan to fund a portion of the Baxter wastewater pretreatment facility. They also voted to sign an intergovernmental contract containing the terms of the funding.
Commissioner Mack Bohlen said that the pretreatment plant will be operated by Covington. He pointed out that projected returns for the county will be about $4.7 million in tax collections for 2018 to 2027. Once the county recoups its investment, it still will own 15 percent of the park, he said.
County Manager Michael Lamar agreed, “A significant amount of surplus will make it manageable.”
As to land sales, the JDA will split approximately $16.8 million among the four counties through 2020.
Bohlen said the point of the JDA is not to make money, though.
“It’s about providing jobs,” he said.
Morgan County Chairwoman Ellen Warren commended Bohlen for his efforts on the county’s behalf.
“It’s been a long process and it has paid off,” she said.
Bohlen then thanked his fellow commissioners.
“I appreciate the support of this board,” he said. “The county will profit for years to come.”
In other news:
- Michael noted that they have found a couple of deer stands on the other side of a creek on the property and that they have used GPS to pinpoint the locations. Four-wheelers also have been on the property.
In an earlier interview Chariman Alan Verner shared safety concerns about hunters in proximity to a busy construction site.
- Authority member Denny Dobbs gave the financial report, noting that he has paid their standard bills since they last met in September.
Printed in the December 6, 2012 edition