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Commission Helping Local Businesses Expand

The Jeff Davis County Commission last week approved final details to assist two local industries with multi-million dollar expansions.
County Attorney Andy Ramay explained the details on bond sales that will enable Beasley Forest Products and Thompson Hardwoods to complete their planned expansions. Beasley’s expansion will cost $48 million and Thompson’s will cost $85 million.
Legal advertisements informing the public of the bond sales ran last week in the Ledger and are running again this week. The expansions will create additional jobs at both plants and have already received approval from the Georgia Economic Development Authority, Ramay explained. The expansions and the job creations came with a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the county commission that both entities will receive tax abatements that expire in five years.
The commissioners unanimously approved both MOUs.
Joint Development Authority (JDA) member Terry Stone attended the meeting and explained that, in addition to assisting with the two expansions, the JDA had also approved an application from Creech Welding for funding from the JDA’s revolving loan fund. She added that the JDA had additional funds available and told the commissioners to let the JDA know if they know anyone needing low-interest loans through the revolving loan fund.
The commissioners approved the loan request from Creech Welding.
In other action at last Tuesday’s meeting, the commissioners ….
…. approved the 2024 holiday closing schedule as presented by County Administrator Heather Scott.
…. approved the 2024 county elections qualifying fees as presented by Scott.
…. okayed a request from the Board of Education to remove taxes on a tract of land purchased by the Board in August.
…. listened as Commissioner James Benjamin explained what bad condition the Amanda Thomas Road was in, suggesting crush-and-run be placed on the road.
…. listened as Commissioner Vann Wooten expressed his disappointment that the motor graders the commission had ordered had still not arrived.
…. met in for an hour and 18 minutes in closed session to discuss personnel issues, calling a number of employees into their closed meeting. When the meeting was re-opened to the public, the commissioners ….
…. agreed to set up a grievance committee consisting of commissioners James Emory Tate and Vann Wooten.
…. voted 3-2 to seek a new county attorney effective Jan. 1, 2024. Wooten and Ricky Crosby voted against the matter.
…. re-elected Hank Hobbs as chairman for a one-year term on a 3-2 vote with Crosby and Benjamin voting No.
…. re-appointed Wooten vice-chairman for a one-year term with no opposition.

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