Development Authority of Polk County

Keeping track of all the Aprils within the Development Authority of Polk County marked the start of their latest monthly session in Cedartown.

The April session marked the first meeting for the newly hired project manager April Lucas, who was hired to replace the recently departed April Welch, both of which DAPC CEO and President Missy Kendrick noted were hired in the month of April, just a year apart.

Kendrick noted that Lucas, who holds a degree in Marketing from Berry College, is already bringing ideas to the table on how to improve the DAPC’s image in various areas.

“I’m so very glad to have April with us,” Kendrick said during the April 12 session of the DAPC’s monthly board meeting. “She comes to us with a marketing background and doing creative stuff, and she’s already told me that there’s a number of items coming out of our office that we can do better, which I’m happy to do.”

Her introductions were followed up by reminders from Kendrick about forthcoming filming in Rockmart just outside of the DAPC office in the downtown area around Marble Street.

The film crews have already been busy dressing the windows, Kendrick said, and should be getting started near the tail end of the month.

She added as part of her prospect report that additional productions are including Polk County in their search for locations and have expressed interest as part of an ongoing effort to attract economic development opportunities outside of traditional industries and commercial businesses.

Those businesses are being celebrated this month for Industry Appreciation Month, which Kendrick said is being covered in a number of ways. That included full page advertisements starting last week and through the end of April within the pages of this paper, along with a forthcoming Industry Appreciation Golf Tournament and nominations of The HON Company as the Industry of the Year for the state, and Cedarstream for the Small Business of the Year. They are up for state honors during a forthcoming banquet later in the month.

Courting new industries as well remains a keystone effort of the DAPC as they also spent time in recent days hosting five new project managers within the county.

Kendrick said those visits are useful for the community as project managers from the state level get to know the Polk County area better on March 26, showing off existing industrial park spaces and the county as a whole. The opportunity to provide tours is important as new project managers begin to connect potential projects with available land and buildings, like what Polk County has to offer at spaces like the SPEC building in the Cedartown Northside Industrial Park, or available land around Rockmart ready for development.

“You have to get them here and show them the product,” Kendrick pointed out.

Some of those products include remaining land available around the Earley property, which is being partially utilized in months to come by the new training center for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 926. They closed on their portion of the property near Cedartown Middle School in March, Kendrick reported.

Representatives were at the DAPC meeting in early March to provide an update on their plans, but haven’t yet set a date for an official groundbreaking for the facility. Some grading and site preparations are still required.

Board members did discuss getting debt paid off on the remaining acreage on the site and how that might be accomplished in the coming years, which will be required as part of a new agreement with lenders to pay off both the rest of the interest and principal after the sale of the portion to the IUOE Local 926.