Steve Taylor

Bartow County Commissioner Steve Taylor

Up to this point a specific new plan for the area has not been submitted but, Taylor said, Atlanta developers had laid out hopes for several major commercial and residential projects in the area on either side of I-75 in the Emerson area.

TAD financing involves the establishment of baseline property tax values for a parcel and once new development begins, a portion of the increased tax value is returned to the developers to offset expenses for a defined period of time. The idea is deferred tax revenue paid as property is developed will net  greater tax revenues in the future.

The proposed TAD area includes three primary development areas. One of the areas is near the old Paga Mine property which was targeted for a major entertainment theme park several years ago until those plans collapsed. Another area is around Allatoona Landing on the east side of I-75 and a third area is across U.S. 41 from the LakePoint Sporting Community.

Previously the former Paga Mine property was considered by Jacoby Development of Atlanta for a mixed-use development with up to 2,000 single-family and multi-family residential units as well as close to one million square feet of commercial space.

In this case, Taylor said, Jacoby is a possible developer, or co-developer of additional amenities around Allatoona Landing, a large mobile home community and boat area off Ga. 293 on the lake. The third area, west of U.S. 411 adjacent to LakePoint is an area that was targeted for development more than a decade ago, but plans collapsed as the recession set in.

"That's an area that we thought should be in a TAD and give somebody an incentive to get back and start developing that again.  There are a lot of grading issues and so forth with that development," Taylor said.

The area is currently generating approximately $300,000 in property taxes, Taylor said. After he votes on the creation of the TAD district Wednesday, Taylor said the developer would need to speak with the Bartow County School Board to get their blessing for the project.

Taylor said the county partnered with Cartersville for the redevelopment of the extended Main Street commercial district out toward I-75 where the new Kroger is located but this TAD would be the first undertaken without a city partnership.

That project involved rehabilitation of an old abandoned mine and landfill.

"That worked out really well for that area there, so hopefully this other one will do the same," Taylor said.

It also involves a much larger abandoned ochre mine.

All of the money generated by the incremental tax abatement would be used for public infrastructure, Taylor said.

"The big lift on this one is remediating the old abandoned mine that was there — just a deep hole in the ground — so that's what the big money will be used for, reclaiming that property," Taylor said.

Geoff Koski, president of the Bleakly Advisory Group which wrote the document that helps detail the eligibility of the area for TAD financing, said the major lack of infrastructure in the area is primarily what qualifies the district for TAD financing.

"There have been a lot of people look at (the Paga Mine) property for potential development, but no one has even been able to make it work. There's just too much clean up that has to be done and there has to be infrastructure put in place to have any sort of development occur," Koski said.