The Development Authority of Polk County met digitally again for May and provided a brief update on the happenings with local industries, and on a potential new investor for a building sitting empty for the past six years.
“Project Tango” recently had local commissions and boards holding special called sessions to go into executive session to discuss real estate matters, and to provide additional incentives to get a potential investor to move into the building that was completed and the ribbon cut back in 2014.
DAPC President and CEO Terry Schwindler reported to the DAPC board during their May meeting that a decision on whether the Spec building located in the Northside Industrial Park on the Cedartown Bypass will be purchased on June 9. She said the potential investor is also considering a property in Alabama.
The potential investor would join others in Polk County that are currently struggling with how to deal with the COVID-19 shutdowns and how to open back up safely. April Lucas, the DAPC’s liaison for Existing Industries, reported that manufacturing partners have not only been internally dealing with the virus, but have also been helping out in the community as well.
Miura America is one example that Lucas cited during the May session after the company provided the DAPC with a number of face masks to give out as donations, which were then distributed to the cities and county government to help keep front line workers and public safety officials safe when they are working in the field.
She also pointed toward previous efforts put forth by companies like Meggitt and GEO Specialty Chemical to provide bulk hand sanitizer to local governments and organizations in need, as well as for Floyd-Polk Medical Center.
As far as how much the workforce is producing in local plants is another issue. Lucas said that some companies have stayed open but with only a single shift running like Miura America and Sheboygan Paint, while others like Gildan have elected to close for the time being and open up as soon as possible.
Jefferson Southern was previously closed, but then reopened for one shift a day.
As much as possible, Lucas said employees who weren’t essential in many plants are being asked to work from home.
No other business that required a vote was on the DAPC’s agenda for May.
COVID-19 forced the closure of the DAPC’s office in March, and that closure is set to continue as Schwindler said the situation continues to develop. She said that decision will be re-evaluated after month’s end but likely she and Lucas will continue to work from home and provide in-person service for on-site visits when necessary.