The Rome-Floyd County Development Authority approved the issuance of $38 million in bonds for one of two expansion projects at the Ball Corp. plant on Tuesday.

The project involves the addition of a line to manufacture new 7.5 ounce beverage containers.

In March, the authority approved the issuance of up to $64 million in bonds — which allow the company to access funds at a low interest rate. However, Ball officials decided to use lease or purchase financing options for a major portion of the project.

Ball also is receiving a $500,000 state EDGE grant as part of the package that convinced the company to expand its operations in Floyd County.

The expansion, within the footprint of the original plant, is expected to add another 40 to 50 jobs to its local workforce.

The EDGE fund was created by the state to offer financial assistance for projects where the company is considering one or more states for a relocation or expansion — and where the project will enhance the local community by adding or retaining jobs.

Authority attorney Andy Davis said the company will pay fees amounting to $47,400 a year over 12 years, in lieu of taxes.

The authority also approved a resolution to submit a state EDGE grant application on behalf of Kerry, which is expanding its bakery facility on Douglas Street in the Lindale area. The grant is expected to total $575,000.

Also, Development Authority President Missy Kendrick reported that her office is still getting new project inquiries, although she did not identify the sources. A month ago she said that Floyd County is the only site in Georgia in consideration by two different prospects. Nothing has changed on that front, she said.

The authority also conducted a brief closed door session at the end of the meeting to discuss potential real estate acquisition.

Rome and Floyd County have long needed additional properties for future industrial development. Voters approved money in each of the last two special purpose local option sales tax packages for that purpose. So far, the community has yet to lock down a location.

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