Posted: Monday, September 9th 2013 at 6:41pm
Rearden says $10-million is enough for Gateway Ctr
By Jerry Gunn Staff
GAINESVILLE - Hall County Commissioners Monday got assurances from Public Works Director Ken Rearden that the Gateway Industrial Center project on Highway 365 was on time and on budget.
Rearden’s power point update showed commissioners that $6.69-million of the county’s $10-million SPLOST budget for Gateway is under contract. The gravity sewer and pump stations still have not been bid.
“I’ve told the Commission that I believe we can get the sewer installed within that $3.14-million we have, Rearden said. “Out of that $6.69-million we’re building roadways, storm water, water lines all the way through Gateway, and some underground, under the roadway sewer lines. We have three major culvert crossings and that is already under contract, so all we have left are the pump stations and the gravity sewer lines inside the park.”
Rearden said he was tracking under the $10-million budget the Commission approved and is keeping his fingers crossed that he will get good bids on the next phase.
The target final completion for the 518 acre project is December, 2014, but Rearden pointed out there have been 73 rain delays, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineer permit took four longer than expected and utility relocations also took time. Rearden added he hopes to have the sewer and pump station construction ready to put out for bid by the first of the year.
Rearden told Commission Chairman Dick Mecum the county could meet a 2015 deadline when Georgia Poultry Lab is set to begin operation. He reported that the Georgia Properties Commission reimbursed $690,000 to the county for purchase of the ten acre poultry lab site. That money goes back into the project budget.
Commissioners also heard that marketing the Gateway Industrial Center on Highway 365 is underway. Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Vice President for Economic Development Tim Evans told them that the project has 'Georgia Ready for Accelerated Development' certification.
"We started about a year and a half ago on the 'GRAD' and that really sets us apart in terms of having a site with all infrastructure and utilities" Evans said. "It speaks to the site consulting location world that we a site that's ready to go and can be developed very, very quickly."
Evans said he's been marketing specific areas of the property and 25 project managers viewed the site on a bus tour last week.
"That's a group that partners with us on projects throughout Hall County," Evans said.
Evans said he wants to put up signs on the site when the road work is complete, and pointed out that two fifths of the property fronts on the railroad.
"We think that's a very attractive part of the site at the northern end," Evans observed. "Those are very rare things to find, rail sites with all utilities and all infrastructure."
According to Evans the county may expect more and more interest from prospective developers once sewer service is ready next year.
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