An overview of Milledgeville-Baldwin County’s state of industrial development will be the focus of the third Eggs & Issues Breakfast next week. Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority Executive Director Matt Poyner will lead the discussion with local city and county officials, educators, parents, citizens and others in attendance. “I will give an overview of what the development authority does and how it works. I will also give an overview of the past six months and for the next six months and beyond. I will give a walk through of a project we’ve been working on, a timeline of it, what was requested and who was involved, but I can’t provide a name of the project at this point,” Poyner said. “I think people will be interested to see what’s going on, and I’m excited to let people know how things work.” At the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce’s Eggs & Issues Breakfast, business and community leaders, and elected officials take the opportunity to have an open forum discussing issues relating to Milledgeville and Baldwin County. Topics include legislative agenda, education, transportation and economic development. The initial series held in October featured school Superintendent Geneva Braziel, who delivered an update on the school system’s successes and challenges. At the second breakfast in November, Oconee Regional Medical Center CEO Jean Aycock provided an update on the state of community health care. Registration for the Eggs & Issues Breakfast centered on industrial development is slated to begin at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at The Original Crockett’s. The series is presented by Central Georgia Technical College (CGTC) and is sponsored by Ocmulgee Site and Environmental Services Inc. Tickets are $10 each, or $75 for a table of eight. The cost of tickets includes a breakfast buffet prior to the 8 a.m. presentation. “We’re the front line to help bring jobs to the community. I understand the weight on my shoulders and I want to let people know what’s going on,” Poyner said. “I’m extremely aware that my funds come from taxpayers and I need to be held accountable, so I’m being transparent as much as I can.” The Eggs & Issues program will continue every four to six weeks until May, where at the last program in the series state and federal legislators will be featured at CGTC’s new facility. For more information about the series or to register in advance, call the Chamber office at (478) 453-9311.
On Tuesday, December 11th, the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority hosted an Economic Development Appreciation Day to show appreciation to our supporters in the community.
Our honorees included:
- Aubri Lane’s
- Baldwin County Board of Commissioners
- Bug House Pest Control
- Central Georgia Technical College
- City of Milledgeville
- Digital Bridges
- Georgia College & State University
- Georgia Military College
- Goebel Media Group
- Louie Herron Toyota
- Middle Georgia Regional Commission
- Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce
- Ocmulgee Site & Environmental Design
- Oconee Regional Medical Center
- The Brick
The Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority hosted an Economic Development Appreciation Day Tuesday morning. Honorees included Aubri Lane’s, Baldwin County Board of Commissioners, Bug House Pest Control, Central Georgia Technical College, City of Milledgeville, Digital Bridges, Georgia College & State University, Georgia Military College, Goebel Media Group, Louie Herron Toyota, Middle Georgia Regional Commission, Milledgeville-Baldwin County Chamber of Commerce, Ocmulgee Site & Environmental Design, Oconee Regional Medical Center and The Brick. Development Authority Executive Director Matt Poyner thanked attendees for a successful group approach. Georgia Department of Economic Development Director Jennifer Nelson said Baldwin County should feel good about the local partnerships that show industry the area has strong leadership.
Improving the local development authority’s website is a top priority of Executive Director Matt Poyner. Five months into his post, he said the upgrades should be ready by the end of the year. Updating demographics, quality of life, land availability, climate, labor pools and millage rate information are just a few of the changes. Poyner said the site will answer all questions for an industry interested in Baldwin County. “I bet that this new website will be one of the most advanced sites in the state for economic development. What we are doing on our site is going to be very unique,” Poyner said. “These consultants are doing website searches before they go to the state. We might not get those looks right now because our website doesn’t provide enough data.” Currently, the development authority is also working on clearing two areas within the Milledgeville/Baldwin County industrial park. The county has pledged to help. Clearing and grading the 40-acre portion behind Rath Refractories and a 44-acre area closer to Highway 22 falls under Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) funding totaling $2.5 million. Interested industries do ask about the relationship between the local governments. They want to make sure no bad blood exists. On the development authority end, Poyner sees no issue.
Matt Poyner just finished up his first three months as the executive director for the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority. His networking ability and early activity report impressed Baldwin County Commissioner Sammy Hall in a recent board of commissioners meeting. Sprucing up the industrial park and filling the spec building off Highway 22 rank at the top of Poyner’s list, together with a updated marketing materials and website. The 60,000 square-foot spec building has interested viewers. Completing Phase 2 development of 250 acres at the industrial park is important also.The current plan divides the remaining undeveloped land into large parcels. Poyner said foreign companies need at least 50 acres of flat land to envision the build. The inventory is present, just not ready for construction. “This project takes time. We have to keep our head up, keep moving and hope we are doing the right things. Baldwin County has a lot to offer,” Poyner said. “They can love us, but if we don’t have what they need in terms of workforce, land or buildings, we aren’t going to have a shot at it. Opening up this park will be critical to getting us some leads and generation from the state level.” Keeping current industry happy is important to the development authority. The executive director said existing companies are the heart and soul of the community. As companies like Zschimmer & Schwarz grow their job footprint, industry folks notice Baldwin County’s potential. Helping existing industry growth endures within the agency’s mission. Meeting and greeting these folks makes all the difference. Poyner understands the pressure to reach development goals. “I’m very cognizant that my salary comes from tax dollars. I want to do the right thing. I’m invested in this community and I want to see it succeed,” the executive director said.