With work set to begin in the coming months on the final portion of the Fall Line Freeway, next week’s Eggs & Issues breakfast presents a key opportunity to focus on Baldwin County’s economic development future. Baldwin County has a lot at stake with regards to the Fall Line Freeway, potential fertile ground for new industry and economic development for the Central Georgia region. In the year’s to come, the Fall Line Freeway will play a significant role in shaping the economic development future for not only Baldwin County but Wilkinson and other surrounding communities as well. The $58.3 million contract for construction of the route’s final nine-mile section between state Route 24 and U.S. Highway 441 south of Milledgeville in Baldwin and Wilkinson counties was awarded last week. The roadway is a potential hub for manufacturers and increased traffic for state commerce. Work is scheduled to be completed in 2015 — a short time away when charting Baldwin County’s future. The Fall Line Freeway will likely be one of the topics discussed at next week’s breakfast when Milledgeville-Baldwin County Development Authority Executive Matt Poyner presents an overview of the past six months in local industry and economic development progress and relay details on the future. This is an opportunity for local residents and business leaders to hear firsthand at the same time insight on Baldwin County’s future. It’s an open venue to ask questions about what is to come and find out details on what lies ahead long-term. As Dr. Ed Poppell, former vice president for Business Affairs and Economic Development for the University of Florida told a group of locals Tuesday morning with regards to economic development, “ownership comes from participation.” That participation is most effective when it utilizes a singular, unified voice. This is the third in a series of Eggs & Issues sessions held in the past several months. The first two sessions focused on education and health care. Each topic in this series provides a glimpse at how all the pieces — education, economic development, health care — fit together in enhancing Baldwin County’s overall quality of life and how these elements improve the local community’s standing as we work to attract new jobs and industry. Each Eggs & Issues session is valuable to local residents, no matter age or occupation, because everyone has a stake in Baldwin County’s course. It’s a new year, creating a new opportunity for all of us to place a renewed sense of focus on Baldwin County’s future. Next week’s breakfast presents one such opportunity — a chance to walk into 2013 with the future of Baldwin County as the primary focus.
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.