Friday, July 20, 2001

PTC Development Authority learns Fayette's role in attracting industrry, helping small businesses


Although there hasn't been much interest from industries looking to locate in Peachtree City, there aren't many places left to put them, according to Chris Clark, president and chief executive officer of the Fayette County Development Authority.

Clark met with the Peachtree City Development Authority at its regular meeting Monday night to explain the activities of the county authority. In addition to seeking new industry and screening those candidates, the authority also strives to help existing industries while attracting and supporting new and home-grown businesses, Clark said.

Inquiries about industrial locations typically come from state project managers, brokers, consultants and sometimes directly from companies themselves, Clark said.

They typically ask for information on all the 25-acre and 50-acre industrial parcels, but there aren't many of those left, Clark explained.

All industrial inquiries are screened to "make sure it's something we want here," Clark explained.

"We ask them about their water and sewer needs, and about air quality and noise issues," Clark said. Less desirable industries will be steered to neighboring communities first and outside the area if necessary, he added.

The Fayette County Development Authority also has a Web site chock full of statistical data about the county, which is also translated into Japanese, Clark noted.

The county development authority has also commissioned a study by Georgia Tech on how zoning decisions affect industrial and commercial support of the tax base for the county, its municipalities and the school board.

Such an undertaking "has never been done in the country," Clark noted. The results are expected sometime in September.

Most communities ideally want to have industries and businesses share 30 percent of the tax burden although Fayette County averages approximately 10 percent. That leaves local residents paying about 90 percent of the taxes collected by the school board, the municipalities and the county governments, Clark said.

The county development authority also keeps tabs on possible redevelopment opportunities and fostering the creation of locally-owned small businesses, Clark said.

Small business owners can take advantage of classes offered locally by Clayton College & State University and the authority is also working on hosting a "small business appreciation week" in the near future, Clark said.

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