Group wants to focus on retaining local industry
The head of Peachtree City’s Development Authority says the city needs to place a high priority on retaining the city’s largest companies.
Mark Hollums told the City Council at its retreat last weekend that he would like to have a staff member who could handle retention matters and also help attract new companies, with a particular eye on white-collar jobs.
The authority would like to do in-depth industrial and small business surveys to help find out how the city can help those companies. The staffer could also help identify any industries that might be looking to leave, giving the city an opportunity to address any problems before that might happen, Hollums indicated.
“It’s much cheaper to keep them than to recruit new businesses,” Hollums said.
The authority currently gets $35,000 a year from the city but Mayor Don Haddix acknowledged it wasn’t enough. The funds have to come from the city because hotel-motel funds can’t be used, Haddix indicated.
Hollums said he thought the authority could get by with a budget in the range of $150,000 to $200,000, and he was asked to prepare such a budget for the consideration of council for the 2011-2012 budget year.
“We’re not going to move forward without funding and they are our future,” Haddix said.
Hollums noted that city staff has provided excellent support for the authority.
Councilman Doug Sturbaum explained an effort to persuade state officials to change the city’s ability to provide incentives for new and relocating companies. Currently, the city is handicapped to a degree because other areas of the state such as Spalding County qualify for better tax credit incentives.
Sturbaum said the city is making the case to reclassify the area so the state’s highest job credit incentives can be offered.
“We are trying to revitalize our industrial section,” Sturbaum said.
The authority has also been focusing on the city’s village retail centers, working specifically with business owner associations at the Braelinn and Glenloch village centers to help them increase their business.