Peachtree City’s new economic development coordinator will start with a modest $75,000 budget for the remainder of the current fiscal year. The budget was approved last week by the city council.
With those funds, Joey Grisham will be starting up an operation that will focus on attracting high-paying jobs to the city as he works in concert with the Fayette County Development Authority and state officials. That means going after not just industry but also office developments as well.
A significant part of Grisham’s job will be working connections and promoting Peachtree City at specialized trade shows.
The $75,000 budget includes $42,000 for advertising, printing and binding, and $4,750 for education and training. Also since the position is new the city will spend just over $10,000 on a computer setup and other operating supplies for Grisham’s one man operation.
Grisham’s proposed budget breaks down into line item expenditures for each category, including a projected $2,000 in “marketing and recruitment” for efforts to lure suppliers of the new Sany heavy equipment manufacturer that is slated to open later this year as the latest large tenant in the city’s industrial park.
In a memo to council, Grisham contemplated that a potential overseas trip will be necessary as part of those efforts.
Another part of Grisham’s budget will add a software program to the city’s arsenal. The program provides detailed demographic information including the capability to draw comparisons to other regions.
In the retail sector, Grisham is inheriting some challenges. A large shopping center featuring a newly-opened Sam’s Club and a soon-to-be-open movie theater is certain to draw Peachtree City residents to spend their money and time there, along with sales tax dollars that city officials would rather keep here.
In some ways however the retail picture has become more rosy for the city in recent months as the Fresh Market specialty grocer opened this week, replacing the vacant Baby Kroger store in the Peachtree Crossing shopping center.
Also, the Braelinn Village shopping center has undergone a complete exterior renovation that was officially opened this summer. The effort has attracted renewed interest from potential tenants and also has resulted in additional foot traffic there, according to reports from retailers who have been there for years.