Walker County, Ga., is seeing interest in economic development. In anticipation and preparation of utility needs for some potential large users, the Walker County Development Authority is having an engineering study done to accommodate their needs, said Executive Director Stephanie Watkins. And industry visits are taking place that may include tax benefits.
The county is also expanding the footprint of the Walker County Industrial Park on Highway 27.
At a meeting Tuesday morning the Development Authority unanimously approved the purchase of 103 acres, consisting of two parcels that are adjoining the Industrial Park. The county will pay the owner $1,280,000 in full at closing, from available cash funds with no financing necessary.
The Development Authority is reporting good news from two projects. “Project Tomorrow,” the state assigned reference name for expansion of the Roper Corporation in LaFayette, was approved in early 2022. This was done with the help from the state of Georgia’s EDGE grant, which helps give a county in Georgia the ability to close on a deal involving an expansion or location of the business. It includes assistance with employment issues and equipment when the county is competing with another state or country. A commitment of adding 600 jobs came with the agreement. On Monday, the Development Authority approved the Memo of Understanding and Accountability Agreement and the final documentation that will be needed to fulfill the commitment that the state made to secure the project.
Another project coming from the state of Georgia is being referred to as “Project M&M.” Members of the Development Authority were told that this company is still interested in locating in Walker County, and a decision is expected by the end of August.
A new venture that Walker County has developed is Walker Rocks, a trail of “selfie stations,” marked with large boulders that are located in areas of interest throughout the county. For those who complete the entire trail and have photos at each stop, the Chamber of Commerce is offering a prize. This was a collaboration of Walker County, the Chamber of Commerce and the Development Authority. Hotel/motel taxes were used to pay for it.