Glascock receives $500,000
By Parish Howard
Untold hours of hard work on a vision of Glascock County’s future was rewarded last week when Gov. Sonny Perdue presented the county with a OneGeorgia Authority check for $500,000 that will go towards helping recruit both business and jobs.
“The investments we are making today will pay dividends by retaining and creating jobs, stimulating private investment and enhancing regional competitiveness,” Gov. Perdue said of the grants that are meant to spur economic development in rural Georgia.
Glascock’s grant comes through the program’s Equity Fund that is designed to assist in developing infrastructure to support economic development.
The $500,000 grant will be used to assist the county’s development authority purchase of 140 acres to establish Glascock County’s first industrial park.
“This is so good for our county,” said Lori Boyen, chairman of the Glascock County Industrial Development Authority. “When we got the news we were so excited.”
Last year the county lost a potential manufacturing plant that would have created 150 jobs largely because the county had no site ready for them to move onto, Boyen explained.
“We were in it right up until the very end,” Boyen said. “I mean we already had the state promising this and that because they knew we needed the jobs here.”
The authority had selected the site on a state road, with close proximity to Gibson,
“The impact to other businesses here would have been tremendous,” Boyen said. “It hurt to lose those jobs, but what really made me sick was losing the potential for all of those spin off businesses it would have generated.”
The authority looked at around 20 sites before settling on this one, a 139 acre tract located just 1.1 miles outside of Gibson on Highway 102. They worked to get options on the property, did the preliminary engineering and got an environmental assessment of the site.
When the prospect turned away, the authority looked at how much they had already invested in the site in the way of both money and manhours and started looking around for other options. That’s when they decided to apply for a OneGeorgia grant to purchase the property and develop the county’s first industrial park.
“Our engineering shows how we can expand city water and sewer services to the site,” Boyen said. “It’s difficult to attract business. Any industry you go after is expecting you to give them something for locating there.”
And a county the size of Glascock, does not have much to bargain with.
Rep. Sistie Hudson, D’Ann Simpson, Brian Adams, Audrey Chalker, Gov. Sonny Perdue, Lori Boyen, Allison Blair, James Markins and Sen. Bill Jackson pose with Glascock's check.
“This property is step one,” she said. “Once we have a business in hand we’ll be going after some more money to expand our infrastructure out there. If we don’t have something to offer, then no one is going to want to talk to us.”
Boyen and fellow board member Brian Adams agreed that a key to marketing the site is going to be in looking for industry that is appropriate for Glascock County.
“We’ll be marketing to more mom and pop operations,” Boyen said. “You know, the smaller businesses, people who don’t have to be located right on I-20 or a rail spur. We have to look at what our strengths are and who we can realistically expect will move in here. We aren’t going to get a Kia plant or a Wal-Mart distribution center. It just isn’t going to happen. We need to be realistic and plan our marketing of this property around that.”
Adams said that Glascock is only one of a few counties in Georgia that currently do not have some sort of industrial park available for industry.
“Things are going to change, but you have to plan for it,” he said. “We’re interested in quality growth. We have to have a vision for the future.”
This site, to Boyen, Adams, and the other four members of the development authority, is more than a place to put a business, it is part of a future they see for Glascock County.
“Our high school was just recognized as being 17 in the state in SAT scores,” Boyen said. “We have some smart kids here. What we want to do is offer them good paying jobs so they don’t have to move away or commute an hour, one-way, to work every day.”
They are appreciative of the hours of work many local citizens and the area’s state representatives have put into this project.
“D'Ann Simpson laid a lot of the groundwork for this,” Boyen said. “She got the authority reinstated and ran the Chamber of Commerce for a couple of years. All of this is built on the work she did.”
The grant money will be used to purchase the property and any that is left over will be used to either start developing an entrance to the property or developing a site plan.
“We are trying to create a vision for our county,” Boyen said. “All of us on the authority live here in the county. We pay taxes here. This is a really good thing for us.”
Puppy tests positive for rabies, six to receive treatments
By Parish Howard
Several people from Gibson and a couple of Sandersville veterinary clinic employees are scheduling rabies virus treatments after coming in contact with a puppy that health officials said tested positive for the disease.
“In all we have six people who have to have the shots now,” said Jefferson County Health Department Environmental Specialist III Belinda Sheram. “All of this came from contact with a domestic dog, which is highly unusual. According to the state, only 2.6 percent of the 267 cases reported in Georgia between 2004 and 2006 were in domestic animals.”
Sheram said that she was notified Sunday, Nov. 4, that a family in Gibson had a four-month-old puppy that was foaming at the mouth.
“Several people in the neighborhood had tried to come to the dog’s rescue by giving it Tylenol,” Sheram said. “They held the dog’s mouth open and the animal had salivated on their hands. Some of these people had scratches on their hands.”
The animal was tested in a state lab in Decatur, Sheram said, and once the results came back positive for the disease, everyone who had come in contact with the animal’s saliva was required to begin the rabies treatments.
“There were no bites, but that doesn’t matter,” Sheram said. “Now we have four people in Glascock taking the shots and two employees of the veterinary clinic in Sandersville who treated the animal who did not have pre-exposure vaccines.”
Sheram said that there is no way to identify how the dog contracted the disease, as several neighbors said the dog regularly got out of its pen and could have come in contact with any number of wild animals. Sheram said she had talked to the owner of the litter the puppy had originated with and while these animals did not appear to be infected, suggested they see a veterinarian.
“The most important thing we can tell the people of Glascock County is if you see unusual behavior in wild animals to avoid them and report any contact immediately,” Sheram said. “If any of your domestic animals appear sick with the typical symptoms, take them to a veterinarian. People need to be leery of other people’s animals. People are very kind when it comes to sick animals but that’s not always the best solution.”
Symptoms of the rabies virus can develop between 20 and 60 days after exposure and can range from aggressiveness to a weak or lethargic state.
There have been at least two other confirmed cases of the disease in Jefferson County this year, both in foxes.
Area firefighters were recently trained on how to extinquish a flaming liquid propane gas tank. According to Hillcrest Fire Chief Dave Beachy, the objective here is to drive the fire away from the fuel source enough to allow a firefighter to get close enough to shut off the valve or to crimp the line thus shutting down the fuel that feeds the fire. Firefighters are shown here approaching the burning propane as they attempt to control the fire.
Tell us what you're thankful for
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