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County officials help as GIW expands

Posted: March 16, 2014 - 12:08am

Columbia County officials are expected to approve funds at Tuesday’s meeting to help widen a road in front of an expanding Grovetown industry.

GIW Industries Inc., based on Wrightsboro Road just east of Grovetown, is planning a large expansion of the facility, according to a company spokesman who wouldn’t provide further details of the expansion.

Robert Bennett, executive director of the Columbia County Development Authority, said at a recent Management and Financial Services Committee meeting that GIW is applying for a $500,000 state Community Development Block Grant through the Employment Incentive Program to widen the road in front of the manufacturer known for making slurry pumps and other machinery.

The expansion to the foundry and distribution center is expected to cause more truck traffic near the plant.

Estimates on the project show a potential cost of $630,000. It includes widening about 1,500 feet of Wrightsboro Road from the city limits past the traffic signal at John Deere Parkway. Bennett asked county officials to commit to up to $100,000 of the cost above the grant amount and a resolution supporting the project to go along with the grant application.

“It is to help them as they move forward on an expansion of their property,” Bennett said.

County Administrator Scott Johnson recommended supporting the project and earmarking the money from the county’s Economic Incentive Program funds.

“GIW has been a long-standing partner in this community,” Johnson said. “Their expansion is rather large. This is an exciting project for the county.

“Wrightsboro Road going into Grovetown there has its challenges. I believe as we continue to see Grovetown expand, it would be in our best interests to participate. This is a good opportunity for us.”

County leaders put the issue on the consent agenda for Tuesday’s semi-monthly commission meeting.

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