The Development Authority of Columbia County elected a new leader at Tuesday's monthly meeting to replace its recently retired chairman, Bill Coleman.
Members voted to accept Ron Thigpen, a former authority vice chairman and chairman of Columbia County's Planning Commission, to replace Coleman in the chairman position. Stan Shepherd was accepted to replace Thigpen as the vice chairman.
Pete Brodie has been passed through the Community and Emergency Services Committee and will go before the Board of Commissioners for final approval at a June 21 meeting to fill the vacancy left on the nine-member authority with Coleman's resignation.
"I've always thought this commission, this authority, does some very important work in the community," Brodie said at the meeting. "I am looking forward to joining you in that effort."
In other action, the authority received interest from both Gov. Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Department of Economic Development after the recent groundbreaking of Uniparts USA Ltd., an India-based company that produces parts for John Deere tractors. The company is opening a warehouse and distribution center to Horizon North Business Park off International Parkway near Grovetown.
"They are moving quickly. They are hoping to have the warehouse portion in workable order so that it might be usable by August," Daffin said. "This is a case where an Indian company is investing in the United States versus what we hear so much about American companies sending jobs overseas."
Daffin said the authority is working out details with another business, whose name was not yet released, that also is interested in moving to Horizon South. Billy Franke, a Sherman and Hemstreet associate broker, mentioned more new businesses headed to Columbia County.
"We have another major retailer looking at Gibbs and Washington Road, and we're supposed to close on a piece of property for an eye surgery center in Columbia County," Franke told authority members at the meeting. "So there's quite a bit of activity."
Franke also said that the owner of the International House of Pancakes hopes to open a second location in Columbia County. If all goes well, the restaurant will be in the Evans Crossing Shopping Center in the lot behind Wachovia Bank on Washington Road.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.