A plan to grade about 40 acres of land to attract businesses to Horizon North Business Park was approved at a Development Authority of Columbia County Meeting on Tuesday.
Victor J. Mills, of Blanchard and Calhoun, presented the proposal that is intended to attract businesses to the park by saving prospective companies the time and frustration of the permitting and grading process, he said.
The proposal is a private-public partnership between Blanchard and Calhoun and the county. The real estate firm will finance the grading at no cost to taxpayers, said Zack Daffin, the executive director of the development authority.
"Zero dollars from the public sector will be spent," Daffin said. "That's what makes the partnership a really wise investment on the public sector side."
"Sometimes the permitting process for engineering a site and developing (a) site with all the EPA considerations and all the things going into it, timetables are extensive," Mills said.
"When you have graded sites you are way ahead of the game" in terms of attracting prospective businesses, Mills said.
Daffin agreed, saying the partnership will mean a competitive advantage for Columbia County.
"The faster we can speed that process up for them, the better off we will be," he said.
Daffin said ideal companies include light manufacturers, distribution centers, high-technology and biotechnology companies. Mainly, he said, the county is looking for "quality companies."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.