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Henry to lead IDA

Raleigh Henry, president and CEO of Southern Rivers energy, was elected chairman of the Barnesville-Lamar County Industrial Development Authority February 12. Henry had previously served as treasurer. Local State Farm agent Phillip Bell was elected vice-chairman and Gordon College president Larry Weill was elected treasurer. Outgoing chairman Kenny Roberts was lauded by the board for his hard work – particularly on the General Protecht project. Roberts told the new leadership team that funding and additional property for industrial development are necessities. ’This board needs to be mindful of funding. It simply does not have enough funding to perform needed functions,’ Roberts said. He noted the IDA has the GP site and the Berry South site across the road but more land will be needed. ‘We need to find 200-400 additional acres with rail access. Rail access will be critical in the future as it is the cheapest mode of shipping for manufacturers and distributors,’ Roberts added. In other business, the IDA: Welcomed new members Cheryl Idol and Wayne Patterson. Heard updates on the the Piedmont Renewable Power and Murphey Loft projects. Heard from Weill about a task force the college will form to study the creation of an economic zone near the campus to give the area more of a ‘college town feel’. Heard from executive director Missy Kendrick that Butts County has earmarked 29,000 gallons per day of sewer capacity for Van Mar Park off Highway 36 near I-75 in Lamar County. ‘That makes a huge difference in recruiting business to the park,’ Kendrick said.

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