published Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Catoosa leaders say little on development


by Beverly Carroll
Audio clip

Keith Greene

RINGGOLD, Ga. — Catoosa County commissioners were tight-lipped on economic development plans after an executive session Tuesday, but chairman Keith Greene promised an announcement will be forthcoming within two or three months.

“As soon as we can share information regarding these projects, we will,” Mr. Greene said after adjourning the regular meeting. “We don’t want to jeopardize anything. It’s like what Chattanooga went through when it got VW.”

The commissioners’ private meeting came on the heels of a similar meeting of the county economic development authority, which had a called session Monday. Mr. Greene, who with commissioners Ken Marks and DeWayne Hill also attended that gathering, said both meetings had similar topics. Under Georgia law, public boards may meet in private to discuss land deals, legal matters and personnel issues.

The economic authority did not discuss the county-owned site on state Highway 151 at Holcomb Road, county attorney Chad Young said.

But that site is drawing attention, county manager Mike Helton said. A team of project leaders with the state Department of Community Affairs visited the 51 acres on March 12.

“This team would be the first (contact) for anyone who comes to Georgia to look for sites, especially anyone who is looking at VW,” Mr. Helton said. “They said our site’s in excellent condition and, as far as they’re concerned, moved up first on their list of sites shown.”

The department’s responsibilities include marketing and recruiting businesses to Georgia.

County officials bought the site in December 2008 and are taking qualifications from engineering firms to prepare a comprehensive land use plan.

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