IN BRIEF: Rockdale County will be applying for an Urban Redevelopment Area designation to tap into benefits such as state funds for redevelopment and possible tax cuts for new jobs.
The county is considering applying for the designation for the industrial area between Sigman Road, Rockbridge Industrial Road, Covington Highway, and the city/county boarder.
Planning and Development Director Marshall Walker presented information at the Board of Commissioners evening session. He said county staff, along with staff from the Department of Community Affairs, which grants the designation, had walked and driven in the area as well as done an analysis of existing businesses.
Along with being eligible for grants if Rockdale has a designated Urban Redevelopment Area, the county could also designate Opportunity Zones in that area where businesses creating new jobs could receive tax credits.
Walker clarified that the county would begin with designating one Opportunity Zone.
“We are just beginning to scratch the iceberg of the opportunities,” he said.
VanNess said she was familiar with the tax credits program. “I think that’s a good option for the landowners in this area,” she said.
The city of Conyers designated an Urban Redevelopment Area and an Opportunity Zone last year in the area between Green Street, West Avenue, and Ga. Highway 138 last year.
In other BOC business:
Becky Kelley, director of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Sites in the Ga. Department of Natural Resources, presented the DNR’s “Tons of Fun” fitness campaign, aimed towards getting more Georgians outdoors and active as well as taking advantage of local parks and local foods.
“We recognized our state has health challenges. The obesity challenge is at epidemic levels. We took that on as a charge for the Department of Natural Resources,” said Kelley.
As part of that campaign, Panola Mountain State Park will host its first “Picnic in the Park” event on Saturday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. In addition to featuring local foods, the day will have outdoor activities such as geocaching and walking shelter dogs, as well as a free picnic. For more information, go to tonsoffun.org