Looking forward: Hospital property, north Floyd County projects drawing attention
It appears that there may be some legs to the idea of gaining a $5.1 million congressional appropriation to take care of asbestos mitigation and demolition costs at the former Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital property.
Appropriations are annual decisions made by Congress about how the federal government spends some of its money.
During a meeting this week, Rome-Floyd County Development Authority President Missy Kendrick said they’ve been communicating with the offices of Georgia Senators Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff.
“I talked with Senator Ossoff and they’re working on it,” Rome Mayor Sundai Stevenson said. “If they pass it this year, we’ll get it this year. If they pass it next year, we’ll get it next year — but they’re looking at it.”
“That’s a good sign,” Kendrick said.
The authority purchased the 130-plus acres from the state, using $2.25 million in funds approved by voters in the 2013 and 2017 SPLOST packages. The hospital has been closed for over a decade.
The discussion comes after the announcement this week that the authority received a $500,000 federal assessment grant and the recent rezoning of the property for heavy industrial uses.
The grant funds will be used for, among other things, environmental cleanup assessment and planning purposes for sites like the former hospital property. However, Kendrick said, the assessment grant is like a stepping stone to other grants.
“This is just a first step,” Kendrick told the authority board.
By managing the funds properly, she said, they’re also positioning themselves for the potential of additional funds in the future for site clean up, among other things.
Among the looming expenses at the former hospital site is asbestos mitigation from the old buildings as well as cleanup of items left at the complex. A site manager is currently assessing appliances left in the buildings to see if they can be sold.
Hillman Group project bonds
The board also approved two bonds totaling $37 million for the Hillman Group project at 6785 Calhoun Highway. The construction project is coming up alongside two massive speculative buildings near the Balta facility in north Floyd County.
The leveled footprint for that massive — nearly 10-acre — facility is already evident, and across a small paved road on the same property even more is in the works.
The authority approved a $34 million bond for MDH F2 ATL Shannon LLC, the owner of the building where the Hillman Group facility will be located. The board also approved a $3 million bond for the Hillman Group, for equipment to be used in that facility.
The Hillman Group will receive a 10-year tax abatement package, with a 100% abatement in the first year that decreases by 10% each succeeding year.
In lieu of property taxes, the company will make a $36,750 per year payment to the development authority.
The company, which purchased Big Time Products, will consolidate several of its Floyd County operations in the 425,000-square-foot building.
Currently, the company has an office on Wilbanks Road along with a large warehouse and manufacturing space at two other sites.
“The good news will be if they’re freeing up warehouse space,” said authority Chair Jimmy Byars. “We desperately need it.”