The Thomaston-Upson Industrial Development Authority (TUIDA) held their first meeting of 2013 last week, with the new board being optimistic about the future of economic development in our area.
“It is hard to compete with some of the other counties and in a lot of cases they have had more to offer,” said new TUIDA Chairman Billy Johnston. “But we do have a good board, a good director and we have some good property available. We have a lot of things going for us.”
Johnston was nominated to the chairmanship by Thomaston Mayor Hays Arnold, who also serves on the TUIDA Board. Arnold stated he felt Johnston’s long tenure of being a board member, coupled with the fact he is a business person, specifically relating to small business, would serve him well as chairman. The rest of the board agreed and approved Johnston unanimously.
Other officers elected at the meeting were: Steve Daniel, Vice Chair; Kyle Fletcher, Secretary and Frank King, Assistant Secretary. Also, Wayne Driver was selected as the TUIDA Auditor; Ronnie VanHouten was selected as the Financial Services provider and Joel Bentley as the TUIDA Attorney. Board members Commission Chairman Rusty Blackston and Scott Blackstock were selected to serve on the West Central Georgia Joint Authority, which serves Pike, Lamar and Upson Counties. TUIDA Director Kyle Fletcher noted that a benefit of serving on this board is that it gives an extra $500 tax credit for each job created for the participating communities. The annual meeting served as the first for Blackston, Blackstock, King and Daniel.
Fletcher was happy to relay to the board that several local industries were reporting an increase in sales and productivity for 2012. She stated that Standard Textile Human Resources manager Michael Green said things are looking up due to the fact that people are demanding products made in the USA. Also, sales were up for Keadle Lumber and Chief Manufacturing. In addition to that, both companies were reporting that employees of the younger generation are performing with a better work ethic and attitude, which had been a concern in recent months.
The board was also notified of some graffiti at the spec building; with someone spray painting “DAWG” on the northwest wall. Fletcher stated she was notified by the foreman of the mowing crew of the graffiti and he told her there was a solution he could use to clean it off. She is working with the Sheriff’s Office and will get back with the board if there is any cost for the cleanup.
As a final order of business, a board retreat was set to be held on Friday, February 22.