LaGRANGE — The Troup County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved a measure that will allow Coweta County to join a regional economic development authority.
Carroll, Douglas, Haralson, Heard, Paulding, Polk and Troup counties currently comprise the Greater West Georgia Joint Development Authority, which is aimed at promoting the region’s growth and commercial buildup.
Troup County is represented in the authority by Commissioner Buck Davis and county engineer James Emery, whom the commission resolved Tuesday to replace former county planner Nancy Seger, who recently retired.
“The purpose of this is to further regional collaborate efforts of economic development,” said John Sadosky, economic development manager for the city of LaGrange. “Right now, we’re in the process of contracting with Kelsey (Advertising and Design) to develop a brand identity and website in order to better market the region.”
Funding from the Greater West Georgia Development Authority partially comes from the Development Authority of LaGrange, which pays $1,500 in dues yearly, Sadosky told commissioners.
“I am aware that there was an effort at the Chamber (of Commerce) to create more of a regional approach (to economic development), but it was looking at LaGrange, up toward Coweta or down toward Columbus,” said Patrick Crews, commission chairman. “It sounds like this development authority covers quite a large geographic area.”
County Manager Tod Tentler said the addition of Coweta County to the development authority could help grow the region and attract new employers.
“(Economic) recruitment is getting more regionalized now and there’s more opportunities in the state to get funding and some help with marketing,” Tentler said. “We’re just expanding our region slowly. Everything we’ve heard from our consultants is that we should count Atlanta in our region, so we’re kind of moving toward that with picking up Coweta County.”
Sadosky said in other parts of the state, joint development authority has helped spur growth for industries, particularly in coastal Georgia.
“One example of positive impact of this is the Southeast Georgia Joint Development Authority, which incorporates just about all the counties around Port Brunswick, came together to finance a rail connection track to link Norfolk Southern and the CSX main line and that’s helping to expedite products coming out of Port Brunswick. That’s seen as a positive example of a future where we could utilize this development authority.”
Tyler H. Jones is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. He may be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2155.