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Industrial Growth: Development Authority has big plans for 2024

The Development Authority of Pike County hired Kyle Fletcher as the new executive director in September and had a busy fourth quarter of the year with several purchases in the county’s Pike Business Park. Development Authority of Pike County board members include chairman Kel Brannon, vice chair Bryan Oglesby, treasurer Stewart Esary, David Nix, Sonny Gwyn, John Barker, Briar Johnson, Joe Walter and John Edwards. The board meets the first Wednesday of each month at 8 a.m. in the Chamber of Commerce Building in Zebulon.

In September, Treadway Controls purchased 3.52 acres in the Pike Business Park. The new site in the park will allow the company to grow and build a modern facility. Treadway Controls installs automation systems in commercial buildings.

In November, commissioners approved .25 of a mil for the DAPC which totals approximately $225,875. The DAPC director said the funds will be used to begin site prep work at the Pike Business Park and other economic development initiatives.

“The dedicated quarter of a mil is vital for the operation of the development authority and the commitment of funds by the board of commissioners is greatly appreciated,” said Kel Brannon, DAPC Chairman. “Pike County’s success in the economic development arena involves a variety of partners and we are pleased to be working together toward our goals.”

The Pike County School System launched the Heavy Equipment Operator Pathway in October which will help address the shortage of heavy equipment operators. The class has access to a room with state-of-the-art heavy equipment simulators and the chance for students to get on-site experience. Spearheaded by Work Based learning coordinator Jennifer Shepherd, along with the CTAE Leadership Team, the program was made possible through a grant. Local partners such as McLeRoy, Inc helped make the program a reality and the pathway will provide students a head start with skills in heavy equipment operation.

“Workforce development is critical for students as they prepare for a career and this program is a wonderful example of a school system collaborating with local partners,” said Fletcher.

In November, Accessory Aero Group (AAG) signed a contract with DAPC to purchase 11.24 acres in the Pike Business Park. AAG, currently based in Griffin, provides service on aircraft wheels, brakes, batteries and more. The closing is scheduled for February 2024.

December brought another company to the Pike Business Park as DAPC welcomed Thomaston Milk Company. This business, which is more than 60 years old, supplies more than 23 middle Georgia counties with milk (for school systems). They outgrew their facility in Thomaston.

With the Industrial Park on 3/41 full of industries and the Pike Business Park quickly running out of lots, purchasing more land is definitely on the radar for the DAPC Board.

“We want to be proactive, not reactive with seeking new industrial land in 2024 and continue to recruit industries that fit our community’s strengths,” said Brannon. “We know Pike County is growing so evaluating and identifying industries that meet our workforce skillsets is vital.”

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