Despite last week’s deluge, early work at First Quality’s $200 million expansion on Avondale Mill Road is ahead of schedule.
“We had about six inches of rain. That pretty much shut down the earth moving,” consulting engineer Don Carter of Carter & Sloope told members of the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority on Monday. “After about a week, everything’s had a chance to dry up. Everything’s going as planned and ahead of schedule.”
First Quality is building a new diaper-making plant which could open as early as next spring, creating about 150 new jobs.
The authority got more good news from First Quality: The company is sending a $1.7 million check to pay for half of the land costs for the project, authority attorney Kevin Brown said.
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Also Monday, the authority got updates on infrastructure improvements at Sofkee Industrial Park and I-75 Business Park.
Water and sewer lines are almost complete at both parks, and the 450,000 gallon water tank is up at Sofkee, Carter said. Materials for the new traffic light at the I-75 park have been ordered, he said, and work on the 1 million gallon tank there is progressing.
The new tanks will serve the parks and Macon Water Authority customers in surrounding neighborhoods.
First Quality was one of three companies to recently announce plans to either expand or relocate here. North Coast Logistics also announced in August that it planned to open a 75,000-square-foot facility in Ocmulgee East Industrial Park. In early September, the aircraft maintenance company TIMCO said it planned to add 130 jobs at its facility at Middle Georgia Regional Airport.
Macon Economic Development Commission President Chip Cherry thanked the authority for its help in landing the projects.
“That team effort shows well,” he said.
August also was a busy month for recruiting more prospective new industries, Cherry told the authority. The MEDC team opened eight new projects that month and had eight visits from prospects. Four more visits were hosted in September.
“We’re currently working a total of 34 projects,” Cherry said. “We have two significant projects where we’re the only location in Georgia under consideration.”
To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.