Toccoa Commissioners, SCDA Talk Economic Incentives

Toccoa City Commissioners talk economic incentives with Stephens County Development Authority Executive Director Tim Martin.

Martin met with Toccoa City Commissioners during a work session last Monday.

This meeting followed Martin bringing the topic up at a joint meeting of the Toccoa City Commission and the Stephens County Commission last month.

Martin said the purpose of the meeting was not to make decisions, but to see if a comfort level could be found.

“Sometimes we have lots of time to react to opportunities,” said Martin.  “Sometimes we do not have any time at all.  Anything we can do in advance helps everything.”

Multiple commissioners point out every case is unique and Martin agreed.

He said he just needs to understand some general things commissioners might be comfortable with.

“Specifically, when it comes to the things or the services that are provided by the city, water, wastewater, natural gas, if I came to you with some jobs and an opportunity and I asked for waving of the tap fees, what kind of reaction would I get?” asked Martin.

Commissioners, including Mayor David Austin, said what the city would be willing to do would certainly depend on the industry looking at the area.

“If BMW decides to put a plant here and employ 1000 people, I am sure we would jump all over it and do everything we could,” said Austin.

City officials noted that they have negotiated in those areas with other businesses in the past.

Upon hearing the mayor’s comments, Martin said that provided him the guidance he needs moving forward.

He said it is also beneficial to have these talks every so often, especially as new commissioners enter the scene for both the city and the county.