News Column

Railroad Jobs Coming to Georgia

November 22, 2013

Phillip Ramati, The Macon Telegraph

Nov. 22--The Bibb County Commissioners approved 4-0 Friday to allow the Macon-Bibb County Industrial Authority to spend $240,000 for a new railroad switch to help a company relocate to the county.

The company's investment into the community is about $13.5 million over the next four years, officials said.

Industrial Authority Chairman Cliffard Whitby asked the commission to approve the funds, which will be used to purchase a new railroad switch along one of Norfolk-Southern's railway lines. Norfolk-Southern also will contribute money in the form of paying $50 for every car that passes along that switch for the next three years. That's estimated to be about $5,000 cars a year.

Whitby said the move is to help close a deal that is currently known as Project Ski. A nationally known manufacturing company is set to locate a new plant in the county, which will provide about 200 medium-income jobs, which will pay about $12-$15 an hour.

"It's a very stellar company," Whitby said. "We're very happy for them to be located here, using an existing building in Bibb County."

Whitby said an announcement about which company it is could be made as soon as Monday.

Bibb County Chairman Sam Hart said after the meeting that the news of 200 jobs is an early Christmas present to the community.

"I think this is going to be a great thing for our community," he said. "Really, it's the responsibility of government to grow the community, and I think 200 jobs is doing that."

Hart said he thinks companies are looking at the consolidation of Macon and Bibb County as a sign that the community is progressive.

"I think they see our cooperation and how we're moving forward," he said. "They're getting the impression that we're a good community to relocate to, with a good work force."

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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(c)2013 The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.)

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Original headline: Company set to bring 200 jobs to Bibb



Source: (c)2013 The Macon Telegraph (Macon, Ga.)