Georgia County Government - January/February 2012 - (Page 10)

County Feature HARRIS COUNTY: Smart Investments Paying Dividends for the Future By Noble Sprayberry A 10 GEORGIA COUNTY GOVERNMENT bout a year after Harris County wrapped the deal for a new industrial park — the planned bait to lure new employers — Korean automaker Kia announced a new $1.2 billion Georgia plant. Harris County, however, had one problem. The plant, jobs and a wash of new tax revenue would go to adjacent Troup County at a location about 5 miles from the new industrial park and within a city shared between the two counties. Tourism is one of the foundations of the Harris County economy. Sites such as Callaway Gardens, the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site and the Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park draw thousands of visitors annually. Photo by Harry and Brenda Hayes. For Harris County, the outcome meant putting aside a dose of neighborly envy, taking advantage where possible and keeping a patient, focused approach to the community’s fiscal plans. “Some counties are jealous of others, but Kia has been an economic pull for the whole region,” said Harry Lange, chairman of the Harris County Commission. “It’s been a boom to the whole area, and this whole region has been somewhat insulated from the economic problems of the rest of the state.” A flood of new jobs — some projections as high as 20,000 when considering businesses associated with the plant — poured into western Georgia thanks to the plant’s 2010 opening north of Columbus. The plant, Kia’s first in the United States, is in West Point, a town split between Troup County to the north and Harris County to the south, the nearest of economic near misses for Harris County. Harris County lawmakers kept to the philosophy they’ve used for years: do the best for the county as a whole, but always keep the budget under control. It’s a method responsible for not only the county’s first industrial park, which drew companies supplying Kia, but also

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia County Government - January/February 2012

President’s Message
Director’s Desk
Guest Editorial: Together We Stand
Harris County: Smart Investments Paying Dividends for the Future
EMS Delivery Models in Georgia
How New EMS Technologies are Improving Patient Care
Regional EMS: Opportunities for Better Service and Lower Costs?
EMS Leadership Course Planned
Washington D.C. Update
Georgia Public Safety Radio Systems Must Transition to Narrowbanding
Fulton County Public Works Recognized with APWA Accreditation
Extension News: Teens Solving Community Problems
News & Notes
Index of Advertisers

Georgia County Government - January/February 2012