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Large warehouse proposed in Pendergrass

A large warehouse project is being proposed in Pendergrass.

Developer PDC Atlanta LPIV, LLC, is proposing a little over 1.7 million square feet of warehouse space on a 262-acre site.

According to the Development of Regional Impact study submission, developers are requesting annexation and rezoning of the property.

If approved, the "Jackson Farms Industrial Park" project could be complete by 2023.

Jackson County Planning Commission chairman Marty Clark (center) was honored Dec. 16 by the board for his years of service on the JCPC. Clark is stepping down to run for a seat on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. Shown are: Carson Saville, Les Knoblock, Clark, Steve Wittry and Harold Mull.

Seydel named a state GLOBE winner

The Seydel Companies headquartered in Pendergrass was one of 17 2021 GLOBE Award winners by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

The 2021 GLOBE Award winners come from across the State of Georgia, and more than 80% of this year’s winners are small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Additionally, more than 70% of the winners have worked with GDEcD’s International Trade team on entering and expanding to new markets for at least three consecutive years. 

The Seydel Companies manufacture chemicals for a variety of industries, including textiles and paper products.

“It’s always a pleasure to celebrate the resilience and work of our Georgia companies, and especially with so many of this year’s winners being small businesses,” said Georgia Governor Brian P. Kemp. “The number of Georgia companies that transformed obstacles into opportunities again last year is truly incredible, and we will continue to help provide support to these hardworking Georgians through our award-winning international trade team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development.”

AES Restaurant Group, parent company of the local Arby's, recently selected the Jackson County Paramedic Relief Fund as one of this year’s recipients of a special gift. Jackson County Paramedic Relief Fund is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was established to support Jackson County EMS professionals in their own time of need. "Supporting and serving those that make a career out of serving others," organizers said. Pictured are: Matt Ross, president of the JCPRF; Shajuana Davis, Arby's area supervisor; Nicole Bethel, general manager of Commerce Arby's; and Brandi Harris, paramedic JCEMS. Not pictured is John Wade, owner AES Restaurant Group.

Price to head Chamber in 2022

Thom Price will be the new chairman of the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce for 2022, following Dylan Wilbanks, who served in the capacity for 2021.

Price will be joined on the executive committee by incoming chairman Tricia Massey and treasurer Kendall Sims. The position of secretary hasn't yet been filled.

Price moved up from Treasurer to take the president's slot following the resignation of incoming chairman Chad Bingham, who resigned to run for a seat on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.

New members to the board for 2022 are Ann Austin, Heather Robinson and Steve Wittry. Wade Johnson was also appointed to the board to replace Sims, who moved from the board to the treasurer's seat.

The chamber board also reviewed and approved its 2022 budget at its Dec. 17 meeting, noting that PPP funds will help the chamber balance the budget which is seeing a 14% increase in expenses. The chamber plans to move its offices into the Empower College and Career Center in mid-2022, move that will increase expenses for the operation.

Some additional details about that move are also being reviewed following a tentative plan by the Jackson County Board of Education to use part of the Empower campus for middle school classrooms. How that will affect traffic and the chamber has yet to be determined, officials said.

Officials also said that the county continues to receive a lot of industrial development inquiries, some related to the SK Battery plant. Some of the projects will need a lot of water and the availability of water in the county will be an issue in the future, leaders said.

Tricia Massey

Kendall Sims

Barndominiums get BOC approval

Barndominiums will now be allowed in Jackson County following action on Dec. 20 by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.

The BOC agreed to amend the county's UDC to allow for barndominium dwellings following a national trend in the housing style.

Barndominiums are rustic-style houses that often have metal siding and are designed to look like a barn facility. Often, they include non-residential space for workshops or storage, similar to what a traditional barn would be used for. 

Although they've been around since the 1980s, they became increasingly popular in the 2010s following a show HGTV's Fixer Upper that featured a barndominium. They began spreading from Texas to the Midwest and are becoming more popular in rural areas of Southern states as well.

 County development officials have said barndominiums have become one of the top issues they get questions about.


In other zoning action on Dec. 20, the BOC approved:

• making new mobile homes be a minimum of 1,400 sq. ft. 

• amended a code to allow county code enforcement officials to write citations for prohibited outdoor burning. The burning of tires has been a problem in the county, officials said.

• allowing for electronic signs in public institutional zoning areas so that churches can have an electronic sign without having to get a rezoning first.

• a rezoning for 3253 Jackson Trial Rd. of .97 acres to CRC for a commercial office.


In other business, the board;

• held a public hearing and voted to abandon a part of Mallory Rd.

• held a public hearing and voted to establish a special tax district for Bentwater Subdivision phase 1 and phase 2.

• held a public hearing on the county's capital improvements element of the county's comprehensive plan as part of creating impact fees in the county.

• renewed a contract with Correctional Resource Group to provide inmate meals at the county jail.

• voted to move the county's worker's compensation insurance deductible to a large deductible program of $300,000.

• voted to support a resolution calling on changes in state law to Georgia's annexation codes.

Georgia unemployment rate hits new low

Georgia’s unemployment rate dropped to another record low last month, while the state’s all-time high workforce is larger than it was before the coronavirus pandemic.

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 2.8% in November, well below the national jobless rate of 4.2%, the Georgia Department of Labor reported Thursday. At the same time, more than 5 million Georgians held jobs.

“We have fully recovered from this pandemic when it comes to employed Georgians,” Georgia Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler said. “The hard work is still in front of us as job creation is outpacing new workers in the labor force.”

Jobs in Georgia were up 13,500 over the month and are up 4.4% over the year to more than 4.6 million. During the last six months, the number of jobs has increased by 130,600.

“We have regained almost all of the jobs we lost during the pandemic,” Butler said. “However, the number of job seekers is still below pre-pandemic numbers.

“Creating more jobs becomes very difficult if we can’t fill vacancies in the 300,000 jobs that are currently open. It’s a good problem to have and shows how strong Georgia’s recovery has been, especially compared to other states our size.”

Job sectors with the most over-the-month job gains included transportation and warehousing, which gained 4,300 jobs; non-durable goods manufacturing, which was up 2,300 jobs; and accommodation and food services, which gained 2,200 jobs in November after being decimated during the pandemic.

First-time unemployment claims declined last month by 10,116 to 17,194, a 37% decrease and the first time since November 2019 that initial claims fell below the 20,000 plateau.

More than 190,000 job openings are posted at, the labor department’s website.

This story is available through a news partnership with Capitol Beat News Service, a project of the Georgia Press Educational Foundation.