"State of Stephens"
A quarterly update on economic development in Toccoa-Stephens Co., Georgia

Brought to you by the Stephens County Development Authority.

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Fall 2012

Contact SCDA
Email: info@scda.biz
Toll free: 
(866) 952-SCDA(7232)


Cam Parker

Vice Chairman

Dean Scarborough


Tim Ash


Lee Ellen Fields

Assistant Secretary

David Austin

Executive Director

Tim Martin

Legal Counsel

Janney Sanders


SCDA Mission Statement:

“To encourage and support the expansion and development of industrial and commercial facilities in Stephens County, Georgia so as to promote employment.”


Featured Property:

Haynestone Brady Business Park

• Georgia Ready for Accerlerated Development (GRAD)
• 100 remaining developable acres
• Future four-lane divided highway access
• All utilities onsite

Click to View Other Industrial Properties

Upcoming Events:


Board Meetings:
October 9
November 13
December 11

Notable Happenings:

Tour of Southern Company's new Plant Vogtle
Cam Parker, Barry Roberts, Mike Haynie and Wendi Bailey toured  Southern Company’s Plant Vogtle along with other community and business leaders from around the state. They were part of a special tour that went inside the secured areas of Units 1 and 2 as well as visited the construction site at Units 3 and 4. The Southern Company's new nuclear development project is located near Waynesboro, Georgia.

Community Listening Session
About 150 people gathered for a community input meeting for the Toccoa-Stephens County Tomorrow initiative. The privately funded effort is being carried out in conjunction with the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce and the Fanning Institute of the University of Georgia. Barry Roberts, past chairman of the Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce, governs the board. He said the goal of Toccoa-Stephens County Tomorrow is to create a community improvement plan for the area. Roberts said a team of community residents will look at the results of the community input meeting and, with the help of the Fanning Institute, begin compiling that information.  The results will be an action plan that can be presented to local government officials for use.

GA Mountain Manufacturing Work Ready Grant Finishes Strong

Over the past eighteen months Gerald Turner has overseen the Georgia Mountain Manufacturing Regional Work Ready Grant with the Stephens County Development Authority as the fiscal agent.  Through the grant, six counties, Banks, Franklin, Habersham, Hart, Stephens, and White, have directly benefited in improving the education and skill levels of our regional manufacturing workforce.  At the closing of the grant, July 31, each of the goals set by the grant have been meet and thousands of students, industries, and businesses have gained knowledge and skills that will carry them with confidence into the next years of growth.

Department of Community Affairs response to broadband proposal
The Department of Community Affairs concurrs with SCDA's selection of a vendor, the North Georgia Network – NGN,  to enhance broadband connectivity to our counties in northeast Georgia!   The proposal has been converted into an official contract and we are working on the needed $50,000 local cash match.  Construction is set to begin within the next few months.

SCDA's Kayla Carpenter gets certified

Kayla Carpenter of the Stephens County Development Authority received certification as an Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) on June 28 from the National Development Council (NDC).  EDFP certification is a professional credential given to individuals who successfully complete NDC’s intensive economic development finance training series. Carpenter is a 2006 graduate of Stephens County High School and holds a bachelor’s of business administration degree with a major in finance from North Georgia College & State University in Dahlonega.  The SCDA sincerely congratulates Kayla on her accomplishment  and continued success at the Stephens County Development Authority.

No Local Tax on Energy Used In Manufacturing
Stephens County will not implement a local excise tax on energy used in manufacturing. County commissioners unanimously opposed moving forward with collection of the local excise tax on energy used in manufacturing.  Stephens County Commission Chairman Dean Scarborough said that the exemption at the state level was instituted as an economic development tool for the manufacturing sector.  He said the county commission feels it is best to support that exemption on the local level as well. “We just feel like most of our jobs are created right now through existing industry,” said Scarborough. “We feel that anything we can do to support our local existing industry is in our favor. Then of course, this could be used as a tool to attract new industry as well.”

Did you know?

Toccoa-Stephens County is home to 70+ manufacturers and companies that support manufacturing.  Check out our industries

SCDA is a member of the 
Franklin, Hart & Stephens Joint Development Authority


Join SCDA on facebook:

Follow our blog:

In this issue:
In SPLOST V, Stephens County and the City of Toccoa   each set aside $1 million dollars to go towards expanding   our sanitary sewer collection system down Big A Road,   around Veteran’s Parkway and then South into the county.   In August, City & County Commissioners approved the use   of a portion of the funding to engage the services of an engineering company to design a sewer collection system for South Big A Road and the Veterans Parkway areas. Originally we expected to match our $2 million with a federal grant  to obtain $8 million in additional federal funding to help build the project. The $8 million was approved, but never appropriated. We’ll now be seeking to leverage our funds with USDA Rural Development or Georgia Environmental Finance Authority programs.

SCDA Chairman Cam Parker and his wife Sarah are moving   to Southeast Georgia. Congratulations are due for his promotion   to a new position. We bid a fond and sad adieu to Cam. He   has been a force for good in our community for more than   fifteen years and he will be missed. Georgia Power has   transferred him to Waynesboro, GA (Plant Vogtle) where he   will be the Area Manager. We salute Cam for tirelessly and   selflessly supporting our community.

Work on the façade continues.  After the painters finish up the first week in October,  the scaffolding will come down and work on the lower half of the building will begin. The new windows have already been ordered.

Representatives from Stephens County and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources gathered at Bruce Creek Boat Ramp on Lake Hartwell to cut a ribbon and unveil the changes at the facility. The improvements include seven new fishing piers, a courtesy dock for boaters, a walking trail, and an updated restroom facility, at a total cost of about $560,000. Money for the project came from the $4 million received by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as part of the 2006 settlement agreement related to polychlorinated biphenyl
contamination in Lake Hartwell. Toccoa-Stephens County Chamber of Commerce President Wendi Bailey and Stephens County Development Authority executive director Tim Martin praised the project, with Bailey saying it will help with tourism promotion in the county. Stephens County will be responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the new Bruce Creek facilities.

On July 19, local officials and employees of Osborne Wood Products gathered to celebrate the expansion of their facility located on Highway 123.  Leon Osborne was on hand to speak about the company’s expansion, along with his Director of Marketing, Christian Smedberg, and SCDA’s Executive Director, Tim Martin.  The ribbon cutting ceremony was followed up by brunch and a tour of the Osborne Facility.   Stephens County Development Authority congratulates Osborne Wood Products and looks forward to celebrating their continued success in Stephens County for years to come.    

Doug Hitchon, Vice President of GEM Southeast, announced that the previously publicized expansions to the three Stephens County facilities have been completed.  The GEM Plastics had 22,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space and 2,000 sq. ft. of office space added; Global Partitions brought in American Specialties Incorporation Storage Solutions, ASISS, into their facility and approximately 35 additional jobs to our area; and GEM Industries added a new dust collection system and a new CNC router to aid with their growing plastic fabrication department.

As SCDA continues to bring businesses and industries to our community, we would also like to remember an existing industry of Stephens County, Universal Maintenance Inc.  They are a relatively new business to our community located on 682 S. Broad St. in Toccoa.  It is a family-owned construction company that started in 2005 and moved to Toccoa in 2009.  UMI employs some 25-35 employees and hopes to grow in 2012.  SCDA salutes UMI and its employees for being an important part of our industrial base in Toccoa/Stephens County.

This email is intended to keep regional leaders and partners informed of development activities in Toccoa-Stephens County, Georgia. If you would like to be taken off the list, please email katherine@scda.biz.

Unsubscribe <<Email Address>> from this list.

Our mailing address is:
Stephens County Development Authority
P.O. Box 340
Toccoa, GA 30577

Forward this email to a friend

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp