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Valley’s land purchasing could pay off in a big way

As time goes by, the City of Valley’s decision to get into land purchasing in a big way looks to be a wise move. Over the past few years, the city has purchased, or is in the process of purchasing, an estimated 1,100 acres of land right off Exit 77 on I-85.

Any commercial or industrial prospect looking to locate along I-85 must be blown away when they see that 1,100 acres right off I-85 is available.

The land purchasing has already paid off in the form of industrial and commercial projects coming to the area. The city has sold a 30-acre site off Valley Industrial Drive to Scannell Properties for $12,500 acre, or $375,000. A distribution center is being built there for WestRock. This is something that will create dozens of good playing jobs. This week, city officials had reason to be happy with the sale of a 10.3-acre site near the former Lanier-Carter mills. Four Star Freightliner, Inc. is the purchaser and intends to build a truck sales, repair and service center that can be seen from the Interstate. This one went for $400,000.

The city owns 50 acres of land that fronts I-85 on the east side of Lanier-Carter. It’s very much in demand right now. At Wednesday’s meeting of the Kiwanis Club of Valley, Mayor Leonard Riley said that Valley had been the second choice of four major prospects, one of them wanted to build a distribution center of more than a million square feet.

When there’s that kind of interest for this site, I’m sure that good news will be coming our way on major projects committing to Valley.

The development of the industrial park won’t be easy. Much in the way of infrastructure needs to be done. For it to meet its potential, roads will have to go in along with water and sewer lines, natural gas, and so on. The Freightliner contracts specifies that the city not only build the access road but must also “provide service to the property at no additional cost to the buyer including water, sewer, electricity, phone, cable TV, Internet service, natural gas, and any other utilities reasonably required.”

There’s much to be done over the next year. Four Star Freightliner has a truck sales, repair and service center in operation in Tallahassee, Florida, another is under construction in Valdosta, Georgia and they’d like to be in business in Valley by August 2019. If everything is taken care of and Four Star is pleased to be here, the city could realize an estimated $70,000 a year in sales tax revenue from them. That’s new money that’s not here now.

That’s the way a community grows. It takes a lot of hard work to bring this to fruition, but when it does happen the rewards could benefit a lot of people who want to call the Valley their home.

Valley city officials should be commended for their risk taking in purchasing land. It’s already paying off and promises to pay off even more in the future.