Since the 1960’s, the Walker County Development Authority has worked to recruit and retain business and industry in our community. Robert Wardlaw, Economic & Community Development Director sums it up like this, “We turn dirt into jobs, that is our mission… and jobs help families.”
The Development Authority consists of six members: one from LaFayette, one from Chickamauga, one from Rossville, one from the county and two at-large members. While represented by the cities and county, the authority operates independently, as established by the state of Georgia.
Serving as the first point of contact, the Development Authority connects a prospective industry with available buildings and land, workforce data, permitting agencies and other community information. “Property that would be owned by the Development Authority would certainly be marketable to prospective new businesses and also private landowners would contact us and ask us to put their property that would be suitable for industrial development into our database/inventory of available property,” explained Wardlaw.
The Development Authority is also the only entity in Walker County that can offer incentives, such as tax abatements, bond financing or free land, among other considerations. Wardlaw said, “All of these things are carefully weighed to their appropriateness through what value is the prospective industry going to bring to the citizens of the county.”
The Development Authority holds public meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 10:00 a.m. at the Walker County Civic Center.