Since UT Southern has come to town, Giles County Economic Development Commission Director David Hamilton has wanted to promote Pulaski as the home of the university.
During the EDC board meeting Sept. 22, the board approved a public relations (PR) campaign to promote Pulaski as the home of UT Southern.
PR firm Younger Associates has been consulted on the creation of an ad campaign, and Hamilton said he could find out what a $10,000 and $20,000 campaign would look like.
Board Member Erin Curry said she liked the idea of promoting Pulaski as home of UT Southern to help get rid of the “stigma” associated with the town.
It was discussed that industries might want to be involved as well.
Board Member Pat Miles asked what could be done for free, and several ideas were tossed around: bumper stickers, promoting it on social media, including the UT Southern logo in emails or on websites, etc.
Based on the response from industries and the options presented to the executive committee, a reccommendation will be brought back to the full board.
With all the interest in the proposed transload facility, Hamilton said it may become more than a railroad spur for the unloading of products. He said silos could even be built for companies to store their products as well.
“There are a lot of different scenarios going on,” Hamilton insisted, adding that Frito Lay, Integrity and farmers have even been excited about the possibility of a transload facility.
A 24.88-acre tract of land has been purchased by the city on Mines Road next to Adient. A portion of the property will be leased to Adient for truck parking.
Hamilton said he is going to get an engineer to see if another 25 acres that the city owns next to the property could be built up out of the flood plain for a possible 50-acre rail served site.
“I don’t know that there is another of those in the state of Tennessee,” Hamilton said, adding that “there are very few rail served sites.”
The EDC will focus its “efforts” on the Meadows property and the rail served site with it being a “more unique” property, Hamilton said, adding that “everybody has land, but not everyone has a rail served site.”
Requests for Information
While requests for prospective projects are still coming in, the lack of a vacant industrial building is hindering the EDC by limiting the possibility of submittals on projects.
Hamilton said of the eight requests for information (RFI) the EDC had received over the past few months, only one could be submitted on because the other seven required an existing building.
Hamilton said while the idea was to put a SPEC building on the Meadows property, if the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) does a 50/50 grant, they would prefer to build it on Lot 5, the pad-ready site to which TVA has already contributed.
“They are very interested in helping us with the SPEC building when we decide to do it,” he said.
Hamiliton had submitted a grant application for Lot 15, but has decided to withdraw the application and redirect those efforts to the Meadows property. The grant application for Lot 15 will be resubmitted next year, he said.
TVA will conduct a study to show how the site would look if it was leveled to where 30-34 acres could be promoted once that work is completed, he said.
TVA is also determining what it would take to expand the Lot 5 pad-ready site in case an interested party needed that information, Hamilton said.
If someone needed an additional 75,000 square feet and needed to know what it would take to “maximize the site,” that information could be provided, he said.
The unemployment rate for Giles County for July was 5 percent, down from 6.3 percent in June. Marshall County was 4.4 percent, Maury was 4.7, Lincoln 4.4, Lawrence 4.7, the state was 4.7 and the national average was 5.4 percent.
In other business during its full board meeting Sept. 22, the EDC board:
• Heard a prospect that was looking to buy the entire industrial park in Elkton decided on Centerville instead, but did purchase the old drumstick building and plans to make improvements to both the inside and outside of the structure.
• Welcomed Minor Hill City Recorder Ashley Stogner as a new board member.
• Heard there are more than 100 jobs available in the industrial park.
• Heard the EDC website will be updated to include UT Southern.
• Heard Frito Lay is making progress with its expansion.
• Heard the Career Expo will be at the Giles County Agri Park May 12, 2022, for 11th and 12th graders.
• Heard the Giles County Public Library will be celebrating its 80th anniversary Saturday, Oct. 16, from 1-4 p.m., and the Giles Chamber will be having its Saturdays on the Square that evening as well.
• Heard Ardmore will be having its car show Saturday, Oct. 16.
• Heard Minor Hill will be having a fall festival Saturday, Oct. 23, at the park.
“All proceeds benefit redoing the park and getting it back up to the good standards it used to be at,” Stogner said.
• Heard Lynnville will be having two benefits, a tractor pull and ham breakfast, Saturday, Nov. 13.
“Both of those events are to benefit two cancer recipients,” Board Member Duane Jones said.
• Heard the Giles Chamber’s 30th Annual Chili Cook-off will be Thursday, Oct. 21.