Fanning has signed a contract with the County Development Authority of Polk County following the recommendation of the Strategic Planning Task Force. The total cost of the project is about $56,000.
“When we get done, Polk will have something that has community support for a five-year work program,” said Langford D. Holbrook, assistant director, Fanning Institute.
An agreement has also been reached with Panattoni, which will provide market driven master plans for Polk’s industrial sites.
The scope of work to be completed by Panattoni includes:
Master planning four separate industrial sites in Polk. These include Rockmart 101 Industrial Park, which has a total of 44 plus acres of vacant land; Cedartown North Industrial Park with more than 110 acres of vacant land in Phase 1 and 225 acres in Phase II; a 100-acre tract near Rockmart and 70 acres of land near Cedartown.
The goal is to provide a complete and thorough due diligence package for Rockmart 101 Industrial Park and Cedartown North Industrial Park including site plans.
Dr. Gale Hulme, executive director, Georgia Leadership Institute for School Improvement, said GLISI would work with Polk School District and will be a full partner in the economic development process.
DAPC Chair Reed Freeman said he is pleased that the school system has agreed to be a partner in the planning process. “It is important that all partners are at the table in an economic development planning process,” he said.
“We will have a great community effort focusing on workforce, quality of life, downtown, housing and business,” said Executive Director Eric McDonald, Development Authority of Polk County.
“We will also have a product to sell. Once the process is complete, we should be able to roll out a comprehensive plan and vision of the future.”
Fanning is scheduled to begin work no later than Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011 with a targeted completion date of Tuesday, May 15, 2012.
The scope of work is to include:
A vision that emphasizes and clarifies the assets which make Polk unique
Establish priorities that strategically position the County to maximize opportunities
Analysis of potential partnerships, including public/private
Plan that emphasizes sustainability in all forms
A marketing and commercial plan
Fanning has noted staff would use Polk’s existing steering committee from which the Visioning Committee will be built. This group would help drive the public input process by recommending key areas to investigate and key groups and individuals with which to engage.
As part of the process, the consultants will review and analyze existing information in the community. Combined efforts of the Visioning Committee and Fanning will be used to reach out to the community through interviews, focus groups, mini town hall meetings, surveys and others.
Thereafter, strategies developed will focus on a community support system for economic development and economic development program.
Finally, Fanning will work with Polk’s leaders on the process for implementing the plan.