In a meeting Tuesday, Statesboro City Council took the next step in a plan to spur commercial and industrial development at the intersection of Highway 301 and Interstate 16.
City leaders conditionally awarded a pair of contracts, worth nearly $4.4 million, to begin installing utility infrastructure on land bordering the two highways.
The contracts, which also need to be approved by a vote of Bulloch County Commissioners, will pay for the set up of utility lines and stations, and a water storage tank on the Southeastern corner of the junction — on land that will be developed as an industrial park.
“This is the first leg in running water and sewer infrastructure to serve that area,” said Wayne Johnson, director for the city’s Water/Wastewater Department. “It will take about two to three weeks after the County approves the contracts for contractors to break ground. I believe we will have water and sewer services provided to the industrial development property within 16 months.”
The first of two contracts approved Tuesday, will task Complete Sitework Services LLC with the job of installing utility infrastructure throughout the property and cost the city approximately $2.25 million; the second, in the amount of $2.09 million, would place CB&I Inc. in charge of erecting a one million gallon elevated water storage tank.
Once services are made available, interested tenants could begin filling the property, said Benjy Thompson, CEO for the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce.
“We have marketed this thing hard, and will continue to do that. We have been sharing that land with multiple prospects already and have had some interest expressed,” Thompson said. “It is good that the process is consistently moving forward. And it is great that the city and county are working together to keep this project on a timeline and allow us to market it.”
The city’s Water/Wastewater Department will extend water utilities about ten miles from the city limits to the development site. Future phases of work will make service available to each corner of the Hwy 301/I-16 intersection and to areas between the crossroads and the city limits, Johnson said.
At no point, he said, should any work affect traffic along Highway 301.
According to Statesboro City Manager Frank Parker, installing all utility lines and structures associated with the project will cost an estimated $10 million, plus additional cost for natural gas, landscaping, roads and other infrastructural needs. The county and city will share costs, he said.
Officials with the City of Statesboro and Bulloch County are hoping the project will lead to additional jobs, retail and industry.
In other business Tuesday: Council finalized a decision to increased the city’s hotel/motel tax from five to six percent and approved an expansion to its gas services system ($159,790) — extending the system in the area of Highway 67 and Joe Hodges Hill to provide services to additional residences and a developing apartment complex.
Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.