With this Great Dane “agreement” there are many, many questions. From what we have learned from reading the paper we know little.
1. Why secrecy?
a. If an incoming company was scouting for land, secrecy might be understandable.
b. Great Dane is planning to build on lands “provided for them” in Gateway II Industrial Park by the Bulloch County Development Authority?
c. The Chamber explained to us in the Herald, Friday, Aug. 20, 2010 Great Dane did not want our local banks, realtors, numerous agencies trying to sell them something. They want to be part of our community, yet do not want to do business here.
2. Why is Bulloch County land bought with SPLOST moneys being designated and allocated by the Development Authority which is an adjunct of the Chamber of Commerce, a dues paying, private organization, and not the elected officials of the County?
The Bulloch County Commission gave Gateway II land to the Development Authority.
From the Aug. 17 Herald: “Great Dane is pleased with Bulloch County’s ability and willingness to effectively meet their needs.”
We would like to know what needs were met and how. We would very much like to know how Bulloch County gains.
1. Stated: 300-400 jobs
a. What percentage personnel will be local?
b. Will we simply see a greater traffic flow East to West, Savannah to Statesboro moving already trained, experienced workers laid off at Great Dane in 2008, leaving our people with the low end jobs?
2. Using Georgia Quick Start workforce training program.
a. What school will administer this program?
(1) Ogeechee Tech
(2) Savannah Tech
3. Great Dane will keep their offices and research in Savannah; therefore sales will be Savannah sales and Savannah will gain the sales tax.
4. Since the 118 acres was “provided”or given to Great Dane -with some extra for expansion:
a. When will Great Dane begin to pay Bulloch County taxes?
b. Will their tax rate be graded – small at first then increase?
c. How much?
d.When is the land deeded to Great Dane?
e. Will their tax payments by the time of deeding the property to them have paid the cost of the land, somewhere between $1and $2 million?
These are some of the questions we, the people, have concerning this secret deal; which many people knew about for at least a year.
As evidently, the people of Bulloch County have not been trusted, we the people, have little trust in companies and organizations that use and spend our tax moneys although we are told nothing. If their needs are met, we would like to know how our needs are met.
The Chamber says the agreements must be kept secret. We simply want to know the agreements.
The question is more and more pertinent: Who runs Bulloch County government?
More and more it seems it is not our elected officials.
E. Ruth Green, Ph.D.