Gov. Nathan Deal announced the grant on Tuesday from the OneGeorgia EDGE — Economic Development Growth and Expansion — program, along with four other awards worth another $4.8 million.
“In these tough economic times, investment in the private sector and development of Georgia’s infrastructure are key to revitalizing our economy and creating jobs,” Deal said. “I look forward to the growth these grants will help provide, particularly in our hardest-hit communities.”
Brian Williamson, DCA assistant commissioner, said the grant goes to the Rome-Floyd County Development Authority to assist with financing.
The 1.4 million-square-foot distribution center is under construction in the North Floyd Industrial Park at the intersection of Ga. 140 and Ga. 53.
Floyd County voters approved $5.9 million for the 475-acre industrial park in the 2009 special purpose, local option sales tax package. Lowe’s agreed to pay $3 million for 133 acres at the site.
“On the basis of 600 new jobs and $125 million in private investment, we’re helping them out a little bit with property acquisition and site development,” Williamson said.
Floyd County is only conditionally eligible for OneGeorgia grants, but Williamson said the Georgia Department of Economic Development took into consideration the state of Alabama’s competition for the project in making its recommendation.
The plant is expected to open by early spring 2013 with at least 150 jobs and reach full employment of about 600 workers within three years.
Lowe’s also is getting $125 million in low-interest bond financing and an exemption from Floyd County school taxes through 2015. School tax payments will then be levied in increments, with 100-percent payment starting in 2018.
The company will not pay any Floyd County government maintenance and operation taxes through 2022, but beginning in 2014 the company will make annual $78,125 payments in lieu of taxes to the development authority.