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Liberty working to attract industry

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POSTED: March 29, 2007 5:13 a.m.
Liberty County officials are hoping to improve wastewater management and draw new industries by building a new facility within a few years.
A wastewater treatment plant tops the list of priorities for the Liberty County Development Authority.
“Several significant developers are already knocking on the door trying to obtain wastewater allocation,” LCDA Chief Executive Officer Ron Tolley said.
LCDA is working with CH2M HILL, a global project management firm, to design a new 3 million-gallon-a-day wastewater treatment plant.
The authority board approved the site location and plans to proceed with boundary and topographical surveys. Plans call for constructing the facility on 24 acres of land in the Tradeport East Business Park, less than a mile to Interstate 95 on U.S. Highway 84 in Midway.
The plant is being designed to meet the needs of the service delivery area designated for the LCDA east of Midway several months ago, officials said. In addition to the Tradeport East Business Park, the plant would serve  expected substantial residential, commercial and retail development at the Highway 84 and Interstate 95 interchange.
Tradeport is a mixed-use designed to include light industrial, distribution and logistics, technology, commercial, and retail developments.
Target, which is set to open in May, and Tire Rack are two existing retailers in the business center. The new wastewater treatment plant should bring more, Tolley said.
“Their (new developers) projects will mean new jobs and an expanded tax base for Liberty County, and we are trying to accommodate them as fast as possible. We anticipate these inquires will increase substantially when word spread about our commitment to the new wastewater treatment plant,” Tolley said.
With area growth expected to double in the next five years, officials said the facility would benefit new and existing industry and thousands of residents on the east end of the county.
Tolley said the authority is committed to environmental stewardship in this latest plan. The wastewater treatment plant will be designed to meet the state’s reuse standards, he said.
While some decisions have been made, discussions with the city of Midway are ongoing. If plans go according to schedule, the first phase of the plant would be in operation by mid 2009. The estimated cost is $25 million.
 

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