In order to tap into a federal bond program to jumpstart economic development, Jackson County has been designated a “recovery zone.”
The Jackson County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution on Monday designating the entire county as a “recovery zone,” which will allow the county to get bonds for economic development projects.
Jackson County’s Industrial Development Authority also supported the move during its Friday meeting.
“This is an opportunity to position ourselves to take advantage of these funds that are available for economic development,” county manager Darrell Hampton said. “There is no obligation to the county.”
One year ago, the Obama administration allocated federal funds for “recovery zones” to spur economic development. At that time, Jackson County did not meet the qualifications, which include a high foreclosure rate and unemployment. Since then, the county’s numbers have changed and it is eligible.
Hampton said chamber of commerce president Shane Short said companies looking to locate in the county have asked if Jackson County is a recovery zone.
Last week, officials from several agencies in the county heard a presentation from an attorney about the recovery Zone economic development application process. The consensus was that the entire county should designated as a “recovery zone” to take advantage of the incentive program, according to IDA chairman Scott Martin.
“Jackson County didn’t get an allocation from the recovery zone stuff in the beginning,” he said.
To be named a “recovery zone,” an area must have significant poverty, unemployment rate or home foreclosure rate.
Jackson County does have a high unemployment with 10.7 percent in April, according to the Georgia Department of Labor.