At its Tuesday evening meeting, the Gordon County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution adopting an exchange of land and an agreement of exchange of real property for the development of a potential travel center at the intersection of Johnson Lake Road and Union Grove Road. The development will require shifting Johnson Lake Road to the east so that it doesn’t bisect that property as much as it currently does.

“It’s basically a realignment and an exchange of property,” said County Administrator Jim Ledbetter. “The good thing about this is that if the deals work out and the property is acquired by the developer, it will result in signalization of the intersection at Johnson Lake, Belwood and Union Grove, something that the community has been asking for, for a good while.”

According to the resolution, a potential Buc-ee’s fuel center would be constructed at the corner of Union Grove Road and the I-75 North exit ramp. A new right of way road would be constructed on the property that connects Union Grove Road to Johnson Lake Road. Altogether, it would be a development of over 16 acres and would offer 100 fueling stations to travelers.

Ledbetter said the proposed development would be a $40 million investment and that estimates are it will bring in around $25 million per year in sales tax revenue. He also said that the value of the property being acquired by the county is $100,000 greater than the value of the property being exchanged.

The county property is worth about $750,000. The developer’s property is worth about $850,000.

“This company, if it comes, will dramatically enhance our ad valorem tax base. It’s probably about a $40 million investment or more. It will generate a great deal of sales tax revenue. I’ve seen projections of $25 million a year in sales tax revenue. It will also provide signalization on that road, and that’s subject to DoT approval still,” Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter said the construction of a traffic signal would be a “big plus” for the community and noted that the agreement requires “the new right of way to be of the same or better quality than the existing right of way.” The agreement specifically states that the new road be “built as designed by professional engineers and be of at least the same capacity and quality of materials and construction as the existing right of way road currently located on the county property.”

The commissioners also approved a bid for a contractor to build the new Gordon County Health Department and demolish the old building once the new one is occupied. Pro Construction of GA, based in Macon, was selected from what Ledbetter called a “healthy group” of six bidders.

The total construction cost with Pro Construction of GA is $2,322,636.80. It was the lowest bid. The project will be paid for by the Special Purpose, Local Option Sales Tax.

The new health facility will contain 11,310 square feet of offices for nurses, nutritionists, exam rooms, environmental health, a pharmacy, wellness, a conference room and administrative areas. Construction is expected to take about a year to finish and the existing structure will be destroyed after completion of the new one.

The new building, which is funded from the 2012 SPLOST, will be built directly behind the existing building at 310 N. River St.


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