There may be an ongoing global pandemic and economic slowdown ahead, but industrial growth is still happening here.
Pierce County Industrial Development Authority has brokered yet another development in the U.S. Hwy. 84 Industrial Park that will bring a $500,000 capital investment and at least five new jobs to the community by the end of the year.
The authority voted unanimously last Wednesday morning, June 3, to deed approximately 27 acres off Rawhide Road to Reliable Rolloff Solutions, Inc. of Jesup for the company to build a construction and demolition (C&D) waste transfer station.
Reliable Rolloff has plans to start construction of the new station immediately, committing to the capital investment and job creation in exchange for the property in the Park. They’ll build a three-sided building where C&D waste will be consolidated and crushed then transported to a landfill outside of the county.
Company owner Carey Jones told The Times last week he and partner, D.J. Jones (no relation), are ready to begin construction once the land transfer is completed and they obtain the necessary permits from the Environmental Protection Division (EPD).
They already have contractors lined up to clear the land and then they’ll begin using it as a staging area for dumpsters and port-a-potties they intend to rent to customers until construction of the transfer station begins.
“Once we get that permit we intend to break ground and begin construction,” Jones says. “Realistically it’ll probably take 60 days (to build).”
Reliable Rolloff has been in business for four years in Wayne County and has been serving customers in Pierce and Blackshear for most of that time. Constructing a transfer station here will enable them to provide even more services to construction companies and the general public. Private citizens reportedly generate most of their dumpster rentals.
The company is permitted through EPD for C&D waste only. They will not be processing MSW (municipal solid waste) at the transfer station.
“It is not MSW which is basically food and toxic (materials) … none of that,” says Industrial Development Authority Director Matt Carter.
“We are regulated by Georgia EPD, permitted by EPD … only for construction and demolition materials,” Jones confirmed. “We are not permitted, nor do we intend to be permitted for household garbage.”
The IDA also included language in the land transfer deed prohibiting its use as a landfill or disposal place for MSW which will ensure future owners of the property can’t convert it into such a facility, Carter adds.
Reliable Rolloff is permitted by EPD to hold a dumpster on site for up to seven days before the waste must be consolidated and taken to a landfill.
The IDA offered no tax abatements to Reliable Rolloff which means the company will begin contributing to the local tax base next year, Carter says.
Jones says, as the company grows, they’ll most likely add more jobs as well. Reliable Rolloff employs 16 in Wayne County currently.
“We expect the same thing to happen in Pierce,” he says.
Pierce County’s contribution to the construction project is minimal. Driveway access to the property is reportedly already in place, but the City of Blackshear will have to extend water and sewer lines approximately 900 feet to provide service to the company.
The land deeded to Reliable Rolloff is not bordered by any other industry in the Park — a factor Carter says the IDA considered carefully. The transfer station will be separated by wetlands and a drainage ditch on Bowen Road and by trees and brush along the property line between the facility and homes nearby.
In addition to adding to Pierce County’s tax base and providing new jobs, Reliable will also provide an alternate location for Pierce Countians to dispose of C&D waste such as old couches, appliances or furniture.
Reliable will accept items from the public during regular business hours once the station opens later this year. They plan to operate from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday - Friday and 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday.
“We absolutely can help your county in that area. We’ve seen that happen in Wayne County where individuals have items they need to get rid of — old sofas, mattresses, refrigerators — and they need a place to take it,” Jones told The Times.
Jones has committed to providing an affordable and clean place for residents to take their C&D items.
“We’re going to build the exact same thing in Pierce County (that we did in Jesup). We take a lot of pride in it. We want it to be clean and easy to get to for the residents of Pierce and Ware County,” he says.
The company does not claim to be in the recycling business, but they are looking for ways to offer more recycling options as they grow. They currently recycle metals from the items they will be crushing and consolidating at the new transfer station.
“We’re always looking for ways to recycle because that helps us. The less we have to pay to take to a landfill that’s better for us,” Jones says.
And, Reliable is eager to invest back in the communities where they work. The company often collects kids’ bicycles dropped off at their facilities and looks for a community partner to help distribute those back to children in need.
The IDA and Reliable managed to broker this deal in record time — just a month’s worth of negotiations even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Jones spoke highly of area officials and their cooperation.
“Your county and city officials were tremendous to work with. From day one they asked a lot of tough questions … they were looking out for the welfare of Pierce County residents. Once we satisfied those questions and some saw our facility in Jesup, then it was ‘what can we do to help you?’” Jones says. “They were great … Especially Matt Carter at the IDA. This wouldn’t have happened without Matt’s leadership.”
In related news, the IDA also voted last week to sell approximately seven acres in the Park where the old Southern Eagle facility was located before it burned a few years ago to R.H. Tyson Construction Company for $3,500/acre. The lot is located across Sundance Road from Tyson’s headquarters and may be of use to the company in the future, although there are no current expansion plans in place, Carter says.