Jackson County Commissioners and the city of Marianna have signed memorandums of understanding with Sawcross Inc. and a contract is pending for the governmental entities to sell the construction company 22 acres of property they jointly hold in the Marianna/Jackson County Distribution/Construction Services Park.
The MOU is non-binding but a working document to guide discussion and expectations as the parties work toward the contract not yet inked.
The park is located off Kynesville Road (State Road 276). The Family Dollar Distribution Center and Arizona Chemical dominate the distribution side of the park.
The 22 acres being sold is part of roughly 100 acres of property originally purchased by the now-dissolved Jackson County Development Council and turned over to the governmental agencies just prior to its disbanding.
The company is to pay $1,500 per acre for the land under the terms of agreements.
As incentives, the city will waive its business license fee for the first two years of the company’s operation, reduce project-associated building permit fees by 15 percent, waive all utility connection fees and impact fees for connection to the city-owned water, wastewater and natural gas systems, and will expedite processing of development orders and construction permitting, along with any other developmental processes required by the city government.
No tax-break incentive was granted or requested, and the price agreed upon for the sale was on the high end of market value, according to Marianna City Manager Jim Dean.
The city also agreed to help the company develop a relationship with Chipola College and its construction management and welding programs for the purpose of developing "a pipeline for hiring construction craft and professionals," the MOU states.
The agreement also indicates that Sawcross should commence development of its site and facility within a year of all the involved agreements being executed. It goes on to say that the company will develop a construction site that includes a modular office and eventually a “site-built metal-modular building facility.”
The company is expected to have at least two employees on staff within a year of having a certificate of occupancy for the developed site, and, within 24 months, additional staff of 5-15 people.
Sawcross specializes primarily in water, wastewater and utility-based construction projects.
Dean said he hopes the project will spur more growth at the west-end Interstate 10 exchange. “There’s nothing out there (on the construction side), but it has been said that once you get one thing in the ground you start building big momentum, so maybe this will be what we need to stimulate some growth at that interchange,” he said.