2018 was a terrific year in Cobb County...
Introduction by Chairman Mike Boyce
2018 was a terrific year in Cobb County.
We live in a world where Uber and Lyft represent ride share applications yet own no vehicles; Airbnb is increasing its share of the hotel motel industry yet owns no buildings; and alternative energy sources are steadily impacting the business plans for utility companies.
Cobb County government must plan to accommodate this new world.
This will require innovative thinking, political courage and the will to take reasonable risks and be willing to ask the public and business community to join us as partners as we face a rapidly changing world. We are working to attract new businesses and retain those already here. These efforts collectively resulted in $3.1 billion in new economic development in 2018. These projects included:
- Floor & Décor will expand and relocate its headquarters in the Cumberland CID
- Home Depot will renovate and equip two existing offices
- Brasfield & Gorrie relocated its corporate headquarters in Cobb County
- Thyssenkrupp will move its North American operations center to Cobb
- Empire Distributors moved its headquarters to the county
- Arylessence modernized with a state-of-the-art technical innovation laboratory
- Care Stream Dental expanded into Cobb
An often overlooked but critical element in the success of any business is the transit and transportation infrastructure in the area. Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax continues to play an essential role in that regard as we saw the continuing recapitalization of our transportation network. Complementing these SPLOST transportation projects have been new projects such as:
- New Acworth community center
- $2.64 million expansion of the North Cobb Senior Center
- Completed a rebuilding of Fire Station 18 on Mars Hill Road
- Smyrna Public Health Clinic
- New 41,000-square-foot event center at Jim Miller Park
Just before Christmas we closed on the last purchase of green space funded by the 2008 parks bond, a commitment upon which I campaigned. The value and importance of adding more than 400 acres of green space cannot be stated strongly enough.
The public-private partnership with the Braves continues to bear fruit. The facts show that the developments stimulated by the Braves complex will generate the necessary taxes, and sooner than anticipated, to pay for our part of this partnership.
Another innovative approach to a potential public-private partnership comes with federal legislation that allows for a joint use runway at Dobbins Air Reserve Base. This action further weaves Dobbins into the economic quilt of Cobb and potentially immunizes the base from any future Base Realignment and Closure consideration. We owe a large debt of gratitude to our delegation in Washington for this achievement.
Our relationship with our state delegation remains as strong as ever, and our place in Georgia is well defined. We greatly appreciate the contributions that Gov. Nathan Deal made to our county and we thank him for believing in Cobb and directing new investments here. We look forward to working with Gov. Brian Kemp and his administration.
We also value our partnerships with the Cumberland and the Town Center Community Improvement Districts, the Gateway Marietta CID and the South Cobb Redevelopment Authority. Our joint efforts with them are modernizing our infrastructure. Of particular note is the expanding network of trails and the associated Zagster bike rentals for riding on 60 more than miles of trails from Kennesaw to the Chattahoochee River. Working with the hotel motel owners in the Cumberland Special Service District, we have found ways to provide additional funding to Cobb Travel and Tourism that will allow to expand the use of tourism venues in the county and attract more visitors.
The new arrangement has also allowed the county to reduce the burden on tax payers by $600,000 annually as hotel and motel owners have agreed to use a portion of the Special Service District Fee to pay for public safety.
People and businesses alike enjoy Cobb because of the high quality of life that we have here. Balancing the cost of these services with appropriate revenues remains a main budgetary imperative. The board approved last year a millage rate that signaled our commitment to continue to deliver high quality services.
We all understand that what is good for anyone of us should be a benefit to all of us. Together, we’ll continue to prepare Cobb for the 21st century and beyond.