Authority members in recent weeks voted to grant $20,000 to the Stone Mountain entity — those funds matching an $80,000 grant awarded by the Atlanta Regional Commission. That move on the part of the DeKalb board will aid the CID in the latter’s quest to create 2,000 new jobs by the end of 2013.
“The authority board members were delighted to help the Stone Mountain CID access the grant,” said authority Chairwoman Judy Turner. “That’s a great return on our investment.”
District officials said they are now poised to secure professional assistance and create a first-of-its-kind economic development plan for the area.
“Our CID is keenly aware of the need to see at least 2,000 new jobs become available in this part of DeKalb County and we are working to help meet that need,” CID president Emory Morsberger stated in a press release.
“This economic development effort is focused on recreating our area as a destination for investment and redevelopment,” Morsberger said. “The more businesses that we have filling our available spaces, the more employment opportunities will open where they are needed most.”
Morsberger said the new funds puts the Stone Mountain CID in significantly better standing to embark on vital planning efforts that similar organizations sometimes have to wait years in which to engage.
Turner noted that the Stone Mountain group was formed without any help from the DeKalb Development Authority.
“The businesses in that area have shown their support for it by getting it organized and funded,” Turner said.
Looking ahead, DeKalb officials said the implications of the recent developments involving the Stone Mountain CID could bode well for residents in the other areas in their purview.
“The goal of the Innovation Grant from the ARC is to come up with strategies to revitalize the industrial, commercial and manufacturing base in this area,” Turner said. “They have agreed to share this study with the Development Authority and DeKalb Office of Economic Development so that it can be used county-wide.”
With nothing on the horizon at present, Turner and company are fielding offers from entities looking to replicate the Stone Mountain CID’s progress.
“We don’t currently have any requests pending but are always willing to entertain requests that promote economic development in the county,” Turner said.