Wednesday, November 09, 2022

Oconee County Agrees To Donate Land On SR 316 Near Bogart For A State Driver Services Customer Center

***State Budget Includes $4 Million For New Facility***

The Oconee County Industrial Development Authority on Monday agreed to donate to the state a 13-acre parcel south of SR 316 for a new Georgia Department of Driver Services Customer Service Center.

Technically a part of the county’s Gateway Technology and Business Park, the acreage is south of SR 316 near Bogart with a small amount of frontage on McNutt Creek Road.

Oconee County Board of Commissioner Chair John Daniell said after the meeting that the Industrial Development Authority has found little interest in the parcel over the years.

The Fiscal Year 2023 Georgia Budget includes $4 million for construction of a new Customer Services Center in Oconee County.

Daniell said donating the property to the state will help make the new Center a reality and will have a positive impact on the county.

The Department of Driver Services provides commercial and regular passenger vehicle driver's licenses, driver's permits, and state identification cards.

The nearest Customer Services Centers for Oconee County residents at present are on U.S. 29 on the northeast of Athens-Clarke County, in Greensboro in Greene County, and in Between in Walton County.

IDA Action

The Industrial Development Authority held a brief called meeting in the Courthouse on Monday to deal with the sale of the property to the state.

Property Outlined In Blue To Be Donated To State
(Click To Enlarge)

The Authority quickly went into executive session to discuss the sale and then reconvened in open session to officially take action on the contract.

County Attorney Daniel Haygood told the Authority after the executive session that it had before it for approval a Purchase And Sale Agreement between the Authority and the Division of Driver Services. (The state web site calls the unit a Department, not a Division.)

The Agreement states that the Division of Driver Services “desires to expand its office in Oconee County.”

The Authority “desires to donate the Property to the state, subject to SPC approval, when DDS provides the IDA with information sufficient for the IDA to verify that construction is funded and ready to commence construction.”

SPC stands for State Properties Commission, which acquires and dispenses all state-owned real property.

The Authority approved the contract unanimously.

Daniell Explanation

In an email exchange after the meeting, Daniell, who sits on the Authority and was at the meeting on Monday, said he made “inquiries with the State about the location for the new center” after it appeared in Governor Brian Kemp’s budget submission.

“After the budget was approved by the General Assembly,” Daniell said, “the DDS started a site search. Conversations during the site search resulted in the agreement adopted by the IDA this week.”

“The parcel has generated little to no interest over the years,” Daniell said.

“Partnering with the State will allow the State to reach it's goal with no impact to Oconee County,” he continued. “I believe it will generate additional positive impacts for the County in the near future as well.”

In 2012, the IDA agreed to sell the 13-acre parcel and a second parcel of less than five acres south of SR 316 to Clyde Armory for $203,472, but that deal fell through. 

History Of Gateway

The county purchased the 13-acre parcel being donated to the state along with three other properties that lie between McNutt Creek Road and Pete Dickens Road in January of 2000 for a new interchange on SR 316.

When the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) decided not to use the properties for an interchange, the county turned the tracts over to the county’s Industrial Development Authority.

Over the years, the Authority has developed the two largest parcels, which are north of SR 316, into the Gateway Technology and Business Park.

Alexia Pharma LLC owns and is located on about 11 acres at the corner of Aiken Road and McNutt Creek Road.

Redwoods Investment LLC owns 36 acres on Aiken Road.

The IDA still owns nearly 53 acres at the intersection of Aiken Road and Pete Dickens Road.

It also owns the additional five acres south of SR 316 that fronts only on SR 316.

GDOT currently has plans to create a full interchange on SR 316 at Dials Mill Road.

Homeowners near the proposed Dials Mill Road interchange have expressed opposition to the full interchange, saying it would adversely affect their neighborhood and that there are better alternatives that would not affect residential properties.


The video below is on the county’s YouTube Channel.

The brief presentation by Haygood of the action to be taken begins at 2:49 in the video.

Property Outlined In Blue To Be Donated To State
(Click To Enlarge)

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