GEO Specialty Chemicals, located on Wissahickon Avenue in Cedartown will begin a monthly testing schedule for its siren. Testing will take place on the first Tuesday of every month at 11:00 a.m. weather permitting. The first monthly test will be Tuesday, December 3, 2013. The weather looks good for tomorrow so the test should go on as scheduled. Siren sound should last about 20 seconds.
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Aspen Products Inc., a major private label paper manufacturer, will open a manufacturing facility in Macon, creating more than 200 jobs and investing $13 million into the project.
“Innovative companies such as Aspen Products Inc. make an excellent addition to our ever-growing manufacturing network,” said Deal. “Georgia is perfectly positioned to support major manufacturers across the globe, and we have no doubt that the nation’s No. 1 business climate will help Aspen Products succeed.”
The 200,000-square-foot Aspen Products facility, located in Airport Industrial Park, will manufacture paper plates, cups, bowls and lunch bags. Production for the facility will start early 2014 and the hiring process has already begun. Persons interested in vacant positions should contact the Department of Labor.
“I believe Macon to be a perfect fit for Aspen Products,” said Shannon Walls, Plant Manager, East Coast Division, Aspen Products. “Everyone from our team that has been a part of this project has shared the same sentiment. We have been welcomed with open arms and made to feel like this new town was full of old friends. We very much look forward to getting production up and going and becoming part of the local community.”
Aspen Products serves major retailers, private labels and food service companies across the United States and has a large customer base in the Southeast. The company uses the latest technologies in production, design, graphics and printing to provide specially made paper products to its customers.
The Macon Economic Commission assisted with the project, along with Walt Farrell, project manager at Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD), who assisted the company on behalf of the state.
“Macon’s location in Georgia and the Southeast region makes it an ideal location for industries to locate or expand, and our sense of community provides a great place for employees to live and raise their families,” says Macon Mayor Robert Reichert. “I am excited for Aspen Products to join our community and for their investment in our future as the hub city of the region.”
“Aspen Products’ decision to locate its newest facility in Georgia highlights the importance of maintaining a competitive business climate for manufacturers,” said Chris Carr, commissioner of GDEcD. “Our unmatched logistics infrastructure and ready-to-work talent pool are magnets for fast-growing manufacturing companies and we look forward to seeing Aspen Products take advantage of these resources.”
About Aspen Products Inc.
Aspen Products is a privately held company that has been a major supplier of white paper plates, design plates, cups, bowls and lunch bags for more than 30 years. Their success has been because of innovation in product mix, package design and value in disposable tabletop. All of their products meet or exceed the quality of the national brands as established in guidelines from the FDA.
Centrally located in Kansas City, Mo., the company’s plant facilities use the latest technologies in production, design, graphics and printing. They strive to maintain the highest service levels in the industry to all customers in Private Label, Consumer Retail, and Food Service throughout the United States. Aspen Products is your source for all disposable plate needs in uncoated, coated, design custom design or seasonal disposable tabletop.
Gov. Nathan Deal today fulfilled promises made by leaders 20 years ago and by himself during his 2010 campaign by ending toll collection on Ga. 400. Shortly after recognizing the first motorists to pay the toll on the Ga. 400 Extension 20 years ago, Deal surprised onlookers by asking Linda and Mike Weinroth to pay the last toll on the roadway. At 11:25 am, the governor collected one 1993 quarter and one 2013 quarter from the Weinroths and officially ended tolling on Ga. 400. Tolls had been originally scheduled to end after the evening rush hour.
“I made a promise that the tolls would end when the bond debt was paid and I am proud to stand here today to mark the end of that debt, and the fulfillment of that commitment,” Deal said. “I am happy to announce that Ga. 400 motorists can now keep their change.”
In July 2012, Deal announced that the state would pay off its outstanding bond debt and end tolls on Ga. 400 by December 2013. On Oct. 25, Southeastern Site Development, Inc., of Newnan, began the demolition project, with restriping of what were previously the Peach Pass electronic toll lanes and removing and modifying “toll” related signage. Additional work this weekend will include placing concrete barriers between the Peach Pass and cash lanes and shifting traffic into the electronic lanes. By Monday morning’s commute, drivers will no longer drive through the toll booth area and will have three continuous lanes to use.
“This is a day that will go down in history. Ga. 400 has been an economic powerhouse for the Buckhead and north Fulton areas and beyond for two decades,” said Christopher Tomlinson, SRTA’s Executive Director. “I’m especially proud of the men and women that have served thousands and thousands of motorists through this toll plaza since 1993.”
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), which is managing the construction of the demolition project, said no heavy demolition work is expected to take place during the winter holidays. In January, work will begin to remove the toll booths, the canopy, as well as reinforcement and filling of the tunnel stairwells. The demolition project will be completed in the fall of 2014.
Ga. 400 Fact Sheet
Completed in 1993, the Ga. 400 extension has provided easy access to downtown Atlanta from north Fulton and Forsyth counties, with almost 120,000 commuters using the road each weekday. The tollway has contributed to incredible economic growth along the corridor. Below are a few facts about the Ga. 400 Toll:
- Exact Date the Tolls Began – Aug. 1, 1993
- Days the Tolls Have Been Open – 7,414 days
- Percentage of Coins Collected Yearly by Denomination (2012)
- Penny – .0002 percent
- Nickel – 1.8405 percent
- Dime – 6.3204 percent
- Quarter – 91.83 percent
- Half – .004 percent
- Dollar – .005 percent
- Number of Quarters Collected in FY2012 – 42,984,861. That’s 2,687 tons of quarters.
- Average Amount Collected Daily – $59,000.
- Total Length of Ga. 400 Extension – 6.2 miles. That’s one-tenth of the length of I-285.
- Cars Using Peach Passes or Cruise Cards – 45 percent (53,550 cars per day). That’s slightly more than the capacity of Turner Field.
Toll Plaza Facts
- 18 lanes (nine northbound and nine southbound)
- 14 cash lanes, four Peach Pass lanes
- Eight toll booths w/ cashiers (four in each direction)
- Six automatic cash machines (just the baskets, no cashiers)
- Tunnel – 600 feet across running under the roadway
- Nine stairwells used by cashiers to access their toll booths
Governor: Korean automotive manufacturer will invest $15 million into its first U.S. facility
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that KOPLA, a Korean-based automotive manufacturer, will open its first U.S.-based manufacturing facility in West Point, creating 150 jobs and investing $15 million into the project by 2018.
“We are proud that Korea’s presence in our state continues to grow,” said Deal. “Our booming automotive industry and key business resources create a perfect location for KOPLA and we have no doubt that this state-of-the-art automotive manufacturer will continue to succeed.”
The 100,000-square-foot facility will be constructed on 20 acres of the Northwest Harris Business Park. Once in operation, the plant will supply engineering plastics resin to leading automobile manufacturers across the U.S. The company plans to utilize Georgia Quick Start, an internationally acclaimed workforce development program that offers customized workforce training, free of charge. The Columbus Chamber of Commerce will assist KOPLA with the hiring process.
“We are very pleased to be locating our first U.S. manufacturing plant in West Point, Ga.,” said KOPLA President and CEO Sangyong Han. “It is a perfect location, and the state and community support has been exemplary. We look forward to becoming a part of this thriving industrial community in Georgia.”
The Valley Partnership, the City of West Point Development Authority and the Harris County Development Authority collectively assisted with the project. Yoonie Kim, project manager at Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) International Projects team, along with Hee-jung Shin, project manager at GDEcD office in Seoul, assisted the company on behalf of the state.
“The City of West Point welcomes KOPLA to the Northwest Harris Business Park,” said West Point Mayor Drew Ferguson. “West Point continues to have success as a member of a team that includes the State of Georgia, Harris County, the Valley Partnership and the West Point Development Authority. KOPLA’s new facility will certainly have a positive impact here and we wish them much success.”
“We extend a gracious welcome to KOPLA and look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with our newest corporate citizen,” said Harris County Commission Chairman Harry Lange. “The state and the local community continue to work well together, and this is yet another successful venture that brings jobs and capital investment into the region.”
“Georgia’s dynamic automotive sector has gained another quality international company,” said Chris Carr, commissioner of GDEcD. “KOPLA’s decision to locate its first U.S. facility in Georgia speaks to the strength of our logistics infrastructure and quality workforce.”
KOPLA CO., LTD is a leading producer of Engineering Plastics Resin in Korea. It has been operating in the market of techno polymer, especially in the field of Engineering Plastic Resin since 1997.
KOPLA® is the registered trademark for Engineering Plastic Resins such as Polyamide 6, 66, PBT, PET, PC, PP, ABS produced by KOPLA CO., LTD. The full spectrum of KOPLA resins for optimum performance in specific application areas includes grades with superior processing, grades reinforced glass fiber, grades filled minerals and grades with special modifier for impact resistance or flame retardant.
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement after voting for, and the House passed, the Keep Your Health Care Plan Act, which would allow insurance companies to continue offering health care plans in effect for 2013 in order to curb or possibly reverse the millions of cancellations that have resulted from Obamacare:
“My heart aches for the millions of Americans who are suffering today because of President Obama’s broken promises. While there may not be enough time for insurance companies to reopen health care plans that have been canceled, I voted for this bill with the hope that it might save even one family I represent from losing a plan they want to keep. After six disastrous weeks, I believe the best way to fix Obamacare is to repeal the law.”
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that the state of Georgia successfully sold $173 million in general obligation bonds to fund new construction projects and to make repairs and renovations to existing facilities throughout the state.
“These bonds were sold at very low rates given current market conditions and that translates into savings for Georgia’s citizens,” said Deal. “The state’s AAA bond ratings enable us to invest in vital infrastructure around the state in a fiscally responsible manner.”
The Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission, which is responsible for issuing the state’s bonds, approved the bond sale at its meeting today. The bond issue was sold on a competitive basis with investors showing strong demand for Georgia’s highest rated bonds.
The state received competitive bids Wednesday and secured rates of 3.32 percent for the 20 year tax-exempt bonds and 0.82 percent for the five-year tax-exempt bonds, with a blended rate of 3.16 percent.
The largest amount of funding is to provide $54.01 million for Technical College System of Georgia projects throughout the state. The second largest amount is $50 million for the Savannah Harbor deepening project. Projects for the Board of Regents totaled $44.37 million, while State Board of Education projects totaled $17.36 million for local school systems for K-12 school facilities and $1.935 million for state schools. Other agencies that will benefit from proceeds of the bond issue include Vocational Rehabilitation, Public Safety Training Center, Defense, Forestry Commission, and local library systems.
Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s rating agencies assigned their triple-A bond rating with a stable outlook to the State’s General Obligation Bonds last week. The rating firms’ individual ratings are Aaa, AAA and AAA, respectively. The triple-A ratings reflect the highest rating available and are indicative of the state’s fiscally responsible management.
“Once again the state earned the highest possible bond ratings which illustrates our continued commitment to sound fiscal management while continuing to meet the needs of our citizens for increased educational and economic development opportunities throughout Georgia,” said Deal.
The Bond Ratings
Moody’s Investors Service summarized their rationale for the Aaa rating by stating that, “The highest-quality rating is supported by Georgia’s conservative fiscal management, moderate debt burden and relatively well-funded pensions. Budgetary reserves that were largely used up by the end of [the] recession are now being replenished, and the state is on track to complete a fourth consecutive year of revenue growth. The rating outlook is stable based on our expectation Georgia will take appropriate steps to maintain balanced financial operations and replenish reserves as the economy recovers.”
The FitchRatings’ report recognized Georgia’s sound fiscal management practices. “The longstanding ‘AAA’ rating and Stable Outlook on Georgia’s GO bonds reflect its conservative debt management, a proven willingness and ability to support fiscal balance and a diversified economy. The state took repeated action during the recession to maintain fiscal balance through steep spending cuts, use of federal stimulus, and draws from its rainy day fund, the revenue shortfall reserve (RSR). Since then it has maintained a conservative approach to fiscal management, curbing spending growth and making progress in rebuilding the RSR balance. The state’s debt profile is conservative and its debt burden is moderate as a percentage of personal income.”
Standard & Poor’s Rating Services also favorably commented on the state’s fiscal management practices. The report stated that the ratings reflected the agency’s assessment of Georgia’s “well-diversified economy, … strong financial monitoring and oversight with a history of making budget adjustments, mainly through expenditure reductions to restore fiscal balance, revenue shortfall reserve, which is being gradually replenished and … provides the state with some financial cushion, and moderate debt levels coupled with raid amortization of its debt.”
Again Calls On VA To Set Higher Standard For Claims Processing
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-14) issued the following statement honoring America’s veterans ahead of Veterans Day weekend:
“On behalf of the 14th Congressional District, I thank our veterans in Georgia and across America. In serving our country, veterans and their families entered a life full of challenge and sacrifice. They ensured that the torch of freedom would be passed from each generation to the next. They are our heroes.
“While our country is sincere in its gratitude, it’s important to acknowledge, once again, that our words must be backed up with action on fixing the veterans benefits system. This week, the Veterans Affairs Department cited progress on the infamous claims backlog, but I still believe our veterans deserve better.
“Hearing all the talk of ‘tech surges’ these days, I’m dismayed that the digital cavalry hasn’t been called in to aid and improve VA claims processing. With the major increases in VA spending since 2009, we know the problem isn’t a budget issue—it’s a bureaucracy issue. Our government needs to set the bar sky high and think bigger. Enlist the brightest minds and best systems, then throw the current claims processing goal of four months out the window and aim for 30 days, or even four days.
“Our servicemembers set the standard for honor and excellence, and they should be met upon retirement by a nation eager to respond in kind.”
Rep. Graves is a cosponsor of the Veterans Timely Access To Health Care Act (H.R. 241), which would ensure that veterans seeking primary or specialty care with a VA medical center receive an appointment no later than 30 days from their initial request.
On October 28, 2013, Rep. Graves voted for and the House passed H.R. 2189, a bill to establish a VA task force to evaluate and analyze the disability claims backlog and related regulations, processes and laws, and submit recommendations for solving the backlog.
Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black is warning consumers who purchased kerosene on or after November 7, 2013 from the Circle K #6701 located 3010 Buena Vista Road in Columbus, Georgia and the MAPCO Mart located at 616 W. Nashville St. in Ringgold, Georgia not to use the product in their kerosene heaters or lamps.
The kerosene is possibly contaminated with gasoline and has the potential to cause an explosion or fire if used in home heaters or lamps. Inspectors from the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Fuel & Measures Division discovered the contaminated products on a routine inspection of the stores.
A “stop-sale” order has been placed on the kerosene pump at both stores. The pumps will remain closed until the tank and lines have been cleaned and a new shipment has been tested and approved by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. To date, no other stations are involved.
Consumers who purchased kerosene from either store on or after November 7, 2013 should refrain from using the product and return it to the store of purchase for a refund.
Gov. Nathan Deal announced today that Georgia’s net tax collections for the month of October totaled $1.46 billion, an increase of approximately $81.75 million or 5.9 percent compared to the month-ended October 2012. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled $5.94 billion for an increase of nearly $329.25 million or 5.9 percent compared to the same point last year.
Changes within the following major tax categories explain the net tax revenue increase in October:
Individual Income Tax: Individual Income Tax collections for October totaled $767.75 million — up from $757 million in October 2012, for an increase of $10.75 million, or 1.4 percent.
The following notable components within Individual Income Tax account for the net increase:
- Individual Withholding payments were up $6.25 million, or 0.8 percent
- Individual Income Tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were up $13.25 million, or 13.3 percent
- Individual Return payments were up $18.5 million or 29.9 percent, over last year
- All other Individual categories including Assessment payments were down a combined $0.75 million
Sales and Use Tax: Gross Sales Tax collections declined $25.5 million or -3.1 percent, compared to last year*. Sales & Use Tax collections for October decreased $21.75 million or -5 percent — down from $439.25 million in October 2012 to a total of $417.5 million in FY 2014. Lastly, the adjusted Sales Tax distribution to local governments totaled nearly $372.75 million, which was a decrease of $7.75 million compared to FY 2013.
Corporate Income Tax: Corporate Income Tax collections for October 2013 increased roughly $34.5 million, or 862.1 percent, compared to last year when Corporate Tax revenues and refunds netted to $4 million.
The following notable components within Corporate Income Tax make up the increase:
- Corporate Tax refunds issued (net of voided checks) were down $27.5 million, or -81.5 percent
- Corporate Estimated payments for October increased $7.75 million, or 51.4 percent
- All other Corporate Tax categories including Return payments combined for a decrease of $0.75 million
*Motor Vehicle Tag & Title Fees: Motor Vehicle Fee collections for October 2013 totaled nearly $88.0 million, which was $59.25 million higher than the previous year. The large year-over-year increase is the result of new tax legislation (H.B. 266), which went into effect on March 1, 2013. The new law established a Title ad Valorem Tax to replace the Automobile Sales Tax, which was traditionally assessed on the purchase of a car. As a result, gross Sales Tax collections have been reduced while Motor Vehicle fees have increased by an average of $56.5 million per month since the filing of March returns began in April of FY 2013.
By: Senator Bill Heath (R-Bremen)
Each year, we celebrate Veterans Day on the second Monday of November to pay tribute to the courageous men and women of our armed forces. These selfless individuals are our nation’s greatest heroes, and many have paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom.
The celebration of Veterans Day can be traced back to the armistice that was signed between Germany and the Allied nations on November 11, 1918. This armistice, which was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in Compiègne, France, was the beginning of a peace agreement that led to the end of World War I.
The following year, November 11th was declared as Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson to recognize the soldiers who valiantly risked their lives serving on the Western front. Twenty years later on May 13, 1938, Armistice Day became a federal holiday.
The Armistice signed between the Allied Powers and Germany was viewed by many as the truce declaring the “war to end all wars” was over. But history shows us that America and her allies have endured several wars since the early 20th Century and continue to face conflict today. From World War II to the present struggles in the Middle East, millions of Americans have placed their lives in harm’s way defending our Republic.
On June 1, 1954, President “Ike” Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming Armistice Day as Veterans Day. Prior to this declaration, Armistice Day only commemorated veterans who served during World War I.
For over a century, America has enjoyed a rich heritage of freedom thanks to men and women who risked everything for the sake of liberty. Freedom is not free and has come at a high cost. Instead of driving to the office each day and going home to their families at night, our military work in war zones where danger is present around every corner.
Our nation’s veterans truly understand the meaning of sacrifice, and their devotion to duty makes them a source of inspiration for us all. The military builds men and women of character who don’t abandon their principles after hanging up their uniform, rank and insignia.
During the recent government shutdown, a crowd of proud war veterans stormed the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. in protest of the government shutdown and closure of commemorative war memorials. Coincidently, these same veterans who stormed the shores of Normandy during World War II are now trying to defend the very Memorial that was erected in their honor.
Why did the federal government spend so much money to construct barricades in order to keep veterans away from their own Memorials? And, equally worth noting, does this signal a loss of liberty and the underpinnings of a future authoritarian-style government? I’ll let you decide. But, one thing is certain; the loss of liberty in America is no longer coming from oppressive overseas regimes, but the hands of our own government.
This Veterans Day, we must never forget what it means to be free. Take a moment to pause and reflect on the brave men and women who risked everything to protect us against tyranny and oppression.
We can only remain free if we consciously remember the trials of the past and use history as our guide. We’ve seen great nations rise and fall as a result of people standing quiet in the midst of great adversity. Our nation’s servicemen and women continually lay their lives down to keep our homeland safe and preserve our ideals–even when it isn’t popular. We must do the same if we hope to pass this heritage of freedom on to future generations.
Ronald Reagan said, “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they ever made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don’t have that problem.” Regardless of the branch served, every veteran has left a lasting legacy for future generations. It is now up to us whether we continue to uphold the values and principles that our servicemen and women fought so hard to protect.
This Veterans Day, you can show support for our veterans by proudly displaying the American flag, attending a Veterans Day parade or simply taking a moment to thank a veteran for their selfless service to this county. Veterans have served our nation faithfully and deserve our respect, honor and gratitude.
May God continue to bless our veterans and their families and protect our men and women still serving overseas.