Much of the recent focus on jobs creation in Pickens County has been
on the Pickens County Commerce Center. This property is situated on ___acres
at the intersection of U.S. Highway 123 and Cartee Road near the city
of Liberty. Pickens County Council and the Pickens County Economic Development
Alliance (Alliance Pickens) worked together to make the park a reality.
However, before work on the commerce park had begun, Blue Ridge made
a $230,000 RDA grant in 1997 to fund new infrastructure at a commercial/industrial
site adjacent to the Pickens County Airport. The dollars paid for the
installation of sewer lines to serve existing and potential industry there.
Blue Ridge RDA funds were donated in varying amounts to the Pickens County
Commerce Center in each of the years from 1998 through 2003. Land purchase,
road construction, and water and sewer line extensions all received funding—a
All the work that had gone into the park was rewarded in April 2004,
with the groundbreaking for the Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Company plant.
This operation would move to Pickens County from upstate New York and
would create 350 local jobs in the process.
Shortly after the Reliable announcement, another firm committed to locate
in the commerce enter. KeyMark, an area business, would soon construct
a facility on nearby park property. Although a comparatively small operation
at the start, plans call for KeyMark to see several growth phases in the
years ahead that should increase its size and employment level considerably.
Total Blue Ridge RDA contributions to Pickens County: $969,000