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Economic Development
Pickens County

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 cumulative $739,000.

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



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