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By: Robin Ford Wallace, Reporter


At Friday’s monthly meeting of the Dade Industrial Development Authority, the organization’s newly hired man-on-the-ground, Peter Cervelli, kicked off his tenure with plans for a promotional video to sell prospective businesses on Dade County.

“It’s got to be something we can be proud of to go around the world,” said Cervelli.

Cervelli, who did similar industry-recruiting work for the city of Trenton as its Better Home Town manager until the city commission eliminated his job last year, was hired last month by the IDA to get its economic development push rolling. And though Cervelli described himself as so far working out of his car and aided only by his cell phone, he made it clear he had hit the ground running.

For illustration, he showed the IDA board, which is chaired by Nathan Wooten, a video produced by neighboring Walker County. “I think it’s right on in terms of what they need,” he said.

Board members appeared enthusiastic about the idea of a Dade video though they sniffed a little at Walker’s efforts. Walker County is not the gateway to Atlanta,” pointed out Wooten.

“They have a lot to offer but they don’t have the freeway,” said member Dora Crisp.

“They don’t even run railroads down there,” put in member Larry Case.

Cervelli said he was already in negotiation with a production company to highlight the clearly superior attributes of Dade. “We’re talking in the order of $6,000,” he said.

The IDA is an independent public/private board that treasurer John Bradford described as financing its activities through the sale of property. Its chief purpose is to bring jobs into the area.

Cervelli said another priority for the IDA right now is to gussy up the acreage it recently bought to expand the county’s industrial park. Fences and barbed wire need to be removed from the old farmland to make it accessible and attractive to prospective tenants, he said. 

“This is all part of marketing. This is all part of infrastructure,” he said.

He said the most requested sites were ones that already had structures on them, and that the IDA should prearrange with a contractor to put up a building quickly should the need arise. 

Cervelli said he had a list of grants in hand to bring down the cost of relocating business to Dade. “The goal here is to get the lowest price on the table so this is a good place to come,” he said.

The IDA meets at 3 p.m. on the third Friday of every month in the Commission Room of the Dade Administrative Building.  

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