Hosted by the city’s Refresh Committee, the joint meeting will be held Tuesday, July 12, at 1 p.m. at City Hall and will include the Fort Oglethorpe Downtown Development Authority and the City Council. The meeting is open to the public.
According to Chris McKeever, executive director of the 6th Cavalry Museum in Fort Oglethorpe, the purpose of the meeting is to discuss requirements for qualifying the LaFayette Road area as a state “Opportunity Zone” and how that can help with the remodeling project.
“A designated Opportunity Zone can qualify a local government for a state job tax credit of up to $3,500 per job if they undertake revitalization efforts in certain older commercial and industrial areas those areas,” McKeever said.
The Georgia Department of Community Affairs administers the Opportunity Zone program, and according to its website the tax breaks are available for new or existing businesses which create two or more jobs.
The credits can be taken against a business’s income tax liability and/or state payroll withholding.
The presentation and discussion will be facilitated by Patrick Vickers, a field services representative with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.
Vickers has advised that the LaFayette Road area is eligible for this program.
McKeever says the city would have to complete a detailed redevelopment plan that establishes a specific “Op-portunity Zone” designation.
The City Council would have to approve certain zoning ordinances and adopt resolutions and policies authoriz-ing a redevelopment plan. There are also certain public hearing requirements from the state.
“We definitely want as much public input as we can get,” McKeever said. “With more people involved there are more issues we can address to help get this job done.”